After reflecting at the end of this year, I realized that this had been a good year for my personal finances. I was able to set up an account on Mint.com, I opened a rewards credit card, began automating my finances, and I began to save money by more actively purchasing items online – including items you may not normally think to purchase online.
How to save money buying glasses and contacts online
This past February I broke my glasses and went to the optical store to get new frames. I don’t have a lot of disposable income, so I pretty surprised when I saw that a new pair of eyeglasses would cost me $249.99
I am a college student, so I am sure you can understand that I did not have that money to spend. That said, I also needed glasses to read. After asking the store owner if there were any discounts at the store (there were none) I went online to see if I could find any and I stumbled upon several articles about purchasing glasses online.
The New York Times and several notable newspapers had written about this, but this was the first time I learned that you can purchase eyewear online for significantly less. When I looked online I discovered I could purchase the exact same pair of eyeglasses online that I had been looking at for less than half the price. According to the New York Times, a frame that costs less than $25 to make in Europe can retail for at least $150 at an optical shop in the United States.
At that point I decided to purchase my glasses online, but I didn’t know where to start. I stumbled upon the blog GlassyEyes, a blog dedicated to purchasing glasses online, and I found out everything I needed to know.
I learned that all I needed in order to buy glasses online was a prescription and a PD measurement from my eye doctor, and that the doctor was required to give this to me. Also, the customer service at some of the online stores is great; you can even call them for help finding the best frames for yourself.
I normally have my frames adjusted, and apparently you can just go to a local optical shop and they will do it for a very small fee.
Where to buy glasses, sunglasses, and contacts online
If you want to know where to start, here were some popular websites to purchase glasses:
- www.Eyeglasses.com: Website that sells glasses; received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- www.EyeBuyDirect.com: Popular website for glasses. 5% off any EyeBuyDirect.com order! Code: EYEBUYPROMO.
You can purchase more than just glasses online though. It turns out that the online contact industry is very large as well. You can save up to $10 per contact box if you purchase online. I have several friends that do this and they really recommend it.
Here are some popular websites to purchase contacts:
- www.1800contacts.com: Very well known website that sells prescription and colored contacts online; you can see some their commercials on television.
- www.Lens.com: Another popular website
Lastly, you can purchase sunglasses online. Looking back, I cannot believe I once spent $200 on a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses at the Sunglass hut. Here are some good online stores:
- FramesDirect.com: Largest glasses website online, they sell prescription glasses, contacts, sunglasses, and more.
- www.Zappos.com: They now sell sunglasses!
Purchasing eyewear online does not only lower my costs, but it is also convenient.
I hope you all had a great New Years and I hope this post was of help to you for the upcoming year!
About the author. Terry is currently a student who is interested in personal finance and saving money so he can improve his finances and help his family. He enjoys reading, learning, and sharing his findings with others.