With Amazon Prime Day just around the corner, Amazon and a handful of other online retailers will be offering some amazing deals on telescopes and gear. It can be daunting to go through all the deals, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for or where the best deals are or how to find them.
With many of us going through a “cost of living crisis,” finding great discounts and money-saving opportunities is far more important than usual for consumers. Here we’ve put together this handy guide to finding the best discounts, cheeky tricks retailers use, shopping tips and what to look out for when shopping for your next kit.
Find the best discounts
It goes without saying that we all want to find the best discounts this Prime Day. There are some amazing deals on telescopes and gear out there, but finding the best ones can be difficult. Before you rush in with the Buy Now button, take a step back and take a good look at everything that’s on offer. Take a look at the different telescopes that different manufacturers offer and consider which models will work best for you and your viewing needs. Not sure where to start? Try our guide to the best telescopes for beginners, the best telescopes for kids, or the budget-conscious best telescopes under $500. It’s also good to compare the percentage drop in each listing to see how much you’re really saving.
If you can, remember what the original MSRP was, as sellers sometimes inflate the price just before the sales hit. This gives the illusion of an amazing offer when in reality the retail price is not much lower than the original RRP. If you know what you want to buy before the sale, make a note of the current price so you can compare it to the discounted price later.
Make sure you look around
Many retailers have their own deals to compete with Amazon for Prime Day, so don’t discount them (pun not intended). As Amazon takes away from its sellers, even after the discounts, their prices can be higher than other online retailers. Sometimes you can get better discounts from other online retailers and even when visiting stores in person. So, be sure to review all of your options before making a purchase.
There’s nothing worse than spending a hefty chunk of money on something only to find it cheaper elsewhere. Visit our Best Telescope Deals page to find the best deals ahead of Amazon Prime Day – we track prices from a wide range of retailers to ensure you’re getting the best deals possible.
Keep an eye out for kits
Kits can be a great way to save money and get everything you need in one go, especially if this is your first telescope. As a beginner, it’s a bit daunting not knowing what parts of the kit you need to get started, so definitely consider buying a kit that comes with everything.
In addition to the actual scope itself, telescope kits can include tripods, mounts, Barlow lenses, eyepieces, carrying cases, and other accessories that can be great value when you buy them all at once. Get a pack like this and you know you have everything you need to start stargazing. This is a great option for beginners or young stargazers.
Consider your needs
You know what they say – it’s only a bargain if you really need it. Think about whether and where there are gaps in your telescope kit, or whether you want to replace or upgrade something in particular – because now is the right time to do it! There’s no point in buying something “just because it’s cheap” if you won’t be replacing it for a year or so. If you have a specific telescope or accessory in mind, try to narrow down all the features and features you need. This makes it easier to spot the best deals when Prime Day arrives, since you already know what you’re looking for.
Think about your viewing needs and what you are actually using your telescope for. If you’re more of a casual viewer, something like a less expensive refractor with a manual mount would make an excellent entry-level scope. On the other hand, if you want to get into the world of astrophotography, you’ll need to invest a little more in a more sophisticated telescope and motorized mount capable of long exposure photography.
It is also worth reading the reviews of the item you are planning to buy. We have a range of telescope reviews here at Space.com from a variety of astronomy experts. So look here for our thoughts first.
Other customers’ Amazon reviews can be helpful, and you can also check out the more detailed reviews on YouTube that show the product in action. However, when browsing YouTube, be sure to find the reviews from experts and professional astronomers, as they tend to provide a more reliable and objective opinion than browsing customer reviews. Reading reviews helps you shop smarter to get the most bang for your buck.
There are many simple things you can do to spot good deals too. Filter your search by price if you’re on a budget and you’re not tempted to overspend. You can also check out Lightning Deals for extra savings. Cashback sites can offer decent discounts, and if you choose another online retailer, many of them will offer a discount on your first purchase if you join their mailing list. There is currently a worldwide supply problem in telescope production and distribution, so it is also worth taking a look at the delivery times.