Guys, enough. You have your opinions, you have stated them. Others have different opinions. You can't please everyone. If you don't like something, then just avoid it.
If the dead herd gets beat up anymore, I will lock this. This is not a case of the squeaky wheel getting action, we will simply take the wheel out of service!
1. This thread is supposed to call attention to classic scopes. The idea originally was to keep them from going to the landfill by letting collectors know. It does that rather well, we've saved a lot of scopes over the years. The complaints about the thread seem to have nothing to do with this purpose and are more personal in nature.
2. The thread also keeps dozens of individual auction and ad threads from popping up in the forum. Personally, the day I sign-on and see half a page of individual auction listings, is the last day I read any threads here for enjoyment. We don't need the clutter.
3. If a majority of forum users want to see it go away, it will. All it takes is to stop posting. Those who don't like it have always been a tiny, vocal minority.
4. This is like showing-up at a public auction and being mad because it was published in the newspaper and all those other people showed-up.
5. MANY times I have lost auctions on items not posted in the thread. It's probably an even split, to tell you the truth.
6. Just because someone else wanted something more than you, it isn't a guarantee that they saw it here. You can't assume it's the threads fault without proof.
7. There are probably more people finding items on their own than getting wind of it here. I'm a good example of that, I don't read the CL thread every day. In fact I rarely read it at all any more. But I do still check eBay, and CN on my own, with my own search terms that have paid-off for me over the years. I do not check AM or CL but do check another local Classifieds that has paid-off for me several times.
We should all be glad for these online opportunities. Anyone who remembers the Starry Messenger will know about calling on a item five minutes after it was delivered by your mailman, only to find that it already sold the day before to someone who got their issue in the mail before you did. Now, THAT was frustration! The internet really levelled the playing field.
I do have first-hand knowledge of some forum members contacting sellers to "educate" them. Sellers have given me names when asked- most of them will probably tell you, too, if you ask. To me, this is someone with far too little to do and they are the real threat. They do it even if it isn't posted here, so again, don't blame the thread.
Believe me, I understand that a couple of you are frustrated because you feel that you lost out on something because it was posted here. There are no guarantees except the guarantee that you will still lose out even on items not posted here at all.
Nobody who pays top-dollar for a scope and outbid you is going to flip it. Flippers want bargains so they can turn a profit themselves. Many of the scopes you lost were in fact won by members here. Only a minority of the forum users ever post in the "Finds" thread, they have either no time or no desire to tell everyone else what they just picked up. I have only ever posted a handful of my auction and ad wins, for example. Same with some of our other members with far larger collections than I. I am a dabbler compared to them and they are among us.
I've waited years for some scopes, lost out on the same model multiple times. Eventually I got lucky on most of the ones I really wanted. Sometimes it takes time. I can't stress this enough to new collectors and enthusiasts. I've been in this hobby for 50 years. Took me over 40 of those years before I got the RV-6 I had always wanted. Kind of puts the immediate gratification blues in perspective, doesn't it?
What I'm saying is, life isn't fair. But anyone can own any telescope listed here, if you are willing to pay for it. Don't blame the system if your pockets aren't as deep as your interest. There are still a ton of scopes I'd love to own, but will never be able to afford. I'm OK with that and losing an auction doesn't get my shorts in a knot. If it does to you, I'm sorry and wish you could get as much pleasure out of the hunt, as you do the kill. But keep at it. Sooner or later you will win.
I stand behind Brian. If he locks it, it stays locked.
I will preface this post with the fact that I am primarily responding because I opened the can of worms. I don't necessarily interpret either of the quoted posts directed at me personally. Some of what was written applies to me, and some does not. However, to clarify my intention(s) and hopefully smooth over any unintended offense, I thought it would a good idea to respond. Hopefully I don't further muddy the waters, or create more squeaks.
As I said in the first line of my post, I have mixed feelings about the thread. I will also add to this the fact that I am probably not qualified to have a strong and considerable opinion on this topic or many on the classics forum. I am a rookie, and in hindsight, I probably should just kept my mouth shut and enjoyed this place (and, I do immensely). But, I do, like I said, have mixed feelings. A little of that love/hate. LOL Another thread here was the proximate cause of my voice.
Brian, my apologies for making the job of a mod more difficult, if I did. Considering my short tenure here, I acknowledge that I have a lot to learn. I was aware of a similar discussion a few weeks or months ago. However, I thought my intended point was slightly different than my previous opinion, and what I remember being discussed. So, in my naivete I opened this thread. I did not realize that it was beaten as badly as it apparently has been. Yes, I realized it was a previous topic, but of the magnitude that it apparently is, I was not. Again, my apologies.
Chuck, you made some, in my opinion, great points about the value of the thread and perceptions/misperceptions of its intentions. I clearly see your point, for example, that the thread was more about saving those classics in danger of extinction than it was about connecting specific buyers to the scopes. There definitely is more to the thread than getting a deal. As a rookie, that salvation was an objective that was not immediately evident to me. Thanks, for pointing that out.
Also, the idea that having the type of information available there confined to one spot keeps the forum more refined is great too. I try, but maybe do not do the best job, to search for previous discussions on topics about which I have questions before posting a new thread, in hopes of helping keep the forum free of repeat discussions. This thread is one way to contribute to that end. I see that more clearly now.
So, I did not intend to promote the idea of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, although I mentioned the thread "dying on the vine". That bit was to lightly illustrate the "golden rule" concept that really was the primary idea in my mind. At times it would seem that a bit of thought before posting an ad would be beneficial to the group. However, both of you pointed out that likely the good outweighs the bad, so I accept that. There is more at stake than just my personal feelings, or hopes. I get that.
I have to say that I do not completely agree with the idea that the frustration voiced here is akin to being frustrated that an auction was advertised in the newspaper before the start of the auction and as a result produced competing bidders. From my POV, the frustration, again speaking only for myself, is more similar to bidding at an auction that was promoted in the newspaper, happily competing with opposing bidders that responded to the newspaper ad, but then at the last minute having a bus roll up with new bidders that were solicited by a bystander at the auction who has no dog in the fight and those new bidders didn't even care until it looked like a sniping was in order. I understand that this is not a true and accurate representation of the intentions or actions of players in this game. But, sometimes that is how I perceive it. I ain't gonna cry over it, but if the potential damage can be mitigated, I am all for it. LOL On the other hand, like you implied, "life sucks, and then you die". LOL
And, correlation is NOT causation. I edited my original post to reinforce my intended points. Also, to make sure that you were aware that I mentioned this important disclaimer from the get-go. You are absolutely correct. Just because an item I wanted was more important to another buyer, the thread is NOT necessarily to blame.
Then we have the reality that "Seniority sucks until you get some". Your point about the years that many of the folks on here have put into this hobby is well received. I respect that, and while I personally have dove headfirst and ankle-deep into this great hobby, I am so low of rank that I need to crane my neck to see the bottom. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to buy some amazing and desirable scopes. I am guessing that there are folks here that have been in the hobby for years that might have deserved one or all of them more than me. Some of the scopes I paid more than they were worth (usually finding that out afterwards, of course lol), some I paid more than asking due to being aware that it was a steal, and the best ones were scopes that thoughtful members on here offered to sell me or from ads about which other members notified me. I honestly feel a pang of guilt sometimes. (sometimes )BUT, while I might have the money to buy certain things, my personal decision was to liquidate items from other previously (and, currently) pursued hobbies to provide my "seed" money. So, when a deal comes along, I jump. Regarding the more senior (referencing years in the hobby, not physical age) members here, I will not knowingly bid against them, or attempt to buy something from under them. There have been several scopes that I discovered on my own that were being auctioned, or advertised for sale, that I had learned, through research here and elsewhere, had a high probability of being excellent buys and performers, or just excellent performers regardless of price. Yet, in one way or another, I became aware of a member on this site that was intending to buy or bid on the scope. Once I became aware of that fact, I withdrew my bid, or declined to purchase. That is my personal decision, but I feel strongly about it.
Most of these scopes draw me for reasons that are mutual among us, but many of the senior hobbyists here also have a sentimentality about these scopes that I don't share. I did not participate as a youngster. This emotional aspect of the hobby, to me, carries great weight. When I am aware of a person that bears that weight I will defer to them, likely every time. So, please, do not interpret my opinion as being based on the desire for immediate gratification. I am not the most patient person, and much to my wife's annoyance many times, I run headlong into a variety of things. But, I realize and respect the years, blood, sweat, and tears, that many of you have put into this. I apologize I project a different vibe.
On the other hand, like you said, if I have the cash to buy it, unless I know someone else is vying for the same scope, I am jumping all over it. I am not going to post a link to make sure I don't offend someone that might have been looking for a long long time. If I realize, after the fact, that someone was fiending for a specific scope, whether from sentimentality or other, for a long period of time, more than likely, I would not be opposed to selling it to that person for the price I paid. That is just my feeling. Even though I am a little driven sometimes, I do not NEED these scopes. Honestly, if I could keep only one, my little daughter's Towa 305 that we are working on, I would be very happy. One of the big motivators to pursue this hobby was to have an educational hobby that the whole family could enjoy together. We don't need more than one scope to enjoy it.
So, after that long diatribe, not that you need my permission, you are welcome to lock this thread. My, I hope, salient point(s), really are just that "golden rule" concept. Maybe keeping the thread (not that I personally wanted it shut down), but adding a "rule of thumb" or several would be good. Really, maybe that should have been the more vivid point in my original post. While it might not have been fully formed and communicated, these suffice:
1. Post the link, but only after at least a cursory effort to make sure another member isn't bidding. (don't post an "are you bidding on this?" thread LOL) Maybe, don't post a link on the last day of a 7 or 10 day auction, unless there are no bids at all.
2. If a member you are familiar with lives in the area of the ad, let them know about the ad before posting.
3. Use a little caution, and give it a day or two before posting. Actively hunting members deserve a little time to discover it, before the post.
4. Unless you are personally involved somehow, don't contact the seller. Would you want someone to contact the seller of a scope you were negotiating?
5. If you are a buyer, be honest, and do not take advantage of a seller. While the burden of research is on them, buying a $3,500 Questar for $50, without an honest discussion with the seller, is (besides being a fairytale) borderline immoral if not fully so.
6. Save the scopes.
Lastly, (music to the ears of many, I am sure) I don't want to take away from or inhibit the timbre of this forum. Pretty much everyone I have encountered here has had a positive influence in my involvement. Thanks! Again, the above is just my two cents on how one thread MIGHT be improved. I did not intend to stir the hornets nest, and my self-perceived witticisms that followed my original post are withdrawn if they were out of line or perceived as mean-spirited. Even though I stand by my opinion for the most part, I absolutely didn't intend to project bitterness.