Glassy Eyes is a terrific blog about buying super cheap prescription eyeglasses online. I followed Ira's advice and ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses for $13.
My favorite part is Ira's response to an email from an optician:
OPTICIAN: You may be able to find a silhouette frame a little cheaper online but you are also forfeiting correct measurements and the service provided (future repairs and adjustments, complimentary ultrasonic cleanings, etc).
IRA: I wonder how many people you sell on ultrasonic cleanings. In theory it sounds like a good idea, but I think $320 is a bit much for an extended service plan.
OPTICIAN: Stores also have more overhead (salaries for qualified and experienced opticians, ulitity bills, etc) so you are paying for more than just the frame…you are paying for the overall service.
IRA: I can appreciate that. That's the reason I've gone to the same opthalmologist for the past 25 years. I want a qualified person checking my eyes — after that it's numbers on a card and money-grubbing.
OPTICIAN:Also, let's not forget that by patronizing local stores, you are helping the local economy. I would gladly pay just a little extra to support my community.
IRA: Don't start with the shop locally argument. I shop locally as often as I can. I'm a huge fan of the disappearing mom and pop shops of all kinds and will patronize them over a big-box store whenever possible. I support my community with volunteering AND my dollars. I'm not going to be screwed for it however.