Is it possible to get good quality binoculars without shelling out a lot of money? It appears that high-performance optics cannot come without a hefty price tag, and that’s the main reason a lot of people search for alternatives that don’t have them break the bank.
Such solutions include getting a pair of cheap binoculars and purchasing a used one. These choices have drawbacks, as you’ll see right away.
Used Binoculars and Expected Issues
When you get a pair of used binoculars, there are, of course, some benefits to consider. For starters, you might get a model that used to be quite expensive when it was new, and now costs only a fraction of the price. That’s the main upside. Well-made models may retain their superior quality, and they won’t cost as much as a new pair.
However, while this may sound like a good deal to you, there are so many other things to consider. Here they are, listed for quick reference:
- You may not get a return policy – if you’re unhappy with your purchase, you may not be able to get your money back. It is true that online marketplaces, like eBay, rate sellers and the highest ranked are the ones who offer extra benefits such as a return policy.
- You won’t get all the accessories – when someone sells their old binoculars, the chances are that they no longer have all the accessories or the original box for them. That means that you will still have to spend a bit of money on any additional items you might need for your binocular.
- The binoculars may be outdated – a lot of technological advances have changed lately the way binoculars are constructed. In terms of optics and performance, new models top anything older models could do, in case they are made by a company with a solid reputation and a significant research budget.
- There may be issues that are not easy to see at first glance – some problems may be easy to detect from the moment you hold the binoculars in your hands, such as lack of proper focusing on one side. Yet, there are others that can’t directly put to the test. Maybe you bought a pair that was advertised as rainproof, and get a nasty surprise later. Many things can happen that can make you feel that your expense was unjustified, such as internal haze, misalignment and so on.
- Even if you return a broken pair, you’ll have to pay for shipping – in the fortunate case that the seller you worked with has a return policy, you will still need to cover the shipping fees from your own pocket, as no one would ever agree to pay for those, too, as someone who’s selling used items online.
What About Cheap Binoculars?
Now that you may be a little more convinced that buying a pair of used binoculars is not a good idea, your attention may turn toward cheap binoculars that are available for sale.
When you’re thinking of cheap binoculars, you most probably have in mind something along the lines of a specific budget. It is a good idea to have an outline of what you want in a pair of binoculars and what features you could live without.
This way, you will be able to establish what kind of products you should look at. If you are in doubt, you can find plenty of options on opticsandlab.com, at different prices, so that you can take a decision easier.
Now let’s break down what aspects you should pay attention to when searching for binoculars, at a minimum, so that you can strike a good deal even if you shop on a budget.
Search for Low Entry Models from Reputable Manufacturers
An excellent strategy to apply is this one. Browse through what reputable companies sell as their low entry models. While their top of the line models might come with impressive price tags attached, the same brands sell much cheaper options for those who want to enjoy good quality at a decent cost.
Of course, you will not get the same features or even overall quality from a low entry model as you would from one that is the brand’s flagship, but still, if you were to compare such products with those that are categorized as ‘no name’, you will see that the difference in quality can be substantial.
You May Sacrifice a Lot of Things, But Not Optics Performance
When you want to spend little money on a pair of binoculars, your expectations should be moderate. Nonetheless, you should not sacrifice optics performance for the sake of some extras, no matter how nice they may sound.
You want your binoculars to show you a clear, bright picture, and if you can get one of the new models with multiple coatings, that’s all for the better.
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Wait for the Discount Season
Any company offers products at a discount from time to time. As you well know, there are even times of the year where all brands provide discounts, and those making binoculars are no exception to the rule.
So, another great strategy should be to wait for Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, or any other discount event, and see what you can get then.
Read Comparisons and Reviews
To get a good feel of what a pair of binoculars that have good quality and decent pricing at the same time must come along with, an idea you could try is to spend some time reading comparisons and reviews offered by experts and other buyers, like you.
It is the surest way to find some gems that might have gone under the radar otherwise. You will also get to check the features and any performance stats at a glance, and that without trying multiple pairs yourself.
When shopping online, testing the binoculars is impossible, so it would be good for you to check others’ opinions so that you can get a clear picture of what is going on.