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What’s behind the recent 30% hike in Skywatcher pricing?


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Over the past year or so there seems to have been a noticeable and significant hike in the cost of new SW gear. I’d say this is in the order of around 30% which is hard to qualify on global pricing trends or taxes.
 

Is it supply issues due to C19 or the Chinese adding tariffs for countries they don’t like at the moment?  

This mass produced and often long time unimproved gear is now selling for premium prices which is being reflected in second hand prices as well even  for quite old gear. 
 

Simple question....Why?

Edited by PadrePeace
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5 minutes ago, PadrePeace said:

Over the past year or so there seems to have been a noticeable and significant hike in the cost of new SW gear. I’d say this is in the order of around 30% which is hard to qualify on global pricing trends or taxes.
 

Is it supply issues due to C19 or the Chinese adding tariffs for countries they don’t like at the moment?  

This mass produced and often long time unimproved gear is now selling for premium prices which is being reflected in second hand prices as well even  for quite old gear. 
 

Simple question....Why?

There is a thread about this topic.

Seems that Sky-Watcher are claiming increased shipping costs.

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This is not unique to astronomy. A combination of COVID and various other trade related and shipping issues are contributing to shortages and increased pricing in a number of areas. There is a global shortage of computer chips affecting areas such as the automotive industry amongst others causing some manufacturers to suspend production

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56841946

So, it is a real effect affecting many industries and is likely to take a year or so to play out.

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Just asked Steve at FLO on the thread you shared how we, as  mear customers, are supposed to hold SW feet to the fire. We all know we will and are still buying their gear. I see it like petrol prices. Glad I’ve gone EV and those prices have actually come down slightly in price inspite of the C19 thing. 

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Yeah, I just read your post. I'm sure that FLO are keen to see the prices back down as Sky-Watcher offer really good entry-level kit. S-W price increases have moved them close to other brands which are more established. 

Edited by Astro Noodles
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I know this is going to be controversial but I don’t think Sky-Watcher prices are that bad compared to other brands. They are a well established, trusted company which produces a wide range of good products for all levels of expertise. This is demonstrated by the fact that they are probably amongst the highest sellers and manufacturers (in the guise of Synta) of astro gear in the world.

I also think that they haven’t made significant price increases in recent years, though I may be wrong, I just don’t recall any. They are reacting to the market conditions in order to stay in business and, yes, make a profit. I still think their prices are very competitive 

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5 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

I know this is going to be controversial but I don’t think Sky-Watcher prices are that bad compared to other brands. They are a well established, trusted company which produces a wide range of good products for all levels of expertise. This is demonstrated by the fact that they are probably amongst the highest sellers and manufacturers (in the guise of Synta) of astro gear in the world.

I also think that they haven’t made significant price increases in recent years, though I may be wrong, I just don’t recall any. They are reacting to the market conditions in order to stay in business and, yes, make a profit. I still think their prices are very competitive 

I don't think that Sky-Watcher prices are bad either. I have been very pleased with the S-W kit I have bought. It just seems that they have pushed their price point into territory which will mean that buyers will look at more desirable brands. I am sure that Synta or whatever they are called will have marketing people searching the internet and looking on forums like this to guage consumer reaction. I suspect that it is one of the reasons they put the prices up in the first place.

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48 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

I know this is going to be controversial but I don’t think Sky-Watcher prices are that bad compared to other brands. They are a well established, trusted company which produces a wide range of good products for all levels of expertise. This is demonstrated by the fact that they are probably amongst the highest sellers and manufacturers (in the guise of Synta) of astro gear in the world.

I also think that they haven’t made significant price increases in recent years, though I may be wrong, I just don’t recall any. They are reacting to the market conditions in order to stay in business and, yes, make a profit. I still think their prices are very competitive 

Monopolies in the guise of SW/Sentra is what I’m talking about in terms of customer power not really having a voice. What else is a entry level AP guy supposed to buy when a HEQ5 costs 1k and the scope close to the same and that’s not the end of it( my AZEQ6 has gone up £600 in the 15months I’ve owned mine). That’s a big step up from a 130 reflector on an EQ3!

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2 minutes ago, PadrePeace said:

Monopolies in the guise of SW/Sentra

Synta isn’t a monopoly, there are other brands available, most of them costing more for a comparable product. Price increases are a fact of life, always have been, always will be. Companies have to make a profit, markets change for a variety of reasons from COVID to Brexit and companies have to adjust their prices accordingly. The customer absolutely DOES have the power, they don’t have to buy the products 

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Posted (edited)

Well, that’s true from a pure marketing perspective but let’s see what real life has to say about changing customer habits.
I bought a new car (made in the US) last Aug, a new 4K TV last week and a new sewing machine for my wife only two months ago. Didn’t see 30% increase in storage or shipping cost on any of those else I would have no case to suggest here. Just saying. I think for this thread all points have been made so we will see won’t we. 

Edited by PadrePeace
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14 hours ago, Jiggy 67 said:

I don’t think Sky-Watcher prices are that bad compared to other brands.

The ED80 I bought in 2014 is almost 50% more expensive now, from the same (EU) supplier, However, in that time other manufacturers (or rebranders) have emerged. Some of these are targeting the low end and offering equipment that does not seem too far off Skywatcher's entry level scopes - but at half the price. Though admittedly with fewer accessories.
Some newcomers are also offering higher quality gear that rivals - or exceeds - what Skywatcher sells in the experienced user tier, at quite competitive prices.

Even though those other suppliers are presumably subject to the same increases in transportation costs. That doesn't seem to have made them raise their prices (an "ED80" class refactor has shipping costs from China of < €20) to the same extent, if at all.

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18 hours ago, Astro Noodles said:

I hope that Sky-Watcher are going to put their prices back down again when the shipping container situation is resolved, But I'm not holding my breath. 😞

Working in the industry I dont see the cost of shipping dropping anytime soon, the backlog of shipments and equipment shortages i.e container availability & shipping line space is not good at the moment.  Its going to be a difficult situation for some time to come, possibly looking at the end of the year before we see some improvement by some forecasts!

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20 hours ago, Stu said:

There is a global shortage of computer chips affecting areas such as the automotive industry amongst others causing some manufacturers to suspend production

New car prices are up 7% to 9% in the US while used car prices are up 14% on average.

Real estate prices are going through the roof here (25% year to year increase) due to a lack of new homes due to a lack of supplies and labor.

Edited by Louis D
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It has in turn driven up the used market too.  Anyone sitting on astro gear is sitting on money in the bank. A simple issue of supply and demand and many consumer items the same. 

Echoing Louis' point, my BMW Z4 35is has gone up by £5000.  I bought it for £14000 in 2018.  It is now worth £19000.  How many times can you say that about a car?  My Celestron C925 has gone up used by about £300-400!

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