I'm writing in the hope that I can steer you away from the proliferation of cheap Chinese telescopes being advertised, and also to suggest that you stick to reputable brand names. Please read the astronomy forums on the net before buying. You may even find the name of the scope I am talking about!!
I had the misfortune of purchasing a new 6" reflector telescope last year from a 5 star rated e-bay Power Seller. The German seller advertises these telescopes as top quality instruments by using phrases such as "diffraction limited optics", which, if you know the jargon, basically means that the scope has excellent and expensive quality optics. The reason I see this as a scam is many fold and you should watch out for these various points :-
- As stated, use of jargon implying that the scope is a serious instrument. IT ISN'T. It will not focus a star to a point which a good insrument should do. This is because the mirror is a cheap spherical one.
- The advertisng cleverly makes you think that the scopes are being sold from a German factory outlet. Remember, the company is German. So you kind of make the assumption that it is German optics, which you think would be OK They are merely a distributor of cheap Chinese scopes.
- Try contacting the company by e-mail before you think of buying and see how efficient they are at getting back to you. If you ask them if the mirror really is a top quality parabolic one, why, they may even lie to you!
- The company advertises some kind of lifetime warranty which seems to be impossible to activate
The after sales service was a joke I must say. After I purchased, attempts to communicate by e-mail invariably failed. Oh, and by the way, the company has various identities on e-bay, one of which mysteriously stopped trading after their feedback rating dipped below 97%.
Do bear in mind that a bad scope can put you off the hobby and give you a bad experience. A very good astronomical telescope will not cost much more than these Chinese things as there are a lot of deals around at the moment.