Telescopes.com is one of the leading resources among telescope stores for telescope equipment and supplies on the internet. Telescopes.com is part of Hayneedle, a webservice which operates a variety of online web stores. Hayneedle was started in 2002 when it acquired Hammocks.com. Since then it has expanded to over 220 stores, each offering a broad selection in a single, specific category, such as Telescopes.com. Telescopes.com's commitment to customer service and broad product selection have earned a top spot on our matrix as one of the very best online telescope stores.
- Large Selection
- Good Customer Service
- Variety of Payment Options
Their name says it all; Telescopes.com sells telescopes and telescope accessories for anyone from the casual astronomy enthusiast to more serious astronomers.
Their telescope stores offer one of the largest selections of telescopes that we have seen on the internet. They carry the latest models from the biggest names in the business such as Celestron and Meade. Their selection also includes just about every type of telescope available. Whether you’re looking for a reflecting telescope, refracting, catadioptric, Dobsonian, Solar or just an optical tube, chances are they carry just what you are looking for.
Telescopes.com also sells a large variety of telescope accessories. They carry an impressive array of tripods, counterweights, eyepieces, Barlow lenses, cases, collimation tools, filters, focusers, mounts, and just about every other type of accessory that one could ever need to get the most out of stargazing.
Ease of Use
Telescopes.com’s website is a bit more compact than some of the telescope stores we reviewed and moderately cluttered, though navigation is not difficult. Various subheadings for products line the left side of the page, allowing for quick location of your desired telescope or accessory.
Telescopes.com not only carries one of the best selections of telescopes and telescope accessories that we have seen, they also accept virtually every form of payment you could imagine. Accepted forms of payment include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Bill Me Later, Google Checkout, gift certificates and PaidByCash.
For the fastest processing it is recommended to use a credit card as payment. Other forms of payment could delay your order while funds are verified.
As we mentioned earlier, Telescopes.com is owned and operated by Hayneedle which owns and operates hundreds of stores including the telescopes store. This is both good and bad when it comes to customer service. The good part is their customer service department is bigger than most other sites included in our review. This ensures that when you have questions your questions will be answered quickly. The downside is since the customer service representatives represent hundreds of sites carrying a wide range of products, their knowledge specific to telescopes might be somewhat limited. You might not get a quick or accurate answer to any product specific questions you may have.
Telescopes.com does offer their customers the ability to contact them via telephone or email. Customers are able to leave product user reviews on every product that Telescopes.com sells which can give buyers some additional feedback before making their purchase. It also allows the customer to leave their own feedback after their purchase to help other customers.
Telescopes.com’s parent site Hayneedle operates a company blog where customers can keep abreast of the latest products and news relating to Hayneedle. This blog isn’t related specifically to telescopes, although when news relative to telescopes occurs, it will be posted to their blog.
Telescopes.com offers customers both a satisfaction guarantee and a price guarantee. Their satisfaction guarantee isn’t really anything special nor does it offer any additional protection beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. They will help you get warranty and repair work done if you should need to take advantage of a warranty. Telescopes.com will match most prices if you find a lower price. This guarantee is only good for the time of purchase and there is no guarantee offered after the sale.
Telescopes.com will allow up to 30 days for a product return or exchange. The returned items must still be in like-new condition and also might be subjected to a restocking fee.
Products ordered between November 1 and December 25 will be returnable through January 31.
Telescopes.com will typically ship an order within 1 or 2 business days from one of their telescope stores after funds have cleared. Once the package is shipped it is up to the shipping company to ensure delivery of the product. Telescopes.com does offer the option of expedited shipping on most items for those customers who need something faster. On larger items ground shipping might be the only option available for delivery.
Shipping charges are based on the size and weight of the item and also the location to where it is being shipped. Customers can view shipping charges while viewing each product by clicking the “Estimate Delivery Date” option on the product page and entering their zip code.
Telescopes.com recommends that the customer inspect their package prior to accepting the delivery. This makes it much easier to return the product should there be a problem since the delivery can simply be refused and returned to the sender. In all other cases Hayneedle has setup an automated returns center to help customers return their merchandise. Telescopes.com will not refund shipping charges, except where the item was defective or the wrong item sent.
Customers can track their orders via Telescopes.com’s website. This is where you can find the tracking number—if applicable—of your order, as well as view other possible fulfillment steps.
The Folks at Hayneedle know what they are doing when it comes to specialty shops. Telescopes.com offers great product selection, competitive pricing and great customer service at their online telescope store. Be sure to check out our other reviews of the best telescope stores online.