March 2020 Updates
STEAMFest Event Mar 7-8
We will be hosting a booth at Boulder STEAM Fest March 7th and 8th. This is a great family event with lots of science based interactive activities for all ages. Stop by our booth along the south wall of the main exhibit hall, and build your own constellation projector!
Sales and Deals
March kicks off a few new sales, including the Advanced VX telescopes from Celestron, and a sale on Meade wide angle eyepieces.
Trade war tariffs are hitting in a big way now. Prices are going up on most accessories, and on some telescopes and mounts. While telescopes are still exempt from the China tariffs, accessories, eyepieces, and filters are not. Prices on those items are going up around 15% on average. Celestron and Meade have been absorbing these costs for over a year now, but with no end in sight to the tariffs, the increases are now getting passed through.
Increases are also hitting APO refractors in particular, due to rising costs. Refractors from several companies are going up soon, so grab an ED refractor now. Production shortages due to coronavirus are also hitting this category in a big way, with most 100mm-120mm class refractors on back-order.
We are seeing delays in product availability, particularly from manufacturers who were already struggling to keep up with demand. The extended factory closures and risk of more closures may mean constrained supply though-out this year. That's the impact in China.
In terms of the domestic impact, we are keeping an eye on things. Large events are getting cancelled or postponed across multiple industries now to minimize travel and unnecessary exposure risk. We still plan to participate in multiple regional events and star parties this summer. In terms of our retail operations, we are currently business as usual.