Posted By Anacortes Telescopes
Those assholes are trying to make money I think.
Well the good part is they will have to give more to the Obama USA
Every cloud has a silver lining
Live Long and Prosper
On Jan 30, 2013, at 7:51 AM, Stephen Haredit
Filed under: Astrophotography, Uncategorized „ JMZ @ 0342
AstroMart has recently started charging a $12 fee to access their Astronomy classifieds and Auction Site. I wish them a slow painful death deserved by their arrogance. Obviously, some people fail to grasp Web 2.0. They had been delaying access to new listings by 30 minutes so ñtheyî could skim the cream. Then they arbitrarily adjusted the ending times of their auctions so people could not snipe. Now this. No more for me Ð IÍm outta here and hope you join me. The opportunity to create a new astronomy-themed Classified/Auction site is upon us. Anacortes is a close affiliate Ð perhaps a boycott is in order. A sad, sad day. Cloudy Nights runs classified ads. The site can be slow, but it appears to have all of the necessary ingredients Ð Items and Visitors.
34 Comments é
Don Barar said,
April 22, 2010 @ 1548
No one charges a fee to look at advertisements and participate in forums. I had believed that my support of Astromart was through my purchases at Anacortes (Paramount ME, ST10 XME, and various other gear). I am doing my voting with my feet. No more Astromart and no more Anacortes. I am certain there will be other alternatives.
August 30, 2010 @ 1000
Yes I have been left disappointed too. I will not pay the subscription either. Why ïcut youÍre nose to spite your faceÍ ?.. And they were doing so well!
September 10, 2010 @ 0013
One other change I did not like Ð before the fee was imposed Ð was that paid members saw ads about 30 minutes before I did (or any other Free member). Now they end auctions at random times, a little early or a little late, supposedly to prevent sniping. My concern is that behind the scenes, the site owner can choose who wins the auction by altering the end time. AstroMart is fatally broken.
November 9, 2010 @ 0007
Greed doesnÍt seem a strong enough word for the latest debaucle at astromart. Now they want regular support, and the level of that support will determine how long you will be delayed before seeing the classifieds. IÍve never sold on astromart, and never supported. Now my delay is around FOUR HOURS before I can view a classified from the time it was posted. If I want to see the ads in real time, itÍll cost me. Everyone except full supporters ($500 lifetime, $100/yr, down to $15/mo) will experience a delay up to four hours depending on your financial support.
If I were a regular seller, I would be outraged. Astromart is punishing itÍs sellers by severely thinning the number of potential customers whom can view the ads in real time.
As a potential customer, I now have to pay to have a reasonable chance to catch a deal before itÍs gone (usually in less than 4 hours Ð often times MUCH less, like minutes).
Cloudy Nights classifieds often nearly mirror those of amart, so thatÍs where IÍll go from now on. Plus, they are the operators of astronomics. I have had nothing but good experience there. CanÍt say the same for anacortes telescope and astromart. Every contact IÍve had with Herb and company have been rude and arrogant.
Sorry, but I canÍt agree with you hoping for a slow, painful death. IÍd prefer to see a quick, decisive death. The sooner, the better.
Michael Covington said,
December 29, 2010 @ 1501
IÍm not sure exactly how it was implemented, but the anti-sniping policy was supposed to be open and above board „ just like a real auction (and unlike eBay), an Astromart auction is supposed to stay open until the bids stop rising. I was around when this was being discussed but do not know how it was actually implemented or whether it works as intended. Maybe it doesnÍt.
For various reasons, I cannot give Astromart my wholehearted recommendation. I encourage people to explore alternatives such as Cloudy Nights Classifieds.
February 28, 2012 @ 1333
IÍve been a supporter of Astromart for years, even before the current owner, Herb, bought the site. Yes, Herb isnÍt the original owner of Astromart. Alot of people donÍt know that.
Anyway, as I said, I supported the site through donations for years. Then, when Herb decided to implement the $12 registration fee, I felt that it was no big deal and I paid the fee to continue to support the site. Shortly afterwards I moved and sent Astromart an email asking to update my address in my profile. The next thing I know my entire account, profile, ads, and feedback were deleted. I was locked out. Several emails to Astromart inquiring for an explanation went unanswered. I finally got a reply from Herb via a newsgroup that my account was terminated because I fraudulently posted wrong information in my profile, which was my address. I tried to explain that I had moved and I now have a new address, but I apparently didnÍt get HerbÍs approval to move before doing so. I didnÍt know I needed his approval, but according to him, I do.
Basically, Herb stole $$$ from me. I no longer use, or recommend Astromart. I hope Herb has a good life in his own little world.
March 8, 2012 @ 1257
Herb is a piece of work. Sarcastic, arrogant, and concise to the point of nastiness. He rules with a iron fist, misapplies it many times, and has irritated many.
He is like a pushy, sometimes out of control, sheriff patrolling a town in the Old West and cleaning it up of the desperadoes (along with driving out tax-paying citizens occasionally!) and making it an incredibly safe place to live, work, buy, and sell. HeÍs helped out a number of people (fake ads, scams and scammers, digging up needed information, etc.). ItÍs a great place to hang out, with many good contributors; there are good reviews and good deals; it is the best site for buying and selling astro gear on the web.
However, given what he did to you, I donÍt blame you in your decision at all! He needs to learn to listen, not assume heÍs always right, and make amends in cases such as yours.
Dan Seaven said,
April 21, 2012 @ 0250
I am afraid that I have had the same experience. My account was also deleted and there was no way to convince my way back in. Herb sold me a used AP refractor in the early days before they bought Astromart and i was as happy as I could be with the service.
What I feel now is that the sponsors skim anything that is a deal and sometimes You can find it on Ebay later or Cloudy Nights if it does not end up in their storefront. Imagine if Ebay did that.
Astromart is a great resource but the blood is spilling over the cutthroart business policy of yet another business destined to go dow in flames as the money has become more important than the people.
It never used to be that way. See You on Cloudy Nights.
Dan F. said,
April 30, 2012 @ 2040
I just had a similar experience with the a-mart webmaster. Not realizing that this was against a-martÍs policy, I changed my last name to an initial before posting an ad to avoid having my last name appear in google searches. I think it is ridiculous that a-mart displays postersÍ full names instead of their user names in ads in the name of ñsecurityî. Anyway, when trying to log in the following morning, I discovered that my account was banned, no reason or other notice provided. In trying to establish the reason for the ban, my questions and explanations were met with rude one-liners sarcastically addressing me as ñMr.Fî after my initial. Ironically, those messages were signed by ñAstromart LLCî, so I can only speculate on the authorÍs identity. That said, the author offered a refund of my $12 and I was eventually able to convince him to reinstate my account (which I am sure will be banned if he ever reads this post). However the experience left me with a very bitter taste and I will certainly not post any ads on a-mart or buy anything from Anacortes if this is any indication of how they interact with customers.
IÍve also noticed a ~4 hour delay in viewing the ads. If there is evidence of what the other bloggers are saying (i.e. a-mart skimming and re-selling the best deals and offering a more real-time view of the ads to ñcontributorsî), a-mart is probably violating a number of consumer protection laws.
See you on Cloudy Nights.
Anonymous Astromarter said,
August 2, 2012 @ 0411
Now Herb wants everyone to pay to even look at ads. On top of the registration fee. Pay to advertise to a much smaller base of buyers paying to look at the ads. He is making vague claims of more ñcontentî in the future when the forums are essentially inactive. I didnÍt mind paying a fee for a ñbackground checkî as that seems like good insurance to weed out deadbeats and scammers but I just donÍt use it enough to justify paying recurring fees just to read the ads. IÍd never do business with Anacortes but it is a shame to lose access to fellow Astromarters. The proposed plan seems like it will limit the members to active high turnover participants and eliminate most of the base who is just looking to buy or sell a few things over the course of years.
Barry S said,
August 4, 2012 @ 1521
I too, like many others, was an AstroMart supporterƒƒ.long before Herb York bought AstroMart. I supported the site by my participation in it. After it was purchased I supported Anacortes thru fairly regular purchases when I could.
I remember that it was promised to those ñon boardî with AstroMart before the purchase that if fees ever came, the long time members would be ñgrandfathered inî and would not pay fees. When that promised was broken Ð I left. Advertisements (classifieds) attract people to the side and many should then support the host thru purchases. If we had been told in the beginning that hosting fees were rising and ñI cannot promise that we will not charge feesî followed by a ñI am sorry, but we deeply regret we have to charge fees to cover costsî I would have accepted that and paid a fee. However I will not support a broken promise.
CloudyNights offers essentially the same service, but without fees and with much better forums in my opinion. 4 or 5 years ago the CloudyNights Classifieds had only about 5% to 10% the number of ads that was seen at AstroMart, so it was not that great in respect to having a wide selection of things to purchase or an audience to sell too. That has changed, I just counted the astronomy related ads on AstroMart, which goes back 10 days. There were a total of 687 ads going back to 7/25/12 at 10:19 am. I then counted the CloudyNights ads going back to 10:16 am on 7/25/12 and there were 338 ads on CloudyNights. So for this last 10 day period, CloudyNights has 49% of the classifieds volume that AstroMart has. This volume, virtually 50% is significantly improved compared to the 5% volume of just a few years ago. With recent fee increases at AstroMart, I can see the day where CloudyNights Classifieds will surpass AstroMart and will be the venue of choice where most ads are placed. Thank you ñCloudyNightsî!
James McAdams said,
August 14, 2012 @ 1542
I myself have never spoken with a more arrogant person than when I did with Herb in trying to set up an account a couple years back. Actually reading these posts I should thank Herb for saving me a bunch of grief. Not having an account on Astromart I can not attest to the volume of bussiness that transacted on their classifieds but I can say that Cloudy Nights Classifieds and forums are more than adequate for my astronomical needs.
August 15, 2012 @ 2009
Very sad day indeed. IÍm a buy-only customer in AM but after the fee is implemented I will, sadly, stop buying anything in Astromart. IÍm tired of the constant weening of AM owners for forced support. AM was a great place to be in, made some friends there, but a potential commercial blackmail in order to be able to buy anything there is unacceptable to me as a customer. I guess AM should also consider paying a royalty fee, now that theyÍll be charging for their membership and as a fact becoming a bussiness, for using customerÍs pictures in their gallery to advertise the equipment they sell at Anacortes. I would go for an AM boycott from all of us buyers there as soon ad the yearly fee is implemented and effective. I guess the people more affected for this new ruling are the sellers there particularly those that sell small things since there will be less willing buyers in paying higher prices for used stuff. I canÍt understand either that AM charge an access fee to their buyers risking to alienate them when their sales pitch to commercial supporters usually tells them that AM helps buyers of new equipment get rid if their used gear so they can buy new from the commercial supporters. That seems to be a contradiction.
September 18, 2012 @ 1433
I have been a long time user of A-mart and as of 3 days ago I am locked out of my account. I had nothing but the top feedback and rating from buyers and sellers alike. Now that they are asking for a fee I will use cloudynights or ebay.. Can I assume that now that they are charging a fee that they will mediate any bad deals or provide some form of buyer protection?
September 21, 2012 @ 0002
I donÍt think they will ever do that. The only thing they say now is ñI got your credit card number and address verified on the bankî so everybody else is safe because of that. ThatÍs a false sense of security for anyone. IÍve seen some posts by AM stating that if you get scammed they just say ñyou are out of luck because you are an idiotî. Some insurance. I did get scammed on ebay but both Paypal and Ebay stood by their warranty and PayPal refunded my lost money. That is what I call insurance against fraud. A credit card in the hands of AM by itself is by no means a protection for the buyer All the risk is on the buyer. Insurance is. But they are not interested on that as long as it costs them money to implement. They say they got 95,000 paid membership. Multiply that by $15 and you get quite a nice figure for just a website. That would pay at least a 10 people staff for a year. Of course, that doesnÍt take into consideration ñextra supportî and commercial ñsupporters. So I donÍt buy that of the site desperately needing support. It just appears to be deceptive business tactics. Better Business Bureau gives them an ñFî rating.
Gary Irwin said,
September 23, 2012 @ 0356
Just discovered my AM account was terminated recently. I wouldnÍt object to paying a small fee to list an ad, but just to look? Give me a break. Sorry Herb, IÍm gone. For me itÍs Canada-wide Astro Buy/Sell and CN.
John Noble said,
September 26, 2012 @ 1947
I joined AM and paid my $12 specifically to buy a semi-rare refractor I found listed there, but I had hopes that the membership would prove useful. My mistake!
I apparently violated some unwritten rule with my first classified listing (a wanted ad) and got it deleted summarily with a cryptic one liner email from an unnamed admin. Further attempts to figure out the problem were met with either silence or a repeat of the same curt one-liner. ThereÍs no reason to put up with this from a paid service, so I called Anacortes and let them know I wonÍt do business with them due to their support of AM.
Cloudy Nights is a wonderful community, I should never have strayed.
September 26, 2012 @ 2022
Anacortes and AM are the same thing. Same owner. Probably same stellar dealing with customers.
John Noble said,
September 26, 2012 @ 2220
When I called Anacortes, the salesman who answered the phone said it was more of a sponsorship relationshipÐwhich surprised me a little.
I agree with your guess. Fortunately there are some really fine vendors out there that I donÍt have to wonder about.
September 26, 2012 @ 2338
I guess you should expect that type of misleading answer from them. If you you check their ads in AM they almost always have only one left of anything they advertise for sale. Would you believe them? Not in a hundred years. Not me anyway.
John Noble said,
September 27, 2012 @ 1630
I made mincemeat of Herb and some sycophants in the support forum, which resulted in a quick ban. Fun stuff!
This was my plan, of course, so I wonÍt be tempted to go down that rabbit hole again.
September 27, 2012 @ 1945
In AMLand the following and often little known unwritten conduct rules apply:
Rule #1. What is written on the TOS may or may not apply to your case. Corollary to Rule #1: If it applies to you will depend on the Administrators/owner current state of mind.
Rule #2: If it is not clearly specified on the TOS it may still apply to you. Corollary to Rule #1 also applies here.
Rule #3: If it is not included on the TOS at all it will apply to you. Corollary to #1 rule also applies here.
Rule #4: Everything that is written on the TOS may or may not be true depending on each individual case. Corollary to Rule #1 applies here too.
Rule #5. If you donÍt like AM policies, above all, do not question these policies otherwise you are toast. Corollary to Rule #1 applies here also.
Rule#6. It is forbidden to think. And dissent above all is not permitted. Do it to your own risk and again, you are toast. Corollary to rule #1 is valid here also.
Rule #7. Beware of the AM forum audience. Danger to your AM account survival may be lurking there. Corollary to Rule #7: Expect anything from anyone.
Abide by these rules and you are more or less safe. Again Corollary to Rule #1 applies here.