Glasses for $8? So Far, So Good

Through friends and several blog posts, I recently discovered Glassy Eyes, a blog run by a guy named Ira dedicated to the premise that the eyeglass business is a huge rip-off. He started the blog after buying glasses online for a fraction of the $500 a chain store wanted to charge him. As he investigated, he discovered that glasses were being sold at ridiculous profits. As an example, a pair of $199 glasses actually cost $35 to make leaving $165 in pure profit. So, he decided to do something about it. His web site now helps consumers navigate the world of online discount optical stores. In fact, he has become such a force in the industry the suppliers provide his readers’ a discount and he can–and will–get them to address and fix concerns his readers have with their orders.

Needing new glasses and not wanting to shell out $300, I decided to give it a whirl. Using Zenni Optical, one of the cheapest sites Ira points to, I placed an order for three pairs of glasses for a grand total of $38.49. I went with Zinni (3 stars) over the slightly more expensive 4 and 5 star sites (where complete glasses run from $19.99 to $50), figuring if it was a bust I wouldn’t be out too much. I ordered two pairs of $12.99 glasses and one pair of $8, both complete with basic lenses. Since I only need single vision, I didn’t have to add upgrades, which are equally as cheap. I wanted to add the polychromatic (clear indoors transforming to sunglasses outside) lenses for $29 (as opposes to several hundred anywhere I else I have checked) to one of the pairs but figured I would do that on a later order. Just the basics for me on this initial order.

So, today, all three pairs arrive. It took nine business days for them to arrive. So far, I am quite impressed. The prescription is spot on, comparable to my $300 glasses. As I would expect with a new prescription, I can see more clearly with all three pairs than with my two year old prescription glasses. The quality and durability appear to be quite good, though admittedly not as high as some of my old more expensive pairs. But I am willing to sacrifice that if I am paying less than 5% of what I normally paid for glasses. I am really happy with two pairs and love the $8 pair the most. One pair has slightly different coloring than I though but are still serviceable. And, for the first time since I started wearing glasses, I have backup glasses (2) that are not an old prescription. Initially, I am quite impressed. If each of these glasses hold up for six months, I will have saved a huge amount of money. I plan on investigating some of the other sites Ira points to in the future. And, I can get new glasses every year, instead of waiting two or three years because I can’t bring myself to lay down hundreds of dollars for new glasses when I really should get them.

For now, I am fairly certain that I will not be paying $300 for glasses ever again. And, I like thousands of other readers of Glassy Eyes say thank you and urge others to check it out.

7 Responses to “Glasses for $8? So Far, So Good”

  1. ickyiggy Says:

    Oh Man…I just got new glasses. I am going to look into those sites.

  2. Yes, online glasses are significantly cheaper, if you’re buying in Australia, try all the frames are $39 including flexible titanium frames! Overall, I bought a pair of reading glasses with lenses and it cost $69.00 in total- way cheaper than the usual $400 for my glasses- and the frames were trendy too- I got the Fabianne in bronze.
    Definitely online shopping is the way to save bucks.

  3. I’m going to have to something like that over here. I just got my eyes checked.

  4. Are they fashionable? I need a new pair, and I want another set of geek chic frames.

    Will check out. Thanks!

  5. We hadn’t discovered Ira’s site before doing so, but last month, we bought glasses online for our 2 year old son. The biggest problem we were having when looking locally is that none of the brick & mortar shops in our area carry eyeglass frames small enough for an infant/toddler.

    We found frames at Zenni Optical that were not only sized right, but were made of titanium memory metal and featured the wrap-around tips on the earpieces. Being 2 years old, you can only imagine that how he’s put those frames to the test — and so far, they’re still in one piece!

    We had the lenses validated by a local optician and they’re exactly as prescribed. And for $35 shipped, we couldn’t be happier. Now if we could just get the kiddo to leave them on…

  6. […] decided to follow in the footsteps of el mambrino, and purchase glasses online. Unfortunately, Zenni Optical, who came highly […]

  7. A Good wordpress post, I will bookmark this post in my Digg account. Have a awesome day.

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