4 Things to Know When Buying Hunting Gear Online
Hunting is an activity that is only growing in popularity, which means every year there are more and more novice hunters looking for tips on how to get started. For any new hunter, one of the most intimidating things can be purchasing hunting gear.
Purchasing the correct gear is not only necessary to be a successful hunter, but will also often allow you to be more comfortable and make your hunting more effortless. Many of today’s hunters are choosing to go online for their hunting gear needs, not only for its convenience but also because it often offers a better selection, competitive pricing, and allows you to easily research products while you shop.
Of course there are things to be aware of when purchasing hunting gear online, and to help you we’ve gathered some top tips for how you can choose the best hunting equipment and get the best bang for your buck, which will in turn allow you to hopefully get the best buck out of your bang.
Avoid Getting Ripped Off
The online hunting equipment market has been saturated with a large range of products originating from countries all around the world. There are plenty of great quality products, but unfortunately there are also just as many knockoff inferior products.
If you decide to shop over the internet, don’t be afraid to email any sales contacts to ask any questions you may have about their products, warranties, or return policies. Also, be sure to compare items and pricing between different websites.
It can also be very easy to be fooled by product claims. Both advertisers and product description writers have many tools at their disposal to lure you into purchasing a product in terms of the language they use. They may attach terms or labels like “military-grade” or “high performance” to their products to make them more enticing.
Any company can add labels or descriptive words such as these to their online products, but it doesn’t necessarily make products more superior. They may use weasel words like “helps”, “strengthened”, or “virtually”. They may also make superlative claims such as “the best” or “the highest rated” to give the illusion a product is superior.
They can also use unfinished claims such as “this scope will make you a better hunter”. But how will this specific scope make you a better hunter? They may also use celebrities to endorse their products which may not in truth use the products or even believe in the products despite what their endorsement states.
Not all product claims will be false, but it pays to instead focus more on a product’s materials, construction, brand reputation, and any studies or proof that can back up any claims.
For example, whether you’re shopping for a rifle or reasonably priced 223 ammo, an online vendor should clearly advertise a product’s key features such as dimensions, construction materials, and quantity above other unnecessary claims or fluff wordage. This is an indicator that the store has your needs in mind and is likely to look after their customers. Pricing too should be clearly labeled, with no hidden costs.
Research, Reviews, and Recommendations
When doing any shopping online, try your best to keep in mind these 3 R’s , which includes researching products and aligning them with your needs, reading products reviews to get honest opinions from real hunters, and finally seeking out recommendations from real-life hunters for products that have gained a reputation for being quality or effective.
As stated before, there are now endless hunting products out there, so your first step is to do your research before buying anything. This not only relates to researching products themselves but also researching what type of hunting you will be doing and what gear will be needed for your style of hunting as well seeking out products that match your skill level.
Research what the weather and terrain will be like where and when you plan to hunt, which of course may be in a different state or country to where you live. Know your clothing and shoe sizes, keeping in mind any necessary conversions if buying from an international retailer where sizing may be different than you are used to.
After research, reviews are your next line of defense when it comes to ensuring you’re purchasing a quality product from a reputable company. Keep in mind that reviews posted on a company website that you plan to purchase from can be manipulated or bad reviews may have been filtered out. It’s much better to read reviews from third-party websites that aren’t biased and won’t delete negative reviews.
Finally, whether you’re seeking out various hunting products for the first time or want to upgrade older gear that may help increase the accuracy of your shots, you may want to seek advice from other more seasoned hunters who can offer you recommendations for products that are a must get, what you may not need, and what to simply avoid whether it’s a specific brand or product.
Saving Money and Sticking to Your Budget
The first step to consider before actually searching for and purchasing hunting gear online is to set a budget. Not only does this allow you to stay within your financial means, but it also makes searching for products easier as you can usually set price parameters to narrow down the list of available products.
You may find that you can get great deals on products during hunting off-seasons as opposed to shopping right before or during the height of season when everyone else is eager to buy. Sign up to email lists which may notify you of deals and sales or send you virtual discount coupons. You can also do an online search to see if the website offers any coupon discount codes.
When shopping at multiple online stores, it can be very easy to lose track of how much you are racking up in shipping charges. Each online store usually has its own shipping or delivery fees, and keeping an eye on how much they will charge you is imperative in order to keep your expenses down.
If you have a long list of items you need to buy from a variety of online stores, it’s often a cheaper idea to see if you can find a single store that carries most of the products you are looking for and get them delivered together.
Many companies also offer free shipping when your total order reaches a certain amount. Even if some items are more expensive than at another outlet, you need to factor in the overall costs including shipping and any necessary taxes that are involved with purchasing from multiple outlets as opposed to a single one.
Avoid Impulse Shopping
When shopping for something new and exciting, it can be easy to get distracted by other products you may see while shopping online. Websites are clever in that they often show images of other recommended products you may want, have pop-up ads, or suggest other products upon virtually checking out.
You want to avoid impulsive shopping which is where you end up purchasing items you weren’t planning to buy. This may be caused by great online imagery, clever advertising, or noticing sales on online items.
While impulse shopping may be fun in the moment, it results in spending more than you intended to which could destroy the budget you had set up. This could affect other aspects of your hunting such as being able to afford hunting permits or travel costs.
Create a list of what hunting gear you need and stick to that list. You don’t want to end up wasting money on needless equipment that may leave you with regrets or needing to return items. While some companies may let you return items purchased online, you may be required to pay for return shipping and restocking fees.
While shopping online for hunting gear can seem a bit intimidating and overwhelming at first, you can now see there are numerous ways you can make the task easier, avoid scams, and come away with quality products you’re happy with. Now that you’re armed with these helpful shopping tips, we wish you happy hunting both online and out in the field.