EXPECTATIONS and DELIVERY
and advice for
CUSTOMERS ORDERING OUTSIDE OF THE US
To All Customers
For the meantime the Pyrex problem problem appears to be solved and sufficient stocks are available.
All of my larger mirrors are made to specific order. I do not stock larger mirrors or even make much ahead with respect to smaller mirrors because so many of my customers want specific things, however I will endeavor as best as I am able to keep 8", 10" and some 12" sizes available.
I will try and keep all of my customers apprised of the current situation regarding delivery, and in most cases mirrors are delivered in a few weeks, but customers must be aware that due to a variety of possible events: non-delivery due to shortages, delivery of defective materials that need replacement, accidental damage in manufacture; delays can result that may reach into many months.
To My Canadian Customers
Ordering for those in Canada is not substantially different than for those in the US. Due to NAFTA customs duties do not even apply below $1,500. The only thing to consider is that I require a check drawn on a US bank or I encounter a substantial fee at my end. An international money order works well if a US bank is not available. I have to charge a small additional shipping charge of from $10 to $30 depending upon the size of the optic. Both the US and Canadian governments appear to take a benign attitude with respect to cross-boarder trade and things move back and forth with relative ease and freedom.
To My Customers in Europe and Elsewhere
Overseas customers encounter additional problems, mostly in the area of monetary transfer fees and duty. Monetary transfer is the most common way of making a payment and can be somewhat costly. Making a transfer from the US to Europe costs about $40. As a result, I try and encourage my customers to order very standard items so I can omit the deposit and thus an additional transfer fee.
Overseas customers encounter potentially additional delays due to the fact that I have to inspect each optic prior to shipping. Ordinarily, for US and Canadian customers, I have a telescope mirror shipped directly from the coater to the customer. For overseas customers I have the mirror shipped to me for visual inspection. Scratches are extremely difficult to detect on an uncoated surface and can show up only after coating. When shipping costs are low I can ask the customer who finds a scratch to use the mirror until I create a replacement and make an exchange. With overseas customers, difficulties involving higher shipping costs and customs and duty charges can cause shipping things back and forth to become a debilitating and expensive problem. The overseas customer can not enjoy the scratched mirror (which works every bit as well as one without a scratch) until I can create a replacement. He must wait until I can fabricate a new mirror and inspect that one - and hope it is okay. This can delay things for five or six weeks per event and must be understood by the potential buyer.