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lx200gps

A question for Steve at FLO regarding pricing

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Funny this as i have contacted Steve previously about purchasing a Moonlite Focuser.

I did my "research" on getting the unit directly from Moonlite in the US and decided that playing the "Will i get stung for Tax/Vat" game left the difference in price very close.

So i contacted Steve and he was honest and up front enough to say that when the stock comes in he would make a call on pricing but for the meantime would be offering them at the same price as other UK retailers (Ian King to be exact) BUT he would honour the SGL discount he offers to us members,this made the price as near as dammit the same !!!

I think that if Stans question was aimed at a Multinational Retailer like Tesco or Asda (Wallmart) for example then he may have a fair point as far as buying power/120 day Terms could come into play.

Astronomy is not a mass participation past time and the bits of kit we use can be very specific ,and yes we all know we can use the Internet to get a good deal (I know because some of the bits i have bought have given me good discounts on UK pricing) BUT also remember that we are the customers and if we screw around with our suppliers then maybe in the future there will only be a couple left and that takes away competition in my opinion.

All the dealings i have had around the Astronomy arena has been with guys like myself who are interested in Stargazing and who take the time to talk to me.this gives them the edge over just direct price comparisons.

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Steve's Services and advice are priceless I have bought items from FLO after getting lots of advice from Steve which he gave freely, not expecting to make any gain. He gives his advice to anyone who asks and will always try to price match any UK prices where possible. Steve is a valuable resource that you can't put a price on.

I to get frustrated on the price difference between th US & UK but this tends not to be created by UK dealers, but by the prices that the items are supplied to the dealers at, which are set by the manufacturers.

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gentlemen,

this has become a bit of an emotive post. lets not make stan an object of derision, as the question was in itself reasonable, but a pm would have been the way to go about it, or a personal phone call.

steve is a genuine,decent, honest person with a love of astronomy and i applaud his setting up of FLO .

he will do very well as his genuine commitment to this hobby is there to see.

i certainly have some things lined up as soon as i have the funds!

best regards

mike

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I have find Steve a very helpful and honest guy and he will do his best to give you the best deals in town.

But as other posts have stated remember he has to make a living like all of us.

A pm or phone call was the way to go here. I wonder why that was not done?

So let`s move on :rolleyes:

Alan D

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Thank you for all your responses. For a minute there I was beginning to think there was a Full Moon!

In order to keep this post brief I will reply to a few points if I may.

It would appear from what many of you have said that you thought the tone of my question rude/abrasive and the subject matter an inappropriate topic for discussion. If you thought the tone rude then you must forgive me as I would not have worded it in that fashion had I thought so myself. In passing I would say that I considered a lot of the responses a little on the hostile side to say the least and I’ve got no desire to hang around a Forum where such hostility exists. We all have our opinions and getting angry because someone doesn’t agree with you is a pointless exercise. As to whether it was an appropriate topic for discussion then, in my defence, I would say that any dealer who frequently promotes their products/prices on this Forum is fair game for questions, or criticisms, about their pricing policy. If, however, this is not the case, or this comes into conflict with Forum rules, then I’ll be off quicker than you can shake a rabbit. I am grateful to Steve for taking the time to reply and, like the rest of you, I’m sure I will discover myself what a good dealer he is. But he could be the best dealer in the world and still be overpriced. So let’s not lose sight of the point of my posting.

I didn’t phone or e-mail Steve because he “announced” his Moonlite focusers by posting on this website. So I think I was justified in “responding” on this website. Hope this answers Blinky and Barkis. Anthony, I’m sure the sentence above answers the first point in your post. Also, I wasn’t aware you had to refrain from being “unusual” on your third posting. I don’t understand what you mean by this so perhaps you could let me know. As for your last point, all I will say that if you want to continue paying well over the odds for US made astro gear then that is your choice. Just like it is my choice to choose differently or ask questions of those dealers and their pricing policy.

Thanks to Captain Chaos for the career advice and words of wisdom but one career at a time. Okay Matey?

Jamey, your support for me in having the right to ask the question here is much appreciated, although the fact that you, a moderator, had to state as much is a bit worrying. I did think a bit before posting and I did do some research and the focuser is cheaper when you buy from the US. So where, exactly, is the “no brainer”? Having taken your advice and read carefully I still cannot see it. I understand all to well about the currency fluctuations and I don’t know about you but I cannot ever remember an item being reduced here because the dollar had dived. A couple of years ago there was a similar pound dollar exchange and prices here never dropped, even allowing for the fact that the dealer bought the goods at the high rate. and had to wait to sell those before he could pass on the cheaper goods to us. We never see price reductions here because of a strong pound and no-one has ever managed to successfully explain that to me. If, on the other hand, the pound drops then….. By the way, the answer to your question is “NO“.

Phattire, and all those who made similar points; I hear and fully understand what you have said but see the last sentence in my first paragraph. I agree that customer service is worth that little bit extra and that is why I wouldn’t buy anything from Comet or Curry’s, for example. But it’s a bit like ordering a bowl of soup in a restaurant and then being amazed when it arrives. Having said that, and on reflection, perhaps I understand a little where everyone is coming from here; decent, reliable and honest UK dealers aren’t exactly ten a penny are they?? And we all know who the guilty ones are.

Tony 4563, your posting repeated what everybody else had said and, because of your last comment you don’t deserve a response from me. Am I the only one being rude here?

Zog, no I didn’t compare Steve’s prices with other UK dealers and the reason for this is the wording of Steve’s announcement which states “I can also assure you that pricing will be sensible and will reflect the real cost of importing from the US”. Now, perhaps it’s the wording or it may be just me, but what I understand that to mean is that the cost of these items will be roughly the same as it would cost you to import it personally. As I explained in my original posting this clearly isn’t the case and that’s why I was prompted to ask Steve why. Steve’s announcement didn’t mention other UK dealers.

It would seem from what Steve and a few others have said that he has yet to work out a final price for these items but I based my information on Steve’s website so I wasn’t to know that a reduction in the price of these focusers may be in the offing.

Instead of really getting to grips with the US/UK price difference I seem to have spent this post defending my right to query a dealers price. For the sarcastic and rude among you I really think it’s better to say nothing at times like this. Take a break, have a cup of tea, fag, or whatever and if you promise to do that then I’ll promise to leave this matter for a time when the Moon’s not Full!

Hope I managed to respond to the main points. It was an education.

Regards

Stan

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I hope the " upset" that seems apparent in this thread doesnt stifle debate on the forum. It makes life interesting!! Just to add my humble opinion. I have been to the USA a couple of times and from what I saw just about everything( not just astro gear) seems cheaper over there. I know this depends on the exchange rate.E.G.

petrol, food, cigs, motels, clothes, cds etc etc were all much cheaper. This could be due to the fact that the USA market is about 250 million compared to the UK at 50 million. Im sure that there are other factors as well.

After sales service is essential. I have just changed my car and bought it from a garage that I hope will provide this. There are other dealers in the area, maybe a bit cheaper, but local knowledge tells me that should anything go wrong I will be left without much support.

I am no expert on scopes and have seen what look like bargains on ebay. But where do you stand if theres a problem?

We pay our money and take the chance I guess.

Pete

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Sorry Stan. I stand by what I said 100% whether you found me rude or not. That was my opinion, and that's what forums are all about. If we all agreed on everything we'd be bored to tears. I hope you remain and join in on the forums with us regardless.

PS.. Full Moon? Well, we are talking Moonlite Focussers :rolleyes:

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Instead of really getting to grips with the US/UK price difference I seem to have spent this post defending my right to query a dealers price.

Perhaps it was the way in which you worded the question Stan.

As you pointed out, Steve did indeed announce his pricing here, and to my mind, you are perfectly justified in asking the question on the open seas. Steve, I am sure, has nothing to hide with regard to his business, and as you can see from the emotive responses, has built his business on customer service.

I think the £-$ topic is a very subjective topic, some will be happy to buy from abroad and take the risk of no backup or poor customer services, others will not. These are individual choices and we are all free to make them.

I for one hope you hang around, nothing like a frank and open discussion - as long it stays on topic, is factual and polite!!

Let discussions commence ...........

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I didn’t compare Steve’s prices with other UK dealers.

I’ll promise to leave this matter for a time when the Moon’s not Full!

And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault worse by the excuse - King John (4, ii)

"unusual" didn't quite do it justice really :rolleyes:

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We're all grown up here. The thread is in part about pricing in the US and UK, and also, whether Steve's statement holds water. In fact a little bit of a challenge to his integrity. All fair stuff to direct at a dealer. Difficult to put that across in a way that doesn't have people jumping to Steve's defence. So no problem with your question as far as I'm concerned Stan (unless you were a dealer trying to stir up trouble :rolleyes:) and you shouldn't be surpised, on reflection, that some people got a little tetchy, and a little tetchy was about as strong as it got really. Anyone looking for a good flaming here aint going to see the fire brigade here in hurry.

Steve is one of the good guys. Tried and tested.

Now come on. Lets have some bile spilt

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Well what can I SAY HMMM I have dealt with Steve a couple of times , regarding eyepieces and he has price matched without question or proof and took my word for it having bought direct from the states myself and things going wrong IE damage to goods i would say in the longrun it is getting as cheap with dealers like Steve who take the chances and pass on the goods at very good prices. THE GUY IS A HONEST RELIABLE AND DESERVES TO SUCCED.

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I think that's what you call a flaming, quite a mild one though.

No, it isn't. It's a point-by-point response to what was said to Stan. It appears that in a few peoples' minds 'questioning' = 'attack.' That is not the case. A question is a question, and deserves a moderate response.

Now can we let this go?

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I take Stans point and congratulate him on responding when lesser mortals may have taken cover. I think the general response in the thread is a testament to Steves integrity, if only all dealers invoked such loyalty. May i just add that I know of no dealers who would go to the trouble of importing gear from the States, with no guarantee of being able to clear the stock, without making a profit. After all that's why people go into business.

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“I can also assure you that pricing will be sensible and will reflect the real cost of importing from the US.”

So said Steve, from First Light Optics...

...this is still about £30 cheaper than buying from you. I would think any “sensible” person would still be shopping from the US

How sharper than a serpents tooth it is to have a thankless child! King Lear (1, iv)

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Steve has the sharpest pencil in the U.K Astro equipment market- along with Bern. I have imported 5 Moonlites for my telescopes over the past two years , so it will cost me £30 more via Steve with all the benefits of no hassle with customs or quality issues(remote anyway) , I accept as most reasonable people do that he has to make a decent living or shall we go back to the good old days of getting really screwed on everything to do with Astro gear. Stan , by all means buy direct from Ron at moonlite he is a good guy to deal with and isn't it nice to have the choice!

Cheers

Dave

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Here's my 2p's worth...

Steve has always given me excellent service, even changing a GOTO handset that wasn't purchased from him (Try that with a US dealer) He has steered me away from ebay scope tat (When I first started). He is a trusted and valued member of the forum, offering advice without predjudice or sometimes gain. He is running a new buisness and give value for money whilst offering a 10% discount to SGL members, when the profit margins are already tight.

Customer service is always worth a bit extra.

"All that glisters is not gold."

--From The Merchant of Venice (II, vii)

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Hmm ........... "How sharper than a serpents tooth it is to have a thankless child! King Lear (1, iv)" ............. I am really impressed by your grasp of Shakespearian plays SR. Shows a good education. Good and amusing touch too.

US prices are almost universally less than UK prices. We all hate that, and often feel we are being ripped off. But let us remember a few things. There isn't much of a welfare state in the US. There isn't an NHS in the US. They pay for things we don't - health insurance etc. So, if we want US prices, we can move over there and take the "hidden" costs as well (or go on holiday :rolleyes: ). Personally, I would rather live in Britain and shop around for the best deal I can get here (although, some clear Arizona skies would be very welcome).

Tom

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I'm glad to see so many people sticking up for Steve and FLO, theres only one reason this is so, you cant beat a genuine guy, nuff said

M2

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Hmm ........... "How sharper than a serpents tooth it is to have a thankless child! King Lear (1, iv)" ............. I am really impressed by your grasp of Shakespearian plays SR. Shows a good education.

Or a good quote book. :wink::D:rolleyes:

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it's not often we get a little heat on SGL, so I thank Stan for his openness and for his successfully replying personally to almost everyone (except me :rolleyes: ). Stan, I must say though, this forum is consistently very polite and if you want to fit in here without more of these sort of posts, you'll have to make your tone a little more subtle.

Andrew

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