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#26 Nippon

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 08:54 AM

The irony here is scams like this rely on the victims capacity for dishonesty. So we see a way too good to be true price and our own desire for ill gotten gains kicks in and the scammer sets the hook. Yes we may be the victim of a scammer but to a certain extent we are victims of ourselves. Human nature we all have one.


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#27 Asbytec

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 09:15 AM

Well, we can sign up for their newsletter and get 10% off on your next scam.
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#28 SandyHouTex

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 09:58 AM

I always go with reputable, established dealers. Even if it ~costs more~ I'm perfectly happy to pay more... And you can always Google etc. companies. If you get no info, forget it. Reputable dealers will always pop up as --- reputable! Scammers will most often pop up as ... scammers! When in doubt --- forget it!   Tom

 

I always go with reputable, established dealers. Even if it ~costs more~ I'm perfectly happy to pay more... And you can always Google etc. companies. If you get no info, forget it. Reputable dealers will always pop up as --- reputable! Scammers will most often pop up as ... scammers! When in doubt --- forget it!   Tom

When someone explains to me why Americans are discriminated against when it comes to buying cameras or telescopes, I'll buy gray market if I can, and internationally if I have to.  An example, I wanted a Canon 5DSr about 2 years ago.  Here in America it's $3700 right now.  Gray market, $1570, and you know Canon and the gray market dealer are still making a profit.  A Nikon D850, normally $3300 here in America, now $2100.

 

The world is becoming a global market place.  With exchange rates and shipping, you can get a Takahashi telescope from Japan for $300 to $400 less than if you buy it here.  Why?  Frankly I think it's price fixing and that is illegal.


Edited by SandyHouTex, 02 October 2019 - 10:10 AM.

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#29 Auburn80

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 10:25 AM

When someone explains to me why Americans are discriminated against when it comes to buying cameras or telescopes, I'll buy gray market if I can, and internationally if I have to. An example, I wanted a Canon 5DSr about 2 years ago. Here in America it's $3700 right now. Gray market, $1570, and you know Canon and the gray market dealer are still making a profit. A Nikon D850, normally $3300 here in America, now $2100.

The world is becoming a global market place. With exchange rates and shipping, you can get a Takahashi telescope from Japan for $300 to $400 less than if you buy it here. Why? Frankly I think it's price fixing and that is illegal.


Maybe, maybe not. I would expect a US dealer to provide assistance and support; at least up to a point. There is a cost associated with that. How much I dont have a clue but it's there nonetheless.

Consider this: who to you call if there is a problem? The Japanese shop you ordered from?

Personally, I dont mind paying a modest premium for scopes like that.
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#30 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 10:39 AM

PayPal may get your money back, but how much stuff is scammer going to buy with your PayPal information? $95 might not be the point of the scam.

Granted after going through considerable hassle you might get all those charges erased. Ultimately the scammer gets free stuff and PayPal foots the bill, and you hopefully just get to deal with a big headache.

Scott

:waytogo:

 

To me, this is scary part, you're giving known scammers personal information. They may have no interest in that $95 and just want your information for another scam.

 

Jon


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#31 Mitrovarr

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 10:41 AM

Some international retailers probably provide fine support. Just because they're not US doesn't mean they aren't reliable companies.

European vendors probably don't even have a language barrier.

#32 SandyHouTex

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 10:50 AM

Maybe, maybe not. I would expect a US dealer to provide assistance and support; at least up to a point. There is a cost associated with that. How much I dont have a clue but it's there nonetheless.

Consider this: who to you call if there is a problem? The Japanese shop you ordered from?

Personally, I dont mind paying a modest premium for scopes like that.

I think manufacturers always have to support their products regardless of where they're sold.  Canon is a Japanese based company which sells globally and has support in all of the countries in which they sell their products.  Including the U.S.  I would be surprised if there is a separate line item in their budgets for support in say Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, Mexico, etc., etc..



#33 Auburn80

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 10:57 AM

Dont misunderstand.
I'm not saying that only US distributors provide good support. What one must consider are the logistics and cost. What happens if that TSA120 develops a focuser problem 6 months after you ordered it from Japan?

Oh, and Canon has a totally different business model plus their sales are several orders of magnitude higher than Tak.

Edited by Auburn80, 02 October 2019 - 11:01 AM.


#34 Boom

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 11:01 AM

I think manufacturers always have to support their products regardless of where they're sold. Canon is a Japanese based company which sells globally and has support in all of the countries in which they sell their products. Including the U.S. I would be surprised if there is a separate line item in their budgets for support in say Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, Mexico, etc., etc..


No, US camera distributors will not service gray market products. They track these through serials.

A scope is a scope, there aren't many moving parts to fail. I would buy the cheapest off the gray market all day. A highly mechanical device such as a camera body or camera lens on the other hand, is sometimes worth paying extra for the warranty and service.
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#35 TOMDEY

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 11:41 AM

General truism: Not entered into the equation >>> If one spend all his valuable time seeking out the absolutely positively lowest price... he will squander his time and effort, get (ironically) far less than he pays for... and develop a well-earned reputation as a miserly skinflint.    Tom

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#36 Skywatchr

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 12:27 PM

When someone explains to me why Americans are discriminated against when it comes to buying cameras or telescopes, I'll buy gray market if I can, and internationally if I have to.  An example, I wanted a Canon 5DSr about 2 years ago.  Here in America it's $3700 right now.  Gray market, $1570, and you know Canon and the gray market dealer are still making a profit.  A Nikon D850, normally $3300 here in America, now $2100.

 

The world is becoming a global market place.  With exchange rates and shipping, you can get a Takahashi telescope from Japan for $300 to $400 less than if you buy it here.  Why?  Frankly I think it's price fixing and that is illegal.

Apparently you've never been in business. Dealers have a lot of overhead in the form of the real estate they have their businesses in. And that means taxes and bills. Plus the employee expenses whom provide your support for an overseas produced product. They're not "free" to the business owner. Then the owners' own taxes in the form of "business" related taxes, fees, licensing, etc. Then the costs of their transportation, import duties and regulations all adds up and quite quickly.  That can easily gobble up that "$300 to $400" difference available to you when you buy direct. And yet, I suspect you would want the U.S. dealer to foot the expenses for "support" when they made nothing on the deal? (no offense intended, it's just the nature of it).

Gray market products generally have no manufacturer warranties whatsoever. And why would they? You might be buying a used item since it cannot be tracked by it's serial number through the authorized system.


Edited by Skywatchr, 02 October 2019 - 12:31 PM.

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#37 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 12:33 PM

This is mostly relevant to buying used. I’m sure there are some retirees checking Craigslist thirty times a day for deals. Ultimately if you add up all the time spent looking for deals and try to assign an hourly rate, it isn’t as great of a deal, especially if you add gas and time driving all over the greater metro area. But if you have the time, why not? Maybe it is sort of your hobby, seeking out deals on stuff. When you are on a fixed income, but have time, it might be the way to go.

With new stuff it is more about being patient and waiting for sales since pricing tends to be pretty consistent. Granted some premium Japanese stuff is cheaper direct from Japan. Bought an eyepiece that way once. But yeah the US dealer won’t support it. Probably not a problem for an eyepiece. Is it wrong to buy direct from Japan? Certainly not a crime. I think the issue is that if everyone did it, Tak wouldn’t have a US dealer. Ultimately Tak is still making money whether you buy direct from Japan or not. But they would rather you go through the US dealer. Personally I feel it is a question of do you want the better price or better support and customer service.

Scott

#38 fcathell

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 12:41 PM

I want to thank those for the pertinent information on this goof of mine (particularly Nicole Sharp) which I had interpreted as a price mistake from a "reputable" vendor. Admittedly I should have done some research prior to committing, however, since I used PayPal, I found out that I am fully covered if this is fraud. And for the self-righteous responses, well, I guess I'm just not as savy as you are. Must be my age.

 

Frank

Tucson


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#39 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 12:51 PM

When someone explains to me why Americans are discriminated against when it comes to buying cameras or telescopes, I'll buy gray market if I can, and internationally if I have to.  An example, I wanted a Canon 5DSr about 2 years ago.  Here in America it's $3700 right now.  Gray market, $1570, and you know Canon and the gray market dealer are still making a profit.  A Nikon D850, normally $3300 here in America, now $2100.

 

The world is becoming a global market place.  With exchange rates and shipping, you can get a Takahashi telescope from Japan for $300 to $400 less than if you buy it here.  Why?  Frankly I think it's price fixing and that is illegal.

You're paying for the warranty and support.  From what I read, specifically for Canon USA products, no authorized Canon repair shop will do any repairs on any Canon products without a valid product registration.  You cannot register non-USA gray-market Canon products for a Canon USA warranty or any Canon-authorized services in the USA.  This means if you need something like a professional sensor cleaning or any other technical repairs, you are in a bad situation.  It also means you cannot apply firmware updates from the Canon website, and you cannot access Canon software and other Canon services.  No one in the USA who has a working relationship with Canon will want to go near your unregistered gray-market camera.  But regional price fixing is in every industry, that's unfortunately why DVD region codes exist.  Just try to get a Sky-Watcher SolarQuest in the USA.


Edited by Nicole Sharp, 02 October 2019 - 12:59 PM.

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#40 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 01:17 PM

General truism: Not entered into the equation >>> If one spend all his valuable time seeking out the absolutely positively lowest price... he will squander his time and effort, get (ironically) far less than he pays for... and develop a well-earned reputation as a miserly skinflint.    Tom

I usually spend at least a day or two going through as many websites as I can to make sure I am always getting the best possible deal.  This encourages free-market competition between sellers to offer consumers the best deals.  In my experience this usually works out, and I often end up buying items from a large number of different online businesses, which is better for the economy than just getting everything from one place.  As a consumer though, I still have to make decisions on the trustworthiness of sellers versus getting a discount, and weighing in nonphysical attributes of the sale such as customer support, return policies, warranties, etc.  When trying to purchase from a seller I haven't done business with before, I'll look for an "about" page or a "company history" page to learn more about the company I am planning to make a purchase from.  A big red flag is if no company information is listed.  A reputable company in my opinion should have a phone number, an email address, and a physical address (even an e-business has to be licensed in some physical location to do business).  A good resource in the USA for evaluating companies is the Better Business Bureau.


Edited by Nicole Sharp, 02 October 2019 - 01:36 PM.

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#41 TOMDEY

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:11 PM

We amateurs are in good company >>>

 

Getting taken happens at all levels... excerpt here from p149 of Eric J. Chaisson's excellent book, The Hubble Wars, available (used hardcover) for $4, including free shipping, from AbeBooks! I highly recommend it!

 

https://www.abebooks... wars&kn=&isbn=

 

The EK VP mentioned there was a good friend and one of my premier mentors.

 

The old adage... ~You get what you pay for~ holds true. It may not be a law of physics... but it most certainly is an invariant of sociological economics.    Tom

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#42 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:12 PM

General truism: Not entered into the equation >>> If one spend all his valuable time seeking out the absolutely positively lowest price... he will squander his time and effort, get (ironically) far less than he pays for... and develop a well-earned reputation as a miserly skinflint.    Tom

 

One person's miserly skinflint is another person's wise and thrifty bargainer.

 

Another factor not entered into the equation:

 

This is a hobby.. One of my hobbies besides amateur astronomy is bargain hunting. The two go well together. I spend a fair amount of time window shopping on Astromart, Craigslist and Cloudy Nights but it's not wasted time, it's another enjoyable pastime.

 

Jon


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#43 photoracer18

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:28 PM

I think manufacturers always have to support their products regardless of where they're sold.  Canon is a Japanese based company which sells globally and has support in all of the countries in which they sell their products.  Including the U.S.  I would be surprised if there is a separate line item in their budgets for support in say Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, Mexico, etc., etc..

If you buy it from Asia that is where you have to send it for repair. The $400 you save maybe mainly import taxes and differences in the warranty. Canon and most makers of anything electronic won't locally honor grey-market items.


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#44 Mitrovarr

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:42 PM

I don't know. I think "You get what you pay for" is too reductive. More expensive stuff is generally better on average, but it's complicated. It fails in a number of situations.

1. Expensive stuff is often highly specialized. A $3000 triplet apochromat with a field flattener is not straightforwardly better than a $500 dobsonian. Better at its purpose, sure, but not better at everything a telescope can do.

2. The amount of money per unit improvement is not constant. At the very low end, stuff doesn't really work and you don't really get decent value for your money. For a while, returns on investment actually rise as you get something more and more fit for purpose. Then, at some point, returns decrease dramatically as you start spending a fortune to eke out every last bit of performance.

Or, to put it another way, a $200 telescope is more than twice as good as a $100 telescope. But a $10k telescope is probably not even twice as good as a $2k telescope, to say nothing of ten times.

3. Some things really are just a better value. And obviously paying higher prices for the same stuff doesn't make it better.
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#45 mclewis1

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:58 PM

Remember too that a little bit of that "local dealer/distributor overhead" is what is paying for all of us to use and enjoy this great website. 


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#46 GloP

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 06:12 PM

A good resource in the USA for evaluating companies is the Better Business Bureau.

Actually, speaking of scams, the BBB is one. Business can pay to get the rating they want and get bad reviews erased, and buisiness who don't want to pay the "protection money" get taken with a bad rating. BBB is a business itself, not a non profit and they use their leverage with the rating with all the might they can.


Edited by GloP, 02 October 2019 - 06:13 PM.

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#47 Haydon

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 10:21 PM

I want to thank those for the pertinent information on this goof of mine (particularly Nicole Sharp) which I had interpreted as a price mistake from a "reputable" vendor. Admittedly I should have done some research prior to committing, however, since I used PayPal, I found out that I am fully covered if this is fraud. And for the self-righteous responses, well, I guess I'm just not as savy as you are. Must be my age.

 

Frank

Tucson

Prepare for the robo calls.


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#48 gfstallin

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 02:28 AM

I want to thank those for the pertinent information on this goof of mine (particularly Nicole Sharp) which I had interpreted as a price mistake from a "reputable" vendor. Admittedly I should have done some research prior to committing, however, since I used PayPal, I found out that I am fully covered if this is fraud. And for the self-righteous responses, well, I guess I'm just not as savy as you are. Must be my age.

 

Frank

Tucson

An honest mistake that can happen at any age. We all have our moments of weakness.  

 

This "seller" is targeting a wide audience, but it misses some things. The reviews for the women's dresses, which are priced believably low, seem real. They feature minor grumbles about fit that real people would make, but half of them are from people with typically male names. That's a high percentage of male reviewers for women's clothing. I see similar issues with reviews on a major internet retailer's site, which suggests a number of manufacturers/sellers are paying for reviews on that website, or they are just making them up themselves. I once tracked reviews from a "Michelle" who wrote reviews in one day for a pillow she had just bought for her husband, pajamas she had just bought for her wife, and a dehumidifier she had just bought for her RV. It is quite possible "Michelle" had a husband in one state, a wife in another state, and moved into a humid RV when they found out about each other - standard country music fare. It just seemed a bit unusual.

 

Anyway, I digress; thinking about fake reviews always launches me up on my soapbox. The point is, no one in this thread is too savvy to fall for a scam, so don't feel too badly; I've fallen for at least a couple and likely others I still don't know about (the perfect scam). There will always be someone who will know how to exploit our momentary weaknesses quite perfectly. 

 

George


Edited by gfstallin, 03 October 2019 - 02:29 AM.

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#49 Old Man

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 02:39 AM

  Well, Frank may have run into a good deal, or not, we will all know in about a week. They said shipping times were 5-8 days I think. So Frank keep a lookout for a big double boxed delivery next week, and you know, we need pics or it didn't happen.waytogo.gif waytogo.gif

 

                Mike


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#50 SandyHouTex

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 08:39 AM

No, US camera distributors will not service gray market products. They track these through serials.

A scope is a scope, there aren't many moving parts to fail. I would buy the cheapest off the gray market all day. A highly mechanical device such as a camera body or camera lens on the other hand, is sometimes worth paying extra for the warranty and service.

I'm pretty sure that's only Nikon that does that.  I know for a fact, Canon will service their products wherever bought, but they may charge you a fee.

 

By the way, what if I lived in Japan last year, bought a Nikon camera and then moved to the U.S.?  Should I still have to send it back to Japan for service?  If so, that is unfair.


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