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kbastro
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/20/08

Loc: Running from Clouds
astronomy stores going out of buisness?
      #5627044 - 01/16/13 09:23 PM

does anyone know how many well known astronomy stores have gone out of buisness in the past 15 years??

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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5627055 - 01/16/13 09:31 PM

Probably quite a few. The rise of the Internet really messed with people's business plans. Those who failed to adapt seemed to fail or were reduced to other plans. The problem with buying locally is really a taxation issue. When I can get something cheaper with shipping (and no taxes) I really have no motivation to buy locally. That coupled with MSRP requirements from companies really make it difficult for the local guys to compete. For instance, we have a hobby shop that sells a limited selection of Meade and Celestron gear. But, it's never quite the stuff I need. And, their large telescopes just don't move. I think the LX90 they've had as a floor model has been in there for years...

Only large warehouse type places such as Astronomics, OPT, or Anacortes are able to really make a difference and I imagine if we looked at their books we'd find that online sales account for a large proportion of their profits.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5627075 - 01/16/13 09:45 PM

Main reason i won't buy from OPT. Outrageous California taxes and the shipping cost. Free shipping from out of state vendors is hard to beat. (Those that say they won't fib about the cost of an item when shipping over seas better be buying in state)

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Bill Weir
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/01/04

Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5627091 - 01/16/13 09:55 PM Attachment (164 downloads)

Profit margins in the astronomy buisiness are small. Many are also smaller in floor space than their internet presence might suggest. I've been in many in Canada and they all had smaller floor space than I had expected. What once was actually a large one in Toronto has recently close. Also don't believe Anacortes is all that large. A year ago I stopped in there and was surprised to see how little floor and wall space was dedicated to Astronomy and Bird. The attached photo says what they are really all about. There were probably a dozen guys working there and only one of them had rudimentary knowledge of what I was asking about. The rest all seemed more than well aquainted with their other product line.

Bill


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stratocaster
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/11

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5627107 - 01/16/13 10:02 PM

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.


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herrointment
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Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: stratocaster]
      #5627182 - 01/16/13 10:44 PM

A picture is worth a thousand words.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: stratocaster]
      #5627426 - 01/17/13 04:26 AM

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.




Pocono Mountain Optics was an large east coast based store that went under due to the owner's personal problems, if I am not mistaken, it was a gambling debt. Maybe that small Las Vegas branch had something to do with it. I believe the employees resurrected the store as High Point Scientific.

Scope City is the most recent name vendor to go under. I was no surprise to me, I could never figure how they stayed in business. For years, the San Diego store had a large inventory of Parks Equatorially mounted Newtonians but no Dobsonians. About 14 years ago my wife and I moved to within a 1/2 mile of the store but a couple of answers like "we don't believe in Laser Collimators" was all it took. OPT is about 25 miles up the road, they got my business. If I needed something, Scope City never even entered my consciousness.

- Apogee Inc. I don't know what happened to them but I used to love their ads and their affordable products, some of which were very poorly made, some quite good.

- WholeSale Optics: This was an east coast based online store that advertised great prices. It was no surprise when they went under. I once tried to buy something from them. Called them up, arranged for the order, 3 Celestron Plossls, and then was told I would have to send a check, the order was too small (well over $100) to use a Visa... So instead I called Woodland Hills Camera and Telescope and received the excellent service that Farah is know for.

There are others, look through an old sky and telescope and there are lots of companies that are no longer around but I suspect that is always the case, it is difficult to run a successful business. I am sure that internet savvy and market sense are important but just good business is also important.

As far as OPT being a large store. It's a beautiful store and for a telescope store it's big, but compared to your local supermarket, it's small.

Jon


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5627433 - 01/17/13 04:43 AM

The original Pocono Mountain store in PA was a nice place, located a couple of hours from where I live, and I visited it several times. The owner was an amiable guy and great to deal with. I hated to witness his downfall.

At one time in Sedona there was a small store than carried two product lines: telescopes and vacuum cleaners. I don't know if it's still there, but I'd like to think so.


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Paul G
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: herrointment]
      #5627557 - 01/17/13 07:46 AM

Quote:

A picture is worth a thousand words.




Indeed. One never knows when buying over the internet. Here are pictures of some online camera storefronts:

Brooklyn camera storefronts

Amateur astronomers have always had the reputation among dealers of being very "frugal." Some say it goes back to the ATM days. But in the internet age when people can easily price shop and will buy elsewhere to save $5 it's impossible to support a storefront. Retail space is expensive and it's hard to compete with a box cross shipper who doesn't have the overhead of the retail space, inventory, or staff. Despite the woofing and tweeting we see here in threads complaining about the lack of tech support or spare parts available from the online stores the fact is that most aren't willing to pay the extra it costs to buy from their local store. And it goes out of business. Add to that the big scope companies publishing MRSP's that leave the retailer sometimes low single digit profit and it gets pretty dismal. Add a crippling economy that isn't getting better to the mix and it's surprising that they have hung in there as long as they have.

Astro stores don't always just fade away gently. A large one in California a few years ago rolled over holding over $30,000 in deposits for Losmandy equipment alone. They were still taking deposits the week before they folded, customers lost their money.

Amateur astronomy is a very small niche market in the first place, absolutely dwarfed by birding. Birding optics and guns are far more profitable and help keep places like Anacortes open. Astronomics has birding business. Hands on Optics is a packing/shipping store that sells scopes. Company 7's custom optics for NASA and others keeps their amateur astro store open.

Edited by Paul G (01/17/13 08:15 AM)


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5627609 - 01/17/13 08:36 AM

In Raleigh, we are fortunate to have a camera store catering to photography professionals and serious amateurs that maintains a decent astronomy section (for example, they're a Televue dealer with plenty of in-stock eyepieces) [Southeastern Camera on Atlantic Avenue]. They keep some very useful items on-hand such as Telrads or Dew Controller units, and are dealers for enough other things that they can order much of what else you might need. They clearly depend on the photography trade for maintaining a profitable business, and only carry the astronomy equipment as a break-even sideline because the principal owner of the business likes indulging in it and the people who come into his store because of the astro equipment.

IMHO there simply isn't enough market for more than a handful of full-time brick-and-morter astronomy equipment businesses to keep going, except in online form, e.g. our sponsor Astronomics. Most of them are like Southeastern Camera or Anacortes, who do astronomy as a sideline because the proprietor likes having it as part of the business, not because it makes them rich doing so.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5627610 - 01/17/13 08:39 AM

Yep, Here in Denver, while we have a few high-end astronomy equipment mfgs (JMI, Collins I3), we have only one actual telescope store (S&S Optica). It by no means is a large business. The building looks like an old convenience store, it's not large, maybe a coouple thousand square feet. Theres a dozen or so new scopes on display and quite a few used items (nice though). She's got a little used Meade 2045 Schmidt Cass that's calling my name (trying to resist, wife would well, you know). They've been there for about 40 years now. Don't know how much longer as the owners appear in their 60s (reallly nice folks, and as knowledgeable as can be). They also host the local DAS for meetings occasionally and have monthly "star parties". I've bought both my scopes there. All I can say is TGFBMS (Thank God for Brick & Morter Stores), unlike some who've had to go thru the nightmare of putting together equipment with those IKEA instructions, when professionals do the work, your scope is delivered put together and properly collimated (gotta keep the dob that way though, doubtful I'll have to collimate the refractor ever again). I've went in there and asked many a question--they know me by name now--(is there a message there?) There is one drawback to having a brick and morter store---you tend to go there---and they have all these homeless eyepieces and scopes just sitting there in the room and in the display cases, just waiting for someone to come in and adopt them.

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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5627630 - 01/17/13 08:46 AM

You guys all need to become Okies . . . 35 minutes down the road to Astronomics for me.

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okieav8r
I'd rather be flying!
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Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5627644 - 01/17/13 08:55 AM

Quote:

At one time in Sedona there was a small store than carried two product lines: telescopes and vacuum cleaners. I don't know if it's still there, but I'd like to think so.




There is a store in the town where I live here in Oklahoma, Steve's Pro Shop, that also carries two product lines. One side of the store is an Orion telescope shop, the other side is a bowling pro shop. The owner and I observe together occasionally. I bet MikeBOKC knows the place.


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5627670 - 01/17/13 09:19 AM

Internet savvy and the (temporary) ability to not charge sales tax for internet sales are certainly major contributors. Although I find Amazon convenient for stuff I don't need NOW, they're putting most brick-and-mortar bookstores out of business. 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.

Never mind the expense of having a store-front and needing to man it.

Frankly, with the typical buyers' mindset of 'lowest price', it astonishes me that ANY astronomy web business (like Astronomics) can afford to have anyone even vaguely knowledgable answer questions over the phone or email.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: herrointment]
      #5627741 - 01/17/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

A picture is worth a thousand words.




You got that right. It's obvious where the bigger profit is.

I was surprised the first time I went into OPT and saw how small the showroom was. The internet has actually allowed some of the these companies to grow substantially while only having to pay for more warehouse space rather than showroom space and the accompanying overhead. There use to be 3 brick and mortor dealers here in the Phoenix area. The only one that survives today is a semi-retired gentleman that owns his very old building and is only open 4 afternoons a week and this is in a part of the country generally considered very good for astronomy.

In this economy particularly, having a showroom and the associated overhead and employee costs is pretty much a non-starter. For those with big wallets to start with, it is easier and more economical to concentrate on the internet and work out of a warehouse. For those of us who are smaller, it is easier to concentrate on providing custom solutions to fit exact needs and rely on drop shipping many things rather than stocking.

It is disappointing to not be able to put hands on to equipment that often benefits from being able to see and touch it before buying, but those days are mostly gone and will not likely return. Many small shops are gone and even some large ones and by all indications we could even loose one of the big manufacturers. Times are still tough out there. I just happy that this hobby perseveres as well as it does.


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5627771 - 01/17/13 10:31 AM

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.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5627783 - 01/17/13 10:42 AM

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......beginning to think that money was created by an insane fingerless tribe counter (the one who counted everybody after the latest hungry animal attack on his fingers). Would be nice to have their dark skies though, eh?

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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5627791 - 01/17/13 10:46 AM

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


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5627817 - 01/17/13 10:56 AM

Quote:

Astronomics has birding business.




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

Link


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George Methvin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Central Texas
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5627838 - 01/17/13 11:07 AM

It's a hard buisness to be in. Not like selling cars or TV that people buy every year or so. I have been in this hobbie for over 40 years and have only bought 4 brand new telescope in that time plus a dozen or so eyepeice from vendors. These stores depends of those folks that have, or need to have the latest new astro toys that come out. Or new people just getting in to this hobbie. I know many folk here on these fourms that go through several telescopes and new mounts every year or so. These are the folks that help keep the Astronomy store going. If these Astronomy store depended on folks like me to keep them going they would be in bad shape. I am one of those folks that when I buy a car I keep it for at lest seven years or more but many folks buy a new car every year, those are the folks Auto dealers love.

Edited by George Methvin (01/17/13 11:17 AM)


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csrlice12
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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...

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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
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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!

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groz
Carpal Tunnel
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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.


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Jarad
Postmaster
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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


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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.


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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)


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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.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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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


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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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..........


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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)


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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.



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rmollise
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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.


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rmollise
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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.


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Chucky
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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.


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George Methvin
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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

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Hilmi
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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.

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starrancher
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Reged: 06/09/09

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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 !


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starrancher
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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?


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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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.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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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.


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kbastro
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/20/08

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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: EFT]
      #5628531 - 01/17/13 05:34 PM

the reason I started this thread was...
I was flipping through a few older (well for me older) late 80's and 90's sky & tel/astronomy mags and crusin through there adds and thinking to myself "my god, where have all these old fav astronomy stores go?!?!?"

pocono, quasar optics (canada), 6 scope city stores from las vegas to other areas in Cali. , the astronomy shoppe, astro mechanics (canada), winchester electronics (sold qhy ccd cameras), etc. etc.

correct me if I am wrong on this, but has anyone noticed a surge in higher end stuff now coming from europe?? eg italy and england??? if so it's not a bad thing at all but I never really saw and european adds in the 80's and 90's...

and as for stores going out of buisness... what if a big player like Meade closes shop??? most of the astronomy shops today have meade and celestron products and rely on sales from the big 2 producers... losing one could spell trouble for a few astro stores,,

kb


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5628722 - 01/17/13 07:37 PM

Quote:

the reason I started this thread was...
I was flipping through a few older (well for me older) late 80's and 90's sky & tel/astronomy mags and crusin through there adds and thinking to myself "my god, where have all these old fav astronomy stores go?!?!?"

pocono, quasar optics (canada), 6 scope city stores from las vegas to other areas in Cali. , the astronomy shoppe, astro mechanics (canada), winchester electronics (sold qhy ccd cameras), etc. etc.

correct me if I am wrong on this, but has anyone noticed a surge in higher end stuff now coming from europe?? eg italy and england??? if so it's not a bad thing at all but I never really saw and european adds in the 80's and 90's...

and as for stores going out of buisness... what if a big player like Meade closes shop??? most of the astronomy shops today have meade and celestron products and rely on sales from the big 2 producers... losing one could spell trouble for a few astro stores,,

kb




Definitely a lot of new products, mostly high end, coming over from all over Europe these days. Italy, France, Germany and eastern Europe are all involved, but it is not easy for them to break into the US market because the dollar is so weak and their equipment is expensive, produced slowly and not very practicle to stock.

Meade going under would not be good for any of us. Just as Meade having to recall a telescope mount (it not like something that was going to kill you) hurt the industry overall. I think that it made a lot of foreign companies think twice about entering the US market.


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orlyandico
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: droid]
      #5628750 - 01/17/13 07:51 PM

both Orion and Anacortes have this type of scheme... although they are really just passing the risk to GE Capital or some other financing company.

not so sure if it's a good idea to encourage people to go into debt for something that depreciates almost catastrophically - which is why I buy all my stuff used.


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Ira
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Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5628795 - 01/17/13 08:10 PM

I think you've all forgotten the now old maxim:

"On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you're_a_dog



/Ira

Edited by Ira (01/17/13 08:32 PM)


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Bart
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Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville...
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Ira]
      #5628801 - 01/17/13 08:13 PM

Thy name is Brian....

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mich_al
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Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5629000 - 01/17/13 10:19 PM

While reading this thread I'm also in another window buying OEM motorcycle parts. There are many similarities. Almost all my bike parts are bought online, The brick & mortar shops don't stock hardly anything and the prices are way to high. The only astro shop we ever had closed a few years back and didn't stock much. It seems beick and mortar store are all about to go the way of dinosaurs.

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Al8236
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Reged: 08/18/10

Loc: 48.9173N 122.1390W
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: EFT]
      #5629326 - 01/18/13 03:59 AM

Quote:

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.



And then wonder why your local shop closed their doors! If no one supports the local economy we all lose.


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Paul G
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Al8236]
      #5629383 - 01/18/13 06:01 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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.



And then wonder why your local shop closed their doors! If no one supports the local economy we all lose.



Exactly! I make a point of buying from my local shop, Company 7, even though local is a 3 hour drive. I like to be able to see and handle it before I buy it and some box shipper on the net doesn't give me that option. They've helped me get my equipment serviced, loaned me scopes/eyepieces, even supplied equipment for an astro vacation to Barbados.

I own a small business and make a point of doing business with other local small businesses. I don't want Walmart to be my only option..


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Al8236]
      #5629515 - 01/18/13 09:06 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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.



And then wonder why your local shop closed their doors! If no one supports the local economy we all lose.




At the brick and morter stores you get something you can't get online--Customer Service. Let's see, I paid $500 for the 102XLT...Yes, it's about $30 more than the online price...Know what I got for that $30? I got my scope/mount/tripod all put together, the mount properly aligned and set (some of the initial settings for your mount are critical and usually do not need changed unless you travel a good distance); the scope collimated, finder aligned, and know that there were no extra parts left over ("wonder where this was supposed to go?). I was also given a quick lesson in aligning the finder, and general scope use. I was also given some hints about balancing the scope, the tracking knobs, etc... I just ordered motor drives yesterday and asked how much to have them install them....$0, nada, nothing, zip...why? Because I bought the scope and mount from them as well!!!! While money is important to us all, I've come around to where I'm gonna support my local business...why, because they're local....and I've grown accustomed to "Customer Service". Not to mention, the price difference is negligible when you compare what you get for the price. That being said, sometimes you don't really have a choice, and that is where the internet excells........


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coopman
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Loc: South Louisiana
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5629539 - 01/18/13 09:20 AM

You guys with local astro shops are lucky. I've never even seen or been in an astronomy store, and I'm 59 years old! If I was to ever go into a store such as Astronomics, I'd have to bring a change of underwear with me.

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maknewtnut
Member
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Reged: 10/08/06

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5629552 - 01/18/13 09:32 AM

Gus touched upon an important point in his reference to Walmart. Touch and feel is important to many, but often relates only to sales. What about service?

Over the course of years, I found I was dead wrong in my perception of how important this issue is to many. You can find many threads where folks state they received a product with an issue, and having it replaced was then referred to as 'great service'. Add a year, call that same retailer and ask a simple question to 'tech support', and it's painfully obvious most don't give a damn about service (or know anything about the product their company sells).


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Paul G
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5629570 - 01/18/13 09:48 AM

Quote:

Gus touched upon an important point in his reference to Walmart. Touch and feel is important to many, but often relates only to sales. What about service?

Over the course of years, I found I was dead wrong in my perception of how important this issue is to many. You can find many threads where folks state they received a product with an issue, and having it replaced was then referred to as 'great service'. Add a year, call that same retailer and ask a simple question to 'tech support', and it's painfully obvious most don't give a damn about service (or know anything about the product their company sells).




That's why I buy from Company 7, they take care of any problems I may encounter. They have facilitated repairs for me that would not have gone as smoothly without their intervention. I don't mind paying a little more to know that I won't be ignored if I run into any issues.


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George Methvin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Central Texas
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5629642 - 01/18/13 10:33 AM

Times changes and nothing can change that. I live a 5 hour drive to Astronomics and with the price of gas and my time its is just not cost efficent. So the intertnet the only way I can buy my Astro stuff. You folks are lucky to live close to a astro shop most of us are not that lucky.

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csrlice12
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Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5629658 - 01/18/13 10:41 AM

I truely believe we, as a global civilization, are coming around back to "buy local" where we can. This is not just happening here in the US, but all over the world. The internet has opened up the world and made it smaller...but only for actual, material things....for those things like customer service or custom designed items...local is the way to go. I believe that in the near future, while corporations will still exist, smaller, locally owned businesses will make a comeback. Yes, many of them, like now, will be getting their inventory from corporations; but there will also be many new, small, astronomy businesses that will start up. We've seen a few of them here in these forums...and I've bought from some of them...sometimes you DO have to look at the past to see the future.........

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Greyhaven
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Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: coopman]
      #5629660 - 01/18/13 10:43 AM

In Maine as far as I can determine no store carries any equipment for astronomy, except insect repellent and cold weather gear. When I purchased my old nexstar 5i I had to travel to New Hampshire to find a dealer, and he carried minimum stock and the trained clerks were always off that day,their main business was in camera supplies, so of course that was their focus. That was where I bought my first real scope Nexstar 5i, I didn't receive any real help from the staff they seemed pleased that they have the item in stock and would not have to repack a display model for me.They went out of the astronomy sales a few years later. I guess that experience just made it so much easier for me to switch to ordering what I want on line. I feel as though I naturally tend to buy from smaller dealers, but don't deal over the phone with them, simple web transactions, and find the items are always as advertised and my buddies here @ CN help me choose correctly.I trust your judgement a lot more than a clerk behind the counter that doesn't seem to know at least as much as I do about my purchase needs. Astronomy is a small market, we've got small dealers that host our site and the only way we can keep our supply chain going is buy online shopping we owe it to support the small to midsized dealers that depend on us.
Thanks for listening and as always
Be Well
Grey


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Jay_Bird
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/04/06

Loc: USA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5629756 - 01/18/13 11:27 AM

Another to remember well - Roger Tuthill, 'your astronomical friend' as I recall, known for customer service and innovative accessories for Celestron SCTs back in the day.

I don't buy much, but I've decided to think more about where or what I buy, and about indirect effects like support for local schools vs. internet savings. An internet store that supports outreach, the hobby in general, science education or IDA, and gives good 'personal' internet/e-mail/phone service and advice is the second best thing to brick and mortar.

I'm more acutely aware of these thoughts based on recent events: I bought several times over about 5 years from our B&M astronomy store, a couple visits same cost as family movie night, another purchase was more like family weekend vacation.

Then for another year's bigger-ticket purchase I shopped around to save 10% on-line... I figured I'd go back to local store soon enough to check the used gear, books, or the microscope I'd been eyeing there. The local club newsletter told of the store's closing before I went back...

I don't think I put them under pesonally but a larger application of my attitude did. Too much price point shopping gets you only commodity items to choose from and a 'commodity' level of service, or at least helps close your local store.

The guys at the store were alright, it was a good asset for the local hobby community, and I'd bumped into the sales staff several times when I drove the family out to a local dark sky site, the store crew was observing with customers and going a few steps further than in-store set-up for teaching scope use & observing skills.

We've lost the astronomy store, a Sportsman's warehouse location that had a good binocular section, and several camera/birding stores in Nevada over the last decade.


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5629982 - 01/18/13 01:48 PM

In my local area (Barrie-Toronto,Canada) Astro-Mechanics, Efstonscience and Perceptor have all closed their doors, all of these companies had been in the astro business for a lot of years, Perceptor,s name was assumed by another store in another area, Efstonscience has gone mail order only and no longer deals in astro gear, just other stuff,Astro-mechanics shut its doors very abruptly leaving several unhappy customers out of pocket with money plonked down but gear never ordered,I mainly buy on line now from a reputable company either in Canada or the US,DA.

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Thomas Karpf
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Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: coopman]
      #5630017 - 01/18/13 02:11 PM

Quote:

If I was to ever go into a store such as Astronomics, I'd have to bring a change of underwear with me.




Astronomics would be a nine hour drive from Louisiana. I would HOPE you would bring a change of underwear for an over-night trip.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5630035 - 01/18/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If I was to ever go into a store such as Astronomics, I'd have to bring a change of underwear with me.




Astronomics would be a nine hour drive from Louisiana. I would HOPE you would bring a change of underwear for an over-night trip.




I thought I read somewhere that they provide complimentary disposables for those that have problems controling themselves .

In the interest of misinformation being distributed , I was just joking . I believe you need to bring your own .


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5630078 - 01/18/13 03:03 PM

Quote:

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




JD? Feh!


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5630101 - 01/18/13 03:18 PM

...the lens in this scope is made from recycled Rebel Yell bottles, everything is blurry, makes you stumbles around. The proper placement of this scope is critical. Proper placement of this scope requires removing the cap and placing the capped end to the mouth, turing the base of the lens towards the sky, and swallowing until the lens is clear.......According to Uncle Rod, multiple lenses are a must at every viewing opportunity.......

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Pauls72
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: LaPorte, IN
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: starrancher]
      #5630106 - 01/18/13 03:21 PM

My some what local store (20/20 Telescope) was over an hours drive away. I bought a most of my equipment from Chris as did others that I know. He's been gone for a couple of years, so it doesn't leave me much choice. There is no one in the Chicago area that I know of with a B&M store.

Because I travel a lot for work, I have gotten to visit a number of B&M stores across the country and I have purchased something from most of them. I've also gone to a number of star parties where there where some vendors, but even those are getting to be fewer.


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Paul G
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Loc: Freedonia
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5630356 - 01/18/13 06:23 PM

Quote:

Times changes and nothing can change that. I live a 5 hour drive to Astronomics and with the price of gas and my time its is just not cost efficent.




That's where we differ. If I lived five hours from Astronomics I'd gladly make the drive. Cost efficiency isn't as important to me as supporting a b+m dealer. Different strokes.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5630392 - 01/18/13 06:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Times changes and nothing can change that. I live a 5 hour drive to Astronomics and with the price of gas and my time its is just not cost efficent.




That's where we differ. If I lived five hours from Astronomics I'd gladly make the drive. Cost efficiency isn't as important to me as supporting a b+m dealer. Different strokes.




Five hours is a long drive . It gets old after awhile . I know . I've done it so much that I really dread doing it anymore . I didn't bother me in the beginning , but after fifty times or so , it's not fun anymore .
If I knew I was going to make a major purchase , (new scope) and was assured what I wanted was good in stock , I'd do it . Other than that , I think I'd have it delivered . Oculars , filters and other small stuff , where's UPS eh ?

PS ... Don't get me wrong , I love to browse at the b&m . And wish there were more out there . When still in So. Cal. , OPT was about an hour and a half from me . Scope city Costa Mesa was about an hour without traffic . (the lovely 91) . That said , I might see OPT once a year . Scope city , I visited once ever .
If indeed there would have been a retailer within twenty or thirty minutes , they'd probably get sick and tired of seeing me all the time .
It's a small niche . Too bad the popularity isn't larger in this niche as no doubt things would be different . But with a sluggish economy , a lot of non necessity purchases have slowed and closures of many b&m businesses are seemingly more the norm anymore .
One can get a smokin deal on a new pickup truck right about now if you hold out a few weeks . That salesman will drop the price by thousands if you know how to play the game . Same deal on recreational vehicles if any sort .
Food , water and the utility bills are sorely less likely to be discounted .


Edited by starrancher (01/18/13 07:10 PM)


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: starrancher]
      #5631065 - 01/19/13 05:17 AM

Every time time I travel to any country I research the astronomy equipment stores, I have yet to find one. Last time I was in Malaysia, I took a 2 hour taxi drive to find it was a a fishing equipment store with a single display case for astronomical equipment. I purchased a barlow and a 14% ND moon filter.

I get good service online, I get advice from OPT on what equipment to buy and when I have problems they have proposed to me solutions, they have not always managed to resolve my problems, but in general I get to communicate with individual staff members by email and sometimes we chit chat and compare notes on equipment we use for imaging. That's far more than the "service" of the B&M store that sold me my first scope and didn't even know which way you looked through a Newtonian scope. I hear the same great things being said about Astronomics.

At least online you get so many different choices from different manufacturers in one place. An actual walk in store normally can't afford to keep that much inventory!


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Tim D
super member


Reged: 10/08/10

Loc: Temecula, CA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5632884 - 01/20/13 10:12 AM

OPT has really great deals- during the elections they had no sales tax, if you purchased anything during the month of Dec you received OPT Cash to use at a later time, I even believe they were doing free shipping on items. Yes, I live close by- but still they have GREAT service and a lot to choose from, Just wait for the sales or call them about their buyers discount points- Which I have used in the past for some great deals.
Tim


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piaras
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/26/09

Loc: Niagara Region
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5633018 - 01/20/13 11:24 AM

Quote:

In my local area (Barrie-Toronto,Canada) Astro-Mechanics, Efstonscience and Perceptor have all closed their doors, all of these companies had been in the astro business for a lot of years,




I have driven up to Perceptor from Niagara Falls area several times over the years. Did so just to be able to look at the equipment that I was interested in, used usually. I also used their mail order side as well. The first owners, a mom and pop, had gotten into the trade as THEY were unhappy with what was available. Very nice couple that sold due to health. The next owners took over in a time that disposable income fell to very low levels. To live they held outside jobs and could not run the store full time. There was not much left when the assets were purchased by KWTelescope.

Efstonscience I did visit, but the prices were very large city prices not my small town sized. I bought a 2.5" reflector mirror there for my Gilbert scope back in the last 70s. Other than that, some science stuff but no Astro stuff.

Currently I have been dealing with KWTelescope since Brady started as a web store only, I drive up there a couple times a year, either on the way to/from the observatory or just to the store and back. Both Brady and Brian are active users of their products. Lots of advise, tips etc. I will continue to to support this two hour away local store as long as they are there. I hope for a good long time.
Pierre


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: piaras]
      #5633137 - 01/20/13 12:49 PM

There is a nice B&M store in Sutton's Bay, Michigan called Enerdyn Science. I believe the owner was a science professor at a local college or university, although I don't know which one. Large inventory of astronomy gear on display, more than you'd ever imagine in a small tourist town. I suppose he sells high end gear to the well to do folks who rent or own those large beach houses on the Lake Michigan shore. Whenever I'm up there I make it a point to stop in to see whats new. Here is his website as they do internet sales, too.

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microstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/05/08

Loc: Canada
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: JimMo]
      #5633377 - 01/20/13 02:55 PM

The Internet has changed things in a big way. First, you now have a continent-wide audience for your used equipment ads (think Astromart and Canada-wide Astro Buy-Sell) where you can not only sell things but put up wanted ads for obscure things (and often find them). It's no longer going to the B&M store and posting an ad on the bulletin board or setting up a consignment sale. Second, their other selling attribute, customer service, is taken over by Internet groups such as this one. Have a problem? No need to go to the B&M store to get help, just post your question and wait for responses. Third, what everyone else has noted, it costs money for a B&M storefront and staff competing against warehouse-only online store prices. Makes for a tough business model.
...Keith


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: microstar]
      #5633459 - 01/20/13 03:56 PM

Overhead for a brick & mortar store is so high and the retail profit margins so low, I have no clue how any astronomy dealer can keep a storefront open these days.
I can only see it if the astronomy part of the business is only part of the business.
In a county with 12.6 million people, we have only one store left selling astronomy equipment, and it's divided into camera gear and astronomy products.
That tells you a little bit about the local demand, even here in SoCal, a "hotbed" of astronomy interest.

In on-line sales, however, you not only reach all the US astronomers but thousands of international customers as well. And the overhead is much less. With a larger customer base and a lower overhead, the small margins in the business can be OK. I still have hopes of eventually getting to "the black".


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5633605 - 01/20/13 05:25 PM

Quote:

Overhead for a brick & mortar store is so high and the retail profit margins so low, I have no clue how any astronomy dealer can keep a storefront open these days.
I can only see it if the astronomy part of the business is only part of the business.
In a county with 12.6 million people, we have only one store left selling astronomy equipment, and it's divided into camera gear and astronomy products.
That tells you a little bit about the local demand, even here in SoCal, a "hotbed" of astronomy interest.

In on-line sales, however, you not only reach all the US astronomers but thousands of international customers as well. And the overhead is much less. With a larger customer base and a lower overhead, the small margins in the business can be OK. I still have hopes of eventually getting to "the black".




Yes, the Enerdyn Science store I mentioned above sell all kinds of educational "toys" and the astronomy department is only part of the store. I know that when the tourists are out shopping in Sutton's Bay everyone is drawn in to the store by the windsocks, kites, and the educational stuff, but I'm sure many women with husband and kids in tow say, look honey, you've always talked about getting a telescope. And believe me, if you've got the money you can get a really nice complete set up from what he has in stock. He's the only B&M store I've seen that had a complete TV Gibraltar mount set up with a TV85 or 101 mounted on it.


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frebieAdministrator
Chief assistant to the assistant chief


Reged: 04/29/08

Loc: Neither here nor there.
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: JimMo]
      #5633656 - 01/20/13 05:52 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

He's not the only well-equipped B&M store. If you're ever in Oklahoma, stop by our shop. We have the NP127is set up on a walnut Gibraltar 5, an NP102 on an ash Gibraltar, a TV85 on an ash Panoramic, a TV76 on a TelePod, and a TV60 on a TelePod.

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kbastro
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/20/08

Loc: Running from Clouds
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: frebie]
      #5634068 - 01/20/13 10:38 PM

been to astronomics a few times and each time you bled me for a few grand,,,

so now I treat that area as a hazardous to my financial health zone!!!



Edited by kbastro (01/20/13 10:40 PM)


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5634186 - 01/20/13 11:58 PM

Quote:

Overhead for a brick & mortar store is so high and the retail profit margins so low, I have no clue how any astronomy dealer can keep a storefront open these days.
.....




High Point Scientific has a very nice and fairly large storefront, full of demo equipment, and you can get all of the items on their website over the counter. However, their in-store sales have gone down to the point that they cut way back on their store open hours.

Personally, over the past 7 to 10 years, Ive bought 90% or more of my *new* astro gear at one place: NEAF; with the rest spread between star party vendors and off the web.


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George N]
      #5634247 - 01/21/13 12:56 AM

About 18 month ago I was sitting in traffic on my way to work, when I looked over and saw a Canadian Telescope brick and mortar store.
I just about snapped my neck.... I was so happy to see a telescope store so close to home.
I drive by there twice a day 5 days a week, and it would mean that I don't have to drive an hour each way to the down town telescope store.
Over the past 18 months I have spent about $1000 there on various eyepieces, and solar filters etc. However on my latest purchase of a small Alt Az mount their price was $65 more expensive even before taxes. I ended up buying it on line from the manufacture with free shipping.
I like to support local business, but the extra $65 would fill my gas tank or buy several bags of groceries.

Steve


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5634463 - 01/21/13 08:13 AM

Quote:

In a county with 12.6 million people, we have only one store left selling astronomy equipment, and it's divided into camera gear and astronomy products.
That tells you a little bit about the local demand, even here in SoCal, a "hotbed" of astronomy interest.




Oceanside Photo and Telescope is an hour to an hour and half drive from most of the LA area. I suspect they do a lot of over the counter business with amateurs from all over southern California.

Jon


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: frebie]
      #5634474 - 01/21/13 08:23 AM

Quote:

He's not the only well-equipped B&M store. If you're ever in Oklahoma, stop by our shop. We have the NP127is set up on a walnut Gibraltar 5, an NP102 on an ash Gibraltar, a TV85 on an ash Panoramic, a TV76 on a TelePod, and a TV60 on a TelePod.




Geez, don't tempt me like that!! Looking at your web site has already cost me a few grand! (Gotta check Google maps to see how far a drive it is from here...)

-- Chris


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5634620 - 01/21/13 10:03 AM

Quote:

...the lens in this scope is made from recycled Rebel Yell bottles, everything is blurry, makes you stumbles around. The proper placement of this scope is critical. Proper placement of this scope requires removing the cap and placing the capped end to the mouth, turing the base of the lens towards the sky, and swallowing until the lens is clear.......According to Uncle Rod, multiple lenses are a must at every viewing opportunity.......




Yep, MULTIPLE...


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5634680 - 01/21/13 10:40 AM

Quote:

Quote:

...the lens in this scope is made from recycled Rebel Yell bottles, everything is blurry, makes you stumbles around. The proper placement of this scope is critical. Proper placement of this scope requires removing the cap and placing the capped end to the mouth, turing the base of the lens towards the sky, and swallowing until the lens is clear.......According to Uncle Rod, multiple lenses are a must at every viewing opportunity.......




Yep, MULTIPLE...




Spoken like true double star aficionados...

Hey, Rod, are you getting a good split of Sirius?

Yep, all five of 'em.

Jon


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Garry
member


Reged: 10/01/06

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: JimMo]
      #5635579 - 01/21/13 07:25 PM

Jim,
The owner is Dick Cookman who also writes the "This Month's Skies" for Cloudy Nights.

""Skies" has been published since November, 1997 as a monthly Astronomy newsletter for Enerdyne Inc. (http://www.enerdynet.com), a rather unique retail science/nature store with an well equipped optics department in Suttons Bay, MI, owned operated by Dick and his wife Pat since 1980."

"Dick is a retired college professor of Astronomy, Geology, and Environmental Science (19702000). He has been an amateur astronomer since the 1956 apparition of Mars and had the advantage of introducing students to the wonders of astronomy with the telescopes of Northwestern Michigan College's Rogers Observatory (http://www.nmc.edu/rogersobservatory/) since its construction was completed in 1981. "

See ya out at Lake Hudson sometime this year.

Garry


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Garry]
      #5635697 - 01/21/13 08:55 PM

Hey Garry,

Well, I got most of that right. The thing about Dick's store is that it's three hours from the nearest population center and five hours from Detroit or Chicago, although there is lots of big money in the Traverse City area.

See you out at Lake Hudson.


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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: JimMo]
      #5637581 - 01/22/13 07:20 PM

I can't imagine actually visiting a real telescope store. As a kid, I used to dream of such a thing - I'd never seen a telescope bigger than my 60mm, so just looking at them would have been pretty amazing. It seems to me the biggest trouble is not the Internet, but the economy. In 2008, I went nuts and bought everything I wanted for astronomy, because the prices were right. None of the equipment has broken yet, and so I have hardly bought a thing since then, and I haven't had the money I had five years ago, either. The past 15 years or so will probably be looked back on as an anomaly in many things, astronomy equipment included. I'll sure hang on to everything I have since I don't expect to be able to afford those things again - many items are up 25% or more since I bought them. GW

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dvb
different Syndrome.
*****

Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5638109 - 01/23/13 12:32 AM

Canada seems pretty well served by telescope stores, considering its relatively small population, and less than optimal observing weather.

We now have two bricks-and-mortar stores in Metro Vancouver - Vancouver Telescope Centre, and the newer Canadian Telescope. Not far away is Island Eyepiece.

Some go, but others come, and a remarkable number stay.


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Bill Weir
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/01/04

Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: dvb]
      #5638192 - 01/23/13 02:17 AM

Actually Island Eyepiece is closing. The main reason is that he now has a very good job that makes it not worth using up all his extra time dealing with the astro buisiness. Family is more important than thin profit margins.

I'll miss handing over my hard earn cash to Brian but then again it will also make it easier to hold onto it.

Bill


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microstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/05/08

Loc: Canada
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: dvb]
      #5638688 - 01/23/13 11:08 AM

Quote:

Canada seems pretty well served by telescope stores, considering its relatively small population, and less than optimal observing weather.

We now have two bricks-and-mortar stores in Metro Vancouver - Vancouver Telescope Centre, and the newer Canadian Telescope. Not far away is Island Eyepiece.

Some go, but others come, and a remarkable number stay.




And All-Star-Telescope between Calgary and Edmonton seems to be doing OK. I think the advantage Canadian companies have is that it's expensive to bring an expensive astro product across the border with brokerage fees, shipping and taxes. It's often more convenient and less expensive to get the item through a local shop.
...Keith


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RobFriedman
member
*****

Reged: 12/25/05

Loc: Long Island, NY
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: microstar]
      #5638999 - 01/23/13 02:21 PM

Wow All these stores in other parts of the country. Ages ago I worked at Olden Camera (now gone)we only had Questar (and loads of camera equipment). B&H has a nice display of scopes as does Adorama (I met the Adorama scope man at a star party before he even worked there. Now that I no longer work in Manhattan, here on Long Island, we have a really nice b&m store called Camera Concepts & Telescops in Patchogue. A friend of mine used to work for them when they were mainly cameras... now.. thsy still have some camera items but they have a LOT of scopes and knowledge! the owner talks at various astro groups and it's where I found the used Hardin. Just really nice people

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5639027 - 01/23/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

I can't imagine actually visiting a real telescope store. As a kid, I used to dream of such a thing - I'd never seen a telescope bigger than my 60mm, so just looking at them would have been pretty amazing. It seems to me the biggest trouble is not the Internet, but the economy. In 2008, I went nuts and bought everything I wanted for astronomy, because the prices were right. None of the equipment has broken yet, and so I have hardly bought a thing since then, and I haven't had the money I had five years ago, either. The past 15 years or so will probably be looked back on as an anomaly in many things, astronomy equipment included. I'll sure hang on to everything I have since I don't expect to be able to afford those things again - many items are up 25% or more since I bought them. GW




Understand where you're coming from. I'm planning on retiring in a couple of years or three. I'm buying the equipment now as I won't be able to later on, so I'm getting the best I can afford right now (and spending more than I should).


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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5639063 - 01/23/13 03:08 PM

Quote:


Understand where you're coming from. I'm planning on retiring in a couple of years or three. I'm buying the equipment now as I won't be able to later on, so I'm getting the best I can afford right now (and spending more than I should).




A great idea. It will never be this good for buying equipment again. The prices are unbelievably good. GW


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5639074 - 01/23/13 03:13 PM

I am happy to say that today I have fulfilled one of my "bucket list" items. I am now the proud owner of the complete set of Nager T1 smoothsides. WhooHoo!!!

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bierbelly
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/04

Loc: Sterling, VA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5639119 - 01/23/13 03:41 PM

Well, oddly enough, a brix and mortar telescope store has recently opened near me here in VA. It's in Old Town Fairfax as far as I can tell.

http://stellogix.com/en/

I created an account, but still no online prices...go figure. Most of their stuff is Orion, a little bit of Vixen.

Now why in the world would you open an Orion outlet, where peeps have to pay sales tax? Nevertheless, I suppose I'll need to wander on over there sometime soon, before they close.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: bierbelly]
      #5639123 - 01/23/13 03:44 PM

Quote:

Well, oddly enough, a brix and mortar telescope store has recently opened near me here in VA. It's in Old Town Fairfax as far as I can tell.

http://stellogix.com/en/

I created an account, but still no online prices...go figure. Most of their stuff is Orion, a little bit of Vixen.

Now why in the world would you open an Orion outlet, where peeps have to pay sales tax? Nevertheless, I suppose I'll need to wander on over there sometime soon, before they close.



Because shipping a telescope may exceed sales tax?
Because buying it right now instead of waiting is worth a premium?
Because Sales Tax funds road paving, fire departments, police departments, schools, etc., etc.?


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bierbelly
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/04

Loc: Sterling, VA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5639138 - 01/23/13 03:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Well, oddly enough, a brix and mortar telescope store has recently opened near me here in VA. It's in Old Town Fairfax as far as I can tell.

http://stellogix.com/en/

I created an account, but still no online prices...go figure. Most of their stuff is Orion, a little bit of Vixen.

Now why in the world would you open an Orion outlet, where peeps have to pay sales tax? Nevertheless, I suppose I'll need to wander on over there sometime soon, before they close.



Because shipping a telescope may exceed sales tax?




Now you know that'll be built into the base price.
Quote:

Because buying it right now instead of waiting is worth a premium?




Probably the only reason. Hope they have a lot of walk-ins.

Quote:

Because Sales Tax funds road paving, fire departments, police departments, schools, etc., etc.?




And a lot of other stuff I don't agree with in Virginia.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: bierbelly]
      #5639211 - 01/23/13 04:34 PM

...because they put your scope together correctly and deliver it to you collimated, ready to go, and give you instructions on using it, collimating it, and setting it up. Another thing you get: Customer Service. I bought my scopes from the scope store. I recently ordered motor drives for the CG4 mount. When I asked how much for them to install them and make sure everything was up and running; their answer: $0, nada, nothing, zip--why? Because I bought the scopes there. It's also how I've picked up some used equipment for a decent price--plus I got to see, hold, and look thru that piece of used equipment BEFORE I bought it. And you know what, I paid only $30 more then the online price of the scope--worth it--YOU BET!

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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5639214 - 01/23/13 04:37 PM

The main trouble I see is stocking enough variety to make it a place worthwhile to the customer. This stuff is so specialized and you would really need to have the selection of Astronomics or OPT to draw the people in, I'd think. GW

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5639227 - 01/23/13 04:48 PM

The store can also order anything you could and probably get it quicker. There is also the matter of services, not just products. Like the lady at the scope shop told me, she makes a good chunk of their profits from collimation, swapping out focusers, modifying scopes, and other services. Also, mfgrs tend to treat dealers differently then they do end users, If I have a problem, I go to the dealer where I bought the scope, and they will take care of dealing with the mfgr (luckily I have not had any problems). Plus it's a nice place to meet fellow astronomers. I just ran into Jack Eastman yesterday at the scope shop--why he was messing around with a little Orion tabletop beginnerscope, I have no idea; he has equpment that'd literally make your jaw drop.....but I'm sure someone will be looking thru that scope.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5639228 - 01/23/13 04:48 PM

The store can also order anything you could and probably get it quicker. There is also the matter of services, not just products. Like the lady at the scope shop told me, she makes a good chunk of their profits from collimation, swapping out focusers, modifying scopes, and other services. Also, mfgrs tend to treat dealers differently then they do end users, If I have a problem, I go to the dealer where I bought the scope, and they will take care of dealing with the mfgr (luckily I have not had any problems). Plus it's a nice place to meet fellow astronomers. I just ran into Jack Eastman yesterday at the scope shop--why he was messing around with a little Orion tabletop beginnerscope, I have no idea; he has equpment that'd literally make your jaw drop.....but I'm sure someone will be looking thru that scope.

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kbastro
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5639426 - 01/23/13 06:57 PM

yeah Canada has astro stores but some big ones did go....

eftonscience, astro mechanics, perceptor, quasar optics,

in time all the stores we know will close as owners retire, new things and technologies come along (eg parks/scope city didnt change so out they went) and people leave it for the new..... in our bigger better faster more world we made

kb


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mich_al
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5639536 - 01/23/13 08:33 PM

Quote:


Understand where you're coming from. I'm planning on retiring in a couple of years or three. I'm buying the equipment now as I won't be able to later on, so I'm getting the best I can afford right now (and spending more than I should).




I was in a similar situation. I knew the company I was working for would close the door when the phone quit ringing and it weas ringing less and less all the time. We got a fairly good project that I knew would keep us open for a while longer. I put my name on the list at AP for the next run of AP900's. Some months later when I went back to my office after the meeting nameing the closing date I has a message on my phone. Yep, Daleen at AP saying if I still wanted the mount to give her a call. My better sense said it was not the best time to spend $9k.


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okieav8r
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5640080 - 01/24/13 06:41 AM

Quote:

The store can also order anything you could and probably get it quicker. There is also the matter of services, not just products. Like the lady at the scope shop told me, she makes a good chunk of their profits from collimation, swapping out focusers, modifying scopes, and other services. Also, mfgrs tend to treat dealers differently then they do end users, If I have a problem, I go to the dealer where I bought the scope, and they will take care of dealing with the mfgr (luckily I have not had any problems). Plus it's a nice place to meet fellow astronomers. I just ran into Jack Eastman yesterday at the scope shop--why he was messing around with a little Orion tabletop beginnerscope, I have no idea; he has equpment that'd literally make your jaw drop.....but I'm sure someone will be looking thru that scope.




Randy, I don't know what telescope shop you shop at, but if it's S&S Optica, I can also say it's a good one to do business with. Cathy has a table at Okie-Tex each fall, and I always try to make sure I do a little business with her while I'm there. She's good people.

I also enjoy visiting with Jack Eastman and his big Alvan Clark refractor at Okie-Tex every year. He's a very nice guy.


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hottr6
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5640170 - 01/24/13 08:18 AM

ScopeCity closed it's doors late 2012.

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csrlice12
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5640207 - 01/24/13 08:54 AM

Yep, S&S Optica. Cathy is the greatest. I just can't keep from walking in there occasionally....bought both my scopes there and absolutely love their customer service. Really wish they'd upgrade their online site though. It'd be nice if people could order online from them; but I guess to them, the "hands on" customer service means a lot. I've ordered eyepieces and bits from other online sources (and some I've bought from S&S), but for ANY major purchase--I'm going to S&S because I want to KEEP my Brick and Morter Store going.....

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smallscopefanLeo
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5641092 - 01/24/13 05:19 PM

I haven't been there yet but that picture of Anacortes just makes me want to go there and buy something from them even more

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kbastro
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5641101 - 01/24/13 05:23 PM

yeah I hated to see parks/scope city go,,,,,

I had a parks 10" f/5 ota. it was a work of art! I bought it for $500 from a nice fellow in hollywood,,, took it home a thousand miles away and kept it for 6 years then in turn sold and delivered it to another nice fellow in Long beach,,

*sigh* wish I kept it now,,,,


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csrlice12
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #5642318 - 01/25/13 10:44 AM

Quote:

I haven't been there yet but that picture of Anacortes just makes me want to go there and buy something from them even more




Bet they keep an old dob out back for target practice........


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SteveG
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5642518 - 01/25/13 12:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I haven't been there yet but that picture of Anacortes just makes me want to go there and buy something from them even more




Bet they keep an old dob out back for target practice........




I went there years ago when it was an astronomy store, and the customer service was horrible.


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csrlice12
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: SteveG]
      #5642541 - 01/25/13 01:01 PM

Did you get to shoot at the dob?

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rmollise
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: SteveG]
      #5642780 - 01/25/13 03:16 PM

Quote:



I went there years ago when it was an astronomy store, and the customer service was horrible.




It's still an astronomy store, and my experience is that Anacortes' service is excellent.


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Gray
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5643688 - 01/26/13 01:24 AM






Bet they keep an old dob out back for target practice........






Edited by Gray (01/26/13 01:25 AM)


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smallscopefanLeo
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Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5643858 - 01/26/13 06:48 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I haven't been there yet but that picture of Anacortes just makes me want to go there and buy something from them even more




Bet they keep an old dob out back for target practice........



Bet they don't...


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