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Started in 2000, OpticsPlanet has been a go-to source for quality birdwatching products, rifle scopes, microscopes, flashlights, and other equipment. I have shopped with them almost as long as they’ve been in business, and they have always been my first go-to when looking for a product to fill a specific need. In a world where major online retailers allow fake reviews and shady resellers, OpticsPlanet has accurate product descriptions, informed and thoughtful customer reviews (including negative reviews!), and a broad selection of products that work.
Finding and purchasing products is seamless between the website and app. The apps are very highly rated in Google Play and the App Store, and shopping from your phone is just as easy as shopping on the main site. Even though they are a specialized seller, their prices are comparable and often less than mainstream online retailers, shipping has always been reasonable, and their customer service is up to task if something becomes a concern.
For the more demanding customer, their product descriptions are an absolute joy. Ever wanted to search for an illuminated etched-glass reticle on a 3x scope with a bullet-drop reticle specifically designed for 5.56mm NATO ballistics? A pair of nautical binoculars with a passive rangefinding reticle? An ESEE PR4 Camp Lore knife for bushcraft or survival? OpticsPlanet has you covered. Their product photos include necessary details missed on Amazon and Walmart.com – things like images of the reticle or scope controls.
What you get from OpticsPlanet is a place to find the right product for your needs and have it delivered from a reputable seller at a fair price. No fake reviews, no weeding through endless listings of questionable brands to find names like Leupold, Hawke, and Burris, and no concerns of receiving an item only to find it’s cheap plastic with a brand name laser etched on it. I’ve been there. It’s part of why my porch is full of boxes that say “OpticsPlanet” instead of other names.
OpticsPlanet has pricing comparable to those of mainstream sellers, a wider selection than most, and free shipping on most orders. The product mix they sell means most orders will exceed the minimum for free shipping. Prices are clearly listed for all products. Clicking on a product that has specific subtypes (i.e., a scope available with multiple reticles) will reveal all the prices for the subtypes clearly in the product listing, unlike mainstream online retailers that require you to click each product individually.
One of the main draws OpticsPlanet shares with other specialty retailers like NewEgg is a customer base that has more discernment and experience with the products they sell. Mainstream retailers like Amazon or Walmart appeal to the general public and allow paid/shill advertisements on their websites. As a result, sub-par or counterfeit products often displace quality products for top spot in number of 5-star reviews. Not so on OpticsPlanet. There are no me-too or counterfeit products sold, and reviews are clearly genuine. Often reading reviews on high-end products sold on OpticsPlanet will be educational or point you to a new authority on a related subject.
Note how even negative reviews are listed toward the top based on user-generated “helpfulness” ratings! No shifty attempts to hoodwink buyers with 5,000 fake reviews here!
The OpticsPlanet app is a smooth, fast, easy-to-understand buying experience. It is available for iOS and Android and is easy to navigate. Finding your shopping cart, past orders, searching for new products, or scrolling through product suggestions are all straightforward and familiar if you’re used to shopping on your phone.
One thing OpticsPlanet does better than mainstream retailers is the fine-tuned search system and detailed, accurate product descriptions. Try searching for second focal plane vs. first focal plane scopes or for an illuminated glass-etched reticle. You’ll quickly realize that Amazon, Walmart, and other general retailers have comparably poor product descriptions, fewer filtering options, and do not put critical product details in the product’s name in searches. OpticsPlanet lets you filter 73 categories, all relevant to the products they sell. Amazon has 7, and only one of them would let you meaningfully sort for the type of scope you want.
The one thing that OpticsPlanet does not have is a refurbished or used marketplace like Amazon Warehouse, eBay, or Newegg Refurbished, even though the product mix they sell has a large reseller market. Many people buy and sell used binoculars, telescopes, rifle scopes, and the like, and if well-cared for, their utility is no less good for the second or third user as the first. It would be great to see a feature like this added to OpticsPlanet, developed with the same care and consideration for the customer as the rest of the business.
OpticsPlanet is a great value to consumers who have a demand for the right tool for the job. Someone just buying “a gun” who needs “a scope” for that gun can go to Walmart or Amazon and find “a scope” easily. It may be a knockoff brand that won’t last; but for some people that’s sufficient. OpticsPlanet is the source for hunters, sport shooters, and combat shooters who need their equipment to work well. Whether you want to learn what you need or know what you need and want to find the best deal, OpticsPlanet has you covered.
OpticsPlanet sells optics and optics-related equipment. You will find microscopes, telescopes, binoculars, monoculars, magnifying glasses, flashlights, knives, firearms accessories, protective eyewear, clothing, and more.
OpticsPlanet bucks are a promotional discount earned by purchasing products at OpticsPlanet with an OpticsPlanet account. Learn more here.
Yes! OpticsPlanet maintains several other digital storefronts that sub-specialize in their main wares. These include www.DVOR.com, www.campsaver.com,. www.tactical-store.com, www.eyewareplanet.com, and others.
I have ordered products from OpticsPlanet for over a decade. They’ve been excellent to work with, and any shipping or product issues are handled quickly with excellent customer service.
I do take longer shopping with them than most products at Amazon, Walmart, or other major online retailers. The webstore has a lot to offer in terms of learning more about products and I’ve often wound up buying a new brand or product with a new feature (or fewer features I realize I don’t need!) than what I set out to get. I’ve never been disappointed with the upgrades/downgrades I’ve wound up getting because of this educational process.
OpticsPlanet is the sort of retailer you spend time at, like any good sporting goods-type company. You browse, read about, and mull over what you’re getting, and leave feeling confident you got what you needed for the right reasons. I unequivocally recommend OpticsPlanet for any serious equipment purchases.
OpticsPlanet is a top-notch retailer. Their selection is excellent and free of counterfeits/cheap knockoffs, and prices are highly competitive. The site and app are easy to understand and use and yet offer far more product-finding tools than mainstream websites. Reviews are honest and thought-out and presented in an honest fashion that puts the most helpful reviews first, even if they are negative. The company values customer goodwill more than pumping sales on lackluster products.
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James Davis is a pharmacist, husband, father, homesteader, jack-of-all-trades, and freelance writer. He’s always looking for new ways to make useful knowledge accessible to everyone wanting a better life. Let's learn from what he has to share!
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