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Would you purchase a used A-P 1100 GTO mount on AstroMart under these conditions?

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#26 SimonIRE

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 02:46 PM

Actually google search for "Astrophysics AP1100" returns the original owner details of this mount.
https://www.reddit.c...1100gto_german/

End of second paragraph has the image links to this particular mount.


Good call.

I was using the images he sent me which were different. I didn’t pull the ad images...should have also done that...(duh)

#27 dhaval

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 03:42 PM

It showed 2 different names so I was thinking the thief had stolen someone elses identity?

 

But now that the price is more reasonable at $63k I may be interested smile.gif

I live near San Antonio, which is where the supposed seller lives - so, I've offered him full asking price (to be paid on my terms of course) if he can ship the mount to TX and I can go collect it after inspecting it. 

 

I will wait....he's not taken up my offer yet! 

 

CS! 



#28 Tothemoonalice

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 07:37 PM

so is the jury out whether the original ad is a hoax or the seller quirky?



#29 rgsalinger

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:17 PM

The lack of a serial number tells the story. At one point I went to sell my Tv127is when they were still pretty new. First question I got was for a picture of the serial number. I didn't even know that it had one! I never sold the scope but it taught me a lesson about buying stuff online and I've used it from time to time when appropriate.

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#30 EFT

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:55 PM

Dear Folks,

 

I apologise if I am testing the patience of the crowd but I want to poll opinions. I have already discussed this with Dhaval and he has been extremely helpful. 

 

Question: Would you purchase a used A-P 1100 GTO mount on AstroMart under these conditions?

 

1. The seller has no rating and joined 2 days before posting the ad. 

 

2. The mount appears to be in Europe, but the seller lists himself as being US-based. The seller appears to be going back to the US soon. 

 

3. When asked if I can travel to Europe to see the mount, the seller agrees (I could, in principle do this). 

 

4. The seller is happy to accept payment via PayPal and PayPal tell me the purchase will be covered by buyers protection. 

 

5. The seller has responded to email queries and sent photos; the mount looks impeccable but who knows if these photos are genuine. 

 

6. The CB is the CP3GTO version and it comes with a PemPro licence. (handset, CW and manual also)

 

7. The seller says they are the only owner and have had the mount for 4 years. 

 

Many thanks for your consideration. 

 

Simon

1. No

2. NO.

3. NO, NO.

4. NO, NO, NO.

5. Easily bogus.

6. Doesn't matter if you are OK with it.

7. Up to you.

 

The only way I would go for this at all is if you go and see it first before any kind of commitment.  Any hesitation on that, walk away.


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#31 SimonIRE

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 01:56 AM

so is the jury out whether the original ad is a hoax or the seller quirky?

There is now someone on the forums of AstroMart who appears to have fallen for this scam. They’ve highlighted a pattern of shifting identities selling the same mount.

I emailed AstroMart about this; obviously it’s not their fault and possibly little they can do about it, but I’m surprised that ridiculous ad is still up this morning.

This has my Irish blood up...

Edited by SimonIRE, 25 July 2019 - 01:57 AM.


#32 EFT

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 03:04 AM

AM can usually be (or at least used to be) fairly overzealous about enforcing their "rules" to avoid things like this with some success.  But AM is a strange beast in many respects.  The ad will hopefully come down soon though.  I'm surprised the seller hasn't shown up here.


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#33 SimonIRE

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 03:18 AM

To be honest, the seller may well be on here, unknown. 

 

Interestingly I emailed Astro-Physics to get advice on what to ask the seller and within about 12 hours George emailed me with a list of questions and suggestions. Very helpful. However, I am now resolute; its the 10 Micron 2000 hps. No more analysis paralysis. 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Edited by SimonIRE, 25 July 2019 - 03:18 AM.

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#34 SteveGR

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 12:15 PM

Late to the party, but in a word.  NO.  smile.gif



#35 SimonIRE

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 12:28 PM

For what it’s worth, the guy emailed me again today asking did I want to do a deal...

I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
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#36 Tothemoonalice

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 01:42 PM

Why has this not sold in a New York second?

 

https://astromart.co...0-gto-cp3-mount



#37 DeanS

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 01:48 PM

Sure looks like it was written by the same person as the scam.


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#38 rgsalinger

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 01:52 PM

Since he doesn't want to ship it I suspect that it's not a scam. Still, the first question should be - What is the Serial Number on the mount? - so its provenance can be checked.

Rgrds-Ross



#39 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 05:09 PM

He doesn't want to ship it but won't give the serial number so it can be traced?  Stolen mount?



#40 EFT

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 07:55 PM

The only problem with giving out something like a serial number is that it helps someone who wants to scam people by making their adds look better.  People sometimes post their serial number, or a picture of it, in an ad and that is the perfect opportunity for someone looking to set up their own fake ad to make it seem more authentic.  When you see these fake ads, they are often copied from and old ad somewhere because when they aren't, they are pretty obvious scams.  Unfortunately, you have to be paranoid to some extent, but still buy the majority of my own equipment used.  While the vast majority of people out there selling equipment are good people, there are some bad ones.  You just have to do as much homework as possible in order to make you comfortable with the seller.  Asking questions here can be very helpful.

 

The biggest red flags in my book are:

1. Price.  If it is too good to be true, it most is.

2. Odd payment arrangements.  The safest method that a seller (and buyer) can use are PayPal (or similar) or a credit card.  When the only thing the seller will take is a cashier's check, you should probably back off since that is essentially the same as sending them cash and there is no recourse if it is a scam.  Wire transfers can be problematic that way as well.  But I have sold things to people who paid with a cashier's check and things were fine.  I just waited to ship anything until I was sure that it was good.

3. Odd delivery arrangements.  This guy said the mount was in Europe but he lists himself as being US-based. At the same time, appears to be going back to the US soon.  The location situation might raise a red flag, but if you combine it with any sense of being in a hurry to make the sale, that is definitely a red flag without any further explanation that you are completely comfortable with (e.g., maybe he was just there to install his new system and doesn't want to haul the old one back with him).

4. Odd item descriptions that might appear to be from someone who doesn't write English well while other things, like maybe their address and phone number, suggests that maybe they should.  This alone is not a good indication as I work with people all the time whose English writing isn't great.  But if you combine that with any of the other possible red flags or something that suggests that the description might be completely drawn from a manufacturer's website rather than any indication of personal knowledge of the item, then it becomes more important.

 

None of these things are show stoppers and there may be good explanations for all of them, but they should probably raise red flags that you should want to look further into before agreeing to the purchase.  No one should be insulted by your asking things to verify the authenticity of the sale in this day and age.  If they are, walk away.


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#41 SimonIRE

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 02:26 AM

The key issues for me were...

 

1. His inability to produce custom photos of the mount to my specification. If I asked for a close up of the control box, he couldn't provide one but instead sent the same image over and over in ever increasing sizes. Anyone with a phone these days can take a few snaps on the fly and send them. Even if he physically wasn't near the mount, someone must be with it. 

 

2. Inability to produce a quick video - for the same reasons above. For 6+K I'd have been adding CGI, Dragons, princesses and anything else the buyer wanted, to make the sale!

 

3. As soon as I pressed him for this, he said....."this is becoming stressful and confusing..."; grow up man,......we are talking about a decent amount of cash. Isn't it normal for a buyer to make some requests to verify the goods?

 

 

Although his responses about the kit were valid ones, there were some infelicities in the language that made me think he was actually not familiar with AP mounts. I am a relative newcomer and I seemed to know more. This alone isn't a major deal but as with anything, its a balance of probabilities and taking 1-3 above any further quirks just created more doubt.  


Edited by SimonIRE, 26 July 2019 - 02:27 AM.


#42 orlyandico

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 05:40 AM

https://www.microsof...e-from-nigeria/

Scammers put deliberate implausibility in their ads to weed out all of you brainiacs who wouldn’t fall for it anyway.

Although I would have thought everyone on AM and CN is an astronomy geek who wouldn’t fall for these types of scams..

#43 dhaval

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 06:03 AM

The key issues for me were...

 

1. His inability to produce custom photos of the mount to my specification. If I asked for a close up of the control box, he couldn't provide one but instead sent the same image over and over in ever increasing sizes. Anyone with a phone these days can take a few snaps on the fly and send them. Even if he physically wasn't near the mount, someone must be with it. 

 

2. Inability to produce a quick video - for the same reasons above. For 6+K I'd have been adding CGI, Dragons, princesses and anything else the buyer wanted, to make the sale!

 

3. As soon as I pressed him for this, he said....."this is becoming stressful and confusing..."; grow up man,......we are talking about a decent amount of cash. Isn't it normal for a buyer to make some requests to verify the goods?

 

 

Although his responses about the kit were valid ones, there were some infelicities in the language that made me think he was actually not familiar with AP mounts. I am a relative newcomer and I seemed to know more. This alone isn't a major deal but as with anything, its a balance of probabilities and taking 1-3 above any further quirks just created more doubt.  

When I bought my used AP1200 from a gentleman in FL, he was gracious enough to FaceTime with me and show the mount and whether it worked or not. I was paying $7K for the mount and needed to be absolutely certain of its condition. The seller had not used it for imaging, just visual and he wanted to ensure I was getting everything that I would require for imaging (and remote imaging at that). I also had one of my brothers-in-law go look at the mount given that they both were in the same town in FL, and he was happy to entertain him as well.

 

You are absolutely right to expect the seller having to go over and beyond the normal to sell a piece of equipment that is as valued as an A-P mount. 

 

There will be other deals, you just go with your instinct on such things. 

 

CS!


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#44 JoeR

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 06:49 AM

I got my AP1100 used through the reputable Woodland Hills Telescope and a very good price too. It was a complete CP3 setup and cheap enough to afford a CP4 upgrade. Patience and persistence pays off and there will definitely be more used AP mount coming up for sale as users will upgrade to the new Mach2 mount when they start shipping in a few months.


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#45 DeanS

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 08:05 AM

Yep, the 900 is a scam.  Here it is listed on a French site using same photos.

 

https://www.webastro...o-cp3_48466.htm



#46 SimonIRE

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 08:19 AM

Yep, the 900 is a scam.  Here it is listed on a French site using same photos.

 

https://www.webastro...o-cp3_48466.htm

 

 

Thats pretty shocking. For something like this, given my recent experience, I would happily pay 25-30% more for new......my undisturbed sleep is too valuable.


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#47 WadeH237

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 10:19 AM

I got my AP1100 used through the reputable Woodland Hills Telescope and a very good price too. It was a complete CP3 setup and cheap enough to afford a CP4 upgrade. Patience and persistence pays off and there will definitely be more used AP mount coming up for sale as users will upgrade to the new Mach2 mount when they start shipping in a few months.

I also bought my used AP1100 from Woodland Hills.  It was a great experience for a great mount at a great price.

 

As for dealing with individuals, either as a buyer or a seller, I've generally ended up in a back-and-forth conversation before actually making the sale.  It's pretty easy to quickly determine if the person that you're dealing with is actually an active participant in this hobby or not.  I usually feel pretty good about dealing with another amateur astronomer (although that is no guarantee).

 

But the bottom line is that you need to feel comfortable with what's going on.  If you are not completely at ease, there is nothing wrong with walking away.


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#48 cytan299

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 11:44 AM

Hi guys,

 

I bought my AP1100AE on astromart after going through a whole string of emails -- mainly over price. The seller wouldn't absorb the PayPal fees, but for my protection, I insisted on PayPal and we split the fees. I think it is only wise to protect myself especially because even a used AP1100AE costs an arm and a leg. Everything turned out great in the end. The mount works fantastic and I'm a really happy camper who saved thousands in the process.

 

My advice to anyone spending any money, especially large amounts of money, on the used market is to use PayPal. I've gotten refunds from PayPal multiple times when my eBay purchases went awry.

 

cytan


Edited by cytan299, 26 July 2019 - 11:45 AM.

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#49 SimonIRE

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 11:53 AM

Hi guys,

I bought my AP1100AE on astromart after going through a whole string of emails -- mainly over price. The seller wouldn't absorb the PayPal fees, but for my protection, I insisted on PayPal and we split the fees. I think it is only wise to protect myself especially because even a used AP1100AE costs an arm and a leg. Everything turned out great in the end. The mount works fantastic and I'm a really happy camper who saved thousands in the process.

My advice to anyone spending any money, especially large amounts of money, on the used market is to use PayPal. I've gotten refunds from PayPal multiple times when my eBay purchases went awry.

cytan


Good advice. I know that PayPal will refund but it’s reassuring to hear it first hand. Thanks for that

#50 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 12:12 PM

Sometimes purchases made in person in cash are not secure, when the goods are serialized and have been stolen somewhere up the line. 

 

See this:  https://www.youtube....h?v=kXm7AHU8mZE

 

I have been following that, and it has not been resolved, even after 18 months, and it involves far more money than an AP mount.




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