On December 10, I read a blog post titled Shattering The Eyeglasses Scam.
Being a big dork, I couldn’t get the story of how “Glassy eyes” got new glasses for $81 online.
The last pair I purchased cost about $500 before insurance from LensCrafters. After insurance, we were out about $250. (I can’t find the receipt — this was in 2004).
So, in early January, I headed over to LensCrafters for an exam. My carrot-eating regimen must have worked, because my prescription hadn’t changed. After being sure to get my “PD,” I spent about 30 minutes waiting for a ride home from my bro-in-law while looking through the LensCrafter offerings.
There was one pair that I really, really liked: The Donna Karan 3525.
Without the power of the internets, I would have gotten them on the spot. But, those frames (Just the frames) cost $200. After insurance, that would have put me back $70. And then the fun of being really blind and needing extra-thin lenses (think: money, money, money for LensCrafters) arrives and I end up spending a lot more than $70.
Back home, I started shopping for frames in earnest. After about an hour, I narrowed it down to two choices from Zenni Optical:
Ordered the frames Sunday, January 7th for $130 total (Again, I needed lens upgrades) and got the spectacles Saturday, January 20th.
The first pair is still in need of adjusting, but I’ve been wearing the second pair non-stop since having them slightly adjusted at Costco. (You can see the pair I’m wearing above. John Hodgman, look out. The other pair is on flickr)
Grand total so far? $10 co-pay for exam + $131.72 for glasses = $141.72.
If you want to save money on your next glasses purchase, here’s a brief review of online retailers: Eyeglass Retailer Reviews.