Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | (show all)
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5627849 - 01/17/13 11:12 AM

I'm happy with the scopes I have now, but eyepieces---let's just say my B&M store will be around for awhile...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5627948 - 01/17/13 11:57 AM

Yes know Steve well. Likely will be getting a large Orion Dob from him soon!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
groz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/14/07

Loc: Campbell River, BC
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Bill Weir]
      #5627998 - 01/17/13 12:31 PM

Quote:

The attached photo says what they are really all about.





We stopped in there a couple years back to pick something up on the way to Table Mountain Star Party. Like you, I was quite surprised to see the sign on the side of the building.

Another thing that does make a big difference, quality telescopes dont 'wear out' over time if one looks after the gear. So, over time, the used market ends up with an abundance of quality optical gear, which for the most part, is just as good as brand new. We all spend our discretionary income on this stuff, so, there are no tax incentives for buying new kit, and many lack of tax incentives for buying the used stuff.

When my wife and I started out, we bought our initial kit from our local retailer, all of it. Two telescopes, two mounts, and a lot of bits and pieces, to end up with low end astrophotography kits, with dslr cameras (we already had the cameras). As we started upgrading, we switched to buying used stuff, whenever we stumbled on a 'good price'.

About a year ago, we started contemplating a major upgrade, to what amounts to our 'dream retirement telescopes'. We had a fairly good idea what we considered our 'dream setup', and knew full well, there is no way our budget could withstand that kind of purchasing. But, we waited patiently, and, over time we did find the caliber of equipment we wanted, in a price range that our budget could withstand. None of it was new.

Today we have a set of kit, which I dont envision any upgrades on for the foreseeable future. It's all premium brand stuff. We should get at least 10+ years of enjoyment out of this gear, and at the end of that time, it will still be quality optical equipment, well cared for, and worth probably the same as what we paid for it, possibly more if new kit inflates in price like everything else.

So, for the dealers, what does all this mean ? They got margins and markups on our initial entry level purchases, but, the margins and markups on our high end purchases, were made a few years ago. We wont be buying much / any astro gear for a few years, and we have two complete low end setups, which are now headed off to the used market. it's all good kit, which has been well cared for. The kit my wife and I put together, would never have happened without a flourishing community online, for used astro gear.

And therein lies the crux for the retail end of this hobby. Astro gear for the most part, ends up re-cycled into the used market, and most of it is kept in pretty good shape. If somebody is starting out in the hobby today, particularily if they are somewhat cost sensetive, it's easy to kit out a nice setup, via the used market. The internet has made this much easier over the last few years, there are numerous sites dedicated to used astro gear, and one can find good kit, and good prices there.

And heck, refer back to the place you originally noted, with the big sign demonstrating how much of the business is really about telescopes. They have figured out a way to turn the used telescope market into a profitable sideline. Lots and lots of people are willing to pay the sign up fee for a website, just to get access to the amount of used stuff for sale there. They built a critical mass, and, today harvest a modest revenue stream out of it. So, rather than try compete with the used market, they enable it, harvest a small revenue stream from it, and move on.

As long as we all take good care of our astro gear, then retailers will be competing directly with the used market for this stuff, and, that's a very tough thing to compete against.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5628009 - 01/17/13 12:36 PM

Quote:

I say we don't need a sales tax...period. We're already taxed for earning it and saving it...and now for spending it......




Just to note, income tax is federal, and pays for the federal government. Sales tax is local, and pays for your state, city, and/or county government. As far as I know, there is no tax on savings (there is on earned interest, which counts as a form of income).

As to whether or not we need them, that's dipping into political territory that we don't allow on CN.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: groz]
      #5628052 - 01/17/13 12:56 PM

Quote:

And therein lies the crux for the retail end of this hobby. Astro gear for the most part, ends up re-cycled into the used market, and most of it is kept in pretty good shape. If somebody is starting out in the hobby today, particularily if they are somewhat cost sensetive, it's easy to kit out a nice setup, via the used market. The internet has made this much easier over the last few years, there are numerous sites dedicated to used astro gear, and one can find good kit, and good prices there.




You are absolutely correct. I'm in the business and still buy the majority of my gear used and always encourage others to do the same. It just makes sense when it comes to products that are generally quite durable. You can depend on just about any half way decent telescope and mount lasting longer than the average car (and certainly longer than the major appliances in my house). The really good stuff and easily outlive most of us. The retail large astro equipment business has to rely mostly on equipment junkies and newbies to survive.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
George Methvin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Central Texas
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Jarad]
      #5628063 - 01/17/13 01:03 PM

Groz I agree with you, I have two very nice scope that I am very happy with and see no need to ever upgrade to anything else. If I did feel the need for another scope i would look to the used market for one. Why buy New if you can buy almost new for some times half the price.


1998 Meade 10 SCT LX200 autostar upgrade telescope.

2010 Orion Eon 120mm ED refractor.



Edited by George Methvin (01/17/13 01:36 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5628111 - 01/17/13 01:39 PM

I always wondered why astronomy dealerships didnt get into payment plans, buy here pay here type deals.
I know its a risk, but just think we could have a new tv show,
" telescope repo man "

Oh thats bad I know.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5628121 - 01/17/13 01:44 PM

Quote:

Groz I agree with you, I have two very nice scope that I am very happy with and see no need to ever upgrade to anything else. If I did feel the need for another scope i would look to the used market for one. Why buy New if you can buy almost new for some times half the price.




Over the years, I have purchased a few scopes new but almost all of my equipment has been purchased used, a good deal of it via Astromart. For the sort of equipment I like, it doesn't wear out. But if one is into the latest and greatest, electronics and complicated electro-mechanical systems do wear out and do become obsolete.

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: droid]
      #5628178 - 01/17/13 02:21 PM

Quote:

I always wondered why astronomy dealerships didnt get into payment plans, buy here pay here type deals.
I know its a risk, but just think we could have a new tv show,
" telescope repo man "

Oh thats bad I know.





I saw that movie, it's gonna hurt taking all those light photons back..........


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
George Methvin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Central Texas
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5628252 - 01/17/13 03:01 PM

Yea I own about 16 eyepeices and all but 5 of them I got on the used market for about half the price of when they were new. Most eyepeices and telescope will last a life time if taken care of. I will turn 61 years old in a few months, my eyes will go bad before my telescopes and eyepeice will.

Edited by George Methvin (01/17/13 03:02 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: stratocaster]
      #5628319 - 01/17/13 03:32 PM

Quote:

There was a Pocono Mountain Optics that opened up here in Las Vegas, NV sometime in the mid to late 1990s. I had read on-line that they had a lot of positive reviews from buyers in their original location out east. I was excited to have them locally. It was a very small shop, but that's where I purchased my first "serious" equipment. But then the owner retired, I think, and they just closed up some time in the early 2000s.

That only left Scope City, which has recently closed its doors.




He "retired" alright--after a fashion. Leaving quite a few customers in the lurch. Sad, since Pocono was one of my faves for some years.



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5628321 - 01/17/13 03:34 PM

Quote:

The Astronomy Shoppe was a large scope store in Phoenix that closed around 2000. The owner also did car window screens, and that business was his real moneymaker. He couldn't take the stress of running a telescope shop that had such small margins, and put all of his energy into the screen store.

That leaves Phoenix - a city of 4 million in a location with great astronomy climate - with only one very small telescope store. Most of us make the 1 1/2 hour drive to Tucson to Starizona or Stellar Vision if we want to buy astronomy equipment from a place with a showroom.

Tom




Consider yourself lucky. In the nearly fifty years I've been in our avocation, I've spent exactly five years in a place with an astro store--Doc Clay's old Astronomical Unit in Little Rock.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: droid]
      #5628326 - 01/17/13 03:36 PM

Quote:

I always wondered why astronomy dealerships didnt get into payment plans, buy here pay here type deals.
I know its a risk, but just think we could have a new tv show,
" telescope repo man "

Oh thats bad I know.




Plenty of astronomy vendors did offer payment plans--Unitron and Criterion to name just two. With the coming of credit cards, there wasn't a whole lot of reason to anymore, though, I reckon.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Chucky
sage
*****

Reged: 04/16/10

Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5628363 - 01/17/13 03:51 PM

<< I would say Astronomics main business is astronomy, with their new showroom! >>

Unlike many if not most, these guys stay very, very active on the Internet, attend shows, employee knowledgeable people, stock a ton of awesome products, provide excellent service, and truly enjoy their jobs.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
George Methvin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Central Texas
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5628369 - 01/17/13 03:55 PM

Rod I thought about you the Last week, I pick up a bottle of rebel yell 80 proof burbon. Very very smooth, move over JD. LOL

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5628392 - 01/17/13 04:13 PM

Some manufacturers shot themselves in the foot by refusing to sell or service products abroad so that they can protect their international distributors who where actually not all that interested in marketing their products. Like when I tried to buy a meade scope, or when I tried to service my scope after a part broke, they refused to repair it for me, they asked me to send it to their agent who is across the border in another country. I drove all the way across the border and the agent made all kind of excuses to not take my scope for repair. In the end I shipped it to Doc Clay to repair for me. Same story when I want to buy their stuff, they say go buy from your local agent (who again doesn't exist in my country, so I have to drive to Dubai again and then I get told by the agent that he doesn't sell that particular product. Sell online and understand that with the internet, you can't isolate your market to geographical areas anymore.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Jarad]
      #5628466 - 01/17/13 04:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I say we don't need a sales tax...period. We're already taxed for earning it and saving it...and now for spending it......




Just to note, income tax is federal, and pays for the federal government. Sales tax is local, and pays for your state, city, and/or county government. As far as I know, there is no tax on savings (there is on earned interest, which counts as a form of income).

As to whether or not we need them, that's dipping into political territory that we don't allow on CN.

Jarad




Yeah ! ...... That's what I'm talkin about !


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5628481 - 01/17/13 05:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I really think there needs to be a way for ALL internet sales to be sales-taxed to give brick-and-mortar a fighting chance. Perhaps something as simple as a 5% tax on everything, distributed to the states.





I completely agree. We need a national tax on Internet sales. No matter what their specialty is, specialty retailers are going out all over the place. They need a level playing field.

Internet vendors still take advantage of national and state infrastructure, yet they only pay sales tax to a single state on a small portion of their sales.




All this talk about taxation and such is getting kinda polical here .

All that aside , what happens when you can no longer put your fingers on a product and have to buy sight unseen ?
I kinda like to be able to touch and feel before I buy . Someone needs to stay open so we can touch and feel , then go home and order on line to reap the savings . Best Buy is having a good time with that eh?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5628489 - 01/17/13 05:12 PM

Quote:

Some manufacturers shot themselves in the foot by refusing to sell or service products abroad so that they can protect their international distributors who where actually not all that interested in marketing their products. Like when I tried to buy a meade scope, or when I tried to service my scope after a part broke, they refused to repair it for me, they asked me to send it to their agent who is across the border in another country. I drove all the way across the border and the agent made all kind of excuses to not take my scope for repair. In the end I shipped it to Doc Clay to repair for me. Same story when I want to buy their stuff, they say go buy from your local agent (who again doesn't exist in my country, so I have to drive to Dubai again and then I get told by the agent that he doesn't sell that particular product. Sell online and understand that with the internet, you can't isolate your market to geographical areas anymore.




One of the ways I help my kids learn geography is to have them post sale locations on a big map of the world and another of the US. The internet is truly amazing when it comes to having a small business. It wasn't that long ago when this stuff wasn't possible and many small businesses simply couldn't exist for lack of local market. Astronomy is truly a worldwide business thanks to the internet.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: starrancher]
      #5628516 - 01/17/13 05:26 PM

Quote:

All that aside , what happens when you can no longer put your fingers on a product and have to buy sight unseen ?
I kinda like to be able to touch and feel before I buy . Someone needs to stay open so we can touch and feel , then go home and order on line to reap the savings . Best Buy is having a good time with that eh?




The few shows and large vendor-attended star parties are some of the last good opportunities for hands-on inspection. I am glad that there will still some stores around when I got into the hobby.

Yeh, check it out at the local store and then go buy it online and save the 9.3% sales tax and get free shipping. Hard choice, but it is the way of the world now. You have to bring something else to the table (like good and unique products and services) to make it. But it has always been that way to some extent.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | (show all)


Extra information
3 registered and 12 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  cbwerner, tecmage, rflinn68 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 7469

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics