Here are 6 easy tips to help you save money when out shopping for glasses. They are all pretty easy to follow and can save you anywhere between $20 to as much as $100, depending on what type of
frame or lenses you are trying to buy.
- Buy online
This tip can’t be stressed enough. Online stores for glasses simply have the best prices. Their prices are often shockingly cheaper than what you will find in retail stores at the mall. Online stores have also come to specialize in express glasses, meaning that you will receive your glasses in just a day. If you are visiting an online store to buy, make sure that they are an express glasses store.
- Buy just the frames
If you lenses are still good and you just need to change out the frames, you must do exactly that. Don’t throw out your lenses. Instead, shop for cheap glasses frames and have your old lenses installed on them. You obviously have to pick frames that will be able to house your lenses but chances are that you will have at least a dozen frames to choose from, no matter what lens you wear.
- Price match using online quotes
You can walk into a glasses store in the mall and show them an online store that is selling a certain frame for less than what the store is selling it for. If the staff are convinced that the online store is a legitimate store and the frame is indeed the same as what they have in the showroom, they will gladly give you a price match. A lot of people have been able to knock off as much as 20%, 30% or sometimes even more, using online price quotes. You can certainly try the same.
- Never pay for repairs
Many glasses stores offer free repairs and adjustments, especially if such repairs and adjustments are minor. This is especially true if you have been a customer of that store. Call up a few glasses stores and ask them if they will charge for minor repairs like lens tightening or frame tightening and you will be surprised to hear that they don’t charge anything at all. This obviously saves you money.
- Use Vision Insurance
Go through your health insurance plan to see if it includes a vision insurance clause. If there is such an option, you must make use of the insurance benefit. Just make sure you buy your glasses from stores that work with insurance plans. While you will stay pay for a deductible, using insurance for purchasing your glasses can bring down your cost of buying glasses by as much as 80% to 90%. If you think you will need glasses for the rest of your life, it makes sense to upgrade your health insurance with a vision cover, so it includes vision insurance.
- Hunt before you buy
Glasses is one industry where prices can be very, very different, from store to store, even in the same mall! It is not uncommon for one store to sell a pair of designer frames for $500 while another store sells the same for $350. As a thumb rule, you must shop at least 3 stores or look up 3 online stores before you actually buy your glasses.
James Hendrickson is an internet entrepreneur, blogging junky, hunter and personal finance geek. When he’s not lurking in coffee shops in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find him in the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors. James has a masters degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelors degree on Sociology from Earlham College. He loves individual stocks, bonds and precious metals.