New to Online Eyeglasses? Click Here!
Ongoing: Click here for 15%-off EVERY ORDER at EyeBuyDirect This is the best ongoing deal on the internet for EyeBuyDirect!
Goggles4U drops prices, drops additional discount codes. People are concerned, but this is still one of the best places to buy online. Link!

I thought it had gotten a bit quiet around here, with only a trickle of blog post comments -- and then I opened the old email address (and the one that I opened this blog with).

Panic ensued.

There were dozens of comments that hadn't been auto-forwarded to the new address. I went through all of them and approved them earlier today and am in the process of making sure something like this doesn't happen again.

Thanks everyone for keeping things lively around here.

The two things that stick out the most to me about 2008 and my (affordable) eyeglasses obsession are the economy tanking bringing about an even clearer vision for why I do this, and the whole Sarah Palin glasses thing. It's been quite awhile since eyeglasses received such a spotlight in this society.

What eyeglasses-themed items are you recalling from the year that is/was?

EyeBuyDirect has upped the ante once more. Note the discount link to the left is now at 15%. It's a good time to buy -- don't forget that flex spending account!

The people over at EyeBuyDirect have been busy. Busy becoming more and more irresistible. Not only do they have the voucher thing going, but they wanted me to pass along an even bigger everyday discount to you.

They've gone from 5% to 10% exclusively through the GlassyEyes site.

So if you're ready to give them a try, or need to use up that FSA money before the end of the year -- and save money while doing it, check them out here.

Thanks guys!

Fifty percent off.

It's an eye catcher, but it also makes me giggle a bit. It's a great feeling to find a deal like this -- it's even better when you're saving 50% off of something already being sold at a 70 to 90% discount.

And that's really what we're talking about here.

I've been a fan of EyeBuyDirect for quite awhile, and the improvements they've made this year have taken them to another level. Pricing, the satisfaction guarantee, and the new look and features of the site are raising the bar for the other retailers. That, and they've really been open to suggestions.

If you haven't given them a try, or know someone who should, CHECK OUT THIS DEAL! From now until December 25th, EyeBuyDirect is offering vouchers at 50% off. What does this mean? Here is the info to clear it up:
It makes a great stocking stuffer for that overly cautious nearsighted brother-in-law of yours. Maybe your co-workers glasses are in dire need of joining the twenty-first century (or even the twentieth). This is a great gift with almost no risk. It's a solid company and if the giftee (which certainly could be you as well) gets something that doesn't work, back they go and try something else.

On top of all of this physical benefit, imagine being the person who opened this other person's eyes to the possibilities of online eyeglasses. You will be saving them thousands of dollars over the course of their lifetime with this information alone.

Happy Holidays! Buy a voucher!

As many of you know, Goggles4U unceremoniously disappeared from the internet on Monday. There was a struggle to get through to them as email bounced.

Good news! They're back!

A hosting issue took them down -- and when DNS goes bad, the email stops flowing as well (one of the reasons I like to use GMail for contact email accounts).

I spent my entire childhood (adolescence, and early adult) years squinting in the sun. I wore lots of baseball caps, but when you have such beautiful hair as I do, you need the ladies to see it. So I squinted. I wasn't pulling down the allowances today's kids do for all of their video games and scooters and cell phones, so my crows feet advanced. Today, my kids (none of whom have succumbed to my vision genetics yet) wear sunglasses when it really bright out. Winter is one of those times (along with summer, fall, and spring).

I still see the bespectacled kids at their school squinting on their way from and to the buses, however. With what we've learned about eyeglasses prices at GlassyEyes, there is no reason that these children shouldn't be able to see in the sunlight like the rest of the kids -- and they can do so with better quality.

For less than $60 at 39DollarGlasses, you can protect your child's eyes from UV rays (and keep those crowsfeet at bay) while providing a nearly bulletproof polycarbonate lens for physical protection.

Believe me, I'll be looking for these the day one of my sons needs them.

The people that run Pearle Vision are not stupid, but they count on us to be.

Owned by our friends at Luxottica, they have resources that I can only dream of; big marketing budgets, cool swag (perhaps a nifty fleece pullover for casual Fridays), and a true marketing genius -- "What if we gave away a camera?"

I was clicking around the other night and noticed an advertisement for a FREE CAMERA with purchase at their stores. I expected to see an off-brand 2 megapixel deal, and was surprised to see it was a name brand. I haven't bought a digital camera in a couple years so I've been a bit out of the loop in regards to pricing. One quick trip to Amazon priced it out to $93 even (Canon A470).

The fine print is the killer though:

Please allow eight weeks delivery for merchandise redeemed online.

You DON'T ACTUALLY GET THE CAMERA. You get a voucher for a camera -- that you'll get in February (when this camera will likely be about $75).

So, as I'm wont to do, I came up with four options if you need new glasses and would love a new digital camera.

Option 1:
Pearle Vision
$350 for 1 pair of eyeglasses.
Your "Free" Camera Arrives in February (if you remember to redeem your voucher)
Total: $350 (Start taking pictures in February -- in overpriced glasses.)

Option 2:
Online Retailer
$40 for 1 pair of eyeglasses.
Order your Canon A470 from Amazon for $93 + $10 shipping (it arrives the day after tomorrow)
Total: $143 (Save over $200 and get the camera this week)

Option 3:
Online Retailer
$40 for 1 pair of eyeglasses.
$50 for 1 pair of sunglasses.
Order your Canon A470 from Amazon for $93 + $10 shipping (it arrives the day after tomorrow)
Total: $193 (Save over $150 and get the bonus eye-saving sunglasses)

Option 4:
Online Retailer
$40 for 1 pair of eyeglasses.
Order the far superior Canon SD790IS for $199 + FREE standard shipping
Total: $249 (Save $100 and get better stuff)

Heck, you could even get into an entry-level Digital SLR for only a few dollars more!

Related Posts and Links:

I wrote about this on, but wanted to call it out over here at GlassyEyes. I wonder how much thought they're putting into the online competition. LensCrafters is dead to me -- and increasingly so to pretty much everyone I come across who wears glasses.

Seems they expect things to get better in six months or so. I think this "economic downturn" has potential to be a boon for the online eyeglasses retailer. They need to continue to deliver, quality, value and please, oh please, some new (but not so gosh darn trendy) frame designs..

NOTE TO RETAILERS: I'm open to discuss this with you.

I'd guess Luxottica is aware of the online places, but probably unaware of the movement beginning to really take hold. Big companies are always the last to know -- they have so many layers of insulation.

We improvise, that's what we do. 

I was at dinner tonight with my sons and dad and I noticed two women having drinks at the table immediately next to ours.  I wasn't "checking them out" (Angela). From where I was sitting, my choices were; dudes basejumping on ESPN, my youngest making fart noises, or these two stylish women and their eyeglasses.

As the meal was winding down, I knew this was a perfect chance to "drop some knowledge" on them. I opened my wallet looking for a couple of my kick-ass GlassyEyes cards -- and was greeted by a distinct lack of the exact thing I was looking for

No need to worry, I have some in the car! 

Strike two, what's a guy to do? Bag it? That's what the old Ira would have done. Not the new, improved Ira.

I tore the receipt in two pieces and created some magic -- as you can clearly see in the high-end cellphone photo above.

It's quite possible that they'll deposit their gum in them at the end of the night, but maybe not. One of them said she was looking to get some new glasses. Perhaps I just saved her $300 in that one semi-awkward moment.

I challenge you to do the same. I'll even help with a fist full of cards (of the kick-ass variety) if you send me your address! 

Approaching women in a restaurant/bar... where was this "skill" hiding back in the early nineties?

NOTE TO SELF: Load up on a fresh stack of cards for the car.

It's been two years (and a day) since I launched GlassyEyes on the afternoon of that first eyeglasses-related blog post. I never imagined it would build to this.

I planned on a new site design and a couple of new features to mark the occasion, but I've had contract gig in an actual office environment for the past five weeks. It's really put a dent in my time for the extra stuff. Look for an updated version of this site in early 2009.

Thanks for being here, telling your friends and for coming back.

Here's to two more, and remember "Eyeglasses stores are still for suckers!"

24 hours Buy One get one Free
This is drawing an enormous amount of interest to EyeBuyDirect today (smart move guys!).

There are still a couple of hours left in this event. If you're in need of a pair or two of glasses, now is one of those special times when the price is right -- even better than right. With EyeBuyDirect's satisfaction policy, you're in good shape.

This deal is good on frames $14.95 and up. Single-vision only.

Time is running out!

Ever since I left the comfort of the steady paycheck to forge my way trying to build a company with an old friend, I started giving blood regularly. Every eight weeks I head to the Red Cross Blood Donation Center in Bloomington, Minnesota and open up a vein. I've learned a lot in the process about humanity -- and even more about effective tracking processes.

Each and every one of the people running these online eyeglasses establishments ought to go give blood -- today, like put down whatever you're doing and dial 411 for the nearest location. I think they might notice a few ways to make a big difference in their businesses. The Red Cross Blood Donation Centers are a people-heavy workplace, but the procedures that they've implemented protect against a few of the things that all businesses must address with their people:

  1. Complacency
  2. Staff turnover
  3. Bad press
  4. Customer dissatisfaction
  5. Legal "difficulty"

You retailers are delivering a solid product at a good price, but you can do more to make the process accessible to the millions yet to punch up your URLs. There are mixed reviews for all of you. I, like the vast majority of people, have had great success and will never go back to the mall, but I've never once felt like I knew when my new glasses would arrive.

I've been asking for retailer reviews since the site started in November, 2006 and one of the pervasive themes is that there is little by way of notification of the status of orders. Often, even a call to customer service will yield at best, little more than frustration and a sense that no one seems to give a damn, and at worst hostility.

One of the things that the internet affords us is efficiency through the use of software. It's possible that all but the most incredible need for customer service can be handled in an automated fashion. After some of the calls I (and others) have had to endure, it'd be a better alternative to the current condition.

Here are the basics that NEED to happen:
  1. Send an order confirmation with expected timeframes, contact information, prescription verification and billing information
  2. Define the production stages and log events when the glasses enter and exit each of these stages
  3. Create a way for your customers to get status of their orders online -- whenever they want it
  4. Email the customer upon shipment of the order -- again with contact information

As a retailer you're going to get three VERY IMPORTANT returns on this investment; actionable statistical information, happier customer service people, and repeat customers -- and additionally some really solid press on a blog called "GlassyEyes".

Without it, you're going to be the butt of many posts in forums like these.

I'd argue that during my two-plus years at this none of the other sites in this space have done so much to improve the online prescription eyeglasses shopping experience than EyeBuyDirect.

The site has been completely transformed over the past two years into the most useful and feature-rich site of the group. It's busy -- perhaps just a bit too busy for my taste, but it's a solid set of features coupled with the best warranty/return policies. They take a lot of the risk out of the equation.

EyeBuyDirect is having a 24-hour sale on Monday, but this weekend, we GlassyEyes folk have an opportunity to get an extra 36-hours of shopping opportunity to give them a try. The $7.95 frames are excluded -- but even two at $14.95+ is a fantastic deal. You'll pay $5 a pair for the requisite UV coating and about $7 for anti-reflective.

I plan on taking them up on this offer (and playing with some of the site's features) this weekend. Will you?

UPDATE: Ron emailed me today with the following: "Offer includes only single vision lenses with anti-scratch coating." In my haste to get this post up, I neglected to mention it. Thanks Ron!

I've never masked my disdain for Luxottica and what they've done to the optical industry here (in the States) and increasingly around the world. I've been kicking this idea around for quite awhile. 

See it as an attempt to inform those looking for the same coupons I was looking for in late 2006 when this online-eyeglasses world unfolded to me. Eighty dollars off or even half-price at LensCrafters is still an outrageous fee to pay for glasses no better than the twenty pair scattered around my home and car.

Take a look and share (or blog) the link. People need to know what they are dealing with when they walk through those sliding glass doors at the mall.


I got an email a couple of weeks ago asking how "Project Dean" ended up. It has been awhile, and my first thought was to pass along the link in the previous sentence to all of the articles -- and then I realized that I had never finished the series. I stubbed in the title for this piece and it got buried under dozens of other posts.

We live a few hours away from Dean and when the glasses were ordered, we had a plan to swing by his house on the way to the in-laws, but it never happened. I talked to him on the phone after they arrived from 39 Dollar Glasses and apart from a minor adjustment, which his eye doctor was gracious enough to do, they were perfect

Dean doesn't have a camera -- so it was nearly lost to the ages, until (thanks to his neighbor) I got a photo in my email yesterday.

Here it is.

More importantly, it's been four months of daily wear and they're still pristine. Proof that you can have success with progressive lenses online.

I got another comment from a practicing optician. It started in much the same way requests pour from the lips of my three children:

I know you will more than likely NOT post my comment.

It's always obvious to me when I get a comment from someone who hasn't spent any time looking at the content of the site. NOTE: This site is littered with comments from people on all sides of this issue. Comments like these are gold. Of course, I'm going to post it.

It continues:
I've read your edit. I'm sure you've been bombarded by hords of us in the industry. What you need to understand is that we're fighting for our jobs. I'm a licensed Optician. I have been working in the industry for almost 20 years.

Then hopefully you were smart enough to plan ahead and sock away some of that money you were making on my $400 glasses. People, by the thousands, are learning about this site -- and the reasonably priced options over there to the left -- each day.

On to his first gripe:
Nothing makes me more upset than having to use MY inventory of frames, MY knowledge, MY time to help people buy their glasses online.

I tend to get worked up when I discover I've been getting screwed for years and not even knowing it.
Hundreds -- thousands of people have been walking into your store for the past 20 years shelling out ridiculous sums for the privilege of being able to see. We're not coming in to buy shiny knick-knacks for the mantle, we can't see and you've had us over the barrel for it. You'll excuse me if I don't worry too much about someone taking back a dollar or two of your time.

And the gouging continues:
The practice I work at, we do not release pupilary measurements at no charge. We have a fee associated with that information. It is not included in your routine eye exam.

Yeah, you should definitely charge extra for that. That's an extra inch or two the optometrist might have to bend down to read that little number on the refractor. Do you think this is a still a secret? The cat is out of the bag.

Let's toss in some fear:
My big quandry is this....where do you go when you need your glasses adjusted? What happens when you need a nosepad? Or a screw has fallen out? How are you sure that your glasses have been made properly? Do you then seek out your optician and expect him/her to help you out? Really, what do you do?

I don't have a problem with paying for any of these services if I feel I need them -- and some truly do. I'm not, however, going to pay an extra $350 for what equates to a half-assed extended service plan. It doesn't take a "rocket surgeon" to pop a new screw in or replace a nose pad. Heck, even other adjustments aren't impossible (there are all sorts of videos online -- from opticians -- explaining how this can be done at home with no special tools).

And the summary:
I want patients to LOVE their glasses. It doesn't matter to me how much you spend or don't spend. It could be $100, or $1,000. I don't make commission. I'm proud of what I do. I don't want to see my job go through the window because it's been outsourced to the big manufacturing shmoes. I'd love to read a response from you. I'm not trying to bash what you're doing, I'm only stating my case. I think everyone should hear both sides of the story.

I appreciate that you take pride in your work -- it's a horrible thing not to be able to do so. I also hope that you understand that the economics of the situation have changed. I expected the price of eyeglasses to come down when Lasik began to pick up steam -- oddly the inverse has been true -- at least as far as the traditional eyeglasses stores are concerned. I also expected to see fewer eyeglasses stores -- that has been the case. One of the only things propping up this business model is consumer ignorance (and complacency) and an aging population.  

Some would look at this as an opportunity.

It's a new world out there, we're all dealing with jobs leaving the country. This isn't something isolated to the optical industry. I'm a software developer, maybe you've heard how that's been going for the past few years. 

I don't have any ill-will towards you or anyone in your field. It's business -- but it's changing. I'm thrilled to now be able to afford eyeglasses, and many thousands of others are too.

We all need to adapt or we're going to "die".

I lived for years with one pair of eyeglasses at a time. This is the model that I'd argue over 90% of eyeglasses-wearing Americans live by. First of all, eyeglasses are traditionally expensive, and secondly, they're really, really expensive. Who buys two pairs? Rich people, unlike me.

This online eyeglasses thing is a huge deal for us "common people", but there is a catch. Even with fast shipping, it's going to take a week (maybe two). Why wait when you don't need to? You can get a spare pair now starting at less than $8 (from EyeBuyDirect), but even at a multiple of that low, low price, you really ought to prepare for that "uh-oh" moment on which the jerks at LensCrafters have based their profiteering for years.

The high cost of eyeglasses has been a brilliant marketing move for them. Make eyeglasses so expensive that people won't have a backup and when those break, they'll be desperate for their "next fix", and we'll be the only ones here to serve them.

Thank goodness we're free of them.

Take stock in your eyeglasses stock. You can deck yourself out in a couple of pairs, and a sunglasses for each car and still have money left over for that iPhone you've had your eye on -- or maybe fill a cart at the grocery store, and be able to see what you're putting in it?

I spoke with Andrea Cooper a month or so ago about the online eyeglasses thing and she popped it into the November 2008 issue of Reader's Digest. The GlassyEyes mention is on page 180 in the "Get a Great Deal on Anything" article (available at

I guess it should come as no surprise that a thirty minute conversation would be condensed to 130 words in of all places, Reader's Digest -- it's not like I expected the cover or anything. ;-)

I'm excited because this kind of exosure should help introduce the concept of online eyeglasses to an entirely new audience -- and potentially live in the waiting rooms of hospitals and dentist's offices for years (and years).

If you get the Reader's Digest, or know someone who does, pass along the page number - 180!

Another nice corresponding illustration, this time by Istvan Banyai.

A special thanks to my neighbor, Pokey for the "spare" copy.

Clicked over to Goggles4U this morning and was struck by the "Best Sellers" area. I was able to get a screenshot of the top 7 most popular frames they list on the site (there are 8 -- the 900 pixel height of this laptop has always been a sticking point with me). Fully six of the top eight are reminiscent of the Palin eyeglasses wardrobe (both current and historical).

The other women's frame makes me think of Tina Palin, er.. Fey.

That "most popular" frame is the maverick of the bunch. Perhaps McCain, has done a slight update from the following stylish number:

I spent a half hour or so at a couple of eyeglasses shops at the local mall this weekend. I haven't found myself spending too much time in stores such as these in the past couple of years, but I needed to do a little research for a new blog I'm working on (more on that in a few weeks).

The thing I'd forgotten was how much it sucks to try on glasses. It's horrible. For me, I can't see a thing without my glasses, so once they're off, I'm effectively useless. 

When the "optician" (who is wearing pleated khakis, with penny loafers -- WITH PENNIES) tells you they "look nice -- very stylish", I tend to hear a voice in my head say, "NEXT!

So the drill went as follows:
  1. Put current glasses on.
  2. Scope for a contender.
  3. Clasp frame in left hand, use right to remove current glasses.
  4. Put on new frame with dummy lenses.
  5. Grope for mirror. 
  6. Lean in within 6 inches of mirror.
  7. Make determination based on this silliness.
  8. Repeat.
  9. Cave in to exhaustion.
Throw in the outrageous cost and it quickly becomes about as fun as a root canal.

One of the most common questions I get in all of this is, "How do I know if they'll look good on me?" I have a number of pat answers based primarily on the idea that you should definitely use a frame you like as a template for lens shape and size. More recently, however, I tend to lean towards, "how do you know if the frames at the store will look good?"

Realistically, the "virtual try-on" technologies in use at a number of the retailers are a much better way to actually SEE how the frames are going to look. I've tried most of them, and they work -- they really do. For a first timer, or anyone else unsure, I highly recommend giving this a try. 

Part Three in a multi-part series on prescription eyeglasses-themed Halloween costumes. I know it's still a month away, but the eyeglasses featured in these posts will take a few weeks to arrive. ACT NOW!

The glasses for this ensemble are bold -- awesomely so. Start a new look, it's about time you did. Seriously, look in the mirror, those wispy wireless jobbers might be fine for the board room, but when was the last time you were in the board room?


via boingboing tv

via Make
Super-blogger-illustrator-magazine-editor-robot-maker Mark Frauenfelder is one of my favorite web personalities. He's the most (capital 'R') Renaissance of all internet Renaissance Men. He started Boing Boing, was editor of Wired Magazine, started and edits the deliciously nerdy Make magazine, is a fantastic illustrator (see his iGoogle theme here), and most importantly, often wears glasses proudly and prominently.

When trying to emulate the "Mark" look, you need to go big, plastic and classic -- with the frames. He's likely to wear the Ray Bans (very easy to replicate at a bargain price), but he'll throw a change-up every now and then to something a bit wackier.

Throw in a mussed up hairstyle, a bowling shirt or interestingly patterned short-sleeve (untucked and in ample supply at the thrift stores this time of year), maybe a remote control with a big antenna and you're good to go. Your mileage may vary, but my crowd will likely be able to identify the inspiration of my costume -- especially if I can talk my youngest into going as a smoking fish, and the others into going as robots.

Up here in the frigid North country (in those short sleeves), it's going to take a full thermos of espresso to make it around the neighborhood on Halloween. That lab coat is starting to look like a good idea.

Here are those FakeBans ($29) from Optical4Less again. I can attest to the solidity of the frames. They're my current favorites in the sunglasses arsenal:

Add a second pair (perhaps from the $15 Overstock section) and you can skip the shipping. I typically go the Shuron route for my bold, plastic, prescription eyeglasses frames, but I've also gone free -- twice.

Regardless, whether you want to be like Mark or not, a bold pair of frames is a must for your eyewear wardrobe.

Check him out on The Colbert Report, and this old Apple "Switch" commercial:

Featured in AlltopAll right, confirmation that GlassyEyes kicks ass, but nonetheless it's cool. To complete the "kicks ass" reference, see about halfway down the left navigation area. has a really useful product and a sense of humor to back it up.

Started by Guy Kawasaki (formerly of Apple, and who wrote the most excellent book, "Art of the Start"), and a couple of his friends (Will Mayall and Kathryn Henkens), is a topic-based RSS aggregator that saves me from the fear of "what am I missing". And with the new "Frugality" topic, at, I can find ways, beyond affordable eyeglasses, to save money and to promote this site to an even wider audience.

Check it out.

You're a contact lens wearer and you've neglected your glasses for years. Why on earth would you spend even $200 on a basic pair of glasses when you only wear them to watch Letterman?

You haven't and not only may you be straining your eyes, what happens when you get a knock on the door at midnight from your super-hot neighbor looking to borrow a cup of sugar? Think ahead and spend a few bucks to upgrade the "night vision" into something that doesn't force you to hide behind closed blinds.

Part Two in a multi-part series on eyeglasses-themed Halloween costumes. I know it's (the end of) September, but the eyeglasses featured in these posts will take a week or two to arrive. ACT NOW!

If you're like me, the idea of an eyeglasses-wearing Halloween costume subject lends itself to me being comfortable -- able to see. With reasonably-priced eyeglasses now available to us, you can get "costume eyeglasses" that you'll be able to wear at the party, walking the kids around as they gather candy, and to work the next day.


Geek-chic Tina Fey

The glasses are basic enough. She wears a dark, either black or brown plastic, round-bottom, horn-rimmed frames.

I looked at all of the sites listed to the left and was unable to find much of anything that closely resembled these. Why?

They're super-basic frames. I think this speaks to the idea that we need to see some more updated, classic designs added to the collections.


Here are a couple that might do the job in a pinch.

The Lioni - $39
These aren't really "horned-rimmy" enough, but if you've got the hair right, no one will notice.

4419 Tailored Acetate Full-Rim Frame with Spring Hinge - $29.95
Great name. These are horn-rimmed enough, but look like they're too tall. I think it might be harder to pull off the height. I'd like to see a better pic.

If these two frames mated, then we'd have something.

Google is doing some maintenance thing at 6PM CDT today (9/25). Supposed to take only 10 minutes.

So browse before or after -- or both.

That is all.

A drawer full of electrical tape and super-glue is no way to prepare for the eventuality of your son or daughter's broken glasses. Kids are tough on glasses. Really tough. I recall the horror of breaking a pair of glasses as a kid in about 4th grade. This was a brand new pair and a soccer ball to the face at recess did them in. I panicked.

I remember the look on my mom's face when she wrote the second check for $100 dollars -- [begin codger]and that was back when a hundred bucks was a hundred bucks[/end codger]. A hundred bucks was six tanks of gas, an overflowing grocery cart, new tires for the station wagon, a really fancy family meal, or a car payment.

It's not like that now -- or at least it doesn't have to be, contrary to what the folks at LensCrafters are telling you.

A few things to consider when buying glasses for children:

  1. You're going to get polycarbonate lenses. The benefits are four-fold; shatter-proof, lighter, inherent UV protection, and inherent scratch resistance.
  2. You're going to want to order them from 39DollarGlasses because the polycarbonate lenses are standard and you're going to be able to get two pair for $80.
  3. Talk to your eye doctor about testing them when they arrive. If she says she won't, find another doctor, this one isn't concerned with your child's eyes -- just her wallet.
If you don't see something you like at 39 Dollar Glasses, consider getting frames elsewhere and having them lensed for roughly the same price -- with the standard polycarb lenses.

Part One in a multi-part series on eyeglasses-themed Halloween costumes. I know it's September, but the eyeglasses featured in these posts will take a week or two to arrive. ACT NOW!

As an eyeglasses wearer, I'm always on the look for a Halloween costume that allows me to be who I am -- without the discomfort of wearing contacts all night at a smokey bar, or look like a dork (NOTE TO SELF: Obi Wan Kenobi does not wear eyeglasses).

Also, I'm not sure about you, but the idea of buying eyeglasses for one night (or maybe two), didn't fit in my oh-so-very-tight budget. Enter online eyeglasses, and that concern goes (mostly) out the window. Not only do you get what you need to do the eyeglasses-themed costume, but you get a pair of glasses that at the very least will be great for kicking around the house after the curtains are drawn. All for less than $50.


Dwight Schrute from The Office

The glasses are available -- mostly. 39DollarGlasses has something similar at that pricepoint. Close-ups show a silver frame, but the Dakota in Cafe will work just fine -- and if you're a perfectionist, like Dwight, buy a can of spray paint, undo a screw or two and change them.

Raid your dad's closet (or the local thrift store) for a short sleeve dress shirt, slacks and tie for between $0 and $10. Buy a dead pager or pager case on eBay for a couple bucks, make a batch of stapler jello and you're done -- apart from the patented Dwight Schrute attitude (and bear knowledge).

Brighten the lives of those around you as only Dwight can.

It had been awhile since I'd seen a pair of glasses that I needed to have -- and then Albert sent me a link.

The link was to a pair of glasses that had almost nothing in common with the other 16 pairs in my collection. It had also been awhile since I'd placed an order with Optical 4 Less.

I ordered the second pair, because you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses (and you waive the shipping fees, so they're heavily discounted).

The sunglasses frames are more substantial than the glow-in-the-dark frames, but well, they don't glow. I'm used to having a metal insert in the temple and was surprised not to see one in the glow-in-the-dark rimless, but I think it's by design. Sure it costs less to make, but the flexibility rivals my titanium hingeless pair.

The lenses on both pairs are absolutely perfect in every way. I'm thrilled with the both of them.

Sorry for the video -- it's crazappy, and the glasses really do glow like crazy..

We're gaining momentum.

Many of you have come to the site over the past few weeks thanks to the wonderful piece in Slate, by Farhad Manjoo. He was a blast to talk to. This kind of surge in eyeballs really helps to get the word out. The more people that become aware of the site, the more this industry will (if you'll pardon the political overtones) "Change™".

Luxottica (look them up) and their movement to corner the entire optical industry from manufacturing, to retail, to insurance thought they had us by the short hairs. This site and the awesome participation in the forums are having an effect on their bottom line.

If you feel you've benefitted from some of this site's content, here are just a few of the ways you can help let other's know about it. Let's make sure it's not a secret!
  1. Blog about the GlassyEyes site.
  2. Tell your friends.
  3. Ask me to send you some business cards to give to your friends and strangers you see on the street.
  4. Twitter about the site.
  5. Tell your parents.
  6. Throw it up on your (and your friend's) Facebook walls. Click here and add GlassyEyes as a favorite.
  7. Chat about it with your MySpace friends.
  8. Place a link in a sidebar of your site -- it helps!
  9. If you have a bad experience at a brick and mortar optician, make sure to let people know on (and pop in the URL as an alternative).
  10. Use the "Get the Word Out" button above to email people the info about the site.
  11. If you're a journalist or are married to, live next door to or play frisbee golf with one let them know about what we're doing here.
  12. Tell your shrink.
  13. Participate!
In a web filled with social media, there are surely many, many more possibilities to continue the momentum. Add your ideas (and actions) to the comments!

OK, they arrived about a week ago, but things have been hectic -- living in St. Paul, we've been dodging stormtroopers with tear gas and rubber bullets just walking about the town.

Also, someone switched off summer and we went from 90s last weekend to low 70s this week. I like it hot and this isn't cutting it for swimming. Forced indoors, I hit the pool at the Y on Saturday, and gave my new goggles a work out.

I ordered the Hilco Prescription Swimming Goggles for $30.95.

They performed admirably. I'm really thrilled with these. It's great to be able to see so clearly under water -- better than I ever have.

If you've been on the fence with these. Take a look at the video, read the first post again and order up.

My apologies for the 3-day shadow (and note to self, buy some blades).

post to | post to digg digg | post to reddit reddit

NOTE: GlassyEyes in no way endorses this or any other political candidate (unless said candidate wholeheartedly endorses GlassyEyes).

Thank you John McCain (and his roving band of political strategists). Picking a VP candidate who so prominently wears glasses will definitely give me some content ideas over the coming two months -- not sure how I'll be able to mix in the "experience" or "oil" angle yet, but they'll be plenty with the glasses.

Her glasses wardrobe appears to be her trademark (so we've got one thing in common). They do set her apart from the crowd a bit.

From my perspective, it appears that she's gone a bit more conservative since the announcement and has been working the rimless variety more prominently.

Do we recognize any of the other frames she is wearing?

Bonus points to anyone who finds anything resembling any of these at any of the sites listed to the left -- Halloween is coming!

I recognize the ones below:

"Larry Who?" wrote a comment to this post ("Expired Eyeglasses Prescription? Oh NOES!!!!!!!11") that both had me nodding my head and rolling my (quite comfortable and healthy) eyes. He makes some good points (before descending into the all-to-familiar rhetoric and un-informed blow-hardedness of someone who sees the gravy train leaving them behind on the platform). Here's one:

...prescriptions expire for a good reason, especially in the case of contacts. Contact lenses all cause progressive damage to the cornea, like it or not. Thank your lucky stars that your contact prescription expires, thus forcing you to see the doctor so he can stop your cornea from turning into a raisin by saying "you are no longer compatible with contacts".

I think my thoughts on prescriptions have changed a bit. I mentioned at one point, only a couple of days into this eyeglasses blog journey some things about the artificial expiration of the 2-year eyeglasses prescription. Many of us have been forced by price-gouging optical stores to "get by" with old glasses.

The difference in struggling to see through scratched and beat-up old glasses and using that 25 month-old prescription to get a new pair (sans scratches) didn't seem like much of a decision at all, but with the cost of your next pair of glasses now being out of the hands of these brick and mortar stores, you can -- and certainly SHOULD -- afford to get your eyes checked REGULARLY.

Let's make this new, better way of getting glasses lead to better eye health with regular checkups. Remember, that $50 checkup doesn't have $400 in "additional parts and labor" attached to it any longer. Stay current!

Read this and viewed the image while I stood in line for FIVE HOURS for the Daily Show today in St. Paul -- we got moved inside while the protests "raged" outside.

It's Awesome. Thanks Rob!

I was at my yearly checkup today and while I was left alone waiting for my eyes to dilate, I checked out the equipment. I noticed that the pupil distance is shown right on the "glasses machine", not sure what it's called. It's around on the doctor's side at the top left (sorry for the poor cameraphone photo).

So, one more way to try and get a pupil distance if your doc tries withhold it.

Click the image to see the very clearly marked '64'.

Kudos on the yearly checkup too!

...and again with the angry optometrist.

"smosh" posted with a question on how to get frames adjusted -- even plainly stating that he didn't want to "resort to subterfuge" again:

a couple of years ago I bought a pair from - at that
point I saved $350 or so...from $600 down to $250. My ears are
slightly different heights, so the earpieces always have to be bent.
I took the glasses to my optometrist and passed them
off as sold by another of their locations (i had seen the frames there
first, then started googling, leading to

I want to buy another pair, but I don't want to resort to subterfuge
to have them adjusted.

So what do people do?

The people of the GlassyEyes forums had a number of helpful suggestions including "deborah's" experience:
I plan to take mine to the optometrist who prescribed my lenses. I
told him what I was doing, and he said that of course I could (and
definitely should) bring them in to have the prescription tested and
to have them adjusted.

At this point "adameyeball" chimed in with the smugness and vitriol we've seen so often by a number of people "connected" to this industry.

Here are the highlights (with my responses in blue):
> deborah i have a better idea for you. why don't you lay your glasses
> on the computer and have the computer adjust them. thats what you
> signed up for when you bought glasses online.

Or she could do exactly what she said she was going to do and take them to her optometrist who is apparently more interested in the vision of his patients than in moving his "100 thousand dollars worth of frames". Look in the mirror, adameyeball. Really look.

> need a screw replaced, ask the computer to do it since the reason i
> charge a higher price is that i have customers who pay for that
> service (they get unlimetd adjustments and service).

Or you could just pick up an eyeglass repair kit for like a buck and fix it yourself. Or ask a professional and offer them a few bucks for the trouble. I guess I wasn't aware that optometrists worked on a retainer basis. Even my worst pair of frames from a brick and mortar store only needed to be adjusted 3 or 4 times (before they broke on my face). I'd guess that was less than 15 minutes of time in the "unlimetd adjustments and service" (I don't normally call out spelling and punctuation, but you kind of deserve it). By your logic, and the price difference, that works out to more than $1200/hour for adjustments. Um, I'll pass.

> please don't come into my office trying on frames and trying to get the model
> number ,instead try them on virtually online.

That's a fantastic idea. Optical4Less and EyeBuyDirect offer excellent "virtual try on" systems. They do a pretty good job with the technology.

> why should i expect to service a product you didn't purchase from me
> for free! would you go in and ask them to fix the watch you bought
> online for free??

You shouldn't -- and if it's your store, feel free to be a dick about it. The other option is charge a fee. $5? $10? You might make enough for lunch for you 2 minutes of time.

> so go save a hundred dollars and buy your glasses
> online just remember not to come into my office not to get them
> adjusted .

Please let us know where you are so we can "remember not to come into [your] office". If I'm not mistaken, it's a little place in Park Slope? I would hate to have anyone "wasting your time".

FWIW, I have the same issue with one ear higher than the other and I just give my frames a gentle twist. Works every time (unless we're talking titanium -- and then there is a need for more "physical" measures).

If there are any illustrators out there, I'd love an "angry optometrist" image to pop into articles such as this.

It's back as of Sunday Morning.

I'm stuck on dial-up until Monday afternoon, so updates will be a bit slow, but as of right now, on Saturday evening, Zenni is pretty much broken. There are lots of broken images and clicking on any of the at least 4 categories in that nasty left nav, bring up the message:

There are no available products under this manufacturer.
...even though I've chosen no manufacturer -- or are there any "manufacturers" at all on the Zenni site. It's not just me. There is a report in the forums as well.


Additionally, anyone else notice that they use a 71K image for their header? You would if you were stuck on dial-up like me for the weekend. Yeah, that one with the clip-art eye doctor standing on the side of the snow-capped mountain (also weird).

Albert, at Optical4Less sent me an email noting a new frame on the site. Wow. I've always liked bolder frames so rimless isn't typically a route I travel. For those looking for a cleaner, more transparent look, they're a great option... and then there is the target market for these. Look below! They're GLOW-IN-THE-DARK.

Kind of "bulky" for rimless frames. "Bold" dare I say? Not that you'd probably wear these to a black-tie affair (or to the candlelight Christmas service), but I think there is a place in my glasses wardrobe for these.

Fireworks? Rave? Halloween party? Late night jog around the block? For a little extra light in case of a power failure?

I'll have to remember to carry some GlassyEyes cards with me when I wear these at night. You're asking yourself, "Ira? Are you seriously considering these?" Absolutely, I'm consideringI've ordered a pair of these "glow-in-the-dork-dark" beauties. Certainly something I DON'T already have -- and a stark contrast to my first pair of rimless frames.

Chime in! Where else are you in need of a little light (or attention)?

I wrote a post late last winter about my "swimming glasses". It got a lot of interest and feedback. I've spent an awful lot of time swimming this summer. Lots of jumping and diving off the back of the boat, and tons of time at the beach with the kids. Even as summer sadly starts to show it's age up here in the Great White North, I'm still trying to get in as much as I can and planning for a few trips over the winter to places with pools and water parks. I like the water.

I used to wear contacts swimming, but lost a few over the years -- back when they were expensive. Also, it's no fun driving home with only one good eye.

Anyway, I still love the idea of swimming glasses for a lot of what I do, but a few weeks ago, I was at the lake and there were about a half dozen enormous catfish swimming around in the swimming area. I'd have loved to be able to see them -- from beneath the surface.

It got me to thinking about the "prescription" swim goggles someone mentioned back then. I use quotes around "prescription" as they might be your prescription if your sphere measurement isn't a X.25 or X.75 (the economical versions are only available in half and whole numbers). Also, unless you want to spend significantly more, don't have an astigmatism more than a few degrees off of 0 or else you're going to be really uncomfortable.

I poked around and came up with a few options for those of you in the need. Each model allows for different prescription strength in each eye -- can you imagine that some DO NOT?

Hilco Prescription Swimming Goggles - $30.95
  • 100% UVA, UVB Protected
  • High Performance Anti-Fog Treatment and impact tested
  • Includes protective carrying case
  • Lens Available from -8.0 to +8.0 (some half steps -- i.e. -2.5, -3.5)

Ultra Comfort Prescription Swim Goggles - $27.95
  • Premium satin silicone seals and strap for ultimate comfort
  • Sleek black/blue look with tinted lenses
  • High Performance Anti-Fog Treatment
  • Ships with three sizes of nose bridge for better fit
  • Easy to assemble
  • Available in prescriptions for Myopia (near-sightedness) in powers from -1.5 to -8.0
  • 100% UVA, UVB Protected

ParMel Custom Optical Swim Goggles - $40.00 (including shipping)
  • Shatter resistant polycarbonate lenses
  • Anti-Fog Treated Lenses
  • Clear Lenses
  • 3 Size Nose Bridge

Children's Prescription Swimming Goggles - $30.95
  • 100% UVA, UVB Protected
  • High Performance Anti-Fog Treatment and impact tested
  • Easy to assemble
  • Children's Lens Available for Myopia (short-sightedness) and Hyperopia (far-sightedness) -5.0 to +8.0