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Character, Morals and Ethics...

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#1 Da Bear

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 08:37 PM

This whole business of the Spokane scope brings home to me the value of character, the need for and gereral lack of morality in our "soundbite and cellphone" culture and the complete lack of reference to ethics and personal responsiblity that our children receive in school and in the mass media.

"Character is what happens when no one is looking"

I have negociated some great deals on all my toys, but I have never ripped anyone off. I need to look in the mirror each morning and see an unfliching view into my soul.

More than a few years back , I found a pair of pre-war, matching serial numbered, unfired Browning 9mm pistols. The owner did not know what she had. ( Her husband had died a few years before) She put up the pair for $150. They were worth $3.5K. I showed her a couple of websites that indicated the true value of pistols, and explained that I couldn't afford that much. Almost two months later she called and thanked me and said she finally got over $5K for the pair.

No regrets, but I walked a little taller for the next few days and had good story to pass on to my kids.

Da Bear

#2 BHunt

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 09:12 PM

I did the same for a old women who had a U.S. Large Cent collection for sale for 100.00. The coins after I cataloged them for her sold for $67,000. I could never do that to an elderly individual.
Now as far as these yuppies are concerned, they dont care what there parents have and just want to get rid of it. Them I will take to the cleaners. With the internet anybody that has any computer savvy can find out what something is worth, they wont take the time and cant be bothered.
As far as kids and being responsible, that needs to start in the home and is usually set in stone by time a child reaches age 5. Its too late by time they reach school age. The damage is done from lack of parental concern or absence.
They are not responsible so how can the kid be!
Bill

#3 trainsktg

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 09:21 PM

Well, it is appearing more and more that the Spokane telescope is a real telescope (although we still don't know for sure). Assuming that it is real, here are some dangers by combining outright plagarism and on-line sales. In this case, he has opened himself to a lawsuit from the owner of SpaceAlberta.com. Once discovered, the immediate assumtion was that this was another 'eBay type scammer' trying to sell yet another non-existant product. The absolute anonymity of Craigslist reinforces this assumption. His credibility has suffered. Potentially, he may have also denied himself the friendship of folks like those of us here once buyer and seller actually met. He has also chipped away at the credibility of Craigslist and on-line sales in general. Lastly, he probably got a nasty letter from Craigslist. All this because he was too lazy to do anything other than cut-and-paste.

Bear, your story of the elderly lady with the 9mm pistols is a good one, one I believe I would hold myself to if I were to meet with similar extremes. In this case, however, I would practice situational ethics. If in very good condition, this scope falls in the $350 to $400 range. I would not educate him on the actual worth of this scope and would give him the $60 he asks for it and be on my way. If he can research and plagarise a wabsite, he should be able to look up a proper used market value.


Keith

#4 trainsktg

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 09:25 PM

Now as far as these yuppies are concerned, they dont care what there parents have and just want to get rid of it. Them I will take to the cleaners. With the internet anybody that has any computer savvy can find out what something is worth, they wont take the time and cant be bothered.


Good Lord! This is almost verbatum of what I typed then deleted from my first draft before posting. I thought I was getting too wordy so I cut it out.

I think I need to call Art Bell, he's interested in this telepathy thingy.

Keith

#5 dfell

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 09:51 PM

I had thought about at least demanding some kind of apology or something but then remembered that the sincerest form of flattery is to be copied, anyhow the material is out there and some permission is usually required before using other people's work especially for a 'commercial' purpose. Likely it would cost more than it's worth to pursue it, which is probably what he was counting on.

#6 clintwhitman

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 01:41 AM

Its like construction where the photos of projects we have built are copied and pasted on local construction companies web sites as there work 3 times I have had to send letters to get them to remove our content from there sites. But to sue well that would be pointless unless you have a boatload of money and time to waste. As far as this guy with the scope he was just trying to post a cool add without the footwork to produce it, which is the same thing on a smaller scale and lame. Ethics: I am going thru a deal with the unitron I am restoring, it was advertised as having good optics well I have tryed everything short of having it refigured I cant split Polairis with the current lens But do to the person (Harald) I am dealing with he found a nice lens from a 4" and is presently getting it to send to me. He is going way out of his way to stand behind his word. High Level of Ethics!
Most astronimers have this level or higher levels of honesty, at least thats what I have found. As far as selling family stuff all I can say is (What are you drunk)This is and should be a completly different subject like it takes some kinda person with no sence of self to sell his dads watch or metals or whatever! These things are the only things in life you need. I have a 1920 4/10 shotgun that I hunted with at my grandfathers farm every year, And my Dad used it as a child. I would not sell it for anything! Whenever I clean,shoot or even hold it it brings back all those times and stories, the guns worth $100 but the memories are pricless

#7 refractory

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:49 PM

Hey, Keith- the technical medical term for what you describe is hemispherical cortical dysplagiarism.

Jess Tauber

#8 BHunt

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 06:48 PM

YEP :twitch:

#9 Bonco

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 06:50 PM

I'm thinking this thread is straying from the intent of the Forum but that's not for me to say.hehehe
But I do find it illuminating as for the most part just about everyone involved in this hobby is honest. I've bought and sold over the internet and haven't got burned yet. However, about 10 years ago I sold my Classic 10 inch Cave for $1500. I had researched market value and thought it a fair price. Mainly I wanted it to have a good home. One week later it was on astromart for $5000, the guy advertising that it was extremely unique. Well it wasn't and I wish that I sold it to someone that appreciated it and didn't want to scam someone else. That's my only bad encounter. All my other dealings with astronuts has been very pleasing. Take care, Bonco

#10 clintwhitman

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 12:44 AM

Bronco reading your post I had an idea! Maybe due to our age and intelligence as astronomers there may be hoards of rip-offs out here and we are so smart we avoid them!!!! I Was kind of ripped once on AM for a Meade wedge! The guys name Middleporter with a D lets say Jim for the lack of the T or something like that! So I was new to AM and didn’t want to get ripped so I looked around for the guys name on the net Big hits come back from Nasa The guys like a rocket scientist!! So I send him the $ for the like new wedge with all the hardware. A week later It came to my work Wow was I surprised no tangent arm, no Manuel knob, no compass, and 4 random 3/8” holes drilled in the base around the mounting hole in the middle. In other word junk from this piece of fe--cal matters pile! I didn’t even give him a bad rating just a terrible review. His response none to this day, well the lesson I learned ask a lot of questions if the answers sound bad so is the equipment or the person. I have since welded the holes shut, Refinished and replaced all the hardware on the like new Meade Supper wedge $250 From good old Jim with a T
:tonofbricks:

#11 Glassthrower

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 07:22 AM

I've never been outright "ripped off" an astro gear deal, but I have learned that my definition of "excellent condition" and someone else's definition of that same phrase are completely different.

Apparently, I am in the upper 1% percentile of people who keep their eyepieces remarkably (dare I say, anal?) clean. Out of 2 or 3 dozen eyepieces I have bought used on AM and elsewhere, only 1 or 2 met my definition of "excellent" or "near mint" condition.

Words like "pristine", "flawless", "mint" and "like new" should not be used unless the item is indistinguishable from a brand spanking new sample. Now when I hear those words, I take them with a grain of salt.

Regards and clear near-mint skies,

MikeG

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:48 AM

>>>Apparently, I am in the upper 1% percentile of people who keep their eyepieces remarkably (dare I say, anal?) clean. Out of 2 or 3 dozen eyepieces I have bought used on AM and elsewhere, only 1 or 2 met my definition of "excellent" or "near mint" condition.
----

I never buy eyepieces that are "excellent", "minty", BNIB or any other those other descriptions. I look for descriptions that suggest the eyepieces have been used but well cared for. Set screw marks, worn paint, these are to be expected if the eyepiece was loved and used and they will certainly happen soon enough with my use.

My thinking is that someone who describes an eyepiece as "minty" is someone wanting maximum dollar. SOmeone who takes the time to decribe each flaw is someone very much concerned with accurately representing the eyepiece and someone who therefore is most interested in a happy buyer.

So far, I have always been pleased and actually surprised at the condition of the eyepieces I have purchased. Most often there is no decernible wear and the glass looks new to me.

I did have one rather unsatisfactory tranaction on AM. I essentially gave a scope away,(RV-6 for $130 including $90 shipping costs), I shipped the scope before recieving payment and just let me say that was a big mistake.

Jon

#13 Glassthrower

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 12:51 PM

Hi Jon,

As far condition on eyepieces goes (or anything with glass like a barlow), I am not picky about cosmetics. The barrel can have deep set screw marks on it, the silk screen lettering can be worn off, the rubber grip ring is ragged or torn, etc. As long as the seller discloses those flaws in advance. But more important to me is the condition of the glass. If there are bubbles, sleeks, scratches, or crud between the elements, then I think that should be clearly stated in advance as well. A little dust that is easily brushed off, or a fingerprint that cleans up is not an issue. All in all, 99% of the time I am happy with the glass I buy on CN and AM. The few times I have been disappointed was mostly eBay or Yahoo deals - cases where I did not raise issue afterwards because I knew in advance that I was taking a risk on the item, because the seller obviously had no clue about optics or assessing them.

I did buy a filter on AM one time that was described as "like new" and when I got it, it had a "perma dot" on the glass, right near the center of field. I call it "perma dot" because it was a small black dot, raised from the surface, that could not be removed by any reasonable means. As near as I can tell, it did not effect the view, but it was certainly noticeable on inspection and should have disqualified that filter from being described as "like new".

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#14 JWW

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:45 PM

On another note, check this example out, although it isn't a telescope. I just purchased this Pentax 67 lens on eBay a few days ago from a Camera dealer ... advertised as:

Quote:

Excellent-Plus condition. Glass immaculate (note the immaculate) without marks or scratches, no fungus, no hase.

back of lens

front lens ...

-JWW:

#15 trainsktg

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 05:35 PM

THAT...is criminal.

Keith

#16 mikey cee

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 06:24 PM

May be a rare strain that grows quickly inside of humid delivery trucks! :question: :question: :question: :question: Mike

#17 BHunt

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:50 PM

Did you see pictures of it before you purchased it? Looks like a virus!
Bill :scared:

#18 JWW

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 10:45 PM

Bill,

If you mean me, then yes. They had a TON of pictures posted on eBay but not of the quality that I linked to here (meaning the ones I took). I should mention that they offered to replace the lens. I sent it back last week via USPO, insured, with delivery confirmation but it was lost in transit. <grin> According to the USPO site, "they are" doing everything possible to re-route to the proper addresss.

-JWW:

#19 clintwhitman

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 11:04 PM

All that was left to do was scrape it off and smoke it!! Had to say it actualy been a friend of Bill Ws for 21 years this july.. Hope you get new glass and it is as clear as clear is!!!

#20 BHunt

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 08:29 PM

JWW,
Tell the USPO to send the money!
Bill
:lol:

#21 mnpd

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 03:36 AM

Hey JWW, I just had to mention that I used to have the same problem with camera equipment back in the late 80's when I had a photography business. Seeing your photos reminded me of my own bad luck.

I remember I once bought a Weston light meter in "excellent" condition. When it arrived, the window glass had fallen down on the dial, and the needle was bent on TOP of the glass. And no, it wasn't done in shipping.


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