Vancouver Telescope Centre has closed its doors this past week. I went to their shop today after many unanswered phone calls to find the door locked and 2 notices on the building. It may not be a true receivership matter rather, it may be due to not being able to pay the rent and bills.
They have my telescope and I am trying to get it back because 1: It’s my telescope and 2: my kids bought it for me with their own money.
I have a lead and will use it to look into this more. I met Harout only once but I could tell he was a good guy. I am sorry for him, I am sorry for anyone else who is affected by the closure of Vancouver Telescope Centre.
Post by deepskydarrell on Feb 12, 2017 8:58:37 GMT -8
Sad to hear. It's so hard for today's retailers to compete with online sales from everywhere. Several years ago I'd heard that Anacortes Telescope gets 80% of their business online (and they sell guns too). Does this mean we are without a retailer? Hopefully someone will carry on as a retailer locally. If we're without a hands on place, club get togethers will be even more important to demonstrate our equipment and craft skills.
Thanks Brian for the heads up. Hope you get your scope back. Let us know how it goes.
16.5 inch F 5.3 Zambuto Optics homebuilt Dobsonian
Post by Paul Greenhalgh President on Feb 12, 2017 9:29:02 GMT -8
I spoke with Harout via Facebook. And apparently he pulled alot of other folks stuff out of there, so hopefully he has your scope at his place. He's very sad about it, but he put his customers before himself as quite a bit of his stuff is still in the shop and he's not sure if he's getting it back. So it's a very difficult situation all around....
That leaves as far as I can recall... All Star Telescopes (Alberta) and Vernon Telescopes (who's website is currently down and under construction).
And as Darrell is saying the inter-net is definitely taking out quite a few retailers. I went through the stores list I had on our website and had to remove about six links that no longer were working. (Wow).
One can only hope they might surprise us all and open up a store in Langley or Abbotsford? (Purely a suggestion on my part)...as I have NO Idea as to whats really happening but apparently it was quick and Boom no more VTC. That sux.
Paul Greenhalgh DSW (President)
Fraser Valley Astronomers Society
Some have asked me to let them know if I get my telescope back. Well I'm happy to say that YES, I got it back today. Harout kept it safe all this time downstairs. I visited the store today and we found my telescope safe and sound. Yay! Thank you Harout, thank you club members!
Post by Mark McLaughlin on Feb 15, 2017 13:15:25 GMT -8
This is indeed Sad news. VTC was one of my favorite stores. Harout is one of the most outstanding people you would ever met. As honest as the day is long. The rest of the staff was also very helpful. Even the young Ronan did a bang up job my last trip in there a few years back. But I guess time has finally caught up to them. This is a sign of our times, astronomy is under attack from so many directions. Light pollution being one, and the other being little or no education offered in schools. No fish in the river, you don't fish. No stars in the sky, you won't look. I see the next generation missing out on some of life's greatest adventures, which is too bad. Well I see our President has used his charm too settle out the concerns. I bet Harout will see that every scope he has gets back to it's rightful owner. If anybody from VTC reads this, Thanks for your many years of Service! MMc
Post by Terry Keller on Feb 21, 2017 17:37:39 GMT -8
Yes, sad to know we don't have a local retailer. I am old school and prefer to examine new purchases in person before plunking down my money. I have bought a few items from US online retailers or eBay when I haven't been able to easily source something within Canada. But jeepers, the brokerage fees (which I call the "because we can" tax) and exchange are a killer! If I am now stuck buying online I want to try to buy Canadian to avoid the outrageous brokerage fees. Anyone had experience with Canadian online retailers like Khan Scope? They seem to have a large online catalogue but I have never ordered from them due to an uncomfortable experience I had when talking to them on the phone. Back when I bought my CPC1100 I called a bunch of places for pricing including Khan Scope. They didn't seem all that interested in selling me a scope... it was weird to the point I scratched them from my list. Ended up getting it from Harout at Vancouver Telescope... it was cheaper and no shipping charges. *sigh* The next hobby I get into is gonna use materials and gear I can buy at any Wal-Mart!!
Post by Mark McLaughlin on Feb 21, 2017 18:41:54 GMT -8
One of my favorite moments is from Mt. Kobau at dusk when Harout sang us all a verse from an opera. It was like the movie, "Shawshank Redemption", where the inmates got to listen to the Diva sing. It was a captivating scene with the fading light,pine scents, and Harout's wonderful voice. I cried. Very moving. Fresh tears make the eyes see better, I told myself. As for dealing with Khan, the fella on the phone was very nice. He explained why their website would not let me pay for an item i wanted. Ordered by phone,I got my stuff in a reasonable time. Only reason i went here was Alberta guy didn't stock what i was after. Neither did Vernon shop. Very hard to shop local now. Mark.
Post by deepskydarrell on Feb 21, 2017 21:52:21 GMT -8
If this helps:
Several years ago, Swede and I went to Anacortes for two Stelarvue 80 mm erect finders. Swede phoned ahead and the Ontario Guy said if someone has then in stock go and get them. We did and just paid Can sales tax at the border.
Four years ago when I had my Mirror refigured by Carl Zambuto, (a little over 2 grand) I picked it up from near Olympia WA and paid just the taxes at the border.
Last Fall I picked up some Bino's at OPT in Oceanside CA ($300 CAN) Gave them a good test in the store and they waved me thru the border after declaring it. (10 days away)
I sure like to field test eyepieces before I buy. That's how I found out the 17.3 mm Delos wouldn't rack in far enough in my low profile focuser (not parfocal with the 10 mm) -- didn't buy one. Sure could use one tho. Picked up my 10 mm at the place by SFU -- that was easy (but didn't field test it).
Would like to field test some Delites but afraid I might like them. Maybe if I went to the Oregon Star Party ....
16.5 inch F 5.3 Zambuto Optics homebuilt Dobsonian