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Ebay - So what would you do?


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Hi All,

Just made a sale of some stuff in my garage which means I am very (very!) close to making a purchase.

My scope of choice is the SkyWatcher FlexTube 300P.

Shopping around I have come across this....

SKY-WATCHER SKYLINER 300P Flex-Tube Dobsonian Telescope | eBay UK

Drastically cheaper than either Rother Valley Optics or FLO (I feel such a heel for not giving these guys the business! :eek:).

What would you do? (I won't hold anything against you should there be negative repercussions from the purchase :))

Mark

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I'd give the order to FLO - you'll get expert help and a genuine warranty if there's any problem with it. The service you get is worth the bit extra. I don't like buying from "x"-bay shops cos they are usually just shifting boxes without knowing whats in them. If this is your first scope stick with well known suppliers is my advice :)

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That's a great choice of scope! A lot of aperture (future-proof) you just cannot be disappointed witht the performance.

Before buying it I would do more research and check other options (new and s/h) though - you will have loads to choose from within this budget.

I cannot agree with you regarding FLO - they are a good supplier :)

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Fleabay is a gamble at times and if something is too good to be true then it usually is

Sometimes worth a bit more to have someone you can talk to if it all goes wrong, ebay dont give a **** for the most part

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As good as FLO might be this is a significant reduction on price, and the seller has recent feedback for sales of telescopes/equipment.

Are you a gambler? because it will be a gamble, is it worth a gamble on that amount? Personally i would not buy it unless you can collect/inspect in person.

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The Seller does look like a Retail shop who also sells on eBay.

There are lots of very good and legitimate sellers on eBay who provide very good service.

The saving is good so id go for it, (it could be a chance that they have not updated there price due to recent price changes , its not uncommon for people to do so I bought a scope from a "respected" website and next time i looked the scope was more expensive however they delivered at the original price)

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If you're cautious, google him and get the phone number for the retail shop (which does appear to exist), then buy it over the phone. As always, use a credit (not debit) card to make the purchase. He has a number of things slightly cheaper than FLO, some the same and some more expensive (by the time you've added postage). You appear to have found a bargain with your particular item. I guess you could always ask FLO if they can price match.

As for collecting / inspecting in person - he's a dealer and it's a big heavy item. I bet it will be dropshipped directly from OVL, just as it would if you ordered from any other retailer.

Edited by dmahon
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Thank you all - that's really useful.

Here is what I am thinking are my options now.

  1. Make the 3 hour journey to Bungay, and do an inspection (for that money I would definitely do it!).
  2. I remember reading somewhere that FLO don't do discounts on SkyWatcher kit, but they may do me a deal on other stuff to make up a bundle (Collimation, a zoon lens etc).
  3. Then again I could ask Rother Valley the same.

Mark

Edited by UTMonkey
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  1. Make the 3 hour journey to Bungay, and do an inspection (for that money I would definitely do it!).

Chesterfield to Bungay is a 340m round trip. Assuming 40mpg, that's 8.5 gallons. that's £50-60 off the £160 saving straight away.

I don't know what your free time is worth, but I consider it worth more than my work time and that cancels out the other £100 easily.

Russell

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Just clicked 'offer history' ... if I'm reading this correctly, he has been getting offers on this item since last October? If the 'normal' retail price has gone up that much since then, that could explain how he can sell it so much cheaper than everyone else now?

Caveat emptor.

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I never buy anything over £50 on e-bay, been caught so many times. The only exception was a PDA, and that was after I had received the vendors phone number and spoken to him several times and felt comfortable with the deal.

Personally, I would purchase from Rother Valley / FLO for the reasons others have stated. Can't speak for FLO, but RVO normally don't charge extra for delivery on their scopes, and you will be guaranteed a brand new item out of the box. Plus both FLO and RVO no doubt offer excellent after service care, something I doubt you would get from an e-bay purchase.

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Just googled the person and it looks as if it's on the level. He has a shop and you can visit.

Appears that he does most of his selling via ebay as there is no shop on his web site.

Would be a lot easier if you were closer. Better make a full comparison of what is on offer at the various places as some seem to be auto some manual.

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go with the 250p flextube auto from FLO. You'll love having tracking and you'll be getting it from a great dealer, so win, win. Just think of the ease of use that tracking gives you, you can use higher magnification, you can move away for a cuppa tea and still come back to the same object! 100% better than push tracking, especially nudging a 300mm scope up a bit, across a bit, oops lost it, can't find it again!

Edited by sgazer
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Hi Russell,

I don't get down sarf much

Chesterfield to Bungay is a 340m round trip. Assuming 40mpg, that's 8.5 gallons. that's £50-60 off the £160 saving straight away.

I don't know what your free time is worth, but I consider it worth more than my work time and that cancels out the other £100 easily.

Russell

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FLO everytime, unless buying 2nd hand. Don't forget that FLO make this forum possible and can only do that by selling and staying in business!

That's why I feel a bit of a heel, but while I appreciate that FLO have the extra outlay to maintain this site, part of its reputation surely is dependent on the time and effort of you guys.

If your input wasn't there, the forum would eventually cease to exist.

I am a "supporter" of a popular electronics forum, what this means is that I made a decision that seeing that I would never be clever enough to be an active contributor I could at least donate some funds to keep it going (about 25 gbp a year), this is purely voluntary.

Just done a quick look around....

SkyWatcher Skyliner 300P FlexTube Dobsonian Telescope

Black Skyliner 300P FlexTube Dobsonian | Telescopes | Rother Valley Optics

Dobsonians - Skywatcher Skyliner 300P FlexTube Dobsonian

Right now the cheapest by 70 quid is Rother Valley, and I am certain that all three would provide a fine service so could you blame me?

Second hand though is a great idea, loads of 250's but not a lot of 300s coming through, slight caveat to this - it must be a flextube or my missus will have a fit.

Thanks again.

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go with the 250p flextube auto from FLO. You'll love having tracking and you'll be getting it from a great dealer, so win, win. Just think of the ease of use that tracking gives you, you can use higher magnification, you can move away for a cuppa tea and still come back to the same object! 100% better than push tracking, especially nudging a 300mm scope up a bit, across a bit, oops lost it, can't find it again!

Ahh, you missed the big "nudge" debate....

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