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All telescopes out of stock...


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Shaun_Astro I'm in the same boat, it's an unfortunate mix of high demand due to people being stuck at home and short supply due to factory shutdowns in China. Add to this the fact that most astro shops in the UK are closed / online only right now and it is making sourcing equipment a right pain in the posterior! 

I've been ordering equipment from a variety of sources over the past few months as I can't get it all in one place. Always call / email them first to check stock as their websites tend to have originated in the 18th century and so aren't frequently updated. I see quite a few people have good suggestions here and I can vouch for them all (Widescreen-centre has been good to deal with with good communication and fast shipping, albeit a bit pricier than some). Likewise I've had good experiences with 365-Astronomy (the owner Zoltan is very helpful), Teleskop-Service in Germany, Microglobe here in London and finally FLO (always a great experience, but perennially sold out of most of the things I want these days). Also been in frequent contact with Rother Valley and Harrison (they're quick to answer emails and helpful but their lack of an adequate returns policy keeps my business at bay from them). 

One thing I don't understand is why some of these retailers don't allow returns - I sent Harrison Telescopes an email today asking if I would be allowed to return a telescope if I didn't find it acceptable. They replied saying they couldn't operate that way as they would get too many returns. I'll just repeat what I said to them - that it's surprising in a world where one can test out a car for a week or even try out underwear for size and then return it, surely a retailer should be able to have some sort of mechanism to allow people to test out an item before committing to the purchase.

Best of luck with your search.

Al

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Some of the SGLers on here with obscene  numbers of scopes need to release them onto the market to buffer the shortage. 👀 Yes you/we know who you are. 😜 Man up and de stock your forum needs you.

Nor me.  I barely have enough for a different one each month, and that hardly seems excessive. James

The way things are going I think I'll keep love and cherish my six telescopes Edit- oops 7 scopes👍

1 hour ago, Prism said:

Also been in frequent contact with Rother Valley and Harrison (they're quick to answer emails and helpful but their lack of an adequate returns policy keeps my business at bay from them). 

Yeah my experience with Rother Valley has been just "okay". Responses to emails were very abrupt and often didn't actually answer my question. If you know what you want and they have it in stock they'll get it to you in a timely fashion but they're miles away from having the great customer service that you get with 365 astronomy and FLO.

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2 hours ago, Prism said:

I'll just repeat what I said to them - that it's surprising in a world where one can test out a car for a week or even try out underwear for size and then return it

At least in the US, most states don't allow you to return a car you bought.  A very few have lemon laws to allow for the return of seriously flawed vehicles.  Also, underwear cannot be returned once removed from its sealed packaging.

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2 hours ago, Prism said:

One thing I don't understand is why some of these retailers don't allow returns - I sent Harrison Telescopes an email today asking if I would be allowed to return a telescope if I didn't find it acceptable. They replied saying they couldn't operate that way as they would get too many returns. I'll just repeat what I said to them - that it's surprising in a world where one can test out a car for a week or even try out underwear for size and then return it, surely a retailer should be able to have some sort of mechanism to allow people to test out an item before committing to the purchase.

I sort of understand their policy of no returns, at least without good reason. Astronomy can be a hobby people take up on a whim. Within days of receiving a scope and mount, they get bored, find it too difficult or the view through the ep isn’t the Hubble photo they expected. So they try to return the equipment. A store can’t be expected to operate like that

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9 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

I sort of understand their policy of no returns, at least without good reason. Astronomy can be a hobby people take up on a whim. Within days of receiving a scope and mount, they get bored, find it too difficult or the view through the ep isn’t the Hubble photo they expected. So they try to return the equipment. A store can’t be expected to operate like that

When you're spending the amount of money we do, without even getting to see the equipment in person, surely you should be able to change your mind. In theory, the store loses exactly nothing, especially if the customer has to pay all the delivery costs associated.

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1 minute ago, randomic said:

.In theory, the store loses exactly nothing

I'm not sure many people would pay full price for expensive astronomy gear that had been used by someone else... 

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1 minute ago, adyj1 said:

I'm not sure many people would pay full price for expensive astronomy gear that had been used by someone else... 

If there's evidence that it's been used/damaged then fair enough. If it's in original packaging and as new then what's the difference?

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23 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

I sort of understand their policy of no returns, at least without good reason. Astronomy can be a hobby people take up on a whim. Within days of receiving a scope and mount, they get bored, find it too difficult or the view through the ep isn’t the Hubble photo they expected. So they try to return the equipment. A store can’t be expected to operate like that

As a business owner I can tell you with full certainty that ALL retailers get a certain % of their sales returned to them - that's the nature of the business of being a retailer, they specifically plan and budget for this kind of thing. In a situation like the present (where the stores are shut and we can't test equipment out in person), it is unfair to expect customers to pay ££££'s for this sort of equipment and not allow us to test stuff out. My wife and I recently bought a used car and the company allowed us to test drive it for 7 days with a full return policy! With exception of certain conditions (such as when an item is faulty), a customer really doesn't have an obligation to inform the retailer as to why they are returning the item (could be personal financial reasons). There should to be reasonable allowances for someone to open up a box and test the optics of a scope without damaging it for instance. Plenty of good retailers (we all know who they are) have 30 day back guarantees, and that is why they will always get the lions share of my business. 

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17 minutes ago, adyj1 said:

I'm not sure many people would pay full price for expensive astronomy gear that had been used by someone else... 

For a retailer to try and sell a return as new at full price would be very dishonest. Most are transparent and let customers know if a customer has returned something before selling it - they usually call these "open box" items and sell them at a discount (great way to get a scope at a good price). 

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1 minute ago, johninderby said:

And the good places like FLO clearly state when they are selling a customer returned item in their “offers” section plus you get full guarantee of course.

And of course the fact that every piece of equipment I've received from them has been flawless... dont know how that happens, but happy to let it continue.

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40 minutes ago, randomic said:

In theory, the store loses exactly nothing, especially if the customer has to pay all the delivery costs associated.

Many stores in the US charge a 15% restocking fee because, by law in many parts of the US, you can't resell a used item as new.  You could try to charge the new price for it, but most folks will demand a discount once the fact it was a return/refurb is disclosed, which the 15% restocking fee covers.  Many unscrupulous retailers simply re-shrink-wrap the box and hope you don't complain.  In the US, return policies must be posted by retailers in most states.  If the retailer has a no-returns policy, that is perfectly legal.  The only exceptions under federal law are for 1. if the sold good is defective or 2. if the seller breaks the sales contract.

However, word of mouth gets around pretty quickly online about retailers with bad return policies, so most honor some sort of 30 day return policy.  However, you may be responsible for return shipping unless the item is defective or not as described.

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12 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Many stores in the US charge a 15% restocking fee because, by law in many parts of the US, you can't resell a used item as new.  You could try to charge the new price for it, but most folks will demand a discount once the fact it was a return/refurb is disclosed, which the 15% restocking fee covers.  Many unscrupulous retailers simply re-shrink-wrap the box and hope you don't complain.  In the US, return policies must be posted by retailers in most states.  If the retailer has a no-returns policy, that is perfectly legal.  The only exceptions under federal law are for 1. if the sold good is defective or 2. if the seller breaks the sales contract.

However, word of mouth gets around pretty quickly online about retailers with bad return policies, so most honor some sort of 30 day return policy.  However, you may be responsible for return shipping unless the item is defective or not as described.

Yes, you guys tend to get better prices than us in the UK, for tech goods we've called this the pound/dollar parity. We pay the same pounds as you pay dollars, and we keep our consumer rights that you don't have. We will have to rename it, as the pound is so weak now that we will have to change from parity to... a little more...

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typo
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3 minutes ago, gilesco said:

Yes, you guys tend to get better prices than us in the UK, for tech goods we've called this the pound/dollar parity. We pay the same pounds as you pay dollars, and we keep our consumer rights that you don't have. We will have to rename it, as the pound is so weak now that we will have to change from parity to... a little more...

It's like everything in Europe relative to the US.  To cover all the costs associated with highly restrictive business laws, goods tend to be more expensive in Europe than in the US.  VAT alone adds costs just because every single business in the goods chain has to maintain meticulous tax records should they be audited.  This requires additional personnel to maintain those records.  In the US, sales tax is only collected when the item is sold to the end consumer.  Wholesalers are tax exempt and don't have to maintain any tax records because they never collect any taxes.  That's why most wholesalers in the US post "for sale only to the trade", otherwise they'd have to collect taxes on some sales.

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51 minutes ago, Prism said:

For a retailer to try and sell a return as new at full price would be very dishonest. Most are transparent and let customers know if a customer has returned something before selling it - they usually call these "open box" items and sell them at a discount (great way to get a scope at a good price). 

Exactly.

Which is why my post is in response to the comment "In theory, the store loses exactly nothing" 

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3 hours ago, david_taurus83 said:

If you buy something online you have 14 days from receipt to return the item for a refund.

And - as I understand it under the Consumer Contracts Regulations - the retailer does not have to pay for the return postage if their terms and conditions state this. (if it isn't stated, then the retailer must pay the postage).

The retailer can also deduct an amount from the refund commensurate with the loss in value of the product. So if a retailer can only sell a returned item it if they discount it, then they can deduct this amount from the amount refunded. 

You have no legal right to buy something online, open it and then expect to return without any cost to you, unless it is faulty or not as described. Even though Amazon let you do it 😁

 

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Well that went off topic fast.

Seems scopes on Ebay are very expensive currently, and widescreen centre also. People might actually start grinding their mirrors again at this rate... *Looks at my box with 1/2 finished 6" mirror and grits* 🤨

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16 hours ago, adyj1 said:

And - as I understand it under the Consumer Contracts Regulations - the retailer does not have to pay for the return postage if their terms and conditions state this. (if it isn't stated, then the retailer must pay the postage).

The retailer can also deduct an amount from the refund commensurate with the loss in value of the product. So if a retailer can only sell a returned item it if they discount it, then they can deduct this amount from the amount refunded. 

You have no legal right to buy something online, open it and then expect to return without any cost to you, unless it is faulty or not as described. Even though Amazon let you do it 😁.  

A slight amendment - 

The retailer can only deduct an amount (for loss of value) in respect of anything 'beyond what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods if, in particular, it goes beyond the sort of handling that might reasonably be allowed in a shop'.

So opening the box, checking the contents and deciding you have changed your mind should not affect the amount refunded. 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/regulation/34/made

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Returning to the subject matter, I think that the current pinch on supply will take a long time to get relieved.

So, second hand market it is...

(and the looming deadline of 31 December means that we in EU will have to contend with import taxes from UK and vice versa).

N.F.

 

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2 hours ago, nfotis said:

Returning to the subject matter, I think that the current pinch on supply will take a long time to get relieved.

So, second hand market it is...

(and the looming deadline of 31 December means that we in EU will have to contend with import taxes from UK and vice versa).

 

N.F.

 Yes who knows we still might have a deal with EU. However here in the UK we will at least be able to buy from anywhere else in the world, and just maybe on better import taxes than we currently have.

 

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