Good points. I was thinking more in terms of Anacortes selling used items which does not bother me at all. But, sitting ready to pounce on a bargain before I or someone else can get to it to turn around and resell at a higher price, now that's tough... Thanks for posting.
I have no problems with ATWB buying and/or selling any item be it used or not. After all, ATWB is a sponsor and should be afforded the same considerations as any other Sponsor. However, I would be against ATWB or *any* Sponsor buying something here and reselling it back here at a profit. If ATWB has a need for a used item to sell at their store, I say go for it! If ATWB has something to offer here for sale they got in trade, buy it! As with any item, it's only worth so much, and people will only pay what they think it's worth. So I don't see how it could "drive up the price" of anything. Used items are normally in short supply by any individual or Sponsor so it's not like anyone would be flooding the market with any one used item.
Herb, I would trust that you would hold ATWB to a higher standard than other Sponsors and not just buy something to make profit on it. Buying something that has a use to ATWB at the time is fine. Selling something you took in trade will give us all a chance to buy it. Besides, you need to be able to sell trade-ins in order to be able to take trade-ins.. ;-)
I have found astromart to be an huge asset for the amateur astronomers. My fear is with the "big" players moving in, 1) the amateurs will be stop using the service and 2)the overall sucess of the site will steadily decline over time.
I say don't forget the original audience and intent of the site..it worked!
Concern #1: Anacortes buying power, along with the ability to monitor the ads much moreso than the average amateur astronomer (they ARE on your servers, after all) will give you an unfair advantage.
Concern #2: As you buy up the better value items, and resell at higher prices for a profit the overall prices of used items on Astromart will be driven up.
Concern #3: Well, this is probably just an extension of #1, but there will always be the perception of you using your position and buying power to unfair advantage, no matter if it's true or not. When we start seeing popular items selling in minutes, it's going to cause some hard feelings.
None of which should matter much, I guess. I think it's good of you to put this issue up for our opinions, but ultimately you're not answerable to us, and have to make the best decision for your business.