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Prices up!

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#51 teashea

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:44 PM

Last fall I sourced a thin wall aluminum tube from the local metal outlet. With the local outlet closed to foot traffic, I needed to get my order shipped from two states away. The material cost was $250 and the shipping cost $1200. Needless to say, I held off on my order. Plan B is to show up at the distribution center this summer with a trailer and a much larger order.

 

My black friday deal was a $100 binocular discounted to $29. Shipping was $25. I still saved money from the original price. Sometimes, you just have to look at the situation in a particular way to see the good side. 

Holy bananas    



#52 teashea

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:46 PM

Free shipping is going to disappear over the next few months. Shipping costs have increased 20-30% over the last 6 months and there is no way for retailers to recoup that. I agree with the poster above, it is now cheaper to have something shipped from Japan or Europe than it is to ship within the United States for some items.

 

COVID has changed a lot of things and international shipping capacity is down while demand is skyrocketing. This is somewhat due to the fact that international haulers are prioritizing shipments, especially to manufacturers here that are desperate for parts and willing to pay a premium.

 

Lastly, there is unprecedented demand for many luxury items. One large retailer said recently that demand generally over the last month has been greater than any other month on record and they cannot keep up, manufacturers cannot make product quickly enough to supply retailers and many are facing parts shortages which limit their expansion.

 

I fully expect prices to jump at least 20% across the board in the next 3-4 months plus the shipping charges discussed above.

I think free shipping is here to stay in most cases.  It is a very attractive thing to many purchasers.  The shipping cost is added in to the price, as always.


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#53 teashea

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:47 PM

That's a serious problem. My rule is to buy stuffs from telescope retailers as much as possible. Likewise, for other stuffs, I try to use local stores instead of amazon even though amazon is cheaper in many cases. If we keep using amazon and no more local retailers, it will be customer's loss eventually. 

It is efficiency.  Amazon wins.  Things change.  That is the way it should be.  



#54 StarAlert

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:58 PM

For me, I'm tired of driving around trying to find someone who has what I'm looking for in stock. I can't count how many times I've driven to a local retailer only to be told they don't have it in stock but they can order it for me... I just shake my head, drive home, and order it myself. Sometimes, I have it ordered before I even get home. 

 

It is efficiency.  Amazon wins.  Things change.  That is the way it should be.  



#55 bandazar

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:07 PM

Yeah, I noticed the inflation too.  If it weren't for the fact that I needed to clear up some space in order to move I wouldn't be selling anything right now.  But I have to clear up some stuff to make some space, so I'm forced to sell at least some my stuff.

Shipping prices are crazy.  It's not just the astronomy market either.  Other things I've been selling have been going up as well.


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#56 Steve C.

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 11:58 AM

Chinese Yuan is about 20% higher in relation to the USD than a year ago. 


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#57 teashea

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 07:24 PM

Priority mail flat rate is the just about only way I do it anymore. Three out of the last five telescopes I’ve sold have been thru local pickup or midway meetup, one I had to resort to parting out, and with the the other, the buyer paid shipping all the way to Europe, which was extremely expensive. The cost of shipping is the principle reason why I curtailed my pattern of buy-and-try with telescopes. Also, I saw the writing on the wall a couple of years ago and underwent a drastic cutback in the number of telescopes I had just because I realized how hard it would be to sell them in the future with continually rising shipping costs.

It is quite strange.  I have purchased five telescopes from other countries (I am in the US) recently.  The shipping was very reasonable  -  DHL - had all but one two days after shipping.  Three of them had no duty charge.  Germany, Japan and China.  


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#58 Douglas Matulis

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 10:05 AM

Free shipping is going to disappear over the next few months. Shipping costs have increased 20-30% over the last 6 months and there is no way for retailers to recoup that. I agree with the poster above, it is now cheaper to have something shipped from Japan or Europe than it is to ship within the United States for some items.

 

COVID has changed a lot of things and international shipping capacity is down while demand is skyrocketing. This is somewhat due to the fact that international haulers are prioritizing shipments, especially to manufacturers here that are desperate for parts and willing to pay a premium.

 

Lastly, there is unprecedented demand for many luxury items. One large retailer said recently that demand generally over the last month has been greater than any other month on record and they cannot keep up, manufacturers cannot make product quickly enough to supply retailers and many are facing parts shortages which limit their expansion.

 

I fully expect prices to jump at least 20% across the board in the next 3-4 months plus the shipping charges discussed above.

Maybe the increased shipping costs will help those brick and mortar stores that don't have heavy on-line sales to do better.  I just purchased a printer I was going to order from either Canon or B&H.  Canon had high shipping costs, B&H was still free shipping.  I think it is true that free shipping will either disappear or will be reflected in the rampant price increases we are/will experience going forward.  That said, I decided to make the 45 minute drive to a local camera store and buy the printer.  Of course, I will probably never have that option with telescopes and astronomy related stuff where I live, but I was happy to support the smaller local guy and will continue whenever possible.  I thought on-line sales tax would help the smaller local guys, but its so hard to justify the local guys with the convenience of on-line shopping and free delivery.  My 1 cent worth...


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#59 Sarkikos

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 07:11 AM

I could see the end of free shipping from vendors in the very near future, and I wouldn't blame them. I've already had to pay shipping from a couple of places that had an item that wasn't carried by Astronomics, and wondered how long  until all astro dealers follow that trend. 

 

An example of shipping costs; last week I sold a 48" Orion soft case and included shipping in my price of $70. Not wanting to fold it, I put it in a flat 49" long box and took it to FedEx. The price to ship it from Florida to Texas via FedEx Ground was $60, and it couldn't have weighed much more than 5 pounds. USPS wanted $53 for Parcel Post, or whatever they call it now.  I ended up folding it into a square box and sent it Priority Mail for $15. 

This is why I have a garage and house full of scopes and accessories.  In many cases if I sell them, it's not worth the cost to ship them.

 

Mike



#60 Retired Dave

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 09:56 AM

I shipped a 29 lb box from SC to Oregon last week via UPS for $156!!  



#61 alphatripleplus

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 02:16 PM

This is why I have a garage and house full of scopes and accessories.  In many cases if I sell them, it's not worth the cost to ship them.

 

Mike

You are not the only one in that situation.wink.gif


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#62 George N

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 08:11 AM

This is why I have a garage and house full of scopes and accessories.  In many cases if I sell them, it's not worth the cost to ship them.

 

Mike

That's why star party swap meets were invented! The Stellafane swap meet is the granddaddy - and would be the place to go to sell, but competition for the camping spaces right next to it is fierce.

 

 There is also 'swap meet' and 'for sale' action at Black Forest and Cherry Springs - and I'm sure most other star parties, big and small.

 

Finally - hopefully 'real' NEAF will be back next Spring. I think as much sales activity goes on in the parking lot as inside!

 

Personally - I've sold some rather big and expensive items just by listing them as "pick up at Stellafane" - "pick up at NEAF" - etc.



#63 Sarkikos

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 08:25 AM

That's why star party swap meets were invented! The Stellafane swap meet is the granddaddy - and would be the place to go to sell, but competition for the camping spaces right next to it is fierce.

 

 There is also 'swap meet' and 'for sale' action at Black Forest and Cherry Springs - and I'm sure most other star parties, big and small.

 

Finally - hopefully 'real' NEAF will be back next Spring. I think as much sales activity goes on in the parking lot as inside!

 

Personally - I've sold some rather big and expensive items just by listing them as "pick up at Stellafane" - "pick up at NEAF" - etc.

Any of those would be a long haul for me.  

 

Mike


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#64 George N

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 10:46 AM

Any of those would be a long haul for me.  

 

Mike

Yes but..... there must be similar star parties, popular 'dark sky' observing sites, or 'big astro clubs' in your area too - where you could set up a 'for sale' table.



#65 Sarkikos

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 12:54 PM

Maybe.  My closest local group disbanded about a year ago.  But I don't go to star parties.  I moved to a dark area last year, so I make my own star parties at home.  grin.gif    

 

Any way, thanks for the idea.  I'll keep it in mind when I get an urge to sell most of my hoard.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 11 June 2021 - 08:07 PM.


#66 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 11:54 AM

I mentioned prices going up in another post, so instead of saying "I told you so" I will use the version Dr. Sheldon Cooper made up, "I informed you thusely, I so informed you thusely!".

 

So the question all along should not have been "how much will prices rise" but rather "how long will they continue to rise?".

 

Side note: Every time I watch any kind of disaster movie and a scene is shown where a large container ship somewhere at sea is hit by a rouge wave and capsises which leads to most if not all the containers are "lost to the deep" I cringe and think there's more amateurs who will not be receving their telescopes any time soon (I realize that the movie is a work of fiction, but still...).

 

Hmmm, I wonder if there would be a future in companies specializing in Container salvage?

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


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#67 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 03:01 PM

I mentioned prices going up in another post, so instead of saying "I told you so" I will use the version Dr. Sheldon Cooper made up, "I informed you thusely, I so informed you thusely!".

 

So the question all along should not have been "how much will prices rise" but rather "how long will they continue to rise?".

 

Side note: Every time I watch any kind of disaster movie and a scene is shown where a large container ship somewhere at sea is hit by a rouge wave and capsises which leads to most if not all the containers are "lost to the deep" I cringe and think there's more amateurs who will not be receving their telescopes any time soon (I realize that the movie is a work of fiction, but still...).

 

Hmmm, I wonder if there would be a future in companies specializing in Container salvage?

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan

How long can telescopes and mounts last at the bottom of the ocean?  question.gif

 

Mike



#68 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 10:57 PM

Good question. Any chance that the containers are water tight and pressure proof?

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan



#69 Terra Nova

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 11:49 AM

It is quite strange.  I have purchased five telescopes from other countries (I am in the US) recently.  The shipping was very reasonable  -  DHL - had all but one two days after shipping.  Three of them had no duty charge.  Germany, Japan and China.  

Expense is always relative to the sum in one’s purse (or wallet). Many of us older hobbyists are living on fixed or nearly fixed incomes which can make us acutely aware of price increases. Inflation can be a worrisome topic.


Edited by Terra Nova, 14 June 2021 - 12:19 PM.

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#70 Cali

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 04:47 PM

The Orion 150mm Maksutov-Cass price new went up $50 bucks over night. It had been $599.99 for years, and just jumped $50 bucks. I guess that was inevitable, still an 8.3% price hike is a pretty big bump. Tariffs I guess contributed the most, followed be decreased supply and increased demand. Just for reference: The Current Annual Rate of Inflation in the U.S. for the 12 months ending in February 2021 is 1.68%.

Here's the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (2021 Basic Revision 4). Its set up to take you to Heading/Subheading 9005 which covers telescopes/binoculars, etc.

 

- Cal



#71 Retired Dave

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 07:11 PM

The Orion 150mm Maksutov-Cass price new went up $50 bucks over night. It had been $599.99 for years, and just jumped $50 bucks. I guess that was inevitable, still an 8.3% price hike is a pretty big bump. Tariffs I guess contributed the most, followed be decreased supply and increased demand. Just for reference: The Current Annual Rate of Inflation in the U.S. for the 12 months ending in February 2021 is 1.68%.

Terra,

Did you see Orion’s prices for the 150 and 180 maks from last week?


Edited by Retired Dave, 18 July 2021 - 08:08 PM.

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#72 CHASLX200

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 05:50 AM

I shipped a 29 lb box from SC to Oregon last week via UPS for $156!!  

This is why i got out of the game. I will never buy a scope that is not local or sell unless it is pickup only.



#73 Terra Nova

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 10:29 PM

Terra,

Did you see Orion’s prices for the 150 and 180 maks from last week?

Yep! 150 is now $699 and the 180 is $1299! Compared to last year the 150 is up $100 and the 180 something like $200!


Edited by Terra Nova, 20 July 2021 - 10:16 AM.

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#74 treadmarks

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 11:41 PM

I'm just happy I have some good quality gear. I am definitely regretting some missed opportunities though. I can remember some really good deals and I doubt prices will be coming back down any time soon.



#75 Bill Barlow

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 11:14 AM

Yep! 150 is now $699 and the 180 is $1299! Compared to last year the 150 is up $100 and the 180 something like $200!

Still not outrageously expensive when compared to the C6 at $699.  The 6” Meade MAK is $779 but you get a finder scope with it.  It will cost a little bit more to buy new from here on out.

 

Bill




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