Tag Archives: Free

New Glasses

Hey, it’s a slow news day, so I’m going off-topic for this blog.

I got my eyeglass prescription updated over the weekend, and got some new glasses — for free. Well, nearly free, that is. I had to pay for shipping and insurance, so they ended up costing me $15. Since a lot of people land on this blog, I figured I should drop the link to the company that made these glasses for me.

They’re called Coastal.com, and are headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. They run a promotion for new customers in which you get your first pair of glasses for free (plus, of course, the shipping and insurance); they do try to upsell you on lens coatings and upgraded materials, but provided you’re happy with what they offer, you can get a pretty solid pair of glasses for dirt cheap. You just need to use the promo code, which you’ll find on this webpage.

FYI, none of these are affiliated links, if that’s a concern to you. (UPDATE: One link is, sort of; details below.) I do have a few affiliated links on this blog that help to keep it afloat (you’ll know them either by the banner ads, or by the title text that informs you of their presence when you hover over them). So, I don’t get a penny from the links in this post; I just offer them as a public service. Heck, I figure that marital crises are stressful enough and can be very taxing on the finances, so what do you do if you need a new pair of specs?

Actually, I’m pretty happy with the glasses they sent me. They are well manufactured and use high-quality, polycarbonate lenses. (I know quite a bit about this as I worked in an optical lab when I was in college. Yup, I used to make eyeglasses.) Their production lab appears to be in Vancouver, and since I’m in the Pacific Northwest, I got my order very quickly: ordered on Sunday, arrived on Tuesday. From what I can tell, they courier them across the border to their US distribution point in Blaine, WA (home of the famous Peace Arch). Since I’m a couple hours south of Blaine, it makes sense that the glasses would get here quickly. I’d imagine it would take a few additional days to other US locations.

As a former production-line optical lab technician, I know what a rip-off retail eyeglasses can be; I worked that job over 20 years ago, and the mark-up on lenses alone was often about 2500%. The mark-up on frames was also quite steep. I did quite a bit of research on online eyeglass purveyors, many of whom offer try-at-home programs through which they send you a few frames to evaluate for free (or maybe for a nominal hold on your credit card); all of these were significantly cheaper than brick-and-mortar optician prices. Here are a few purveyors you might want to check out.

Warby Parker
Benji Frank
Fetch Eyewear
Dharma Eyewear
Tortoise  & Blonde
Collins Bridge
Classic Specs

I also have looked at some online shops that sell a variety of brands. This one, ditto.com, seems to be pretty good. If you click the link, you’ll get $25 off. And if two of you buy something, they’ll send me a free pair of specs. So, while that would not exactly defray the costs of this blog, it might help me to see what I’m typing a bit better. That can’t be all bad, right?

Okay, that’s pretty much it for now. Happy shopping. I’ve had quite a bit of fun browsing all this stuff myself.