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The economy sucks, there’s no doubt about that, and we’re all looking for ways to save some cash. If you wear eyeglasses, you need a new pair, and you’re dreading having to fork over a couple of hundred dollars or more just to be able to see, guess what? You don’t have to buy your glasses from your optometrist or one of the chain eyeglass stores. With a little information at your disposal, you can save hundreds of dollars on eyeglasses.

There is a dirty little secret when it comes to eyeglasses: if you buy them from Lenscrafters or Pearl Vision or even your doctor’s office, their prices can be marked up as much as 1000 percent! A store will buy a pair of glasses for $20 and resell them for $200. Isn’t that ridiculous? That’s why the guy that owns Sunglass Hut is one of the 50 richest people in the world. You’re getting royally screwed and you didn’t even know it. Shocking, I know.

What other choice do you have? Where else can you buy your eyeglasses? Good question. Here’s the answer: buy them online.

I know what you’re thinking. “How is it possible to buy my glasses online?” It’s simple! You only need two things:

  • your prescription
  • your pupillary distance

Obviously, you can’t do your prescription yourself. Your optometrist should have it on record, though. If they don’t, schedule an appointment to have your eyes examined and ask for it afterwards. By law, they have to give it to you. Your prescription will most likely have three numbers for each eye: the sphere, the cylinder, and the axis. Your right eye is referred to as OD, the left is OS.

You know what a prescription is, but what is pupillary distance? It’s the measurement, in millimeters, between the center of each pupil. The average distance is 62 millimeters. Mine is 63. Your doctor should be able to give that to you as well. If you forget to ask, just have someone use a ruler to measure for you. There’s nothing fancy or technical about it.

So, you’re armed with your prescription and your pupillary distance. Now what? There are a few sites out there that you can search through to choose the best pair of glasses for you. The most popular one is Frames Direct, especially if you’re looking for discounted designer frames. However, they are still pretty expensive. If you’re like me and don’t care about the microscopic name that is printed on your frames, head on over to Zenni Optical. They have a huge selection of basic, but fashionable, frames, with lots of options. Once you see one you like, click on it. If you decide you want them, you’ll have to choose the color you want, as well as enter your prescription information. I suggest adding the anti-reflective coating for $4.95. You can also choose to have them tinted for sunglasses for another $4.95. That’s it! Add it to the cart, enter your shipping and billing information, and order! Shipping is another $4.95, and you’ll receive your glasses in about two weeks.

I just ordered a pair of glasses there for $17.95 total, including shipping. I’ve ordered prescription sunglasses there in the past for less than $30. It’s a beautiful thing.

Of course you may ask yourself how you’ll know whether the pair of glasses will fit you. To be honest, it’s tough to know. The great thing about it, though, is if the pair you ordered doesn’t fit exactly or you don’t like the looks of it, the cost is so low that even if you order a new pair, you’re still saving a ton of money, which is the whole idea anyway, right?


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