One of the first things i remember of my self is being really really young (5-6 years old) and sitting very very close to the TV and watching Inspector Gadget. Turns out I was nearsighted. I remember myself wearing glasses since the age of 7. There are no pictures of me without glasses. I kinda like glasses too. The problem is though that my prescription is way too strong, it’s not uncommon for my lenses to cost around the 300£ mark. If you add the frames on that my glasses usually cost anywhere around 400 - 500£. So changing glasses is a rare thing.
My current glasses are 6 years old and quite worn out (running and sweating is not kind on plastic) so i decided it was time to buy a new frame. As I was browsing around an opticians last month I found a very nice Prada frame that i liked, the problem was that the frame alone costs 310£. Just for the frames!!! If you add my lenses on this thing you end up wearing 600£ on your face. Not cool! So I did something that I’m so used at. I googled it.
Buying glasses online
After googling the exact model and size of the frames I found them for the ridiculous (by comparison) price of 195$ from framesdirect.com. I thought that was a good deal and my intention was to buy the frame and add the lenses locally, here in London. But I was trying to checkout frames direct asked me for my prescription. It turns out I had my prescription laying around and the curious person I am I wanted to know how much it would cost me. Turns out my lenses (thinnest possible with all the filters) cost me 270$. Now some of you will think “WOW dude! You’re blind! So much money” but for me it was amazing. If you add the lenses and the frame together it all adds up 464$ plus shipping. That was quite the competitive price, especially with the British Pound being stronger than the dollar. That would cost me 320£, which was the price of the frames alone on the high street in London. So it’s as if I was getting the lenses for free!
So I went for it and I try to checkout and then there was that “promotion code” box. After a bit of googling I found a promo code for -40%. After that applied i ended up paying 380$ which is around 270£. So basically I paid less that the frames alone. Neat deal! I ordered them and hoped for the best.
The shocking moment
Now don’t get me wrong, saving more than 50% is shocking enough (if you are someone who has spend so much money through his/her entire life you’ll know what i mean) but that wasn’t the biggest shock. The big shock was that my glasses were coming from Austin, TX. That’s Texas! My mind was blown. Technology is such an awesome, amazing, mind blowing thing.
A guy living in London, bought an Italian frame from a shop in Texas and 1 month later the frame plus the lenses were at my door. And all that in my pajamas, from my sofa in the middle of the night. I’m not even sure with what I’m more surprised. My browser, talking with a server somewhere in the US? The online payment? The, real, person that replied immediately after placing my order while it was midnight here? All those things working together? Or the fact that by the magic of flying, automobiles and people the frames were here in exactly 21 days!
My take from all that is that I love technology and that we’ve accomplished so much the past 20 years. We’ve created mobile phones, super fast computers, we took a rocket to the space and landed it in the middle of the ocean BUT most importantly we’re able to order glasses from Texas! Let’s not take anything for granted!
Here’s to the next 20 awesome years of technological advancements.