Saturday, April 12, 2008

Did You Know Eyeglasses Cost $1.25 to Make?

Yep, according to commentator Daniel Pinkwater, it's fairly simple to get really well-made glasses online at a fraction of the cost of over-the-counter ones. All you need is your prescription and your pupillary distance, that is the distance from the center of the pupil (black circle) in one eye to the center of the pupil in the other eye. This is needed to accurately center the lenses in the frame that you have selected. You can measure the distance yourself using a millimeter ruler, however; to ensure accuracy it's better to have the Optometrist measure.

After Mr. Pinkwater's eyeglasses arrived he had them checked out by his Optometrist, who said they were "right on". He then asked his Optometrist, "How does the commercial enterprise justify a 90% markup? "

His Optometrist responded, "The lens cost maybe a quarter to make, the frame, maybe a buck but there is rent, advertising and all that overhead and then there is the issue of patriotism..." I'll let you listen to the rest.

39DollarGlasses.com and Frames Direct are supposed to be very good. Mr. Pinkwater may have bought his eyeglasses at ZenniOptical, but I'm not sure as he did not specify which optical online site he purchased his eyeglasses from... unTECHy posts an unbiased review. of ZeniOptical.

3 comments:

dontbelieveaword theytellyou 10:52  

Now, I didn't know this. Thanks.

You might want to try reading Confessions of a car salesman...good read.

Anonymous,  11:06  

This makes me so mad! I just spent a ton of $$$$ on new glasses!

Jack4Life,  11:18  

Here are my tips on what to look out for. Please note that they are NOT a 100% indicative of a scam, however, a combination of multiple factors indicates that you should be staying clear, in my own opinion.

1) Extremely low price
The primary reason why scams work is human greed: people want something for less. Don't be taken in by an extremely low Buy-it-Now price. Also, many auctions have ridiculous auction prices, such as £100 for 50 handsets. Be sure not to make an impulse purchase.

2) Low feedback
It is always suspicious to me when someone is selling a high value item with 0 feedback. Even if their feedback is lowish, say 1-50, I would check out their feedback score, and in particular their selling history. The reason being is that is possible to artificially inflate your score using purchases of non-existent items such as ebooks.

3) 1-day auctions
Common sense would dictate that when you are selling a phone, you want a nice long period for maximum visibility. Sure, there are times when a quick sale is needed. But, a high percentage of scammers go for the 1-day option, because shorter duration time = less chance of the auction getting pulled.

4) No photo, or library photo
This is a difficult one to judge, not least because the item photo can be stolen from another listing. But no photo or a stock photo is always a worry. At the very least it says to me that the seller cannot be bothered. What might happen if there is a problem with the phone?

5) Email address in auction
The preserve of the hijacked account. There is no need for any real account to do this, as they can receive messages through Ebay. Never do correspondence in this way.

6) Read description throughly
Has been in the past cheeky scams which were basically pyramid schemes, offering you the chance to buy a place for £20.00 - read every detail of the auction.
Other tricks include:
- Listing for Mobile Phone CD - people think they are bidding for a phone as the gallery picture is of the handset
- Phone Boxes - clever wording of the auction ie: Nokia 6230 Box and Instructions may only mean you are getting the box and instructions, not the phone.

7) Not accepting Paypal
Despite it's faults, Paypal is the safest method you can use when paying for a mobile phone, as it is the only one that has some recourse if things go wrong.
Do not send cash, or use Western Union, which are the most insecure payment methods.
For your own safety, make sure your Paypal account is verified so you can benefit from the limited protection that they offer.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. But follow these points and you should be a lot safer.

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