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Craigslist, eBay and other vintage scope ads

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#26 tim53

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 03:39 PM

That's got to be a violation of the Pure Food and Drug act, or something...

As people have heard, *I* would like a nice Optical Craftsmen Connoisseur one of these days, but I simply WILL NOT ever get one by assembling a collection of unrelated parts.

It's a matter of principle. I just hope (and will encourage) other collectors to blackball any seller willing to part out a classic telescope to make a few extra bucks in the short haul.

Encourage them to get a real job!

-Tim.
 

#27 davela

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 05:06 PM

Tim,

Let me ask you some questions: When you need a radiator for your car, do you want to be forced to buy a complete car to get replacement? Should we blackball dealers who sell car radiators, or maybe just dealers that sell radiators for classic cars? Maybe we should we should require all sellers of classic car parts to price them way under market value to make collectors happier? What makes telescope collectors any different?

Any by the way, I do have a real job -- a pretty good one in fact.
 

#28 tim53

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 05:46 PM

Tim,

Let me ask you some questions: When you need a radiator for your car, do you want to be forced to buy a complete car to get replacement?


No.

Should we blackball dealers who sell car radiators, or maybe just dealers that sell radiators for classic cars?


No. When my Model A needed a new radiator (original was so rotted out that it couldn't be fixed without creating more leaks than it patched), I went to a shop that specializes in vintage car radiators (and had a completely new radiator made for the car).

But I don't quite get your point here. I would support someone restoring a classic telescope having parts made that couldn't be found. I would think that would be far preferable to parting the scope out for lack of a few original parts. An intact original will always be more valuable than a scope (or vintage car) assembled from parts. Particularly as the years go by. In the ad in question, the seller is apparently taking a complete, or nearly complete telescope and disbursing the parts so that another classic has, in effect, ceased to exist. And the parts will be less likely to survive long-term than if the scope was intact as-built. And it's so unnecessary.

Maybe we should we should require all sellers of classic car parts to price them way under market value to make collectors happier? What makes telescope collectors any different?


Sellers of classic car parts or classic telescope parts aren't different. The sellers of classic car parts that I buy from are either selling new reproduction parts or parts retrieved from junk yards or other salvage acquired in the distant past. I would doubt that ANY Model As are being junked today, even if they've been totaled in an accident (which might be a reasonable justification for selling the parts to preserve other cars, I suppose).

Any by the way, I do have a real job -- a pretty good one in fact.


Excellent! I think mine's pretty nifty too!

-Tim.
 

#29 davela

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 05:59 PM

OK Tim, I'll always be sure to get your approval for anything I list for sale here to make sure it meets your muster. I'll run my prices by you for approval too.
 

#30 tim53

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:08 PM

I just realized that you're the seller! D'oh!

We may even work at the same place.

Don't worry, my hot-rodder friends know how I feel about what they do to antique cars, too. And we're still friends.

OK Tim, I'll always be sure to get your approval for anything I list for sale here to make sure it meets your muster. I'll run my prices by you for approval too.


That won't be necessary. I just won't be the buyer when you part something out like that. I'm sure someone else will have no problem with it.

But, for hoots, since you asked me some questions...

Why not sell the whole scope as a package?

-Tim.
 

#31 tim53

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:15 PM

On our very own CN Classifieds...

It looks like its' all there, but you'll have to buy it piece by piece.


And my point all along is that - what if you want a classic refractor, so you buy *most* of it but don't get *all* of it because someone else beats you to one or more original parts? If I were looking for a Unitron, I'd pass on this one because of the risk of not getting it all.

But others may not be as concerned about that as I would be. That's life. Different strokes for different people who stroke.

-Tim.
 

#32 davela

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:42 PM

Tim,

Several reasons not to sell it as a kit:

1) I get much less back on my original investment selling it as as a kit - buyers generally do not pay a premium for a complete collectible scope despite what one might think. I've bought and sold many scopes over the years and this has been my experience. In fact selling a kit tends to invite low-ball offers.

2) The risk of encountering a problem buyer and putting a lot of money at risk is less if spread out among buyers, most of whom are serious minded. Anything sold on the Internet (especially eBay) over $1000 in value is risky especially if PayPal is used.

3) Unitron parts are a helluva lot easier to ship compared to shipping complete Unitrons

4) Unitron parts are easier to sell than Unitron kits. Why? There's a dearth of replacement parts. Not everyone knows how to use a lathe or sand cast aluminum in their backyard.

5)The Moral compass: Unitron 3" refractors are not rare. They may be uncommon, but not rare. Anyone with enough cash can buy a good one with a bit patience. My parts also allow others to complete their kits (as you pointed out there are many nearly complete sets that just need a part or two).

By the way if you want to see how important telescope parts are to consumers, just put an ad out for a SCT corrector plate. I sold one once and I had buyers form Timbuktu contacting me six months after it sold. They can't get them from Celestron or Meade at economical prices and there are many otherwise fine scopes rendered useless by broken ones.
 

#33 tim53

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:00 PM

Dave:

Your arguments do make sense. It may be that I just have a bit of a lofty image of Unitrons because I effused gallons of drool over the years as a youth wishing for one.

Your point that they are uncommon but not rare is a good point as well. Similarly, some old cars are uncommon, even rare, but are unlikely to become classics, though they might be antiques. The Chevy Vega (and it's relatives) is a good example, because of that throw-away engine block (can't be rebuilt, must be replaced). And yet there is a collector following for those (mostly modified, however). And though I don't think anybody does junk an intact Model A anymore, I do see ads for rolling chassis for sale because a rodder has removed the body to put on a modern frame. I do cry, by the way, because I can't afford and don't have the space to save them myself.

Back to telescopes, I don't think we'd be in disagreement as to whether a nearly-complete Clark should be kept intact rather than parted out.

As for SCT corrector plates. I've seen a few ads for these being sold before. But aren't the secondaries figured to match both the primary (really not that hard because it's a sphere) and the corrector? If so, I wouldn't think you could simply replace a broken corrector with another one from another scope without refiguring the secondary?

-Tim.
 

#34 davela

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:14 PM

As for SCT corrector plates. I've seen a few ads for these being sold before. But aren't the secondaries figured to match both the primary (really not that hard because it's a sphere) and the corrector? If so, I wouldn't think you could simply replace a broken corrector with another one from another scope without refiguring the secondary?

-Tim.

To answer the question about corrector plates one should turn to ray tracing program like Zemax. The SCT model is a very standard one and easy to enter into such a program. Most likely focus compensations would allow an off-the-shelf corrector plate to be used as a replacement, at least to some level of correction.
 

#35 tim53

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:47 PM

According to Uncle Rod's used SCT buyers guide, Meade matched components to get the best combination of optics, and Celestron figured the secondary to match the primary and corrector. Criterion did neither, so any that performed well optically were accidents (and I've never seen one, though I've not looked through as many as Rod has).

I think the recommended recourse for someone who's broken their corrector is to spend a few hundred bucks to have Celestron or Meade make/find a replacement that will work with the remaining components, part the scope out, or otherwise write it off as unfortunately reduced to junk.

-Tim.
 

#36 AlienFirstClass

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 08:32 PM

I just realized that you're the seller! D'oh!

We may even work at the same place.

Don't worry, my hot-rodder friends know how I feel about what they do to antique cars, too. And we're still friends.

OK Tim, I'll always be sure to get your approval for anything I list for sale here to make sure it meets your muster. I'll run my prices by you for approval too.


That won't be necessary. I just won't be the buyer when you part something out like that. I'm sure someone else will have no problem with it.

But, for hoots, since you asked me some questions...

Why not sell the whole scope as a package?

-Tim.


Because he thinks he will get more money selling it partwise.

FWIW...I put such sellers on a blacklist and do not buy anything from them in the future.

Parting out a complete scope is just plain wrong.
 

#37 akman1955

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 09:19 PM

:)Hi dave, I'am one of the one's interested in parts and I do agree with you. I have incomplete unitron telescopes that need legs, mount..exc. So with that said I,am willing too pay premium plus shipping too alaska for said parts. As you said it is easier too ship parts too far off places then whole set-ups. Believe me I know because some day I will sell my unitrons but no one is willing too pay shipping from here for complete set-up. Also like you said you will always get more for individual piece's then whole. I kinda agree with Tim that it is a shame too not sell whole thing, but your parts might make two whole 3" unitrons for me tho. :jump: just my 2 cents,John
 

#38 JamesE

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:21 AM

I don't mind jumping in the fire.


In the big picture........it's just a scope. Metal, wood and glass.

In the smaller picture.......we all do what we need to do, for the reasons we do it.


I personally have benefited from part-outs of complete scopes. I was able to complete a set. I would think that there are several other happy owners from such a transaction, hence several completed scopes from one part out.

I think fundementaly, either approach has it's pro's and con's. Selling a full scope could exclude many from obtaining such a thing of beauty. It becomes elitist. Where someone that works over years to collect bits and pieces could possibly find deep satisfaction in obtaining that last piece to complete there set.

On the other side, many think of themselves as caretakers of such scopes. And it is the responsibility of those that are caretaking, to pass on the whole project to the next person. Selling a complete scope is part of the process.

Anyways, I seem to always pick no sides in these adventures.
 

#39 clintwhitman

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:29 AM

There are a few people around that could care less about A classic scope, The maker, the history, Who might have owned it or any thing else about it. The motavation is money not love of telescopes, Optics or history. Most of us here on the Classic forum are romantics that love telescopes (Thank God) Tearing apart a telescope in its original condition and sending it off in all directions is destroying something special. Finding some random parts and selling them to a guy in alaska is a completly different thing. I cant even bring my self to split the eyepieces from a complete kit even when I know I would make hundreds of dollars if I did so. Due to my love of the Art and feelings of preservation of these things the god of Telescopes sends the really cool ones to Folks like me and not to a hack shop to be canabalized for money!!!! The good news is I only know of 2 guys around that do this stuff. Bad news make that 3
LOL
FOR SALE LEGS OFF OF ONE OF THE LAST 1947 4" TINSLEY REFRACTORS KNOWN TO BE LEFT ON EARTH $350 PER LEG. Will post the focus knob under misc. items next week LOL


bad scope Karma!!! :tonofbricks:
:yay: :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay:
(aveman

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#40 clintwhitman

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:42 AM

Dave I am sure glad you didnt tear those old Celestron binolulars apart and sold them to me in one piece. I consider them to be on the verge of classics and to date one of the best astro deals I have recived any where. They have been used by scores of people at alot of star parties and will alway be out there when I am.... As far as the old scope reduction program I hope your love for the art get the better of you... Clint
 

#41 davela

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 02:10 AM

Clint,

Thanks for the comments about the binoculars. Those older Japanese 80's are really something special. Unfortunately I'm getting too near sighted to use those models now without glasses on (maybe it's time to get contacts).

In the past, when I was more into churning scopes and gear, I would occasionally try to sell a nice complete telescope set (Tasco, Sears, Vixen, Pentax, or whatever) that I had owned or used for a while. Invariably I would never (ever) get a price close to what the breakup value was, or even close to what I paid for the set (including what I paid to complete an incomplete set). I nearly always received offers for parts from the set (legs, mount, tube, whatever). At some point I decided not to buck the economics of the thing, and just part them out in cases where it was opportune for me, and this is one. So some collectors talk self righteously about the need to keep sets together, etc., but they don't put their money where there mouth is I'm afraid - yes it's too bad.

Yes I do make more money parting them out when I decide it's time to rearrange the collection, and in fact I think that's a good thing. We are talking about luxury collectible toys here, usually purchased by fairly well-off buyers. These are not tabloids from the pyramids, rare Van Goghs or anything like that for goodness sake. The telescope is about 400 years old now - in that bigger scheme a Unitron refractor is old-hat, a very fine personal toy, but not really so special.

By the way, for those that don't like parting out a 3" Unitron, I know a well-known telescope dealer that parted out two Unitron 5" kits in the not too distant past. He had happy buyers I'm sure (he always does). I doubt he even gave it a second thought.
 

#42 akman1955

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:15 AM

:)Well said James,I agree with you as it is a no win debate and most have done both. everyone here has posted wanted and searched for parts of there beloved telescope joy's. I know I have but falls on deaf ears usually and I do know some are hourding parts :lol: I guess if I do not complete my scopes i'll be parting them out like dave or selling as incomplete unit. By the way last time I tried selling a incomplete set-up someone said "too much is missing, i'll offer half of what your asking" :foreheadslap: and then there are the cherry pickers too,but thats a whole nother forum. :roflmao:john
 

#43 akman1955

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:22 AM

:)Clint, I for one only sell off extra parts after restoring one from incompleted ones I bought. I'am not a dealer just a collector of fine instruments that are works of art. As I have admired what you, lenny, brian have done for years :bow: So with that said..Keep up The Good work!!John
 

#44 Preston Smith

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 10:18 AM

Well that does it!

If all of you are breaking up your original scope packages to make more money then I might as well compromise my ethics and do the same!

I have a replica Galileo scope that I'm breaking up and selling. I have two lenses and a tube - what do you need?


:rofl2: :rofl5: :rofl2:
 

#45 woodsman

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 11:57 AM

How much for the tube? :lol: :roflmao:
 

#46 Preston Smith

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:02 PM

How much for the tube? :lol: :roflmao:


Only $175! Hey, it took 400 years of preparation to complete this scope! You won't see anything like it for at least another 100 years... Trust me! ;)
 

#47 Darenwh

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 01:10 PM

Maybe I should part out the components of my eyepieces I am planning on selling. Anybody want a field lens for a UO Ortho, 9mm? Eyepiece body? lens retaining ring? spacer? Eye lens? 1.25" barrel w/some set screw mounts?
 

#48 Preston Smith

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 01:27 PM

Maybe I should part out the components of my eyepieces I am planning on selling. Anybody want a field lens for a UO Ortho, 9mm? Eyepiece body? lens retaining ring? spacer? Eye lens? 1.25" barrel w/some set screw mounts?


Hi Daren!

Don't forget the field stop! I hear that is a high demand item!
 

#49 tim53

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 03:41 PM

Dave:

In the past, when I was more into churning scopes and gear, I would occasionally try to sell a nice complete telescope set (Tasco, Sears, Vixen, Pentax, or whatever) that I had owned or used for a while.


I do remember a scope you had for sale once (if you are who I think you are) at RTMC several years ago - a complete Optical Craftsmen 8" Discoverer, just like the one I bought in 1972. I was tempted because of the similarity to a scope that I had and was fond of. Truthfully, I parted that scope out when it was only about 7 years old, and thus lacking in collector interest at that time. Your price for the complete unit was high, but not outrageous. I actually sometimes wish I'd bought it at the time. But it was too much scope for that mount, which is why its optics are in another scope that I built in 81.

Invariably I would never (ever) get a price close to what the breakup value was, or even close to what I paid for the set (including what I paid to complete an incomplete set).


My heart pumps peanut butter for you. Look, I just bought a TV NP101is, and combined it with a vintage Super Polaris mount I found on craigslist for a great price, but then I paid retail to put a Gotonova upgrade kit on it. It's a nice package, and I intend to sell it as a whole when I'm done with it. I'll probably get less for it than if I part it out, of course. But it's more important to me that I sell it (when I do) with a clear conscience, knowing that there will be few chances for the buyer to be frustrated with it, knowing I will have worked out all the bugs. I will also feel more than compensated for my efforts and folding greens by having had the chance to enjoy the complete, functioning package between now and when I do decide to part with it. I have a day job, so I don't need to pay bills buying and selling hobby equipment.

At some point I decided not to buck the economics of the thing, and just part them out in cases where it was opportune for me, and this is one. So some collectors talk self righteously about the need to keep sets together, etc., but they don't put their money where there mouth is I'm afraid - yes it's too bad.


So it's the collector's fault that you decided not to keep a quality collectible telescope together? I'm not interested in helping you make a living at the expense of even these "gray area" soon-to-be-historic instruments. And yes, I do think that your prices for the components are too high.

As I said above, I see the logic of your argument. I don't agree with the results, though (the loss of another intact "classic").

Yes I do make more money parting them out when I decide it's time to rearrange the collection, and in fact I think that's a good thing.


For you, clearly it is. For posterity, it's a loss.

We are talking about luxury collectible toys here, usually purchased by fairly well-off buyers.


I'm not sure I would agree with this.

These are not tabloids from the pyramids, rare Van Goghs or anything like that for goodness sake.


No, they're uncommon classic telescopes.

The telescope is about 400 years old now - in that bigger scheme a Unitron refractor is old-hat, a very fine personal toy, but not really so special.


Most of them are getting to be over a quarter century old now. And rarer with time, particularly when one gets taken apart. I know people who collect toys as a hobby, even make quite a decent killing selling them. The most valuable are those still in their original boxes, even still in the original cellophane wrapper!

By the way, for those that don't like parting out a 3" Unitron, I know a well-known telescope dealer that parted out two Unitron 5" kits in the not too distant past. He had happy buyers I'm sure (he always does). I doubt he even gave it a second thought.


This makes it okay?

-Tim.
 

#50 Glassthrower

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 07:12 PM

I don't know if this one has been posted yet -

Vintage Cave EQ mount - http://tinyurl.com/yhpep7n
 


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