Knowing is half the battle

Shopping for designer eyewear can be really fun. Browsing a designer optical can make you feel like a celebrity.

Shopping can be exhilarating and exciting but the after feeling of regret when you worry that you paid too much or were misled into spending too much money is not fun. I’ve seen this happen too many times over the years of my practice with optical purchases where people have come to see me after receiving glasses from some optical that they believed they paid too much for.

The problem is not the designer eyewear. The same story happens over and over.

They go in for a simple pair of glasses to read that is covered under their optical insurance. They buy the stylish frame because it feels good to look good. They want the best lenses for their eyes so they say yes to add ons to the lenses. By the end the price is very different from what they expected or planned when they entered the optical. This is the where the regret begins and escalates until they go to pick up the glasses a few days later.

The joy of the shopping experience gets clouded by the time of regretful waiting. So even when they get the glasses and they see a bright new visual world, the thought lingers that they paid too much. It does not have to be this way.

The problem is the optical selling the designer eyewear. Not all opticals that sell designer eyewear are actually designer opticals. You can empower yourself to interact with opticals in a better way so that you come out satisfied with no regrets.

The first step is to see an eye doctor that examines and educates you about your eyes independently from the optical selling. This can be done in an optical by the optometrist or in outside ophthalmology or optometry practice.

Simply ask when making an appointment if you will be given a written prescription for your glasses. This is standard in most practices but if there is any hesitation in the willingness to do this you should move on.

The next step is to truly think about your values and what is important to you. Think about what you spend your money on. What do use everyday that helps you function better in life? What things of value do you have that lasts for years? How much do you spend in a year on your appearance? Put these thoughts together and figure out how much you want to spend on one of the most important and useful items of fashion in your life.

Once you set that number and then when get the written prescription, you now have the leverage. You are in power in the shopping experience instead of being powerless. The other way to gain leverage is to understand the lens add-ons. It is not important to know all the possible adds on and their definitions in detail unless you are truly interested in that knowledge.

The optical should provide an adequate explanation of each add on and you should ask questions until you understand completely. If they don’t take time to make you understand, move on.

Hopefully, you have an eye doctor who knows you and understands your lifestyle and history and can make some recommendations about the type of lens that would be best for you and help prep you for the optical sales experience.

You are now ready for the sale. You have knowledge, leverage, and a limit so the shopping becomes a joyful ride.

Sit back and let the optical work for you. Allow them to pamper you with attention and imagine yourself with your new glasses experiencing the world in a fresh new way. Take your time. If you feel rushed, take your prescription and move on. Your goal is to find a truly designer optical when you plan to invest in your glasses.

Designer eyewear can make you feel special and a designer optical can treat you that way as well. Opticals have expertise in eye fashion. They can tailor your choices by your interests. A designer optical can guide you through choices of sustainable frames, wooden frames, handmade frames, unique frames, special material frames, durable frames, etc. The optician can then guide you through the choices of lens technology to enhance your visual performance. The key is to find an optical that makes you feel special and gives you guidance through the shopping experience.

Buying glasses is an extremely important process because it affects your daily life, how you function daily, and how people see you the moment they see your face. Checking the website of the optical before you go gives you an idea of their philosophy. If it is in line with your worldview, check them out in person. What does it mean for an optical to be in line with your worldview?

For instance, if you are environmentally conscious then you may want to find an optical that carries eco-friendly eyewear. If you like small boutique fashion, then a small designer optical may be the one for you. If you like big box stores, then a big chain optical may be the right choice for you. If you have your written prescription, just go and check them out. If you do not have a prescription, call and make an appointment but also remember to verify that you will receive a written prescription.

Think of buying glasses in the same way that you buy a car. They both are big purchases. They both have a huge impact on your ability to function well in life. They both have multiple options and add on features. They both influence your image and fashion. They both have overwhelming choices. In both purchases, being prepared and knowledgeable before entering the optical or dealership is the key to having a rewarding shopping experience.

Steps for the most joyful shopping experience in an eyeglass optical – How to buy glasses at an optical store:

  • Think about what is important to you and what brings value to your life. (worldview)
  • Check your finances and set a budget for glasses. (preparation)
  • Set a time table for the purchase. (If you need them immediately you may set a lower limit for an urgent pair of glasses and then budget money over time for a different pair of glasses with a higher limit)
  • If you haven’t had your eyes checked in the past year, make an appointment with an independent eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) to get a written prescription. (leverage)
  • Check out local websites of opticals in your area that matches your worldview. Cast a wide net like you would when searching for a new car.
  • If you prefer to do one stop shopping and did not get an independent exam before shopping, then call the optical to verify that you will get a written prescription after the eye exam.
  • Make an appointment
  • Visit the store and expect first class treatment and pampering without pressure.
  • Think about glasses as improving your functioning in life and as a centerpiece of your fashion and image.
  • Ask questions until you understand.
  • Stay within your limit.
  • If your final choices can not fit within your limit, negotiate a reasonable length of time for the optical to hold the frame for you.
  • Visit another optical and see if you can find something with similar choices that remains in your limit. Visit as many as you like. Think of it as window shopping.
  • You then go home, think about your choices and possibly reset your budget and raise your limit if necessary.
  • Return to your favorite optical when you are comfortable with your finances and your decision.
  • Walk out of the optical with no regrets and eagerly await your new life changing purchase.