The association between glasses and geeks is one that has withstood generations. While one may not always be connected with the other, long hours in front of the computer can take their toll on your vision as your eyes strain to keep focused through countless hours of gaming, reading, and YouTube viewing.
So why should your need for glasses result in a large chunk being taken out of your budget? The money some people spend on a single pair (even at discount stores) can equate to a brand new tablet computer, laptop, or a gaming console. It seems like an awful lot to pay for a technology that’s been around for over a century and does little more than adjust the focus between your eyes and the object(s) in front of you.
This article focuses on solutions. We’ll go over several tips and tricks to help you avoid spending a fortune on your next pair. In some cases, you may find yourself with enough left over to fund your next tech purchase. After all, isn’t that a lot more fun?
Buy Kid-Sized Frames
Kelly Clay, a writer for LockerGnome and fellow four-eyed geek, suggests: “If you have a small face, buy kid-sized frames. This can save you hundreds!”
I have a big head, but many adults out there can actually get away with buying frames made for youth and save a boatload on them by doing so. Even lenses can come with a steep discount if a pair is billed with a child-sized frame.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a child to receive the child discounts. These offers are generally tied to the frame rather than any specific age question of the customer. This is especially true when ordering online.
There is one option that my wife and her entire family of glasses-wearing folks choose over any other when it comes to saving a pretty penny on eyewear. Buying glasses online can be an excellent choice for the optically challenged as it enables you to pick a frame and lens that fits your needs and benefit from the savings that comes with a business that operates with less overhead.
Zenni Optical is one of these options. With some of the best prices found anywhere, we’ve ordered almost a dozen pairs of glasses between us, and every pair has arrived in perfect condition, lasting just as long as comparable options from local retailers that cost hundreds more. Zenni also provides an impressive range of lens options including Transitions, bifocal, progressive, and anti-glare coating. With quality frames in adult sizes available for as little as $6, we’ve been hard-pressed to find a better option out there.
Another advantage to ordering online is that many online retailers offer a virtual fitting room where you can submit a photo of yourself, your eye measurements (usually noted in your prescription), and try on different frames before adding them to your cart. This is also a great way to get the opinion of your social network as you can take a snapshot of your virtual fitting and share it with friends on Facebook or Twitter for their opinion.
Speaking of social media, did you know that you can find great deals through your social network account? Many national and international retailers post special offers to followers of their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. This is a great way to keep updated with the latest specials and deals so you will be less likely to miss a big sale when one comes along.
Not only that, but you can ask your feed/friends for the best deals in your area. Buying eyeglasses is an expensive endeavor for everyone, so people tend to hold on to their money-saving tips and share them willingly with friends whenever the topic comes up.
When it comes to saving money, there is no stone too large to leave unturned. Your online contacts can surprise you with how frugal they can be when it comes to these often hefty expenses.
Optical insurance policies can be found fairly cheap. In fact, they’re usually much cheaper than dental or medical. In addition to saving you money at the optometrist’s office, these policies often include a discount on the glasses themselves.
While these savings don’t usually apply on top of in-store discounts, sales, and special offers, they can save you quite a lot of money in the right situation. If you already have optical insurance, you may have this benefit already and don’t even know it.
Coupon and Discount Sites
The eyewear industry is extremely competitive, and that can be a very good thing for customers. One advantage to this competitive market is the abundance of coupons and discount offers shared through social media and online coupon sites such as LockerGnome’s own coupon site, Groupon, LivingSocial, and Google Offers, among others.
Discounts found on these sites range from free shipping to sharp discounts on frames. Bear in mind that the majority of the money spent on glasses in the US is on the actual lenses themselves, so frames are frequently reduced in online deals. If you can find a coupon for a free upgraded lens technology or buy one get one (BOGO), then you will likely have found a great deal.
Saving money on large purchases such as eyewear can free up your expenses for more important things, like gadgets and energy drinks. All kidding aside, everyone could use a bit of extra scratch in their pockets these days, and keeping your eyes open (no pun intended) to potentially large savings can make all the difference in the world.
So what are your money-saving tips for purchasing eyewear?
Gnomie and LockerGnome community member ThePCBuild suggested VoucherCodes for the UK and its American sister site CouponCodes4U as a great source of money-saving coupons to retailers both inside and outside of the eyewear business. If you’re looking for a discount to a major retailer that you know and trust, it might be worth checking this site out first to see if you might be able to save 20-40% on your eyewear. After all, every little bit helps, right?