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Old 13-03-2020, 09:20 PM
va1erian
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Purchasing an "open box" reflector

I paid online for a Skywatcher Black Diamond reflector. The telescope was listed as new on sale.

When I came to pick it up, the shop owner told me the telescope was the last one, and it was displayed in a showcase behind a glass window. He said he checked it, and packed it in the original box. He told me this was a reason the telescope was sold at a discount.

I am a slow-witted introvert, and took the telescope. (Before, I bought all my equipment from overseas online stores where I could take my time to make a choice.) When I came home I discovered that the telescope was originally shipped 5 years ago, and the packaging label looked bleached by heat. Now I am thinking:

1) The "open box display" discount was too small, about 15% (or 7%, if I compare with the competitors);

2) Five years would result in some oxidation of the aluminium coating of the mirror -- should I arrange to re-coat the mirror, or just buy a new telescope ?

3) The box did not have a manual (I do not know if I should expect one or not). The Skywatcher website did not have a manual to download, but I found a generic one for collimating.

I would appreciate hearing your comments, especially on the point 2.
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Old 13-03-2020, 10:11 PM
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xelasnave
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Don't worry. Get on with it.
It will I expect it to be good for another five years probably longer...use it wear it out while you save for the next one...the mirror won't be the reason you finally buy another scope...you will want bigger or a refractor or something...
To remirror is usually too expensive to justify on relatively cheap scopes.
You have 'after purchase blues' we all get caught sometimes to a degree but why destroy your potential happiness.
I got stung worse on my first scope purchase...$1100 for a four inch reflector from a camera shop and that was 2003
Hope that makes you feel better.
Alex
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Old 14-03-2020, 09:06 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
Always gonna be a NOOB...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by va1erian View Post
2) Five years would result in some oxidation of the aluminium coating of the mirror -- should I arrange to re-coat the mirror, or just buy a new telescope ?

I would appreciate hearing your comments, especially on the point 2.
Does the mirror look clean & unmarked?

Have you had it out for an observing session yet?

I wouldn't be stressed at all to be honest... I own a Vixen R130SF that is many, many years old... the mirror has a few small marks on it but, the views from this scope are absolutely stunning!!

My advice FWIW is get it out & start using it... if the views are rubbish, then you have reason to take it back & ask for a refund... if not, then enjoy the hell out of it.

Many folk have reflectors that are considerably older than 5 years & are still getting very good views & just enjoying the whole astronomy experience; I really wouldn't be too worried about it...
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Old 15-03-2020, 12:31 AM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Just go and use the telescope. The coatings will be fine.

The mirror coatings on my 18" Obsession are 15 years old and it has had it a lot tougher than sitting in a shop window. It spent the first 6 years of its life living permanently within 100 metres of a large saltwater lake and the next 9 years of its life within 800 metres of the ocean. During those 15 years it has been continually exposed to dew and dust.

Stop worrying and just use it and enjoy it.

Cheers
John B
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Old 15-03-2020, 07:41 PM
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ngcles
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It will be fine

Hi Val1erian,

Assuming the telescope has spent nearly all or all its time inside the shop and in a glass case is very, very unlikely to detract from anything about its use.

Skywatchers are have SIO2 over-coated optics, so it is extremely unlikely the coatings will be affected save for a tiny bit of dust which can, if needed, be washed off. Don't be overly scrupulous about washing mirrors. Follow the first tenet of the Hippocratic oath -- first, do no harm. A little surface dust really does detract little if any from the view.

Get out and enjoy it and rejoice in the discount you received.

Best,

L.
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Old 15-03-2020, 10:23 PM
va1erian
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Ah, thanks, everyone, for the moral support. I believe the telescope will be al'right for the next 5 -- 10 years when I will be using it. What has irked me is the seller's misrepresentation of the condition of the telescope. The deal did not look good to me anymore. I could put $50 on top, and buy a brand-new telescope from somewhere else. I have always been puzzled by the people's need to get the "service" from the brick-and-mortar shop, and they were prepared to pay 20-30% more for the nice chat when picking up the item.
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Old 16-03-2020, 02:34 PM
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JeniSkunk (Jenifur)
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The good retail places make you actively want to go back and buy more. That's what forms the goodwill value of a shop.

Not every place puts such a large mark up on wholesale to retail. some, it's maybe about 5 to 10%.
The service component isn't just how they treat you when you go to pick up an online purchase. It's how they treat you whenever you visit. Pick up an order, put something in for repair, drop in to have a yarn, lay-buy an item.

A good shop earns its reputation from how it treats its customers. Equally, a poor shop earns its reputation on how it mistreats customers, or seems to.
In the case of the shop you dealt with, the latter feels it's more the case. The shop owners were not willing to be open on their website, about the status of the item they were trying to sell.
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Old 16-03-2020, 10:26 PM
va1erian
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I remember trying to buy something online from the large Sydney store 5 years ago, and I was surprised to see that they had a 30 -- 40% higher price than I could get the stuff from overseas for. But something changed in the retail scene about 2 years ago. The stores with physical location realised that they had to bring the prices in line with that of the online retailers, if they wanted to stay in business. Last year, I bought a $240 camera from that Sydney store for only 5% more that I'd get it from overseas. I considered it as a price of Australian warranty. I was rather pleased.

But some other stores still live in the fantasy land. If I point out that I could get the item much cheaper by buying online, they behave indignant. As a justification, they may tout the line of "service" (which I personally do not need).

In case of this particular physical store, it occurs to me that they have been sloppy when putting the items online. (It looks like they get most of their sales from the walk-in customers in this busy street.) They did not intend to disinform people like me. I suppose I should chalk it down to getting an experience.
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Old 24-03-2020, 12:01 PM
va1erian
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A week later, my concerns about the purchase are of no relevance. The exchange rate of the Australian dollar dropped, so that all equipment became more expensive. I guess I should feel lucky I got a bargain :-)
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