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Buying telescope online(worried about quality)

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#1 Star_Fish

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 12:39 AM

Hello everyone, I'm buying my first telescope and I think I'm going to go with the Celestron StarSense Explorer. I'm thinking of buying it from B&H(Amazon and Adorama's shipping rates are too high).

I read some reviews online for B&H and some of them talked about the product not arriving or arriving in bad condition, so I just wanted to ask if anyone here has bought internationally from B&H and if there were any problems with it.

Thank you.


Edited by Star_Fish, 20 September 2021 - 12:40 AM.


#2 YeloSub

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 01:03 AM

Not bought internationally from b&h, but have bought many things from camera too telescope equipment. I have always had a great experience with them.

I did have one item show up damaged and had no issues getting it returned and replaced.

#3 Sky Muse

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 01:30 AM

I've bought lots of things from B&H Photo, with everything having arrived in excellent condition, and that includes two telescope kits...

 

B&H Photo.jpg

 

But I live in the U.S.  Then, I don't think that anyone who frequents Cloudy Nights can guarantee that your purchase from B&H Photo will arrive safe and sound.  If you're unable to get the kit you want from the vendors in India, the UK, or continental Europe, then B&H Photo sounds to be your only choice, in that you have seemed to have narrowed it down to that vendor.

 

I will be hoping for the best for you.


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#4 TheUser

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 01:31 AM

why from B&H?



#5 AstroVPK

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 01:55 AM

B&H is a reputable vendor. That being said, they have no control over the scope over it ships and things do go wrong in transit on occasion. Ask them if they can offer you upgraded packaging or something and make it clear that the order is international...

#6 spereira

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 07:24 AM

First, let's all remember that the Vendor does not have any control over damage that might occur to the package while it it on its way to you, so complaints about equipment arriving with damage certainly may not be an issue with the Vendor.  There would only be an issue with the Vendor if they chose to ignore a delivery damage issue and leave the customer hanging.

 

I have purchased a telescope through Amazon, and a mount through B&H Photo.  

 

No problems at all with the order through Amazon, but I've had excellent customer support from Amazon on any issues I've had with other orders in the past.

 

The tripod box portion of my mount got a bit of damage during its trip to me, and I contacted B&H Customer Service.  They were attentive and professional.  I sent some photos prior to opening the box, which they acknowledged could be problematic and agreed that I may need to make a return if I find any damage.  As it turned out, I had no damage and all ended well.  My point here is the excellent support I received, and B&H was ready to have me make a return.

 

FWIW, I would completely recommend all three vendors that Star_Fish mentioned in the OP.

 

smp


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#7 Star_Fish

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 07:59 AM

First, let's all remember that the Vendor does not have any control over damage that might occur to the package while it it on its way to you, so complaints about equipment arriving with damage certainly may not be an issue with the Vendor.  There would only be an issue with the Vendor if they chose to ignore a delivery damage issue and leave the customer hanging.

 

I have purchased a telescope through Amazon, and a mount through B&H Photo.  

 

No problems at all with the order through Amazon, but I've had excellent customer support from Amazon on any issues I've had with other orders in the past.

 

The tripod box portion of my mount got a bit of damage during its trip to me, and I contacted B&H Customer Service.  They were attentive and professional.  I sent some photos prior to opening the box, which they acknowledged could be problematic and agreed that I may need to make a return if I find any damage.  As it turned out, I had no damage and all ended well.  My point here is the excellent support I received, and B&H was ready to have me make a return.

 

FWIW, I would completely recommend all three vendors that Star_Fish mentioned in the OP.

 

smp

Thank you for replying and yes, I realize that the damage to the product is not under the control of the vendor.

I was worried because there were many reviews online saying B&H shipped empty boxes(although it might be theft by the delivery?) and some had reviews saying the products never arrived, some have even said the customer support was racist? There are so many mixed reviews for this site.



#8 Dobs O Fun

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 08:09 AM

Thank you for replying and yes, I realize that the damage to the product is not under the control of the vendor.
I was worried because there were many reviews online saying B&H shipped empty boxes(although it might be theft by the delivery?) and some had reviews saying the products never arrived, some have even said the customer support was racist? There are so many mixed reviews for this site.


I have had good success with B and H. I had one item take a bit to ship.

Where are these reviews? Could you please share them?

Thanks

#9 vtornado

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 08:14 AM

This scope is available from Astronomics.   I am sure you will get better service from them, then a mega-corp store.


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#10 Star_Fish

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 08:46 AM

I have had good success with B and H. I had one item take a bit to ship.

Where are these reviews? Could you please share them?

Thanks

There are some bad reviews on TripAdvisor,

https://www.tripadvi...y_New_York.html

 

and

https://www.google.c...hphotovideo.com

 

Both these sites have an average rating of above 4.5/5, but most of the bad reviews are very descriptive, unlike the 5 star/4 star reviews which are mostly one-liners.



#11 Star_Fish

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 08:48 AM

This scope is available from Astronomics.   I am sure you will get better service from them, then a mega-corp store.

I suppose that would be true,

I checked out Astronomics and they do not have the scope in stock currently. I'll be buying the scope in the end of October, so hopefully by then they have it in stock.



#12 therealdmt

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 09:20 AM

Yeah, it would be cool to buy through Astronomics, our site’s sponsor, if they have the item in stock for a competitive price.

 

That said, I have bought internationally through B&H a few times over the years and have never had any problem whatsoever with any of my orders. YMMV



#13 JamesDuffey

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 09:46 AM

I have bought stuff from B&H and never had a problem. Just don’t expect to order from them on Shabbat.



#14 ny65

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 10:23 AM

I have ordered many things from B&H and have never had an issue in the items or packaging or shipping. Note that I'm right in "their backyard", in NY state, so YMMV. I have always been under the impression that they are a reputable vendor who have been in the business for a very long time.



#15 Delta608

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 10:35 AM

Thank you for replying and yes, I realize that the damage to the product is not under the control of the vendor.

I was worried because there were many reviews online saying B&H shipped empty boxes(although it might be theft by the delivery?) and some had reviews saying the products never arrived, some have even said the customer support was racist? There are so many mixed reviews for this site.

 "he store in nyc deserves a visit! It is sure! It has great deals, and a nice system in the ceiling as well! However I made an purchase online and I had a problem. They were very racist with me, just because I’m Brazilian... and the proudly says it is a store that speaks Portuguese etc... but with my problem nobody spoke Portuguese and the was very terrible to me. Be aware."

 

 Not quite sure, not speaking the language is racist...Geeez...These guys are the goto store ANYTHING photography...They do gazillion dollars a year in orders a few people are bound to get P-off for one reason or another...but racist, paaleeese....I have spent thousands of dollars with them, some with shipping snafu's, but I survived and they made good..Buy with confidence...Yes, Im a prior N.Y. er...


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#16 Star_Fish

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 11:12 AM

I have bought stuff from B&H and never had a problem. Just don’t expect to order from them on Shabbat

Is that a Jewish holiday? They are closed currently for another holiday



#17 Delta608

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 11:33 AM

Is that a Jewish holiday? They are closed currently for another holiday

  It is the Sabbath, Friday sundown to Saturday Sundown..It was Yom Kippur last Wednesday...Succos holiday from the 20th (Sept.) to the 29th I think...Sorts like the summer vacation...


Edited by Delta608, 20 September 2021 - 11:35 AM.


#18 Star_Fish

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 11:57 AM

  It is the Sabbath, Friday sundown to Saturday Sundown..It was Yom Kippur last Wednesday...Succos holiday from the 20th (Sept.) to the 29th I think...Sorts like the summer vacation...

Ah that makes sense.



#19 DSOGabe

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 12:21 PM

Thank you for replying and yes, I realize that the damage to the product is not under the control of the vendor.

I was worried because there were many reviews online saying B&H shipped empty boxes(although it might be theft by the delivery?) and some had reviews saying the products never arrived, some have even said the customer support was racist? There are so many mixed reviews for this site.

That sounds more like theft from the carrier. This happened a couple of time when my sister sent packages to my brother. Empty boxes arrived and he thought it was some kind of joke. Somewhere along the line, the boxes were opened by employees and the things were taken. They actually re-sealed the boxes and sent them on for delivery. She filed a claim but it could not be determined where in the chain this happened.


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#20 Delta608

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 02:05 PM

That sounds more like theft from the carrier. This happened a couple of time when my sister sent packages to my brother. Empty boxes arrived and he thought it was some kind of joke. Somewhere along the line, the boxes were opened by employees and the things were taken. They actually re-sealed the boxes and sent them on for delivery. She filed a claim but it could not be determined where in the chain this happened.

   Not beyond the possibility that.."Hey I thought you threw it in there.." 

Attached is their warehouse....Really...

 

 

https://petapixel.co...tore-in-the-us/

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  • warehouse.jpg

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#21 Dobs O Fun

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 12:45 AM

There are some bad reviews on TripAdvisor,
https://www.tripadvi...y_New_York.html

and
https://www.google.c...hphotovideo.com

Both these sites have an average rating of above 4.5/5, but most of the bad reviews are very descriptive, unlike the 5 star/4 star reviews which are mostly one-liners.

Thank you for sharing.

On TripAdvisor I noticed one particular negative review by "Love Your Neighbor". Seems like a contradiction. What I have always done is to look at th he comments and those with only one to very few contributions or all their contributions are negative I toss out.

I did have one order back to back for a filter. After it not being shipped fir a few days after my first order was received I cancelled. I figured I really could use another EP first so I cancelled and got a refund. Why they didn't ship? On chat they were short handed.

My first astronomical purchase was my dob which I found as an open box and a good price there at B and H. No complaints upon receipt.

Would I order from them again? YES.

Again review the reviews by the credibility of the reviewers. Some only review when they have a complaint. Some will complain and not give the vendor time to correct.

Edited by Dobs O Fun, 21 September 2021 - 12:45 AM.

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#22 Star_Fish

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 05:30 AM

   Not beyond the possibility that.."Hey I thought you threw it in there.." 

Attached is their warehouse....Really...

 

 

https://petapixel.co...tore-in-the-us/

I'm just worried because of the pandemic, they might have lower quality or unusable products in their stock which they might ship, but I'm quite sure that they won't as they are a reputed vendor, but then again, I've been saving up the money for about a year now and I'm just extremely anxious about the purchase



#23 Chris Johnson

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 06:30 AM

Celestron has 10 dealers in India. Why not buy from one of them?



#24 Star_Fish

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 07:20 AM

Celestron has 10 dealers in India. Why not buy from one of them?

I couldn't find any that shipped to Sri Lanka(where I'm from), if you know any, please share



#25 Sky Muse

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 02:21 PM

Have you tried the vendors in Australia?


Edited by Sky Muse, 21 September 2021 - 02:21 PM.

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