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The rise of used equipment dealers


nonlinear
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I've no issue with this.

We all have a choice where to buy or sell items, for what prices and for what level of security or service. 

Also if I sold my neq6 mount for £250 (as it doesn't owe me any more than that) that doesn't mean the next person selling one has to sell theirs for the same price. 

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I've never dealt with the the company in question but he/it always seems to carry a good stock of tidy equipment. If he had an item that I was looking for and the price was fair then I wouldn't hesitate.

I don't like car dealerships but I have never sold a car privately. I part ex with a dealer but it's up to them to make the deal look attractive. Warranty back up and peace of mind (usually). I don't care what their markup is.

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I think the important thing being missed is SGL classified rules. Here is an extract....

The SGL classified area is for personal non-commercial use only. If we suspect you are a trader or retailer, or are operating on behalf of one, your access will be withdrawn.

Note that the rules extract above does not specify buying or selling, therefore covers both - in my opinion.

Suppose I place a sale ad on SGL for a scope. I receive a message from 'StarryFred' or any other SGL user and he buys.
Then a week later, I see 'my' scope on sale by 'The Extremely Nice 2nd Hand Scope Company'.
That means there is an SGL user who is using classifieds for commercial use.
In my view, he should be completely banned from the site. But that is a moderator decision.

On the other side. Maybe I place a 'wanted particular scope' ad on SGL.
StarryFred may respond and say he has seen one on the Extremely Nice 2nd Hand Scope Company site. That is reasonable and helpful.
We have to remember that some astro businesses are run by people in the hobby, so have a foot in both camps.
However, if I receive a message directly from said company that is in my view, commercial access to classifieds.

On the question of selling something (outside of SGL controlled advert space) and it appearing a week later for double the price.
That is just the commercial world and maybe I should have asked for more money.

 

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I've looked at that dealer's site, noted the prices asked for second hand kit, boggled at their similarity to new prices, then I read their T&C's  , saw no mention of any guarantee (several second hand photo kit dealers I've used give a 3 or  6 month guarantee) , and feature some blank lines where I assume the copy/pasted standard blah they use is supposed to have custom additions or maybe links added by the user . Confidence was not inspired.

I'd choose to not buy from them for those reasons. I'm sure plenty of folk must do though, otherwise how are they still in business ?

Buy cheap /  sell high for profit is just how a capitalist economy works. I do find  it a bit distasteful when someone picks up a thing from a charity shop for 50p, takes it to some antiques TV prog, discovers it is worth thousands, and makes no mention of donating some of that windfall to the charity. I'd feel the same if I saw , for example, someone bereaved selling off a relative or partner's astro kit without knowing what it was worth ( and with greater problems to deal with than spending hours finding out) , letting it go for a fraction of its worth, then having it sold on by a reseller at a premium price. But, that's just how things are, I don't think much of middlemen who do that sort of thing, but if it's legal , and they pay their taxes , there's little to be done.

In a similar vein, the nice thing about SGL is that bargains can be had by beginners like me who have not a lot of cash to spend, because some folk choose to move kit on at very reasonable prices to encourage the likes of me, rather than with the aim of squeezing the last £ from the sale. If some vulture was posing as an amateur in order to sweep up such bargains, and sell them on,  I'd hope their behaviour would be noted and stopped.  

Out of interest, those SGL classified rules also say there is no obligation to sell to the first to respond to an advert . I know it is a convention generally  used, but if anyone selling doubts a potential buyer for any reason, you don't have to sell to them, even if they get in first.

Heather

 

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The only value an object has is what someone is willing to pay for it.

If you think the price is too high, then don't buy! It really is that simple.

Moaning about what someone else does serves no useful purpose.

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3 hours ago, skyhog said:

My brother in law would find this thread amusing as he spent nearly 40 years as a second hand car dealer. He didn't limit himself to cars either, he would buy and sell anything. When the Internet came along he was never away from a computer. He always said that there were enough folk out there who either didn't know the value of goods or wanted quick sales. There is a caveat to this though. Making a living from doing this over the long term demands a certain character which he definitely had. If you want a good reputation then you have to earn that and sometimes it can be costly. He would buy a car at an auction that you or I could just as easily do. But a customer he resold that vehicle to would at least have some redress if it turned out to be a lemon. I'm not sure if the guy being discussed here provides refunds, but as I've said, to preserve reputation. Quite likely. 

His T&C state a 14 day return of goods and your money back, and he doesn't operate out of the back of a Reliant van ("mange tout Rodney, mange tout").

Some well respected SGL members speak well of him, so that's good enough for me.

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It's true that his prices may tickle the high side at times, but he offers some good stuff that may no longer be in production. I've bought some lovely eyepieces from him that I couldn't find anywhere else. We generally work on two thirds the new value when selling our gear, but the reality is that most of the optical equipment we use doesn't depreciate physically, and so I might be willing to pay above and beyond for a vintage item that I want and be grateful for it.

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49 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

willing to pay above and beyond for a vintage item that I want and be grateful for it.

I like Ensoptical, it is unique. Steves product list is like an Aladdins Cave of rare and sort after astro-goodies. What's not to like?

If you're after a discontinued item, chances are Ensoptical will have it, at a price!

Business is business.

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Seems to me that the item in question was on an ebay auction.  Anyone here could have bid and won.  The fact that a dealer took a risk (the description of the set of eyepieces didn't inspire confidence that the set would be in great condition) and then is able to onsell them at a decent profit is just part of everyday life. 

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If we are talking about a specific retailer then let's be careful regarding content of that discussion. If you want to speak of a named company and the quality of their service, good or bad, then that needs to be in the Supplier Review section.

If you just want a whinge then that's best done on Facebook :wink2:

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6 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

It's true that his prices may tickle the high side at times, but he offers some good stuff that may no longer be in production. I've bought some lovely eyepieces from him that I couldn't find anywhere else. 

Me too Mike. I bought a pair of rare Zeiss microscope eyepieces from him for a decent price. 
On the other hand, there’s an eyepiece on his site at the moment that’s £25 more than the best new price. 
But surely anyone who doesn’t do a simple price comparison before buying a new piece of gear can’t have too many complaints? 

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The dealer in question has a very very expensive business in Spain to fund, he must have over £150k worth of kit there, so he must be doing well….😮 Rather than moan, just dont buy from him….simples….👍🏼

Edited by Stuart1971
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On 17/09/2021 at 14:36, nonlinear said:

This may be contentious, but here goes:

Am I the only one really fed up with a certain dealer (who I won't name to comply with forum rules) who buys from the same online sites/ forums as we do, and sells it back to us with a hefty price increase? I'm not against dealers, if they bring something of value to the community, but to my mind this is taking the mickey. As an example: ZEISS Abbe-Barlow Telescope Eyepieces bought at the end of Aug for £2245, sold for £3840, a Vixen VC200L bought for £410, currently for sale at £1200, with a load of patter about how his mate thinks it's too cheap. He buys from ABS as well.

I've got it off my chest, I think I'll just block items from him on ebay, stop using ABS and move on... 

I have to say that while it is within the rules is it within what is morally acceptable? The fact that the item mentioned was sold. Someone was prepared to pay that price for it. We live in a world that some are prepared to argue that right is wrong and wrong is right.

Just look at what people on SGL and UK Astro are asking for C8 OTA's. £700 when you could easily buy a used one for around £400 18 months ago.

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Just to echo what others have said. if it seems too high a price, then just don't buy.

I was disappointed to see it happening on here too, when short supply meant that prices started increasing for new kit.

People were adding the increase to second hand kit also, knowing full well that they hadn't paid that much for it originally.

Disappointing, but the way of the world at the moment.

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If you put items on eBay for auction, and the item is selling is in short supply, you will end up with plenty of interested buyers and the item will find its own price (this is what is known as supply and demand). I'm not sure why people on here think  you should sell things cheaper than what you bought them for if there are lots of people interested in buying an item.

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I get forum rules etc and agree with whatever is in place there but otherwise anyone with issues on this, I wonder how they sell their houses? 

*and if anyone is selling for ⅔ of new or less than what you paid, please give me a shout! 

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I don't actually know who this dealer is, but it may well be the person who's bought the most items from me on ABS!

I tend to price items at 2/3 of the new price and don't care who buys them. If you're trying to help out a newbie by offering gear cheaper, then a first come first served model may not be best?

I'm amazed anyone can make a living doing this, but I can't see any issue with it, especially if they're generally open about it.

 

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There was an article in the paper yesterday that showed some used cars were more expensive than new. “One in a generation “ incidence, mainly due to lack of availability of new. Applies to high end marques and models

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Don’t really understand some of the arguments here. 

No one has to sell or buy. It’s up to them to do either. I’ve dealt with the guy several times and always found him to be straightforward and fair. I choose the price I want to sell at and if he agrees to buy and can re-sell for a profit good luck to him.

Edited by Trevor N
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Most of us on SGL know exactly which dealer is being discussed.  A while back I had a load of astro kit to sell and considered my options. Having tried to sell individual items previously and found it hard work, the need to hang around waiting for folks to decide, then individually packing and posting, I decided to sell the whole lot to the dealer under discussion. I worked out my price, contacted him, price accepted without haggle, sent one parcel, was paid promptly.

I suppose I could have got more money if I’d been prepared to wait and put lots of time and hassle into it. But being busy even though retired I took the best option for me.

I’ve also bought items from this dealer. Items were accurately described, any faults disclosed. promptly posted, and the prices whilst being at the top of acceptable, I personally consider a good deal, taking everything into account.

However I do accept it’s galling when prices are clearly OTT, however if that’s the case then don’t buy it.

Ed.

Edited by NGC 1502
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