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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

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
*****

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
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/08/03

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
*****

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
Post Laureate
*****

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
scholastic sledgehammer


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)
*****

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? [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
*****

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
*****

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
Postmaster
*****

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
*****

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
*****

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

Loc: Belleville, MI
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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