Quality Optics Supply & Demand
What you need to know and what to expect
- by Mark Denham, Manager Outdoorsmans
A Painful Wait
The optics industry is a fast-moving creature that offers many innovations for us to utilize in our never-ending thirst for the best of the best. So, when the heavy hitters release something new and exciting, you naturally want to get your hands on it right away. The problem is that oftentimes you can’t. And most of the time, neither can we.
Now, I’ll try to explain how it is that you can purchase a pair of binoculars in February and not receive them until March…of the next year. There are multiple reasons why a certain optics product can have its delivery date pushed back:
- The company underestimated the demand in the marketplace. Overestimating demand while introducing a somewhat risky product could potentially crush a company. Thus, companies will oftentimes hedge their bets and produce smaller quantities, and even when demand grows, production stays at a steadier pace. It then creates a never-ending shortage, or so it seems.
- The “launch” is really just the company dipping their toe in the water to read the temperature of the market. This is a direct result of reason 1. They want to match the demand of the product and the production exactly. This ends up resulting in the consumer expecting the product to be available soon after the launch, when in reality they are just starting production.
- Unforeseen problems in the function/operation of the product. This can obviously affect delivery time and is just something that we all have to deal with. Things happen, and we have to be patient and trust that the delays are for a good reason. No one wants a faulty piece of equipment.
- Sales. This is sometimes what it boils down to. No one wants to throw down thousands of dollars for a product if they know they can’t have it soon. The obvious solution to that is to say that “of course it will be delivering next month!” Next thing you know, you’re sitting on an archery elk hunt in September without the binoculars you paid for eight months ago.
So, next time you go to order the next big thing in the optics industry, just keep this all in mind. By no means am I trying to talk you out of purchasing the newest item when it is announced. Just be prepared for a possible wait.
When it comes to purchasing your next set of binoculars or maybe that spotting scope you’ve been dreaming about for months, there are a lot of options on where you can purchase them. So, what makes Outdoorsmans different from the rest? A simple answer is that we proven experts in the industry. No single-location retailer moves more optics than we do.
We work closely with high-end manufacturers and input on product ideas. No one in the industry can top our knowledge of each of the brands we carry. Our customer service is second to none and we can promise you that whether you call us, email us, or even chat with us on our website, the person on the other end knows more about optics than any other salesman in the business. When we speak about the state of the optics industry, it isn’t a wild guess. We are speaking from extensive experience.
Also, because of our high optics sales volume and our relationships with the manufacturers (built over 25 years), we’re able to get earlier and larger shipments of new releases than other companies.
Three Gems for 2018
With all that being said, there are a few shining examples of newer product that I’d like to talk about - the Zeiss RF and the Leica HD-B 3000 and HD-R 2700. All three of these binoculars were announced in January 2018. The Zeiss RF ($3399) offers revolutionary Bluetooth connectivity with a smartphone. The HD-B 3000 ($2999), as the name implies, ranges out to an honest 3000 yards with ballistic solution capacity. The Leica HD-R 2700 ($2599) has less robust ballistics software but is still an incredibly accurate and fast rangefinder.
All three are just now becoming available. Once the initial backorders from retailers are taken care of, production isn’t going to speed up. If you want to wait for an in-depth review from someone, then go right ahead. Then, as soon as you’ve made up your mind to purchase one, you’d better get on it. They aren’t going to become easier to get any time soon. Of course, there’s always that one lucky friend that walks into his local bow shop or Bass Pro and finds one on the shelf, but don’t hold your breath on that strategy.
Another optic to mention is the Swarovski BTX. Some of you probably remember waiting for that to hit your doorstep last year and then some of you may still think they are unobtainable. This is just a friendly reminder that they are readily available. It only took over a year, but yes, you can get your hands on one any time you would like.
I hope this answers some questions for some people that were wondering why that spotting scope they heard about last year still isn’t available. If you’re thinking about jumping into a new piece of gear and want some information, you should talk to us. Use our chat feature on the website at www.outdoorsmans.com and we will answer quickly. Or give us a call at 800-291-8065. We stay up to date on all the new products - even the ones you can’t get yet. Just remember, be patient, and please don’t yell at the salesman. He wants one just as bad as you do.