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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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steve-in-kville
sage


Reged: 12/24/07

Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
"How much did that cost?"
      #5768264 - 03/31/13 09:02 AM

I really get tired of people asking how much my rig costs!! Really, I guess I am just sensitive to the question. I invite family & friends over to do some viewing and we are not 5 minutes into it and someone has to ask. I usually tell them what I paid for my scope originally, then add I have done some upgrades. But then someone has to press the issue and demand to know what I have in it currently!

Isn't that considered impolite?

Maybe its the area I live in or something. The past few times I got this question I responded by asking what they have in their golf clubs and whether their wife knows that!

Do thers here get this question? How do you respond?


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Maverick199
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/27/11

Loc: India
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768268 - 03/31/13 09:12 AM

Umm, yes and no. Those who may have a fleeting interest in getting one for themselves may ask the question.

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City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768276 - 03/31/13 09:22 AM

My answer to that question depends on who's asking. There are some people that I don't mind just giving them the answer. For most people though I try to deflect it like you do. I'll either tell them what a scope "like this" would cost or I say something like "not as much as you might think" or "a lot". Usually the answer you gave works for me. I've never had anyone continue to be persistent with the questioning.

If my wife asks I change the subject as quickly as possible! (Just kidding)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768316 - 03/31/13 09:37 AM

Quote:


Do thers here get this question? How do you respond?




I am not defensive when someone asks how much something costs, maybe they are just trying to make conversation, maybe they want to actually know, maybe they are just trying to give someone (me) a chance to brag a little, one way or the other... Maybe they want to be able to tell their friends about the great time they had looking through a telescope and it cost xxx dollars.

I usually tell someone if they ask and try to put it in context.

Jon


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Tim Gilliland
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/09

Loc: Sand Springs Okla.
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5768327 - 03/31/13 09:39 AM

I get the same thing. And I agree it is rude. I think in the future I am going to answer by telling them it's a (insert equipment name) and tell them to look it up on the internet. Because I don't care to remember. I have used "it's less than a Bassboat" in the past.

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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5768332 - 03/31/13 09:39 AM

Like everyone else, it depends. I'm pretty honest with people that what I have isn't cheap. But, I try to caveat that for a grand, you can see some wonderful things visually.

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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5768338 - 03/31/13 09:41 AM

I don't consider it impolite. My guess is that for a lot of people, amateur astronomy is a semi-mythical hobby where the equipment is extremely hard to get and all telescopes cost a great deal of money. The idea of being able to see detail on planets, other galaxies, and so on, is probably mind boggling. And as such, it must take extremely expensive gear to do it.

It's similar to when a person sees a supercar and gets a chance to talk to the owner. One of the questions is almost invariably, "How much did that thing cost?" The exception to that is when the person knows about supercars, and then they already know the approximate price.


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steve-in-kville
sage


Reged: 12/24/07

Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Tim Gilliland]
      #5768339 - 03/31/13 09:41 AM

A good point was made.... it depends who is doing the asking and why.

I have a BIL that makes it his business to find out what everyone else paid for thier stuff. I told him my scope costs more than my first house. That put an end to it.... for awhile.


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5768340 - 03/31/13 09:41 AM

Quote:

Umm, yes and no. Those who may have a fleeting interest in getting one for themselves may ask the question.




Not necessarily. There are those who ask as a means as justifying their disinterest or distaste for the hobby.

I use an answer I borrowed from a Ferrari saleman: "If you have to ask, you cannot afford one..."


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steve-in-kville
sage


Reged: 12/24/07

Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5768346 - 03/31/13 09:43 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I use an answer I borrowed from a Ferrari saleman: "If you have to ask, you cannot afford one..."




I just thought of that after I posted my last reply!!


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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768360 - 03/31/13 09:46 AM

If you are certain the person is asking for those reasons, to justify their distaste or disinterest in the hobby, then I would agree it's rude. But making judgements like that can be extremely tenuous. I would be worried about putting off someone from the hobby that simply doesn't have the best people skills and comes across the wrong way.

I always try to remember that the more people I can get interested in the hobby, the better it is for all of us.


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768368 - 03/31/13 09:48 AM

Well...if it is friends and family they are probably just curious. If it is a random person walking by I would be more cautious.

I think that's just a common conversation question. They may even want to get one.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768416 - 03/31/13 10:02 AM

I would simply say that I started with a scope that only cost $$, and gradually I've moved up to this one that is quite a bit more expensive. I would then go on to tell them that they can get into Astronomy very inexpensively, even with a pair of binoculars they probably already have.

One can usually tell by the manner in which the question is asked, whether they are really interested. Remember, your answer may be heard by others close by, and depending on how you answer, it may turn someone off, that might be interested in getting into Astronomy.


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btb
sage


Reged: 07/07/06

Loc: Northeast Indiana
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: csa/montana]
      #5768430 - 03/31/13 10:09 AM

I have told people it cost more than they have in their billfold.

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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: Ebyl]
      #5768438 - 03/31/13 10:16 AM

Quote:

If you are certain the person is asking for those reasons, to justify their distaste or disinterest in the hobby, then I would agree it's rude. But making judgements like that can be extremely tenuous. I would be worried about putting off someone from the hobby that simply doesn't have the best people skills and comes across the wrong way.

I always try to remember that the more people I can get interested in the hobby, the better it is for all of us.




That's what the Ferrari quote is all about. If they are being a snob, that quote will shut them up. If they are being serious, or just making conversation, that quote always draws a smile and most times a chuckle. After that its all gravy.

The only time I don't use that quote is when a kid asks, or when an adult starts off with "If you don't mind my asking..."


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: btb]
      #5768445 - 03/31/13 10:19 AM

I don't find the question rude, but I do find some of these answers offensive.

I think people ask an honest question and I try to give them an honest answer. I think people want to know if it is an affordable hobby. The equipment looks very expensive, yet you can find some really inexpensive good quality equipment too. I tell them how much my expensive equipment is and right along side of it how inexpensive my equipment is. If you feel that intimidated in public, maybe you should find a more private place to view.

Stan


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Mike4242
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/11

Loc: Memphis, TN
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: btb]
      #5768451 - 03/31/13 10:20 AM

I had my AR152 on a CG-5 at an outreach once and a guy asked me: "What does something like this run? Two or three hundred?". I told him that it cost a little more than that, but he could get a decent beginner scope for around $300. I could tell he was asking because he was interested in getting into the hobby, so I wasn't annoyed; however, I did find it interesting how his concept of what astronomy gear costs was way off.

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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: btb]
      #5768452 - 03/31/13 10:21 AM

Quote:

I have told people it cost more than they have in their billfold.




Love it!

When I was flying R/C helos I told one guy my bird cost more than his wife would let him spend. She nearly busted a gut laughing... Two weeks later I was helping him learn to hover....

Clear Skies Shipmate...


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tezster
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: Missisauga, Canada
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5768458 - 03/31/13 10:22 AM

Quote:


I usually tell someone if they ask and try to put it in context.
Jon




The latter part of that remark I find is most important. I don't mind telling people the cost of my equipment, but I rarely simply provide a dollar value and leave it at that.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: "How much did that cost?" [Re: Ebyl]
      #5768469 - 03/31/13 10:28 AM

Quote:

If you are certain the person is asking for those reasons, to justify their distaste or disinterest in the hobby, then I would agree it's rude. But making judgements like that can be extremely tenuous. I would be worried about putting off someone from the hobby that simply doesn't have the best people skills and comes across the wrong way.

I always try to remember that the more people I can get interested in the hobby, the better it is for all of us.




I agree. I am not suspicious when someone asks me a question, I figure they want to know, I can't think of a reason not tell them... It's never the first thing someone asks, it's part of a flowing conversation.

For those that are reluctant to answer the "how much does it cost" question, what is that concerns you, what makes you uncomfortable?



Jon


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