How to Find Designer Eyewear for Less

If you’re in the market for some truly spectacular sunglasses or other eyewear, and you are dead set on a designer label, then you may have noticed that the prices can get pretty steep. It could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars just for the frames (even more if you need prescription lenses). And while you could always fake it with some cheap, plastic knockoffs, you’ll know the difference even if nobody else does. So how can you get the designer eyewear you crave without dipping into your kid’s college fund to do it? Here are a few ways to get the glasses you want for less.

1. Use insurance. If you work for a company that offer a vision plan, you should definitely sign up. Generally, you’re only losing a few dollars from every paycheck (that’s pre-taxable income) and you might be surprised how much you can save. Not only will you get free eye exams on a yearly basis, but most vision plans also cover new lenses annually and new frames (up to a certain amount) every other year. Even if your insurance only pays $100-200 for the frames, that still gets you one step closer to the pair of Coach sunglasses you’ve had your eye on (so to speak).
2. Shop online. You can get your Acuvue contacts online, so why not your designer glasses? Almost any online retailer (that doesn’t also have a chain of brick-and-mortar stores) is going to offer huge discounts on what you would pay in-store. The reason is that they can operate without the overhead of a lease, utilities, employees, and so on. By simply shopping online stores, you could save a sizeable percentage.
3. DOTD sites. If you find that you just can’t get the type of deal you need to make designer glasses affordable at your average online retailer, try signing up for deal-of-the-day sites targeted at frugal fashionistas like yourself. Although sites like Hautelook and Beyond the Rack mainly sell clothing, they occasionally offer deals on designer accessories like purses, jewelry, and glasses, as well. Not only will they send you daily emails about their sales (so you don’t have to check back on your own); memberships are free!
4. Try Craigslist and eBay. If you’re looking for a specific pair of glasses, a particular designer label, or you just want to see what’s out there, you can’t go wrong checking in on person-to-person sales sites like Craigslist and eBay. You can find absolutely anything for sale on these sites and you might be amazed at the low prices you’ll pay for items that your friends are purchasing for top dollar. So you not only get great items at a steal, you also get bragging rights. Just be cognizant of the fact that there are scammers selling fakes, so it’s buyer beware.
5. Check out vintage options. You can frequent thrift stores in the hope of finding designer frames (hey, you never know what people will donate when they’re done with it). But you’ll have a much better chance of getting the labels you love in designer eyewear if you check in with companies that deal in reclaimed frames.

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