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Cabela's branded optics - a warranty warning! (1 Viewer)

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Thanks for posting this OP.

Your post affirms my suspicion of Cabela’s “private label” products. I am in the market to buy a set of binoculars and was considering Cabela’s branded binos, but I will pass.

Apparently, depending on the year, Cabela’s purchases binos from manufacturers and labels them as their own brand. Cabela’s brand binos used to be made by Viltrox, but now they are apparently made by Bushnell. Even if you were within the warranty period and had a replacement claim, you might not be getting back the same kind/quality of bino from the original purchase. Even with a significant discount, that makes their private label brand binos a no-go for me.

Cabela's rebrands binoculars from a variety of manufacturers. The issue is that for Cabela's, they become just a SKU and the warranty is worthless, it's more of a retailer return policy / satisfaction "guarantee" than a true "warranty".

If you're getting something inexpensive, for example the Cabela's Guide 8x32 (which is a rebadged Leupold Mojave) for $150 used, the lack of warranty is no big deal. You get some use out of it for a few years, if it goes bad you're not out that much money.

But, as I said above, I couldn't imagine the fury I would feel if I had purchased a pair of Euro HD binoculars brand new for $1000, or the Cabela's version of the S2 scope for $2000+, and got a response like that :eek!:
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
As another possibility, provided nothing is broken inside, Suddarth Optical or another repair center can help, it will cost some $$, and if you get it fixed, it is better than having a $500 paper weight or heavy monocular.

Eitaltman:
Contact Suddarth optical - a well regarded middle of the US repair facility. Collimated a couple of my old porros and was pleased with the price and the end product. Regards, Pat

Thanks Andy and Pat for the suggestion, I will definitely reach out if Meopta can't help me.

It doesn't appear that anything is broken internally, just the ocular assembly is out of alignment. I was able to twist it back into ALMOST alignment by hand (now that I know it's not covered by warranty) and they appear just as bright and sharp as always.... BUT it's not totally "right", as I can feel a bit of eyestrain / disorientation when I pull them up to or away from my eyes that tells me they are still not fully collimated / aligned.

I'm assuming all that needs to happen is the ocular assembly needs to be aligned and cemented back into place, they otherwise appear fully operational.
 

dries1

Member
Cabelas used to be out of Nebraska, great store back then.

eitanaltman thanks for all the info regarding your experience, it is a wake up call for sure. So now, anyone who is considering buying a Euro Glass or scope for $1000-2000, take heed.

Andy W.
 

jgraider

Well-known member
I just gotta say, If I had a card with the binoculars regarding Cabelas Bleetproof Warranty (which those Meopta made Cabelas binocs had), I'd contact the Atty General of that state and not take this lying down. I know it's not a large amount of money but the prinicpal of the thing. I have something IN WRITING from the seller, they can't just all of the sudden decide not to honor the warranty. I think that's total BS. Good luck in getting these fixed.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

As we mourn the Cabela's of old, I will recount my happy dealings with them. Perhaps sixteen years, ago, I was interested in a ten power. Cabela's apparently either bought up the stock of the remaining 10x40 Zeiss Dialyt Classics or arranged for a special manufacturing run. I never really took to them as I could to hold them steady. About a month after purchase they accepted the return and refund for the binocular.

I nearly bought one of their rebranded Meopta binoculars but I never did.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

peterginsburg

Well-known member
There is no mention of second hand goods on their guarantee but here's exactly what it states:

Cabela's Legendary Lifetime Guarantee:

...In the event of malfunction or failure of your Cabela's Euro product, please return it to a retail store or contact customer service for return authorization instructions. Your optic WILL BE REPAIRED OR REPLACED AT NO COST TO YOU.

Really?

Peter
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Cabela's was once a very good store and brand name. A bit of history is they were family owned, and wanted
to split, so they sold out to Bass Pro. When you used to call Cabela's you often talked to a real good person
from the midwest, their home was Sidney, Nebraska. They did not make any optics and as mentioned
they just had them made and rebranded them as their own. All different price levels, and those they had
made by Meopta were the top quality models. Meopta gave them the rights to many of their best optics,
and so did not even sell there own models, such as the 8x32 HD. Cabela's was the 1,000 lb. gorilla.

Now Meopta is going it on their own, not many retail outlets, so you have to shop around. It does take a
lot of effort to make a retail effort in todays world. Many optics are sold online.

The lifetime warranty of the Cabela's branded products now is in flux.

Jerry
 

peterginsburg

Well-known member
Bean counters rule! From an email I got today: "As of the new take over with Bass Pro in 2018 we no longer have the Guarantee and have a 90 day return policy. A malfunction is not for the life of a person but the life of the product and you must have the original receipt." And, you know who defines the life of the product. I am a Cabela's Club member, holder of their credit card and WAS a proponent. The latter no longer applies. Caveat emptor!
Peter
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
I first ordered (fishing tackle and fly tying materials, not bins) from Cabela's when their "catalog" was black and white on newsprint, and when orders were submitted by mailed personal check with handwritten order form. Although I still have a Cabela's credit card and am a member of the club, the brand has been dead to me since the Bass Pro buyout. Normally I toss unused credit cards in a file to be forgotten but perhaps I should take the trouble to have it cancelled.

--AP
 

Dan2nd

Member
Things are becoming worse at Cabelas/Bass Pro. I visited a Cabelas two weeks ago and was told their private label optics now have a 90 warranty. I have a pair of the rebranded Meopta 8x32 and am thankful I haven't had any trouble. I don't believe I will darken their door again.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

in general the next step after this answer from a brand offering a lifetime warranty (which you should have in printing along with the bill and other paperwork) would be to consult with your lawyer... but in this case it is probably a lost cause as probably neither a bill nor a proof of the warranty terms at the date of the original sale are available.

Also depending how the take over of Cabelas was done legally (did BassPro buy Cabelas as a company and thus inherit their liabilities or did they just buy assets and the name out of the bankruptcy estate?) what they are doing might be perfectly fine... from their beancounter's and counsel's point of view...

I would be astonished if Meopta did repair these under warranty - after all, they probably made these for the old Cabelas at quite a discount with the understanding that while warranty work might be done by Meopta, it is to be paid for by Cabelas.
But asking nicely for a quote might bring a surprise - especially if the glass is already in the repair center for quoting and it's just a quick fix...

And yes, Suddarth Optical is a well regarded address to get things fixed if the manufacturer is not an option.

Joachim
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Small postscript to this thread...

I finally got around to contacting Meopta, and surprisingly they responded that they would be willing to repair the Euro HDs even though they are Cabela's branded.

They said it would be around 8-10 weeks turnaround since they would have to ship them to the Czech Republic and clear customs both ways.

But at least there's a bit of good news and a nice service by Meopta.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
That is good news. The only Cabela's optics made by Meopta were the Euro models.

I suppose that is the only ones that will get any warranty support.
It is good you reported back.

Jerry
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Just to be clear, I offered to pay for the repair and did not ask for nor presume any "warranty" when I contacted them. I simply explained the situation and asked if they would be willing to repair them. I would not expect Meopta to provide the same level of warranty support as with a Meopta-branded Meostar, but when researching this at the onset the posts online I found seemed to indicate that Meopta wouldn't service Cabela's Euro models at all.
 

dries1

Member
It was a good move on your part to contact Meopta directly, the worse case is that they could have said no. However it seems like it worked out.

Andy W.
 

sillyak

Well-known member
I bought Euro HD 10x42 from Cabelas in 2016. They have been flawless so far. I got the Cabelas brand because they were on sale and with the CAD/USD exchange it was about $500 Canadian less. No brainer I thought.

It came with a card in the box explaining their lifetime warranty, it clearly said you need to be the original owner and have the reciept, but I also thought it was pretty clear that it was a lifetime warranty, not "life of the product". I also kept my reciept in the box as well.

Recently my wife was cleaning the basement and thought it was just some random empty box and chucked it out. I got pretty upset with her as she pretty much threw out my warranty. From reading this thread maybe I wouldn't have a warranty anyways.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
A happy ending...

My Cabela's Euro HD returned from their trans-Atlantic voyage to the Czech Republic last week, fully repaired, with no bill!

I had been expecting to receive a bill at some point, but I guess the Meopta folks in the Czech factory didn't agree. Thanks Meopta!!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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