Consumer News

Getting Designer Eyeglasses For Less

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BOSTON (CBS) – Designer eye glasses often make a fashion statement these days, but that cool look can set you back hundreds of dollars.

One woman said she paid $800 for her glasses.

Neil Blumenthal of Warbyparker.com says attractive glasses don’t need to cost nearly as much as they do.

“People have been hiding behind these fashion brands to justify these high prices but the secret is, those fashion brands haven’t been involved in that pair of glasses. So if you look at a pair of Ralph Lauren eyeglasses per say, no Ralph Lauren designers have designed those frames. It’s all a licensing company that is paying Ralph Lauren 10% of every pair sold,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal cut out the middle man, and brought design and distribution in house. As a result, fashion forward prescription glasses and sunglasses are available for just $95.

Blumenthal says monthly sales growth is in the double digits. He also credits their focus on customer service.

Another option is Coastal.com. They offer the first pair free and free returns for up to a year.

CEO Roger Hardy said customers always ask how they are able to offer such great deals.

“What we find is people go to the website, and upload a photo of their face. They can try on 200-300 pairs of glasses, all sitting at home, and they’ve got a great sense of how they look and they get them, absolutely risk free. The value proposition is really catching on,” said Hardy.

Optometrists say online shopping is a viable option, but consumers should still get regular eye exams. They also need a current prescription and to be able to ascertain the distance between their pupils.

There are about a half a dozen sites offering all kinds of bargains. The key is to focus on the fine print for such things as returns and shipping rates.

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