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Modification/Value relationship


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Hi all,

Been thinking about this the last few days.

Some things lose value when they are modified. Cars, for example. Buy a Corsa or whatever, add some 19" wheels and sports exhaust and the resale value to the average buyer actually drops, despite the cash the owner has dropped into the car.

Same with guitars. You can add better pickups, bridge, tuners etc, but generally a potential new buyer will want the guitar in "stock" condition rather than "upgraded". Presumably because these "upgrades" are very much dependant on a person's taste.

But in astronomy, upgrades genrally add to the resale value. Add a Moonlite focuser to an ED80 and it becomes more desirable all-round. Add a set of better quality CNC tube rings and the same thing happens. Add a good wooden tripod to a mount, and the resale value will climb rather than drop (albeit within the limits of depreciation,. which affects everything [except Ferraris maybe])

Anyone else thought about this? Is our hobby unique in this regard?

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I think there are mods that will improve the value (eg: focuser, finder upgrades etc) and those that can have the opposite effect such as tube shortening, resprays.

I guess with anything that will affect the optical train, the prospective purchaser will want to be sure about the quality with which the mod has been carried out.

Edited by John
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Interesting one this. Add some goodies and the price can go up or at least it is seen as a better buy. But alter the scope in any way and things seem to take a dive. You would think that shortening a tube to allow binoviewing or camera focal plane access would be an asset and don't even think about drilling an extra hole in a high end apo for instance however good the reason. If I modify a scope, particularly for someone else, I try my best to ensure, if possible, that all can be returned to the original. I did once cut 3" off the tube of a 7" AP belonging to the late Douglas Arnold so that he could use a binoviewer.

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I guess its generally because the shortcommings of equipment affect us all in pretty much the same way (certainly with regards to focus's, tripods etc), which may not be the same in other hobbies

Edited by shaunster
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