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How do you ship a classic scope?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 mikenoname

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 04:35 PM

Well, I have finally brought myself to do it, though it took some doing. Yesterday I placed a CN classified for my venerable Mayflower 815. Sad to see it go, but it's just not getting any use nowadays.

 

Anyhoo, I have it listed as local sale only because the thought of shipping it in its original case just intimidated the heck out of me. Then someone much wiser than I suggested that I ask you good folks, many of whom have dealt with such things, what it takes to successfully ship them.

 

How much does it cost to ship something this large within CONUS?

 

Do you have to build your own boxes or can you buy some somewhere that are large enough?

 

I know you can pay to have it professionally packed, but that I would imagine is prohibitively expensive. But then again, maybe not.

 

What else am I not considering?

 

TIA!

 

Mike


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#2 Augustus

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 04:43 PM

If it's got a wooden case, shipping it actually shouldn't be that bad. Just fill any/all voids in the case with packing material, wrap the parts in a layer of newspaper, and put a couple layers of padding on the case and you're good to go.


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#3 Stevegeo

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 05:34 PM

Having done this before , I can give some advice.

Wrap everything, in paper, then small bubble wrap.  Keep each apart. In a box with more paper wadded up. Or if it's really delicate,  find a thrift store , or old furniture referbish, get foam cushions  , shred and stuff in the box.

Double walled cardboard. Plentry of tape. 

 

Send by UPS or FedEx ...with fragile on it and insure.  Good luck. 


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#4 Stevegeo

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 05:46 PM

Btw sent my grandkids a classic scope last winter in a 8 in diameter sonotube . Cut down to length  4 in longer then the scope.  Stuffed foam in one end, rolled the scope in bubble wrap  a few layers, then the tripod, slid both in tube  stuffed any voids with foam shreds, capped the end in foam. Then a 1/2 in plywood circle that fit inside each end. Screwed in through the tube into the plywood then taped the ends. Sent by UPS.  Cost me $50. But it arrived intact with no damage.. NY to AK. 


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#5 Kokatha man

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 07:30 PM

I got my sister in Perth to send an old Eikow refractor in its' dilapidated wooden case to Adelaide, Australia (about 1700 miles) by simply wrapping the outside of the case completely with packing tape to stop the case from falling apart during transport (took about 2 rolls at a couple of dollars a roll) after she had scrunched up sheets of newspaper to fully wad the interior so that nothing, including the mount & c/weights, could move around inside. She knew nothing about scopes whatsoever btw...

 

It survived the journey easily even though I engaged a cut-price freight firm to transport it from her door to mine which involved 3 different couriers to complete the route. :lol: 

 

A Sears came to me from Florida (a bit further :lol: but no mount this time) stuffed into a large postal tube..."Uncle Milt" packed & padded it well I might add...but really, anyone with a modicum of sense can freight these things at the minimum freight charges using throwaway packing material mostly! ;)


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#6 ccwemyss

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 08:11 PM

In my experience, the most damage is done by things getting loose inside, which includes breaking their wood supports. Counterweights can rip their tie down blocks right off the bottom if they have any space to move. Scope tubes have broken their supports. Eyepieces pop their storage area lids off and go rattling around. The least damage is when everything (including the wood) is braced so it can't move, such as with styrofoam blocks cut to size (but those will shed, so components need to be sealed to keep the bits out). Peanuts are nearly useless. Bubble wrap, if really stuffed in, seems to work fairly well. 

 

As to the exterior, I've had scopes wrapped in two layers of thin bubble wrap and two layers of heavy cardboard that were fine. 2" foam insulation and double cardboard has also worked well. And sometimes there have been sprung hinges or cracked corner joints. Whether there was damage to the box seems to depend on luck, and how sturdy the box is to begin with. Celestron advises packing as if you were planning to drop it 8' onto a cinder block. 

 

I get heavy duty moving boxes at Lowes and cut them to size. If something is big and delicate (more than an 815) I will double box with a layer of foam between. 

 

Shipping cost varies by distance in addition to weight and dimension. An 815 isn't that big. I recently paid around $42 to have a Meade 300, which is much larger, shipped from Ohio to Mass, but I used my own FedEx account, which I think is less expensive than paying at a shipping point. An 816 coming from CA, was around $100. 

 

Most of the scopes sent to me have had some damage to the interior of the box, and perhaps a little to the scope itself. In pretty much every case it was entirely repairable. The worst damage was around the holidays. I've had damage then with all the major carriers, although the USPS does seem a bit better. If you send it before November 1, you'll probably be fine. 

 

By the way, is that a Tasco 7TE mount that you have the Mayflower OTA on? It's interesting, since the 7TE was the only AOC 60x900 that I know of, and wasn't aware that Mayflower used the same OTA. My 816 is the same as the Tasco 10TE OTA, so I guess it makes sense. But the mounts are quite different for the 76mm models. 

 

Chip W. 


Edited by ccwemyss, 09 September 2019 - 09:35 PM.

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#7 mikenoname

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:31 AM

Thanks everyone for your input! It is much appreciated. If I don't have any luck selling it locally, your posts will help give me the confidence to ship it, hopefully.

 

 

By the way, is that a Tasco 7TE mount that you have the Mayflower OTA on? It's interesting, since the 7TE was the only AOC 60x900 that I know of, and wasn't aware that Mayflower used the same OTA. My 816 is the same as the Tasco 10TE OTA, so I guess it makes sense. But the mounts are quite different for the 76mm models.

 

I bought the GEM separately and don't have any idea what it came from. I just know it is a nice piece of engineering and works really well.



#8 mfalls

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:36 AM

If you use UPS Store have them inspect and approve your internal packing prior to shipment. Then pay to have them double box it. This is based on my limited shipping experience. The shipping insurance you buy is only applicable to them losing your package unless you get prior approval of your packing or pay them to pack.  I would not trust them to do the internal packing.

 

https://www.cloudyni...nial/?p=8909178


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#9 mikenoname

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 02:51 PM

Good to know, thanks!



#10 bremms

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 08:22 PM

Too expensive to ship.. Keep them or give them away..  Sure goes for C8's


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#11 ccwemyss

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:31 PM

For some people, like me, who live in an area where nearly every "local" pickup is at least two hours away and often double that (meaning an entire day spent), shipping and dealing with damage is just a cost of getting classic scopes. I don't mind it when it means a student will have a special experience. Scopes from the west coast to here generally run about $100, and from the midwest, around $50 to ship, which is much cheaper than giving up a day of work.

 

All the reflectors in the loaner set were local. But only one refractor was. 

 

Chip W. 


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#12 mikenoname

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 12:50 PM

For some people, like me, who live in an area where nearly every "local" pickup is at least two hours away and often double that (meaning an entire day spent), shipping and dealing with damage is just a cost of getting classic scopes.

 

As you can see from my location, I am in exactly the same situation. Living remotely, while great for astronomy, is not so great for dealing with moving stuff along that is prohibitive to ship. Stuck between a rock and a dark place. ;)




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