OPT Review

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OPT (Oceanside Photo and Telescope) has been in business since 1947. They started selling telescopes in 1982 from small telescope stores. You don’t stay in business that long without learning a thing or two about telescopes and keeping customers happy. Since that time, they have grown to become one of the largest telescope retailers in the world.

From its humble beginnings OPT has grown into one of the world’s largest telescope stores. They carry pretty much every major manufacturer of telescope one could imagine including Meade, Celestron, and Vixen.

OPT also carries a huge selection of accessories for your telescope. At some point in time you will probably want a tripod, mount, eyepiece, Barlow lens or counterweight for your telescope. OPT carries all of these accessories and then some. If it is made for a telescope, OPT probably carries it.

OPT accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards for all purchases. You may also pay with a check, wire transfer, purchase order and PayPal. If you decide to pay with a check your order could be delayed while funds are verified.

OPT allows customers to contact them via the usual means such as telephone, email or regular mail. A nice feature we liked was that OPT actually gives you direct email address to various people in different departments. So if you had a question about telescope repair you could email the representative directly at one of the telescope stores. This eliminates some of the jumping through hoops you might experience at other places.

OPT carries a large inventory of products. As with any internet company, there will be occasions when the product you order is not in stock. OPT will contact the customer in this case and offer options. The nice thing with OPT is they will split the order and ship what is in stock now and ship the rest as it becomes available at no additional shipping charge to the customer.

OPT offers UPS Groundtrack, 3-Day Select, 2nd Day Air, and Next Day Air as shipping options. Of course, if you want your package to be delivered quickly, be prepared to pay quite a bit more in shipping charges. OPT also offers USPS as a shipping option but USPS lacks the ability to track your order and usually isn’t quite as fast as UPS.

There are a select number of products offered by OPT that qualify for free shipping. It seems that the free shipping is only applied to products that they are promoting or of which they have an excess supply. There really isn’t a way to know which products will qualify so it is best to assume that you will pay a shipping fee. When your order is shipped for free it will most likely be shipped via UPS ground or even via USPS.


OPT carries a huge selection of products that can be overwhelming for some new customers. Thankfully they also have a nice buying guide section where customers can learn all about telescopes and which ones will best suit their needs. Keep OPT on your short list of telescope stores if you are looking to buy a telescope online. Be sure to check out how OPT compares to our top rated telescope stores.