It’s never easy to find all your hunting equipment in one marketplace. A lot of people still get their tactical gear and sports optics by visiting multiple online retailers and maybe even doing some old-fashioned shopping at local hunting goods stores.
The most popular online marketplace, Amazon, has a wide range of equipment. However, you don’t always get the best presentation or find everything you’re looking for. If all you want is access to a catalog that caters to all things sports, hunting, law enforcement, and survival gear, you may need to start looking for a niche platform.
What is Optics Planet?
Optics Planet is a well-regarded online retailer of military gear, tactical gear, sports optics, and more. Since 2000, Optics Planet has catered to millions of domestic and international customers.
What Does Optics Planet Sell?
The real question is, what can’t you buy on Optics Planet? At the rate it’s adding more products, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if you could buy military choppers at some point in the future.
Optics Planet has a long list of products to offer but the most popular categories include:
- Hunting Equipment
- Shooting Equipment
- Outdoor and survival
- Military and tactical
- Sports optics
- Police, fire, EMS
A lot of people use the platform to purchase firearm accessories and tactical apparel or gear. Everything from safety glasses to laser sights, night vision goggles, and rifle scopes. Crossbows and knives are also available.
Interestingly enough, you can purchase gunsmithing equipment and gun parts. Communication devices, multi-tools, and other survival gear are available and always in high demand. This is very nice when you consider that very few platforms other than Optics Planet allow you to buy all the gear you need at the same time.
Below is a brief video that provides you a general view of the company:
Although it favors optics and optical instruments, the platform offers a lot more than that. You can also purchase belts, tactical backpacks, lights, holsters, and even handcuffs. Camouflage and urban apparel are also available.
Another interesting niche that Optics Planet caters to is lab equipment. You can find many laboratory glassware, microscopes, telescopes, and even centrifuges from some of the most respected manufacturers.
Besides digital cameras and lenses, there are also car accessories, instructional DVD’s, personal safes, and more. While you don’t get to purchase any regular household items or perishables, Optics Planet offers pretty much everything else that’s hard to find on bigger platforms.
Website Responsiveness and Design
The Optics Planet website looks a bit cluttered but it’s not hard to navigate. There are quick links to the important sections and there’s a category bar with a drop-down list for each category. When you want to search for something, there are various filters that you can apply to narrow down your search.
It may not look high-end, but the website loads quickly. What’s also nice is that most of the products include specs and features in concise lists. You can do a quick read without having to scroll up and down the page.
You can shop using PayPal or credit cards. However, in order to use your credit card, you’ll have to verify it. This means allowing Optics Planet to withdraw a small amount from your account. It’s similar to what you have to go through to add a credit card to your PayPal account.
What Optics Planet Doesn’t Sell
There are a couple of items which are naturally not for sale. Ammunition and firearms can’t be bought on the platform. Even though you can find a wide range of AR15 accessories, your favorite rifle isn’t for sale online. The parent company of Optics Planet, OpticsPlanet, Inc., is located in Illinois, which is known for its strict gun laws.
Advantages of Using Optics Planet
One of the best things about this platform is that you can find a staggering amount of scopes, headgear, eyewear, and apparel for the weekend hunter, hardcore survivalist, or law enforcement officer.
Not all items are always in stock. But, compare Optics Planet to your local gun store and you’ll realize just how much easier it is to get a hold of all the equipment you need.
The collection of brands is just as good and diverse as the product and activity categories. You can find pretty much anything from the cheapest handgun IR attachments to professional game scopes.
Another advantage of making Optics Planet your go-to vendor for all things sports and hunting is the affordability, especially when compared to brick and mortar stores.
Disadvantages of Using Optics Planet
A lot of customers complain about one of two things – either it takes much longer than promised to get their order or they receive something else in the package than what’s ordered. Look at it this way. Occasional order cancellations, delays, and sorting errors can happen on any eCommerce platform.
International shipments may get delayed in the mail unless you go for the most expensive courier services. Also, there are many products that may be restricted overseas. This can also lead to bad reviews, even though the customer could’ve done some extra research beforehand.
However, the ratio of positive to negative shipping reviews is a bit scary even if you take international shipping out of the equation. It can be a gamble at times to get the right scope. And since there’s also no guarantee on when you will receive your products, buying birthday or other time-sensitive gifts on Optics Planet can turn into a fiasco.
Another cause for concern is the customer service department. Although you can get in touch with representatives via email or phone, it’s debatable as to just how helpful they are. Lots of customers report that after encountering delayed shipments or receiving the wrong product, talking to a customer service rep didn’t get the problem fixed any sooner.
Even though some of the cons may seem to outweigh the pros when it comes to Optics Planet, it’s hard to look past the amazing niche product selection.
The prices are very good in comparison with Amazon, eBay, and similar platforms. That’s because Optics Planet doesn’t rely so much on affiliate marketing and dropshipping. All the products you see are sold by OpticsPlanet, Inc. and kept in their massive Chicago warehouse.
By taking this approach, the retailer can afford to sell at lower prices as they don’t have to cover rewards and other costs. If you need something urgent, it can sometimes be hit or miss with Optics Planet. But if you want to save a few bucks on a large selection of survival gear and sports optics and more, it’s easily one of the top-ranking platforms of its kind.