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    Re: Observations On Buying A Used Sextant On Ebay
    From: Joel Jacobs
    Date: 2004 Mar 22, 14:16 -0500

    Hi Everybody,
    
    Doug raises some interesting points which I would like to clarify from a
    shippers point of view.
    
    We price our shipping honestly, but we do expect to be reimbursed for the
    special packaging costs that are directly related to certain of the products
    we sell, sextants being one of them. These kinds of products require a box
    within a box, and impact absorbing material between the two. If you want to
    check independently, call any UPS store and see what a 16 x 16 x 10 double
    wall carton costs, and then ask about bubble wrap or peanuts. You then need
    to get a carton that fits the sextant which is what you will place in the
    first box mentioned. You may be surprised at how much these every day things
    are.
    
    The packing takes skill, is labor intensive, and takes time to do right.
    The carriers also charge extra if they come by to do a pickup. We always do
    deliveries to keep our customers cost down.
    
    You say all that is not necessary, well send me your email addy, and I'll
    send you some pictures of what hapens without it.
    
    The big variable with a sextant in addition to the distance, and class of
    service desired, is the cost of the insurance. Insurance obliviously goes up
    as the value goes up and can be as much as 1/3 the total cost. Our sextants
    on the average sell for about $500 to $600, some more, some less, and we
    state in our listings that they cost about $22 - $25 to ship in the 48
    contiguous States, depending on insurance. On a $1000 sextant it can be
    $12.00 depending on which carier. After the auction we submit an actual
    point to point quotation.
    
    We also are on the paying side of the equation  for incoming shipments from
    all over, but I'm not including overseas which is an entirely different
    story. On shipments coming from U.S. sources we pay between 10 and 13 % of
    the product cost for freight. And that ain't hay.
    
    BTW, as Doug points out some merchants use payment methods that assess the
    buyer for the transmitting the funds such as Bid Pay and Western Union. With
    PayPal the seller pays and it is 3% of the total invoice amount unless its
    an international transfer when it is 6%. We willingly pay the 3%, but will
    not pay the international surcharge.
    
    Hope this adds some insight into shipping and handling costs,
    
    Joel Jacobs
    
    
    
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Royer, Doug
    To: NAVIGATION-L@LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM
    Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 12:43 PM
    Subject: Re: OBSERVATIONS ON BUYING A USED SEXTANT ON EBAY
    
    
    One more thing to consider is the shipping and "handleing" charges tacked on
    at the end of the auction price by some venders.I've seen $25.00 s + h to
    $125.00 s + h charges plus money transfer fees tacked on to the buying
    price.Not that good of a deal after all after paying $800.00 for a used
    sextant(or anything)from some of these venders.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Navigation Mailing List [mailto:NAVIGATION-L@LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM]On
    Behalf Of Joel Jacobs
    Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 03:31
    To: NAVIGATION-L@LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM
    Subject: OBSERVATIONS ON BUYING A USED SEXTANT ON EBAY
    
    
    Hi,
    
    I found the exchange about the cost of a Cassens and Plath sextant
    interesting, so a few observations about buying and selling on ebay from a
    regular seller and infrequent buyer who regularly tracks the winning prices
    on selected sextants of key manufacturers.
    
    Yes and No to their being no rationality to some of the bidding practices.
    
    Some standout examples over the last 5 months of "irrational exuberance":
    An English Carl Zeiss sextant which was an exact duplicate of a standard
    Freiberger brought nearly $800.00 whereas a Freiberger in good condition
    normally brings around $400 - $450.00. And the recurring bids on USED ASTRA
    III B's, irrespective of whether they are the deluxe or standard version.
    The bidding on these frequently raises their price to a level that for a
    very few dollars more you can buy a new one with a guarantee of satisfaction
    on delivery, and an additional twelve month manufacturer's warranty. A NEW
    Astra III B is always available on ebay right alongside the used. One very
    common Tamaya Jupiter, MS 833 that had a full horizon mirror which went for
    well over $1200.00 on the basis that the device was custom retro-fitted by
    Baker- Lyman. IMO, the Jupiter is a Chevrolet compared to the Spica. The
    Navy buffs who spend from $500 to $600 on a Navy MK II, which except for its
    service in WW II, is an undistinguished design. Some of the 7/8th scale
    Freibergers that bring $500.00 almost the cost of a new one.
    
    On the low side: Just recently, a little used Tamaya-Nautech MS 733 Spica
    with two scopes sold recently for $580.00. My company sold it to the owner
    originally in 1977. The Navy MK III that went for $260.00 a couple of weeks
    ago or the one that went for $380. The Russian SNO-T and SNO-M sextants
    which are regularly sold by a U.S. Source at prices well below what their
    features should bring.
    
    Even though it is the odd balls that stick in my mind, and some lofty prices
    out weigh the bargains, the great majority of ebay sextant buyers seem to
    know their intrinsic values. By this I mean they pay what I think I would
    want to get for the same sextant if I had it for sale, and earn a fair
    profit. (The difference is we will take it back) They tend to be seriously
    interested in CELNAV and have done enough research on pricing not to go over
    board for obviously way over priced or run of the mill or shoddy stuff. On
    the other hand, there are enough new buyers who can get caught up in the
    excitement of the bidding process to have their competitive juices flow
    making them over bid. Another phenomenon is one or more people who try to
    see how high they can bid with out actually being the wining bidder. I find
    that very strange.
    
    Some general comments: Today there are only three different sextant
    manufacturers not counting the Russians. Tamaya, Cassens & Plath, and
    Freiberger. Some say that Tamaya is considering shutting down new sextant
    production. All these sextants cost a bundle when purchased new so that
    $1000.00 or more for a good quality C. Plath or Tamaya 733 is not
    unreasonable in my view. Furthermore, there are a number of those in the
    business that honesty believe that the older instruments were built to a
    higher level of quality than the relatively new ones and represent a much
    better value. So when someone says he paid so much for a "certain brand"
    used sextant when he could have bought a new one for little more, the buyer
    may have made a valid choice. Finding good used sextants is getting harder
    and harder and my sources see what is going on so there is constant pressure
    to raise their prices. Don't be surprised to see sextant prices going up
    starting in May.
    
    Areas to watch out for: Beware the sextant that is being sold by someone who
    says he doesn't know anything about them, IMO that's a signal that he will
    not be held responsible if you buy something that turns out to be less than
    you bargained for. Beware the instruments whose pictures are poorly done and
    which may show one mirror and not the other. If the description is skimpy so
    likely is the condition. And don't think you're smart enough not to be taken
    or that ebay will give you any help or their buyer protection is worth much
    unless you actually don't receive something.
    
    I hope this is of some help.
    
    Joel Jacobs, ebay ID, mymaryb2
    
    www.landandseacollection.com
    
    
    

       
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