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Hand picked or BS

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Hello everybody

This is my first post but unfortunately a questioning one for the whole Stargazers community.

When someone describes their equipment in For Sale adverts as Hand Picked/Specially Chosen/Reserved etc does this mean that the advertiser has;

a)Paid more money originally

b)Is married to the original seller

c)That the original sellers are prone to favouritism

d)Or just full of BS

This is a serious question as the implication in these adverts is that some people get a better deal than the ordinary Joe

Dave Cook

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Hi Dave,

I take it to mean that the person selling the gear is on good terms with a shop/ dealer and has either asked that person to check the gear before the sale and pick a good example or that he's had a chance to pay visit to the dealer and do the testing himself.......

Or d).....


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it's certainly true that a regular customer is more likely to get the pick of whatever the dealer has in stock, particularly when they are dealing with a small business. In the case of many small speciality businesses a small core of customers that's perhaps only 10% of the total number of customers probably accounts for 70% or 80% or more of their annual sales totals so it's only human nature to pick the best examples for their regulars.

Having said that, when someone puts in an ad that some piece of equipment is hand picked etc. maybe their stretching the truth a little or a lot. Then there's the possibilty that the dealer told them it was hand picked even if that's not the case.

It's just something that's virtually impossible to prove, unless it's something such as a scope with verified test results that are much better than average



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My worry about 'hand picked' is the implication that quality control is sufficiently variable to be able to tell :)

Being serious, it's possible that the telescope comes with a optical test report, haven't looked at the advert - the LOMO lenses e.g. in the TMB 80/480 come with this which would allow 'hand picking' by picking the best of those, although the baseline quality there is so high anyway you can't tell. Otherwise i'd vote it being "mere puff" and ignore it.

I one got to hand pick a PST from the dealer's stock of five, and looking through them there was a genuine difference between the best and worst - this was a well-known effect with the early PSTs, which were sold as (IIRC) '<1A bandpass' but some were considerably better than that. That wasn't favouratism though, I'd never used the dealer before and just asked if it was ok ... they were curious too, so we tried it out.

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Yes, that's the rascal, but it's not exactly the first example of adverts which include hand picked phrases.

I'm a bit of a WO man myself (FLT 110, ZS 80, binos, diags and set of UWANs) and I know that WO do not supply optical test reports so the only way of determining the relative quality of different scopes is to labouriously test each scope in stock. I would have thourght that someone as busy as Ian King would have better things to do. Let's face it, in the UK it could take months of waiting for decent seeing conditions before a meaningful decision could be made. If, on the other hand, laboratory testing were carried out how much would that cost, £50/£75 per scope? It just doesn't add up.

I'm not knocking WO at all, I think they produce very good equipment at very good prices and I have bought a lot of stuff from Ian King.

My reason for the original post was that in the area of optics where, without recourse to expensive test equipment, it is extremely difficult to quantify the optics how can so many people be selling hand picked telescopes.

Dave Cooke

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It's just a nonesense phrase to win you over. Doesn't say who hand picked the scope or why. Could be optics, could be colour of the tube, paint finish, mount etc etc.

My scopes have all been handpicked - by me!

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To me, the words "hand picked" would only mean something realistic if a buyer has the opportunity to compare the same telescopes from a dealers stock,and physically see for themselves if one of them was superior, either by star test or on an optical test bench, possibly with zygo interferometer.

I have read of a well known imager testing a fair quantity of sct's from stock to pick out the best optical example, but i can't imagine a typical customer being allowed to do that!

I wouldn't place too much importance on those words.


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