eyeglasses http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1011/all en-US 10 Ideas for Using Your FSA Before Year End http://www.wisebread.com/10-ideas-for-using-your-fsa-before-year-end <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ideas-for-using-your-fsa-before-year-end" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pharmacy.jpg" alt="Pharmacy" title="Pharmacy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="199" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I hate leaving money on the table &mdash; the <em>operating </em>table, ha! &mdash; by failing to spend my whole medical flexible spending account. As the final hours of 2011 tick down, it's time to use up your flexible spending balance before you lose it!</p> <p>(If you don't know what flexible spending accounts are, you probably don't have one. But check out the post <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-your-fsa">What You Need to Know About Your FSA</a> to learn the basics.)</p> <p>This year it's a little more challenging because the rules have changed for 2011 &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-free-medical-supplies-with-flex-spending">you can no longer use the funds for over-the-counter medication unless you get a prescription</a>. If at all possible, start this process before your doctor's office closes for the week, because even if there's no time for an appointment, they may be able to help you with paperwork. Here are some ideas for spending a lot in just a little time.</p> <h3>1. Order Glasses or Contacts</h3> <p>This is a favorite at our house, because even if you already have a decent pair of glasses, who couldn't use some prescription sunglasses or a spare pair? I have used <a href="http://www.zennioptical.com/">Zenni Optical</a> and <a href="http://www.coastal.com/">Coastal Contacts</a> and was happy with both &mdash; Coastal tends to be more expensive than Zenni, but with nicer frames and more coupon codes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-money-on-eyeglasses">6 Ways to Save Money on&nbsp;Eyeglasses</a>)</p> <h3>2. See the Eye Doctor</h3> <p>Optometrists are easier with last-minute appointments than doctors, and if your prescription is more than a year old, it's a good idea to get a new one now. If you have extra money to blow, you can spring for all the tests like getting your eyes dilated. Hey, wearing sunglasses to your New Year's Eve party will make you look like a celebutante!</p> <h3>3. Join Weight Watchers Online</h3> <p>You can <a href="https://signup.weightwatchers.com/SignupVersions/Online/StepOne.aspx">prepay for a three-month plan</a>. When my husband did this, he just noted that his doctor had verbally advised him to exercise to lose weight. But to be safer,&nbsp;<a href="http://staffcouncil.depaul.edu/_downloads/WW_FSA_Information.pdf">fax or email your doctor this form</a> (PDF), and include the completed form with your request for reimbursement.</p> <h3>4. Sign Up and Pay for a Tobacco Cessation Program</h3> <p>Again, you should get your doc to recommend this in writing, but what doctor wouldn't?</p> <h3>5. Go to the Dentist</h3> <p>Like the eye doctor, dentist offices sometimes have last-minute openings. No cavities? If you have a few hundred to blow, get your kid to get <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/factsheets/sealants_faq.htm">dental sealants</a>.</p> <h3>6. Get a Flu Shot</h3> <p>Many drugstores offer walk-in flu vaccinations, and some do shingles as well. Take the kids in for shots, too. Even if you do this at the doctor's office, many offices don't require appointments to have a nurse give you an immunization.</p> <h3>7. Refill Any and All Prescriptions Your Family Already Has</h3> <p>You can check with the pharmacist to make sure that the allergy meds you plan to take come spring will still be good if you buy them now.</p> <h3>8. Purchase Medical Supplies</h3> <p>The new prescription requirement applies to OTC drugs but not equipment, such as Band-Aids, contact lens solution, barrier contraceptives (as in, condoms), pregnancy tests, blood pressure cuffs, or crutches. Hey, they make some really expensive bandages these days!</p> <h3>9. Call Your Doctor's Office and Ask for a Quick Prescription for OTC Drugs</h3> <p>If the office can send it straight to your drugstore, you may be able to get this done in less than a day.</p> <h3>10. Reread Your Company's FSA Policy</h3> <p>Or put in a quick call to HR; you have more time than you think. Some policies include a grace period after the end of the year when you can still spend your funds.</p> <p>While you're at it, plan ahead to avoid spoiling next New Year's Eve with these concerns. If you have already made your FSA election for 2012, book enough appointments now to make sure you've taken care of any routine health maintenance well before it becomes an FSA emergency.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ideas-for-using-your-fsa-before-year-end" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ideas for Using Your FSA Before Year End" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty eyeglasses flexible spending account healthcare weight loss Fri, 30 Dec 2011 10:48:23 +0000 Carrie Kirby 847395 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3275702181_a11e8d65ae_z.jpg" alt="sale" title="sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holidays typically bring a rush of retail shopping. And during tough economic times, retail shopping brings endless commercials and high-decibel ads all proclaiming &ldquo;low prices&rdquo; and &ldquo;deep discounts.&rdquo; But how can we determine the value of a discount if we&rsquo;re unaware of the average retail markup? If those jeans are priced 200% above wholesale, does a 15% discount really seem that generous? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/party-like-its-1999-the-psychology-of-pricing" title="Party Like It's 19.99: The Psychology of Pricing ">Party Like It's 19.99: The Psychology of Pricing</a>)</p> <p>Very few resources exist to research the average markup that retailers enjoy between their wholesale costs and retail prices. The whole topic seems shrouded in complex formulae and arcane insider knowledge. Even in the Information Age, online searches on the subject bring wild variances in statistics (when they exist) and huge gray areas of subjectivity (when they don&rsquo;t).</p> <p>With a few days worth of research, I&rsquo;ve narrowed down the range that most retailers employ when pricing their items. The list below outlines some of the more common consumer goods and the associated markup from wholesale to retail. One caveat: Consumers in America have a wide choice in retailers, and big box stores, outlets, malls, and boutiques all have their unique pricing structures based on overhead such as advertising, real estate prices, buying volume, staffing, etc. No single rule holds true for each, and broad ranges are the norm. However, from a consumer perspective, a broad range based upon research is better than no idea at all. A knowledgeable consumer is better equipped to understand the real value of a discount based upon a retailer&rsquo;s real cost and not the markup/markdown shell game that seems to entice us so often.</p> <h3>Clothing Markups: 100-350%</h3> <p>Jeans are the biggest culprit in the clothing category. The price of boutique denim jeans can reflect a markup of 350%. Jeans from mid-level retailers like Kohl&rsquo;s or JCPenney are slightly saner with an average markup of 115%.</p> <h3>Shoe Markups: 100-500%</h3> <p>Markup is as varied in the footwear industry as sizes and styles. Typical cross-trainers or athletic shoes carry a 100% mark-up, while higher-end fashion shoes at boutique stores can be marked up by as much as 500%.</p> <h3>Cell Phone Markups: 8-10%</h3> <p>The entire category of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted" title="Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted">electronics</a> has some of the lowest markups around. Cell phones, for example, are only bumped up about 8% between wholesale and retail. The profit center for phones lies in the service contracts and usage fees. Manufacturers can operate with a lower retail markup because the real money is in the service.</p> <h3>Furniture Markups: 200-400%</h3> <p>No industry manipulates the meaningless MSRP (Manufacturer&rsquo;s Suggested Retail Price) quite like the furniture industry. Salespeople usually receive a 15-20% commission if they sell an item at the inflated MSRP. But there&rsquo;s another helpful abbreviation to know: MAP (Manufacturer&rsquo;s Advertised Price). This lower price is the minimum at which most retailers are allowed to sell the item. Salespeople resist consumers who ask for this price and only receive about 7% commission on MAP sales.</p> <h3>Grocery Markups: 5-25%</h3> <p>Grocers certainly operate on slimmer profit margins than most other retailers. According to the Retail Owners Institute, stores typically maintain a narrow margin of 5-8% on the staples and then broaden their margins on luxury or indulgence items (think high-end coffees, chocolate, wines, etc.).</p> <h3>Cosmetics Markups: 60-80%</h3> <p>According to the research firm Euromonitor, the average markup on premium cosmetics is 78%. Since most cosmetics are composed of various combinations of good ol&rsquo; dirt, oil, wax, and fragrance, this relatively small markup adds up to big profits.</p> <h3>Prescription Medicine Markups: 200-5,600%</h3> <p>According to an expose by the Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV, pharmaceutical companies enjoy a 200-5,600% markup on their drugs in the US. Canada and several European nations impose a ceiling on drug prices and actively negotiate with drug manufacturers to keep costs down. No such safeguards exist here; even generic drugs in the US can be marked up by as much as 1,200%. Sure, development costs are high for some of these life-saving medications, but the markup has no expiration date.</p> <h3>New Car Markups: 8-10%</h3> <p>Not factoring in extended warrantees, finance charges, and other add-ons, auto dealers markup car prices by about 10%. Dealers&rsquo; intricate pricing structures involve invoice prices, transportation charges, dealer holdbacks, and incentives &mdash; enough confusing consumer fodder to fill a dozen articles. Suffice to say, the more you know about the secret cabal of car dealerships and how they arrive at their sticker prices, the better chance you&rsquo;ll have of knowing where to begin your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation" title="The 7 Laws of Negotiation">negotiating</a>.</p> <h3>Eyeglasses Markups: 800-1,000%</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s amazing but true: Some opticians charge 1,000% over wholesale for the hottest designer frames. Malls and larger chain stores are the worst offenders, with many other peripheral costs factored into the price of those fancy frames.</p> <p>I'm not suggesting that retailers shouldn&rsquo;t be paid for the services they offer. Buying low and selling high is as American as apple pie and credit card debt. Retailers often have huge cost-structures to maintain &mdash; all supported by tweaking that markup and (hopefully) influencing consumer behavior by hitting the sweet spot between cost and perceived value. But since this whole system rides on the backs of you and me, isn&rsquo;t it worth unpacking, examining, and understanding exactly what we&rsquo;re paying for?</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items" class="sharethis-link" title="Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/life-hacks/consumer-affairs">Consumer Affairs articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs Shopping car dealerships clothes shopping eyeglasses holiday shopping markups shopping tips Wed, 15 Dec 2010 15:00:07 +0000 Kentin Waits 388406 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Save Money on Eyeglasses http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-money-on-eyeglasses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-save-money-on-eyeglasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007119183XSmall.jpg" alt="Baby with eyeglasses" title="Baby with eyeglasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-dealista-file"> <div class="field-label">Dealista MP3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://wmedia.blubrry.com/dealista/traffic.libsyn.com/dealista/dealista033_eyeglasses.mp3" target="_blank">Dealista #33: How to Save Money on Eyeglasses</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This article shares tips from the newest episode of </em><a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com/"><em>Dealista</em></a><em>, our podcast that'll help you get more for less.</em></p> <p>It&rsquo;s National Women&rsquo;s Eye Health and Safety Month, and that means time for everyone (even the guys) to replace their worn out glasses for some new ones! But before you fork out big dollars, read our tips for saving big on your eye care expenses!</p> <h2>Check Your Insurance</h2> <p>Many people are unaware if their regular medical insurance plan covers eye care. If you&rsquo;re one of them, get informed! While it may not cover actual glasses or contacts, some plans do cover exams and will offer discounts to additional services (like laser surgery). Check the plan&rsquo;s fine print or contact your HR rep through your workplace to find out what&rsquo;s available to you.</p> <h2>Use That HSA or FSA</h2> <p>In addition to the awesome tax perks that you can get from taking advantage of these savings plans, they can be a useful way to sock away money for a much-needed replacement pair of lenses. If you&rsquo;re finding yourself with extra FSA funds at the end of a tax year, this is a great way to use it up. <a href="http://wisebread.com/save-on-last-years-taxes-right-now">HSA</a>&rsquo;s will also cover some additional eye care expenses (like contact lens solution). Again, it&rsquo;s best to check your plan carefully to see what qualifies.</p> <h2>Order Online</h2> <p>If this is going to be your first pair of eyeglasses or contacts, you may want to stick to ordering in-clinic. For the rest of us, you may be comfortable ordering from an online discount chain like <a href="http://www.39dollarglasses.com/">39Dollar Glasses</a>. I&rsquo;ve used the service myself, and while the quality is nothing compared to my favorite $300 Kate Spade frames that I wear most often, it&rsquo;s a great way to snag a cheap pair of &ldquo;backup&rdquo; frames or for getting fast replacement when the budget is extremely tight. You&rsquo;ll want to have a current prescription from your eye doctor, as well as measurements for making sure you get a good fit <em>before</em> you order.</p> <p>(<em>Editor's Note: We were recently made aware of </em><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/cheap-eyeglasses"><em>this useful guide</em></a><em> on Cheapism that reviews many of the online outlets. Check it out before buying your glasses online.</em>)</p> <h2>Take Advantage of Repair and Replacement Plans</h2> <p>Some clinics will offer one free replacement or repair on certain kinds of lenses, and most reputable eye doctors that I know will switch your contact lens brand for free if you have trouble wearing them. In addition, retailers like Walmart will replace kids&rsquo; lenses for up to a year from the date of purchase for free, and many big chains like Lens Crafters may adjust or repair your frames from another store &mdash; no questions asked. To get an idea of what&rsquo;s available to you, just call your closest eye clinic and ask!</p> <h2>Read Up</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s no better way to save money than by being an informed consumer. That&rsquo;s why I like the <a href="http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/">Glassy Eyes blog</a>, a journal about saving money on eyeglasses that includes reviews for retailers, discount codes, and clever hacks to help you from overpaying on your eye care.</p> <h2>Hack It</h2> <p>I wouldn&rsquo;t recommend this for your best pair of designer frames and lenses, but as a last resort alternative to tossing your beat up frames, you might want to <a href="http://wisebread.com/armor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses">try Armour Etch</a>.</p> <p><em><a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com">Dealista</a> is a collaboration between Wise Bread and <a href="http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/">Quick and Dirty Tips</a>, the producer of popular podcasts such as <a href="http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/">Grammar Girl</a>, <a href="http://moneygirl.quickanddirtytips.com/">Money Girl</a>, <a href="http://winninginvestor.quickanddirtytips.com/">Winning Investor</a>, and <a href="http://mightymommy.quickanddirtytips.com/">Mighty Mommy</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you enjoyed these tips you can find more in <a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com">our show's archive</a>.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-money-on-eyeglasses" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Save Money on Eyeglasses" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/health-and-beauty">Health and Beauty articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty contacts dealista eyeglasses Sun, 18 Apr 2010 17:00:10 +0000 Linsey Knerl 27789 at http://www.wisebread.com Armor Etch can be a cheap fix for your scratched eyeglasses http://www.wisebread.com/armor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/armor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/goggles4u-glasses.jpg" alt="Torley&#039;s glasses" title="Torley&#039;s glasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My wife recently scratched up her eyeglasses which we bought at a bargain from an online store (perhaps another story for another post). Holding them up to the light, the flaws were visible. Thankfully, searching the web yielded answers in short order, although they took some time to compile, so I'm sharing my experiences with you.</p> <p>Many reviewers have suggested <strong>using Armour Etch to remove glasses' antiglare coating</strong>, and thus, the scratches. Note that this ONLY applies to plastic/polycarbonate lenses in general &mdash; <font color="#ff0000"><strong>do NOT use it on actual glass glasses</strong></font>, because it'll &quot;frost&quot; and RUIN them. I also recommend not doing the following if you only possess one pair of glasses... have a backup! After weighing our options: ~US$50 for a new pair of glasses vs. $10 for a small (3 oz.) bottle of Armour Etch, we opted to use the latter for an experiment.</p> <p>I procured a bottle from eBay, and the <strong>process was very simple</strong>.</p> <h2>Here's exactly what I did:</h2> <ul> <li>Wear vinyl gloves.</li> <li>Hold the glasses facing away from you, with one hand holding onto the frames.</li> <li>Pour a gumdrop-sized dollop of Armour Etch on each lens, then rub it in circles with your fingers. It'll feel sort of gritty and textured. Rather relaxing, really.</li> <li>Avoid rubbing Armour Etch onto the frames &mdash; my wife's glasses didn't experience problems with some slop, but others have reported discoloration and other adverse affects.</li> <li>Keep rubbing for about a couple minutes or so.</li> <li>Rinse the glasses under warm water, taking care to remove as much residue as possible. This is tricky.</li> <li>Dry your glasses off with a soft cloth. Don't make the mistake of using paper towel as I initially did, because not only is it composed of abrasive wood fiber, it sheds off onto the glasses, defeating the purpose of cleaning with them.</li> <li>Hold your glasses up to the light to view the results.</li> </ul> <p>Then, I placed the glasses back on my wife's face. She was wowed by the noticeable difference, and while they appeared visibly more glare-y (obviously since the antiglare coating had mostly been removed), the clarity of vision is worth it so far.</p> <p>It's not as comprehensive as a new pair of glasses, and not even as reassuring as getting those new glasses on a budget &mdash; US$100 is just too much, see <a href="http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/">GlassyEyes</a> for why! &mdash; but it's a <strong>fun little experiment to try at your own risk</strong>. I was comforted having read through dozens of reports before me. Also, some have suggested cleaning with other materials like toothpaste, but I haven't tried that yet. Maybe next time, or if you have, do tell.</p> <h2>Related resources</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf947057.tip.html"><strong>Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses</strong></a> - The bulk of the reviews I read.</li> <li><a href="http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/002890.php"><strong>Armour Etch mentioned on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools</strong></a> - KK is an influential voice if he quotes you, and not just because one of his books was required reading for the stars of <em>The Matrix</em>: at times, he's like a high-tech Heloise.</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Do</em> you <em>have an eyeglasses-related tip? Share it with us in the comments!</em></strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/armor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses" class="sharethis-link" title="Armor Etch can be a cheap fix for your scratched eyeglasses" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY armor armour cheap cool etch eyeglass eyeglasses fix glass glasses scratch tool workaround Wed, 04 Mar 2009 06:15:40 +0000 Torley Wong 2890 at http://www.wisebread.com Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers (reader's tip) http://www.wisebread.com/eyeglasses-stores-are-for-suckers-readers-tip <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/glassyeyes.jpg" alt="Ira wearing broken glasses" title="Glassyeyes founder Ira" width="240" height="180" /> </p> <p>Tired of paying outrageous prices for your glasses? Our reader Kris Wolff gave us a great tip on <a href="http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com">Glassy Eyes</a>, a blog about one man&#39;s quest to find reasonably priced designer eyewear.</p> <p>Glassy Eyes is a good place to find <a href="http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/search/label/promo">deals for glasses</a> and <a href="http://groups.google.com/group/glassyeyes/topics?hl=en">share stories</a> with fellow ocular bargain hunters. Ira (the blog&#39;s author) also wrote some detailed reviews of his favorite online vendors:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://groups-beta.google.com/group/glassyeyes/web/39-dollar-eyeglasses?hl=en">39 Dollar Glasses</a></li> <li><a href="http://groups-beta.google.com/group/glassyeyes/web/eyebuydirect?hl=en">EyeBuyDirect</a></li> <li><a href="http://groups-beta.google.com/group/glassyeyes/web/eyeglass-direct?hl=en">Eyeglass Direct</a></li> <li><a href="http://groups-beta.google.com/group/glassyeyes/web/global-eye-glasses?hl=en">Global Eye Glasses [sic]</a></li> <li><a href="http://groups-beta.google.com/group/glassyeyes/web/goggles4u?hl=en">Goggles4U</a></li> <li><a href="http://groups-beta.google.com/group/glassyeyes/web/optical4less?hl=en">Optical 4 Less</a></li> <li><a href="http://groups-beta.google.com/group/glassyeyes/web/specs-on-the-net?hl=en">Specs On The Net</a></li> <li><a href="http://groups-beta.google.com/group/glassyeyes/web/zenni-optical?hl=en">Zenni Optical</a></li> </ul> <p>Do these deals actually work? Are you going to go blind wearing this stuff? Our reader Kris was able to find $26 glasses that could&#39;ve easily cost her $400: </p> <blockquote><p>I tried one of the companies [Glassy Eyes] recommended, <a href="http://goggles4u.com/" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)">goggles4u.com</a>. I got my glasses with all the usual coatings (uv protection, scratch-resistant, etc.) at no charge, there was no charge for regular shipping, and I got a free hard case and cleaning cloth. My glasses came in about 10 days. </p> <p>How much? $25.99. </p> <p>They look very similar to a pair of DKNY glasses that a big chain store was going to charge me $400 for. I am really happy with my glasses and just wanted to share this with other people - I had no idea websites like this existed</p> </blockquote> <p>After saving that much money, Kris couldn&#39;t resist buying a few more pairs: </p> <blockquote><p>I ordered a second pair of glasses from another site that <a href="http://glassyeyes.com/" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)">glassyeyes.com</a> recommended - <a href="http://zennioptical.com/cart/home.php">Zenni Optical</a>. They have some cheaper glasses than <a href="http://goggles4u.com/" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)">goggles4u.com</a>, starting at 8.95, but as you can imagine those are not so stylish. </p> <p>Of the $19 plastic selection, I found two or three pairs that I liked, and ordered one, which was pictured in the tortoise shell color only, but said that it was also available in &quot;light blue&quot;. The anti-reflective coating was an additional $4.95 and shipping was another $4.95 for a total of $28.90. </p> <p>They came in last night, about ten days after I ordered them, and also came with a hard case and cleaning cloth. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed by the &quot;light blue&quot; which could better be described as &quot;crystal blue&quot; - clear, with only a slight tinge of blue. The nice thing about goggles4u is that they show every pair of glasses in every color available, so you have a better sense of what the color is going to be. It&#39;s like when catalogues use colors like &quot;loden&quot; &quot;moss&quot; or &quot;forest&quot; and you don&#39;t know if they are all about the same color or wildly different. </p> <p>At these prices I&#39;m going to go buy another pair from <a href="http://goggles4u.com/" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)">goggles4u.com</a> (who offer a 15% discount on repeat orders). And glassyeyes often has discounts posted for the various online eyeglass stores, so people should check there before placing their orders. </p> </blockquote> <p>Thanks for the great tips Kris! </p> <p>I know many people are wary of buying cheap glasses. &quot;You only get one pair of eyes,&quot; my mom used to tell me (usually when I&#39;m entering my 18th hour of Starcraft nerdery). </p> <p>Similarly concerned for our welfare, an optician actually contacted Ira about the dangers of buying cheap glasses. <a href="http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/2006/11/from-3mew-eyeglasses-response-to.html">Here&#39;s Ira&#39;s response</a>:</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/ira1.jpg" alt="Ira in his designer glasses" title="Ira in his designer glasses" width="75" height="75" align="left" /> </p> <blockquote><p>OPTICIAN: You may be able to find a silhouette frame a little cheaper online but you are also forfeiting correct measurements and the service provided (future repairs and adjustments, complimentary ultrasonic cleanings, etc). </p> <p>IRA: I wonder how many people you sell on ultrasonic cleanings. In theory it sounds like a good idea, but I think $320 is a bit much for an extended service plan. </p> <p>OPTICIAN: Stores also have more overhead (salaries for qualified and experienced opticians, ulitity bills, etc) so you are paying for more than just the frame…you are paying for the overall service. </p> <p>IRA: I can appreciate that. That&#39;s the reason I&#39;ve gone to the same opthalmologist for the past 25 years. I want a qualified person checking my eyes -- <strong>after that it&#39;s numbers on a card and money-grubbing</strong>. </p> <p>OPTICIAN:Also, let’s not forget that by patronizing local stores, you are helping the local economy. I would gladly pay just a little extra to support my community. </p> <p>IRA: Don&#39;t start with the shop locally argument. I shop locally as often as I can. I&#39;m a huge fan of the disappearing mom and pop shops of all kinds and will patronize them over a big-box store whenever possible. I support my community with volunteering AND my dollars. I&#39;m not going to be screwed for it however.</p></blockquote> <p>Way to stick it to the man Ira!</p> <p><em>Photos used with permission from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ropadope/">Ira</a>.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eyeglasses-stores-are-for-suckers-readers-tip" class="sharethis-link" title="Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers (reader&#039;s tip)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping eye glasses eyeglasses glasses glassyeyes Fri, 09 Feb 2007 23:07:38 +0000 Will Chen 263 at http://www.wisebread.com