To pay or not to pay
The real cost of your eyeglasses
July 28, 2007
Eyeglasses. There is no other accessory I love more than a nice pair of glasses. Purses are carried under my arm, shoes are on my feet but eyeglasses are on my face, adding a frame, personality, a different style. When I lived in Berkeley, I used to walk around Shattuck after class and go into the glasses store just for the heck of it. I fell in love with thousands of models.... from the trendy black plastic ones that make me look smarter than I am, to the nice metal frames that would be perfect for class, to the light white frame sunglasses that create the perfect contrast with my dark skin.
But chances are, in all my years of college, I tried on hundreds of pairs only to buy a single one: for four years I wore the same pair of glasses, and maintained the same excuse for not buying another one: Well, I already have one pair, how can I justify spending 200 dollars on a small bit of metal or plastic? In all honesty, my dine-out budget per month was probably higher than my take-care-of my-self budget, but truth is, our eyes deserve a higher investment than our dining experience, for it's through our eyes that we see the world. Still, it just didn't sound right to pay so much for something so little.
Then the internet boom appeared in our lives, freeing up information, flattening markets, and lowering the barrier to entry. What's more, we the customers are now armed with the info needed to choose the best quality product at the lowest price available, and suddenly you could get that book you needed for only 8 dollars. I can still remember the hesitant look on my friends' faces when they heard: "It's just one click away." And my Baba would say "Really? Can it be that easy to get something over your computer? Just one click away?? You gotta be kidding me!" History proved my Baba wrong, today I can get ANYTHING I want on-line, books, clothes, even food! All you need is a card, and nowadays, we all got one.
But what does eyeglasses have to do with the internet? Did I have to find someone with my same prescription selling their old glasses in E-BAY?? Well, luckily, I came across Sina Farzaneh, Marketing Director for www.eyebuydirect.com and now my partner in crime, and while talking about this market he told me three words that inspired to write this article: "The Optical E-Revolution." It's a term that e-visionaries like Sina are using to introduce us to what could be the answer to our prayers: Online prescription eyeglasses.
As I suspected, the cost of production of the highest quality glasses you could think of (Yes, those designer brands that supermodels wear) is no higher than 15 dollars! Retail cost has become our number enemy, keeping us far away from what we really want, and most of the time, we pay many times more for the small logo on our glasses than for the actual product. As Sina explained, what companies like EyeBuyDirect do is to provide customers with frames that come straight from the manufacturer, bypassing the artificially inflated retail cost we have gotten used to paying at stores and offering the exact same product for a just price.
Because of my skeptical personality I had to try it for myself to believe it, I mean, how could I buy something I couldn't try on? So I went to the website and came across the EyeTry tool, which is a software that let's you try on any one of their hundreds of pairs by uploading your picture and then superimposing the frames perfectly on your face. It also allows you to send these EyeTry photos to as many people as you want, in effect creating a community where my friends and family members can get involved when deciding which glasses look best on me >>> Photos
In the end, it turned out to be more fun and simple than walking into the store! All I needed was my prescription, which I got from an eye-store for free, and then I virtually tried on 5-6 models also sending these different looks to a few friends for their opinion. With their help, I chose the right pair and ordered for a grand total of $21.45 (including shipping). "Ok" I thought to my self, "This has to be too good to be true." After just five days, I got my package in the mail, and let's just say it's been six months since that first order and today I own 7 pairs!! And now since it's summertime here in sunny California, I just ordered my first pair of prescription sunglasses, so no more need to change glasses when going outside.
High-quality eyewear for a fraction of the cost we've gotten used to paying, and with hundreds of models to pick from, www.eyebuydirect.com is definitely worth checking out. As my baba said after he ordered a pair the other day: "Well, I guess you were right, seems like even my prescription glasses are just one click away." Comment
* Iranian.com readers get a 10% discount now through August 30th when purchasing from EyeBuyDirect.com, just enter the code "Eyeranian" at check out.