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#1 Hook

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:31 AM

Hi all.

 

I recently purchased an altair guider for my finder scope. Did a good bit of research and decided upon one. I purchased it on ebay from a German seller with 100% fb.

It arrived, nicely packed. I opened it up and all looked good. I downloaded the drivers and software first, and then made sure it worked.......which it did.

Altair give 1yr of sharpcap pro free with each camera, so I opened up sharpcap, connected camera, and a box appeared telling me that I get a free years pro version. So I filled in the necessaries, and clicked the "claim now" button. Here is where the trouble began.

 

Another pop up box told me the camera had already been registered, and that I was not entitled to another free pro version???? I never got the first, I messaged the seller 3 times without a reply. So I contacted Altair and told them the problem. Almost instantly I get a message from the ebay seller saying they had been in touch with me via email....well no they had not. I am awaiting an outcome.

 

My question is this.

Is it normal practise to sell electronic items of high cost with open boxes? My Altair box had no seal or no plastic see-through wrapper on it, it was simply a box you open. Nothing to prove it had not been opened before. Some of these cameras cost 1000's, but have no security on the box?..........that seems pretty cruddy to me. What if someone buys a camera, gets it, sets it up to work, downloads the sharpcap pro, and within 30 days........sends it back for a refund? Does the seller simply put it back on the shelf to send out to some unsuspecting mug?......because that is how it seems to me.

As far as I am aware, electronic goods returned to base are usually sold on as returns........not new.

 

If there is anyone here from zwo, Altair, etc., would you tell me why there is no security seal on very expensive cameras? We, the buyer, should be 100% sure that what we have purchased is indeed new.........and not a return that you want to sell as new.

 

Thanks

 

Bill

 

(p.s. if this is in the wrong forum section I apologise and guess it will be moved to the relevant one)



#2 Hubbletrouble

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:53 AM

The problem is not with the manufacturer as most do have security/shrink wrap packaging. The problem lies in the fact that ebay sellers are rarely authorized retailers for products...the ebay sellers get products second hand and sell them as “new”. With ebay it is usually “buyer beware”...additionally, if spending that much on electronics, I would be more concerned about not having a valid warranty or lack of technical support down the road. 


Edited by Hubbletrouble, 21 May 2019 - 11:03 AM.

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#3 jerahian

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:56 AM

All the ZWO cameras I have purchased new from online vendors (AgenaAstro, High Point) have come with clear sticker seals on the vendors packaging.  I personally would indeed expect a seal if it is advertised as new.

 

-Ara


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#4 scadvice

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:15 AM

E Bay in the US you can file a claim for resolution or to get your funds back. You may want to check that out for your location. Filing for a resolution generally get's things done quite fast. I have done so twice over the years and found that the sellers become very prompt at solving the issue.


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#5 Hook

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:18 AM

The problem is not with the manufacturer as most do have security/shrink wrap packaging. The problem lies in the fact that ebay sellers are rarely authorized retailers for products...the ebay sellers get products second hand and sell them as “new”. With ebay it is usually “buyer beware”...additionally, if spending that much on electronics, I would be more concerned about not having a valid warranty or lack of technical support down the road. 

That is illegal.

 

I have sent an email to altair to ask if they are security sealed/shrink wrapped, I await their reply.

The ebay seller is apmtelescopes in Germany. Altair, (on their site) are associated with them.......from what I can gather. The apm telescopes crowd have a large website selling cameras at over 4000. So in this instance I do not believe they are not authorised dealers.



#6 Hook

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:19 AM

All the ZWO cameras I have purchased new from online vendors (AgenaAstro, High Point) have come with clear sticker seals on the vendors packaging.  I personally would indeed expect a seal if it is advertised as new.

 

-Ara

Thank you.



#7 Hook

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:21 AM

E Bay in the US you can file a claim for resolution or to get your funds back. You may want to check that out for your location. Filing for a resolution generally get's things done quite fast. I have done so twice over the years and found that the sellers become very prompt at solving the issue.

Yes, I can also make a claim, which looks like I may have to do.

My real concern is no security seal/shrink wrap........is this common for altair cameras? it certainly looks like zwo put them on.



#8 Ian Robinson

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:35 AM

So contact the seller and provider both and let them sort out the licencing issues.

You have the option a Paypal Dispute since you have been mislead about it being new.

#9 Hook

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:50 AM

So contact the seller and provider both and let them sort out the licencing issues.

You have the option a Paypal Dispute since you have been mislead about it being new.

I received a reply from Altair concerning the security seal/shrink wrap.

They are not sealed with anything.

I am well able to sort it out with paypal........I have done so on many occasions. The issue was about security seals which I now have confirmed from altair....there are none.

So there is nothing at this moment in time which could prove it was a return. They could simply say it was a server issue and give me a pro sharpcap version via email.

 

So to anyone buying an Altair camera.....be careful. There is no way of knowing if they are indeed new. I will never buy altair again, simply because of the security issue........but I thought it was a good idea to raise it here.



#10 sg6

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:55 AM

Altair organised an astro show a few months back and so were at it quite prominently and I was looking at their cameras. They were all boxed and unsealed. If you wanted one you pick a box of the right one and paid for it.

 

Their eyepieces are the same boxed but no seals. If I recall TV eyepieces are not sealed either.

 

No idea what happens with Altair branded items. Altair started by selling TS branded stuff, then sold the same stuff branded Altair. If you look at the Astroshop they sell a large amount of TS items, and someone else makes those TS bits, or a lot of them.

 

Not sure but Altair may say that boxes may be opened, they may check the equipment when received. Also implies that life is quicker for them if items arrive unsealed as then they don't have to break seals, and so have people asking if it is/was a return.

 

I bought some planetary's from a retailer a long time back. Both EP's were in boxes marked Plossl but of the focal length purchased. Slight panic, but inside were the planetry's. Asked the retailer who laughed and said that as best they could tell that in China any eyepiece starting with "P" was a plossl. So the boxes had Plossl on them regardless. They opened every box to verify.

 

Suppose your question is are Altair items sold independently of Altair. As in can the manufacturer sell "Altair" items direct to a third party. And if it occurs then does the Altair Sharpcap offer hold? Which I suspect may not.



#11 scadvice

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:57 AM

.......................

My real concern is no security seal/shrink wrap........is this common for altair cameras? it certainly looks like zwo put them on.

I checked the box on the AltairGP130M I have. There were no seals/remains that I can see... but it's been over a year ago I bought it.


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#12 Hook

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 12:13 PM

Altair organised an astro show a few months back and so were at it quite prominently and I was looking at their cameras. They were all boxed and unsealed. If you wanted one you pick a box of the right one and paid for it.

 

Their eyepieces are the same boxed but no seals. If I recall TV eyepieces are not sealed either.

 

No idea what happens with Altair branded items. Altair started by selling TS branded stuff, then sold the same stuff branded Altair. If you look at the Astroshop they sell a large amount of TS items, and someone else makes those TS bits, or a lot of them.

 

Not sure but Altair may say that boxes may be opened, they may check the equipment when received. Also implies that life is quicker for them if items arrive unsealed as then they don't have to break seals, and so have people asking if it is/was a return.

 

I bought some planetary's from a retailer a long time back. Both EP's were in boxes marked Plossl but of the focal length purchased. Slight panic, but inside were the planetry's. Asked the retailer who laughed and said that as best they could tell that in China any eyepiece starting with "P" was a plossl. So the boxes had Plossl on them regardless. They opened every box to verify.

 

Suppose your question is are Altair items sold independently of Altair. As in can the manufacturer sell "Altair" items direct to a third party. And if it occurs then does the Altair Sharpcap offer hold? Which I suspect may not.

I understand what you are saying.

The sharpcap offer was on the ebay sellers item description also.

Most mobile phones are made in China........what isn't these days?........but I can go down to the supermarket, say tesco, and pay 40 notes for a cheap mobile and it has a seal. Then I can buy a camera for over a 1000 with no seal???

If every box has to be opened to verify what is inside then there is something wrong with the whole set-up.

Shows where suppliers sell their wares are slightly different. They are there for a short period......kind of like a pop up shop, and the buyer could live in another country, so they open them to make sure they have inside what is meant to be there. I have been a show seller with a company I worked for, and you make sure everything is as it should be.

There are very few sellers of goods that open every box to inspect the contents.......imagine the labour involved with thousands of different items.



#13 Hook

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 12:25 PM

Just to clarify, it is not illegal for an ebay seller to sell a second hand product that is denoted in “new” condition. This is often an area of confusion and the term “new” is subjective....which can be misleading to the buyer thinking they are the original purchaser.

Yes, it looks like APM Telescope in Germany is an authorized retailer for Altair. Here is the link of authorized dealers. http://cameras.altai...m/where-to-buy/

when clicking on the APM link...It does not take you to ebay....??

If you did actually make the purchase from the legitimate APM vendor I am confident they will resolve your issue.

Astrophotography is complicated enough without any of these added frustrations. I feel for you....

It is illegal over this side of the pond. New is new, refurbished is refurbished, used is used.

New here means it has not been sold before or used in any way. Anything returned is sold as returns and are usually sold by third parties who have to mark the product as a return, and they are usually authorised by the manufacturer. An item cannot be new if it has been sold, used and returned.

I am sure I will come out of this ok, the camera is unmarked, it works fine. I will resolve the sharpcap pro issue, but tbh I could not care about the pro version. It was the fact that the box has no security.......which I believe every item like this should have, and the camera already registered.

Thanks for the reply, and I guess I will be ok.........I am not frustrated...as such. I am disappointed in the palava I have to carry out to get to the truth.



#14 sg6

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 01:42 PM

They will not open every box as it is received, although they may do as I expect a large amount of running an astro equipment business is not shop front but warehouse and if you receive goods one thing you do is check that you have received the ordered items. But it is reasonable that as each camera is sold the box is opened and checked.

 

If they order in and sell say 200 Altair cameras every 6 months then that is opening and checking just 8 a week prior to dispatch or sale. That makes sense as I assume they check camera present and correct and any leads are also present before shipping.



#15 Hook

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:31 PM

They will not open every box as it is received, although they may do as I expect a large amount of running an astro equipment business is not shop front but warehouse and if you receive goods one thing you do is check that you have received the ordered items. But it is reasonable that as each camera is sold the box is opened and checked.

 

If they order in and sell say 200 Altair cameras every 6 months then that is opening and checking just 8 a week prior to dispatch or sale. That makes sense as I assume they check camera present and correct and any leads are also present before shipping.

Fair statement, but they do not do that with the zwo's.

When a box is not sealed it makes reasonable sense to check the contents, as anyone could have done anything. Does the same shop remove the seals or shrink wrap on zwo's? I doubt it.

This issue is a consumer issue. If any item on a supermarket shelf is, or has been, opened, it is removed and disposed of....for obvious reasons.

The whole idea of a manufacturer seal is to let the consumer know that it has been sealed from them to us. If the seal is removed or broken the shop sends it back to supplier, they have no need to open a sealed box.

 

After many years of dealing with big and small businesses I know the stunts some of them try to pull. Not that I am emphatically saying this is the case. It seems to me that seals or shrink wrap are not there for a reason, and the reason could be any of many. My initial thoughts are that they expect returns and have catered for it rather than return to manufacturer. This keeps cost down and a good record of low returns, plus no way of knowing where the problem initiated.

 

The only times I have received such goods without seals are when I buy goods from China, cheaper electrical items including astro cameras.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Bill



#16 Hook

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 05:45 AM

So I got my answer.

 

Altair said,

 

"We checked and there is no username by that email address in any system.

So we do need the camera info
Else we cannot confirm what is wrong with the camera. It may not show up due to internal error.

Can you please chase him one more time? If he is silent then we can at least know we have done our best to fix the error (if there is one!)."

 

Of course my email is not in the system!!........I cannot register it.

I gave all the camera info to both Altair and seller.

Chase him 1 more time???.....I have been in constant contact with both of them via approx. 20 messages and emails.

"If there is one"??.........so I am lying now.

 

Ebay seller was willing to exchange the camera.

 

Pretty poor response from Altair and I certainly will not be giving them any more of my money for crap replies.




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