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I bought a camera tripod. Realised when I got it that I could have got a new one from Amazon at much the same sort of price.

I also bought an Opticstar PL-150C. Pile of poo. There was what looked like drops of water on the sensor image when I used it against an even light source (not connected to scope), couldn't clean it off. Reading the Opticstar manual, they describe this as spots of glue (as dew/water would evaporate, and gives a different pattern), which would not pass quality control. So, either Opticstar imagers are poo, or the monkey who sold it had been fiddling with it. Only ever managed to get a decent image of the moon - which was pink (might have been the lunar filter I had to use to get an image dim enough not to blow out the exposure).

I did manage to get an HEQ5 (not a pro) at a good price - I spotted a HEQ5+200 that hadn't shifted after a couple of months. Offered to buy the mount if the guy split it. Got a good deal on that.

People say don't go near eBay - but with eBay you do have comeback. Somebody sells you poo, eBay will try and get it sorted. Many eBay sellers work hard to deliver swiftly, and would rather take stuff back at their expense than get a bad rating. You can see their rating and comments - nothing like that on Astrobuysell. I'm sure 90% of the sellers are OK, but I've been disappointed twice now. Had a couple of problems on eBay - but the sellers offered to sort it out.

Thing i don't like on eBay is people ring stuff and push the prices up. So, one buying scam is this. Buyer 1 puts in low bid. Buyer 2 puts in ridiculously high bid. Buyer 3 outbids him. Nobody else bids, as the price is too high. Buyer 3 pulls out. Sale ends, Seller offers to buyer 2. Buyer 2 turns it down. Either then faced with choice of offering to buyer 1 at low price, or relisting. The other thing that happens is that seller places listing, but isn't getting high enough bids, so contacts 'mate' to put in a few bids to push the price up on existing bids.

You don't get that sort of thing on astrobuysell. People either ask for offers or list what they want.

Best thing to do on Astrobuysell is to pay cash and collect - then you can check the stuff out before you hand over the money. You can do that on eBay. That's how I got my SPX on eBay, and my HEQ5 on astrobuysell. Once I fit the synscan upgrade, that'll be over a grands worth of kit for about £500.

So, you have to use your discretion, and proceed on the basis you are taking a chance. Think of it like gambling. You can win, and you can lose. Personally, I won't pass on duff stuff - so I'm stuck with the Opticstar. One thing I will say though, I am quite impressed with the high standard of honesty I have come across with some of the people I have spoken to on astrobuysell (and people into astronomy generally). A few times I have enquired about something, and the seller has been up front about what he is selling as not being appropriate for what I am looking for. You are less likely to be able to have that kind of dialog on eBay.

Get in touch with the seller, get his number, and have a conversation - that will help you get a clearer idea of whether he is straight or not.


Edited by MishMich
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It is worth bearing in mind that a great many of the folks selling stuff on AB&S will be known to the astro community, either here or on UKAI, so maybe worth cross referencing sales with the two forums to see if you can ascertain who's selling ????

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Indeed, a large proportion of flk are selling stuff on both of the websites/forums.

I have not had a bad experience with astrobuysell, but then I usually sound the folk out about what they are selling and why, what there background is and then collect in person so I see it first.

What does bug me occasionaly about astrobuysell is that folk dont describe what they are selling properly often, where as here they do.

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I think Kev summed it up well. I have bought and sold on ABS and all the transactions have been pleasant and no problem. I avoid anything outside the UK and prefer to use Paypal or collect in person. Just a few simple questions about te kit will root out any scammers.



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