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Nearly added to the family!

Paul M

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We're up in Cumbria yet again and drove into Penrith today.

While passing the British Heart Foundation shop I spotted a small refractor in the window display.

It was a Helios 80mm short focal length scope on an EQ1(?) mount.

The slow motion knobs were absent as was the accessory tray/leg spreader on the tripod. 

There was a 2x Barlow and an eyepiece in the focuser. 

It looked lightly used with no visible damage. I could see the objective through the solar aperture mask and it looked spotless.

I asked how much and the shop assistant explained that they didn't know. They were doing some internet research. They had more bits for it in the store room. I didn't trouble them too much. I got the feeling that it'll not be toy money. Which is ok, they are there for a purpose but I only wanted something to play with.

I couldn't find any second hand examples online but new they go for about £120-£140.

If it's still there tomorrow I'll ask again :)

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I popped in the shop again on Saturday, giving them a full day to think about it, and they still couldn't give me a figure.

Not back there until next Friday. I'll maybe ask again if it's still there.

Like I said though, I just wanted to play. Not looked through a refractor since my old boyhood 60mm from Dixons went out on permanent loan about 25 years ago!

The shop will now be thinking that there is a lot of interest in it!

Maybe there is? :)

Edited by Paul M
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  • 3 weeks later...

Just for closure I asked the price again this morning and was told £120.

Good luck to them but as Duncan Banatyne would say: "for that reason I'm out!"

It would have been nice for the eclipse outreach session I have planned for work on the 20th March.l :)

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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Maybe you should have made them an offer while they were still dithering?  (Or maybe you still could in a few days, as they're unlikely to sell it for that.)

For buying or selling almost anything second hand, I take half the new price as a sensible starting point.  If it's damaged or has bits missing, go down from the halfway mark.  If I'm selling, obviously I'd like to get more, but then I'll use Ebay and let the market decide.  If the charity shop wants to sell to passing trade, unless they get lucky, I think they'll need to cut the price.

I've never seen anything optical that would interest me in a charity shop.  But some years ago, I noticed my local Oxfam had a lady's coat in pure cashmere, vey nice.  At that time, such a coat new would cost about £400.  The shop had priced it at £49.  I waited a week or two, it didn't sell, and they reduced the price to £16.  At that point I bought it.  (And still have it.)


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My thoughts exactly, but I still wouldn't have paid £60 :)  An offer of £20 would not have been taken seriously.

They'll be happy to keep hold of it until someone who doesn't know what it is buys it as a present for a loved one.

The charity shops in the area do seem to do well on their prices. We often see things at prices comparable to the new price.

The charity shops back home do well to get 50p for anything and they still get barterers at that!

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