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Covid situation and telescope price increase

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31 replies to this topic

#1 Rif-Raf

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:11 AM

Hello everyone, 

 

I have a simple question, for which I wasn't able to find an answer online: it seems that since covid 19 sanitary situation and lockdowns around the world, people got an increased interest for astronomy at home.

As the sanitary situation also had an impact on production in Asia, I was wondering if it had an impact on telescope prices ?

 

On youtube videos I've been watching recently, telescope prices indicated as references are nowhere near prices listed in stores. I have to admit that most of videos I've been watching are made by American or Canadian astrofans, and I live in Europe, so import taxes could also explain the price differences, but as an example, I've seen Celestron 8se reported around $1000 in videos, whereas price tags in Europe shops are closer to 1700/1800€ !

 

I was plannig on buying a Celestron EVO 8, but I'll probably wait for vaccin spread and/or black friday before pulling the trigger then...

 

Thanks a lot for your feedback !


 

#2 daddymouse

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:46 AM

I tend to believe that MANY people, products and industries are using COVID as an excuse to raise their prices, whether they need to or not.  Example:  lumber.  Is there a tree shortage that I don't know about?


Edited by daddymouse, 13 April 2021 - 08:47 AM.

 

#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:49 AM

Yes prices have gone up considerably with COVID19. I have heard stores are reporting 2-4x the sales they normally get. Combine that with even a modest drop in production and you get a major imbalance of supply and demand. So yes prices are up, and just about anything good is sold out.

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#4 SeattleScott

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:51 AM

I tend to believe that MANY people, products and industries are using COVID as an excuse to raise their prices, whether they need to or not. Example: lumber. Is there a tree shortage that I don't know about?

People are stuck at home so they are doing more home improvement projects.
 

#5 Jim Haley

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:59 AM

There is definitely no shortage of trees.  However, the lumber supply chain (harvesters, sawmills, transport etc) is limited especially relative to the large increase in demand.  This is probably true of telescopes, autos, etc as well.  Supply chain changes have changed since covid  and demand for particular items have gone through the roof (while demand for others dropped off a cliff).  

 

The end result is increased cost for producers and transport plus shortages of many items.  That is why we are seeing an increase telescope price increases.  


 

#6 sg6

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:12 AM

Question has come up a couple of times and there may be a delay in some products but personally I cannot see a reason for the apparent drastic shortage.

 

I attend 2 clubs and people talk via email and zoom, Neither have reported increase of enquiries, which I would have half thought would be the first indication of more participants. Especially at one of them.

 

One of the clubs I sort of pass through and never spoken to any people asking about scopes or use or anything.

 

I ordered a scope, WO ZS81. It arrived a bit early. So no problem there.

 

People say shortge of shipping, again no news has ever suggested any such thing.

 

My expectation is a combination of monetery and politics. And it will take a time for the final situation to become stable so that retailers and importers so they can see a path through - and not end up with goods they cannot sell at some profit.

 

When things are unsure or undefined then often what happens is the situation is waited out. In this case they have had Coronavirus to place the blame on. And it may have contributed but not I expect to the extent often quoted.

 

Here (UK) one problem seems not that all items are unavailable but the somewhat vague rules on importing now. The onus is on the shipper/delivery to collect taxes and they are making money out of it. Everything is charged, at the highest rate and then an administration charge is added. And that is if they get it right.


 

#7 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:05 AM

Yes, prices appear to be up 10-30%, but as I mentioned in another thread, they’ve fallen dramatically. I found 2 ads one from Sears for a 3” inch refractor from 1965, price in inflation adjusted dollars ~$1,700 and a 6 inch cat from the same era ~4,500 in inflation adjusted dollars. The advances in technology make today’s scopes vastly better, whether it be go to or apochromatic lenses it’s amazing how much more you get.


 

#8 ShaulaB

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:13 AM

It is simply economics. The law of supply:and:demand is demonstrated here.

I feel sorry for people just coming into astronomy. Lots of parents thought getting a telescope would help make their kids smarter.

Personally, I need more time and clearer skies to use my gear rather than more gear.
 

#9 Chris Johnson

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:46 AM

High point scientific has the 8SE @$1199.00, Telescope Express has the 8SE @ euro 1504.00 which = 1440.euro for the scope plus 64.00 euro for shipping and duty to Europe. Of course you have to add the VAT tax to get the final euro price. These prices are in line with what I have seen over the past few years. My 8SE was $1199.00 2 years ago when I purchased it.


Edited by Chris Johnson, 13 April 2021 - 10:47 AM.

 

#10 DSOGabe

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:57 AM

I estimate that my grocery bill has increased by about 20% at least. Everything has been affected. 


 

#11 SeattleScott

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 11:16 AM

High point scientific has the 8SE @$1199.00, Telescope Express has the 8SE @ euro 1504.00 which = 1440.euro for the scope plus 64.00 euro for shipping and duty to Europe. Of course you have to add the VAT tax to get the final euro price. These prices are in line with what I have seen over the past few years. My 8SE was $1199.00 2 years ago when I purchased it.

And somewhat shockingly it is actually in stock.
 

#12 BromoGNU

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 12:22 PM

[...]  Supply chain changes have changed since covid  and demand for particular items have gone through the roof (while demand for others dropped off a cliff).  

 

The end result is increased cost for producers and transport plus shortages of many items.  That is why we are seeing an increase telescope price increases.  

Ain't that the truth!  Even carmakers are having to idle plants, not because of poor demand, but because of part shortages.  Anything electronics or electornics adjascent is sucking wind and supply lines are becoming much more spotty.  From the news this morning it might take years to sort out.


 

#13 dbrb

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 12:36 PM

I wrote the parent company of this forum less than two weeks ago and they reported that they did not have "any" telescopes for sale.  Shopping around that seemed to be the consensus of every vendor. Almost nothing for sale.

 

Around here it is close to business as usual. We wear masks if going into a business but no one else does.


 

#14 BromoGNU

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 12:39 PM

I wrote the parent company of this forum less than two weeks ago and they reported that they did not have "any" telescopes for sale.  Shopping around that seemed to be the consensus of every vendor. Almost nothing for sale.

 

Around here it is close to business as usual. We wear masks if going into a business but no one else does.

I have found a couple listed as "in stock" and no, not really.  But I did manage to get VERY lucky and got the C6-R from the parent company, I realize now that I basically won the lottery! shocked.gifrockon.gif Telescope.gif


Edited by BromoGNU, 13 April 2021 - 01:27 PM.

 

#15 spkerer

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 02:15 PM

I tend to believe that MANY people, products and industries are using COVID as an excuse to raise their prices, whether they need to or not.  Example:  lumber.  Is there a tree shortage that I don't know about?

No tree shortage, but there is a lumber shortage.

 

Similarly to how there's no silica shortage, but there's a telescope shortage.

 

It's not the raw materials, it is the processing and transportation of those materials into a final product that's been affected by COVID.


 

#16 BromoGNU

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 03:29 PM

Around here it is close to business as usual. We wear masks if going into a business but no one else does.

I will add a "get your vaccine as soon as you are able" to that general idea, too.  Both mask wearing, social distancing and vaccination are the 3 legs of the stool !
 


 

#17 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 05:59 PM

There is no question that the pandemic has affected the supply and shipping of telescopes and other related items and the demand for such items.

https://www.highpoin...elays-statement

https://www.highpoin...covid-19-update


 

#18 Menarambo

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:32 PM

I will add a "get your vaccine as soon as you are able" to that general idea, too. Both mask wearing, social distancing and vaccination are the 3 legs of the stool !


Agreed. Sadly though, your last sentence seems to fly right over so many heads in this country....


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#19 Menarambo

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:34 PM

It's not the raw materials, it is the processing and transportation of those materials into a final product that's been affected by COVID.


I wonder how many telescopes destined for Europe got stuck around the Suez? :)


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#20 gnowellsct

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:41 AM

I estimate that my grocery bill has increased by about 20% at least. Everything has been affected. 

I haven't noticed grocery price increases.  My credit card breaks things into categories, these expenditures have been pretty constant on a monthly basis.  It is true that I haven't been eating out, so there has been some uptick in groceries and decline in restaurant charges.  


 

#21 Hax

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 05:18 AM

I think everyone else covered the reasonings and happenings of the world and supply chain.. I just wanted to say you can NEVER put a price on a lifelong hobby filled with wonder and passion. If a telescope is too expensive, just do what I did and save up for a few months and bite the bullet... you won’t regret it! Sometimes higher end gear might require a wait time because the scope needs to be assembled, or if something is on back order it can take a month(or few) to get the scope to you... but astronomy is a hobby of patience, and worth every penny and second you put into it!

Edited by Hax, 14 April 2021 - 05:20 AM.

 

#22 nebula24x

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 08:50 AM

I just got a z130 for the usual price of $200. Telescope sites were out of stock so i also checked Amazon a lot. They would have them from reseller for $400 (2x original price). Weeks went by and finally Amazon had about 10 in stock for $200 so jumped on it. The rest were quickly sold and resellers jacked up the price again.

 

Reminds me of console releases or hot Christmas toy where a few people will buy as many as they can then jack up the price.

 

Have to find one at price your ok with or be patient and check sites often. Could also order off telescope site even if not and stock and be on waitlist.


 

#23 dbrb

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 02:50 PM

The telescope we got was a bit more than what we are were looking for. Was hoping for one more complete with a mount but this way I get to make my own stuff which is always enjoyable. The sky will be there next week as well. 

 

Not sure if the vaccines are working out, as there are still cries for masks and social distancing in some areas. Usually it takes a couple of weeks for immunity to develop. So if you have a shot, wait a couple of weeks for immunity to develop, you shouldn't get sick. Every immunization that I have had worked that way.

 

When the vaccines become FDA approved I will consider it. Currently they are for emergency use only with no liability to the manufacturer if I, or my loved ones develop side effects from it.  

 

Our 3 legs of protection are: We keep our gate locked 24/7. Second, is our 7 aggressive dogs. The third is well frankly, the owners.  We have a fence around the property but know that fences are only deterrents to the law abiding.

 

I will add a "get your vaccine as soon as you are able" to that general idea, too.  Both mask wearing, social distancing and vaccination are the 3 legs of the stool !
 


 

#24 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 03:05 PM

The "just in time" supply and inventory systems share the blame.  Stores used to have substantial stock rooms and kept "back stock".  Maybe lessons are being learned.


 

#25 RaleighNC

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 12:29 AM

I tend to believe that MANY people, products and industries are using COVID as an excuse to raise their prices, whether they need to or not. Example: lumber. Is there a tree shortage that I don't know about?


Lumber yard shortage and tariffs on Canadian lumber. Many of the us lumber yards are Canadian owned. End the tariffs!
 


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