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NGC 1502

Used kit......just a comment.......

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Hi everyone.   Just a thought here, and if you don’t agree, that’s fine, I’ll understand........👍

As you know, there’s loads of used astronomy kit for sale, from various online sources. Much of it seems to stick around unsold for ages.   I fully get that folks want to obtain the best price they can, so they can release funds for whatever.  But the other side of that is we want to buy stuff for a great price for us.

In a world awash with second hand stuff, it seems to me that there’s only one way to make our advert stand out and get it sold, and that’s with a lower price than we would really like to get.  A lower price will hopefully bring a quicker sale.

I wouldn’t want to see “a race to the bottom” we want a fair price for both sides to the deal.   A “fair price” is of course a matter of opinion.   Several years ago many said that a fair price was around 70% of the new price. Much more than that and most would say it’s better and safer to buy new, with a guarantee, and with many dealers the option to return for a refund.

It could be I’m biased. Being retired for a long while, no mortgage, no debts and adequate pensions ( worked hard for them !! ) I’m financially stable.   I realise that lots of you are not so fortunate, lots of bottomless pits for your money, and many desires you’d like to own, so it’s a struggle.

So feel free to agree or disagree ( nicely please 🙂) to the above regarding lower prices and kit unsold as a consequence of higher prices, or shoot me down in flames 🔥 if you wish..........

Cheers from Ed.

 

 

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My view is that it's a small market, kit is effectively a "luxury" and can cost a good deal whether it's new or used.  Quite probably it's also a slightly "seasonal" market.  Buying new (to oneself) gear is therefore often planned some time in advance meaning the number of potential buyers for a given item at a given time might be quite small.  So even at a relatively low price, some things might take a fair while to sell.

James

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Posted (edited)

It's day its a buyers market rather than a sellers. If the movement of products is dictated by the buyers then the price of the items will have to reflect that or the buyers will go elsewhere. Now more than ever its pretty easy to do an almost exhaustive search of all available products at all price points in a couple of hours. People will pay a premium for well cared for or unusual or rarer products that have providence but generally the price's picked by the sellers along the lines of "what I think its worth" or "I'm not letting it go for x cos I paid y for it and I think its worth much more than that" are the one's that don't shift.

We bought a campervan in the summer and had the same issue (but in reverse!) as buyers. The variability of prices of vehicles was in many case's driven by the sentimentality of the seller rather than a brutal appraisal of the vehicle's real world value. All you could do was look at dealer prices and use them as a benchmark for scrutinising the private vehicles. 

But it's a small market and as its a hobby 99% of sales are probably an offset of guilt vs desire! If you saw a used telescope that you really wanted sell for 40% of its rrp then you may be more likely to hang on a couple months in case another comes up at the same price!

Edited by MimasDeathStar

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Posted (edited)

Second hand market is very helpful to us astronomers (even tempting, I might say - who hasn't grabbed that super bargain just because it was a bargain?). Almost all of my gear is second hand or display items, but then I am not too fussy about that odd dust speck or scratch, as long as the gear delivers. I think 60% of the RRP is pretty decent, but when I sell something bought already second hand, I always give an additional 10-30%, even though I could sell for what it cost me or even more.

Edited by R26 oldtimer
Correct autocorrect
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Most (85% ?) of my kit was bought on the used market. Without that I would not have been able to afford what I have in all honesty. I tend to look for a used price (assuming the item is in excellent condition) of around 60% of the retail price. Occasionally I've found bargains for 50% of retail and very occasionally I've pushed my limit to 70% of retail for a hardly used or hard to acquire item.

I've noticed that items on the used market are hanging around longer these days. Perhaps there has been some uncertainty around regarding investment in hobbies ?. Perhaps a newer generation of astronomers prefer to buy new ?. Hard to tell. I rarely buy items that have electronics within them - if I did I might well be more tempted by the warranty that newly purchased equipment comes with.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, John said:

Most (85% ?) of my kit was bought on the used market. Without that I would not have been able to afford what I have in all honesty. I tend to look for a used price (assuming the item is in excellent condition) of around 60% of the retail price. Occasionally I've found bargains for 50% of retail and very occasionally I've pushed my limit to 70% of retail for a hardly used or hard to acquire item.

I've noticed that items on the used market are hanging around longer these days. Perhaps there has been some uncertainty around regarding investment in hobbies ?. Perhaps a newer generation of astronomers prefer to buy new ?. Hard to tell. I rarely buy items that have electronics within them - if I did I might well be more tempted by the warranty that newly purchased equipment comes with.

 

 

I agree with John, Same situation here 75% of my goodies bought from here at SGL and "Never a problem" And at a price that was reasonable, Also I know that the gear has been well looked after. Even had stuff sent to me to try before sending funds now that is honesty/trust between members also giving stuff away for free to help out a fellow member.

Andy

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I'm all for buying from the used market, and may be I've been very fortunate, but I can't remember ever being sold a pup. I may look at things through slightly rose tinted spectacles, but I feel the vast majority of astronomers are a genuinely honest bunch who look after their precious kit. I don't use much in the way of electronics, so there's not much danger of me ending up with a faulty item, which may be no fault of the seller. Out of all the eyepieces I use, 17 in total, only six have been bought new, yet all are mouthwatering jewels. I must have saved a small fortune buying used.

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I do buy and sell alot of kit second hand and have only had one or two items which have been disappointing. I've been able to try loads of kit out which I would never have been able to without the used market for comparitively little cost. I too notice that kit is hanging around longer, and suspect that new people coming into the hobby with perhaps different experiences of buying kit on FB and eBay may put more pressure on pricing.

I tend to apply a 65% rule just as a starting point, then adjust accordingly depending on how urgently I want to sell something or how much I want to buy it! Sometimes I would rather keep the item than drop below a certain level, but will put that I'm open to offers if I am. I confess that eBay has been more successful for my selling than SGL or ABS recently. Not my preferred route but will go where the buyers are ultimately. I'll always offer here first though.

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Not too much to add to above. Most of my gear is second hand and has been good and I've sold good items at about the 60% price mark. Fair play both ways. There have been items I have tried to sell but have had no takers even though its been a good item at a more than fair price. Perhaps the market sometimes gets swamped by too many bargains when there is less money around.

I have had items for sale and have had, frankly, insulting offers which I've politely (only just) refused. I'd rather keep an item than sell it for stupid money. On the other hand I have occasionally given an item to a worthy cause rather undersell it to somone who I suspect would resell it for profit. 

To put that into perspective though, I have found the vast majority of fellow astro' enthusiasts I've bought and sold from/to have  been a pleasure to deal with and frequently the transaction is just the catalyst for ongoing chats about astronomy. Good and honourable people. 

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I think the 65% rule is about right for a starting point for something second hand in excellent condition. Something as-new maybe more and something in less than excellent condition maybe less.

I don't think its necessarily a problem if an item doesn't sell quickly for someone  as it is a small market and there might not be a buyer for a certain item at a certain point in time.

Trying to sell something quickly in a field this small and specialist in itself makes it a buyers market for that sale.

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Just now, Paz said:

I think the 65% rule is about right for a starting point for something second hand in excellent condition. Something as-new maybe more and something in less than excellent condition maybe less.

I don't think its necessarily a problem if an item doesn't sell quickly for someone  as it is a small market and there might not be a buyer for a certain item at a certain point in time.

Trying to sell something quickly in a field this small and specialist in itself makes it a buyers market for that sale.

That's very true, I think often the temptation is to drop the price when actually it is more a case of waiting for the right buyer to come along.

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Hey Stu, if you get the BGO sorted and want to part with it …. ;)

;))

 

 

 

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Thanks everyone for your insight & comments.....

To put my money where my mouth is, I’m offering a great new year bargain....

I have two brand new and boxed TeleVue 11mm Apollo eyepieces for binoviewing, for £50 each, or both for £90.

😁😁😁 Please form an ORDERLY queue with NO shoving.......

Cheers from Ed.......

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you bar steward  everyone has spent a fortune on Christmas food...……….

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Just now, fozzybear said:

just kidding


No problem, many years ago I was a bar steward in the social club at my place of work......👍

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1 minute ago, NGC 1502 said:


No problem, many years ago I was a bar steward in the social club at my place of work......👍

I was behind the bar in my local social club in the 80's  ditto

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Posted (edited)

any chance of some photo's

Edited by fozzybear

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59 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

Hey Stu, if you get the BGO sorted and want to part with it …. ;)

;))

 

 

 

Haven't managed to sort it yet but will let you know if I do!

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Like many people, if it wasn't for the used market I'd have hardly any kit at all.  My two telescopes were bought used and most of everything else too!    I have sold more equipment than I can remember over many years, so feel confident I know enough to know the value of equipment and what is a fair price.  I have never made a bad purchase that I can recall, and never dealt with anyone in anything but an honest way.

If you buy good used kit at a good price then it's quite possible to get all your money back after many years enjoying using it, so effectively you've had years of use of it for nothing!  The exception to this is probably electrical high-tech items which can be outdated within a comparatively short time and then you can't sell them at any price.

The  reasons people sell equipment are many and varied.  I usually sell stuff if I need different equipment for a particular purpose or because I just need the money for non-astronomical purposes - alas this has happened over the years a few times.  If I had limitless money I would probably have never sold anything and would now be the owner of around a hundred or more different telescopes!

Regarding items 'hanging around for ages'  (not being sold quickly)  I think people can read too much into this.  Anyone reading this is probably an astronomer of some sort, but the market is much smaller than we might think, particularly for higher price items.  Whilst many people may like to own a Takahashi six inch refractor,  not many people will be able to afford 2/3 the price of a new one however much they might want it.  Hence such a telescope could actually 'hang around a bit' if there doesn't happen to be someone in the position to buy it when it is first offered for sale.  On the other hand it's great news if you are after a SW eight inch dob as so many of them are purchased they frequently appear at bargain used prices.  However good the item for sale is, if no one currently wants one then it won't sell for a while. 

 

I personally reckon that about 2/3rd of the new price is usually a fair price, and am guided by this myself when I advertise.   However this can vary for a number of reasons:

 

1  If something needs to be sold quickly then I may ask a lower price.

2  If I bought something well myself (that is at a relatively bargain price) I  sell it for around what I paid for it.

3  I there any 'issues' with the item, I will state clearly what they are and adjust the price downwards.

4  If the item has been enhanced in any way the price may be adjusted upwards.

5  If the item is a rare or particularly desirable item its'  second hand value may be more than 66% - top notch gear tends to keep it's value better.

6  If I am willing to consider an offer, I will state this in my ad.

7  I always offer used equipment at a price I would consider a good buy, and is a price that I would pay if I was looking for the item myself.

8  If anyone offers me a ridiculously low amount, I will tell them (usually politely!) that I think they are taking the mick and refuse to sell it to them for any price!

9 If people ever try and argue for a reduction I politely point out that they are free not to buy the item from me, and to try and get one cheaper elsewhere.

 

At the end of the day, people can ask what they want, it's up to the individual to decide if it's a price they are willing to pay.

 

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I thought it interesting to read the thread and I got a hint that used electronics is perceived to be the significant risk.

I don't think that I agree. Or at least not fully.

It is well known that electronic equipment tends to suffer a high failure rate at two specfic times.
The advanced technical term to describe the graph is a 'bathtub curve'.

There is a high risk failure in the first hours, or tens of hours of use. This risk rapidly reduces as hundreds of hours of use are reached.
This is the steep end of the bath, under the taps. It is also known as inant mortality.

Given that most of the equipment sold to the domestic/amateur market is switched on, seen to work, then packed after a minute or two powered, it is purchased well within the early failure phase.
The good part is that being newly purchased it can usually be replaced without argument.

This early high risk time is followed by a long period of reliable operation, with few failures. Often many years.
This is the almost level bit of bath from the plughole to the far end.

Then after many years, a number of factors come together to cause an increasing failure rate.
This is the 'rest your head' end of the bath.

Of course, if you connect the 12V scope supply to something you shouldn't. Or leave it out to get rained on. Then all the above goes out of the window.
But the damage tends to be inflicted immediately, rather than shortening equipment life expectancy.
Given the astro community are generally responsible and look after equipment, the risk of buying 'stressed' equipment is quite low.

On the plus side. Software does not wear out. So your 15 years old mount software is going to be good. Provided you can make a Win10 computer talk to a box intended for XP!

What about other parts of the equipment? They degrade with age.

Paint may start to peel, or there may be a bit of corrosion. Especially if the surfaces have not been well prepared.

I have seen binoculars clouded due to (I think) vapours from the grease used in the focus mechanism.
Lens coatings can be damaged due to over enthusiatic cleaning.

Bearings in mounts can develop play. Particularly those using plain surfaces without bushing. Certain SW mounts come to mind.

I have purchased loads of used astronomy kit. I tend to buy new only if I can't find the used item.
Really any aspect of the equipment can be a risk factor. It is a case of buying from someone you think will be honest, and viewing if possible.

Being a person who is happy to 'fettle' a purchase, the prospect of buying a less than perfect specimin does not worry me.
I am OK with replacing dodgy power/signal connectors. Happy to make leads. No worries about replacing screws, tapping holes, etc.

Of course, if having the latest green dovetail bar is important you, then buy new. I will stick with my old black dovetails for now.

David.
 

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3 hours ago, Carbon Brush said:

......This early high risk time is followed by a long period of reliable operation, with few failures. Often many years....

......Then after many years, a number of factors come together to cause an increasing failure rate.....

......What about other parts of the equipment? They degrade with age......

 

This refers to astronomers, surely ? :grin:

I'm definitely NOT worth 60% of my original price, thats for sure :rolleyes2:

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Interesting thread and I agree with the points raised so far.

I bought both new and used in the last years, and never had a problem with items bought in the second hand market.

Sometimes, selling can be frustrating though. I find a bit irritating when I advertise something at a honest price and buyers still want to make offers (e.g. large discounts or £5/£10 discounts to cover the shipping costs). Thankfully, most of people just accept a "no", but some can be rather persistent. I remember a member who repeatedly sent me PMs saying that I would never have sold my items at that price, that they would have stayed there forever, etc. I almost had to blocked that person..

 

Astro gear has become more expensive since June 2016 (.. no comment on causes..), so prices in the used market increased too. To me, this is the main reason why buying/selling in the second hand market has slowed down.

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