It’s not surprising that we are all looking to save money wherever possible right now. With job security on the top of our minds, saving wherever we can has become a daily topic of discussion. When it comes to eyewear, things can get a little confusing. Eyecare itself is essential; I don’t think anyone would say that eye examinations are a place where you should look to save money. Eyewear however is another thing altogether. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Quality is everything when it comes to eyewear. There is absolutely no point in buying cheap glasses if you need to wear them every day. There are always options when it comes to purchasing eyewear – especially prescription eyewear – and of course knowledge is key.
Over my next few blog posts I’m going to help you take a look at the best ways to save money in this COVID-19 environment.
Firstly, let’s take a look at cheap ‘copies’ of eyewear. We all know they’re out there. Think Bay Ran’s, Oaklee etc cheap imitation eyewear usually sold on the streets of holiday destinations, or for $20 online. Use common sense – You’re not going to get an authentic branded pair of glasses for this kind of money. Don’t waste your time. These companies not only rip off the original designers (illegal btw) but also use extremely cheap and inferior materials which just won’t last. On top of this, the optics are TERRIBLE in the lenes and you are more likely to cause yourself damage rather than help it. If you’re after prescription lenses, most optical practices will not fit lenses to an inferior quality frame as the risk of breakage is extremely high.
‘Designer’ brand names
On to the so called ‘Designer’ Brands. Honestly, brand names don’t mean a thing anymore. Just because a range of eyewear has a celebrity’s name on it, doesn’t always mean that the celebrity has actually had anything to do with it. In some cases they have not been involved in designing, manufacturing plans, materials used or even seen the collection until they show up for the launch. Yes, there are some companies that do this the right way, by employing a team that works with them to create an eyewear line and source quality materials that resonate with their overall brand story. In these cases, I know of some celebrities being heavily involved in the design process, others come in at the final proofing stage, either way quality actually means something to them.
The hard part is how to tell which is which. I could spend months investigating and reporting on this but the general rule is, as always, you tend to get what you pay for. As an example, 2 pair of Collette Dinnegan or Alex Perry ‘branded’ frames for $199? They are looking to sell for quantity, not quality. A Vera Wang or Zac Posen frame retailing for $429? Research has gone into the materials used and functionality of the eyewear, so is more likely to be worth the investment.
The best way to be able to tell the quality of the frames you’re looking to buy is by feeling them. Try them on. Ask about the materials they are made of and have an actual discussion about HOW they are manufactured and where. Of course this cannot be done online, going into a local independent Optometry practice is the best way to guarantee that you will know and understand the quality and price of what you are purchasing when it comes to your new glasses.
Next in this series I’ll be explaining how to tell good quality materials from cheap and nasty ones, Brand names vs no-name optical brands, as well as the option to re-use your own frames, so make sure to follow my blog and you won’t miss it!