How to buy eyeglasses and sunglasses – Pay less and get more

Photo of the cover of Mark Agnew's book

Review of Mark Agnew’s eyeglasses buying guide

This post is a review of Mark Agnew’s self-published eyeglasses buying guide “How to buy eyeglasses and sunglasses – Pay less and get more”. Before I go into details about Mark’s book, let me first introduce him. Mark Agnew was a successful Wall Street analyst who left his career in 1999 to found one of the World’s largest online eyewear companies – eyeglasses.com, which he leads as the CEO. His successful business concept has been to teach consumers to avoid the expensive retail system when buying eyewear.

In this review, I will first talk about what the book covers and then a bit about my bad experiences buying eyeglasses to demonstrate how the knowledge I gained from his book, could have avoided them.

Why should you pay more, when you can get it for less? #budgettip Click To Tweet

The content of the guide

Throughout the book there are easy to understand illustrations that explain terms or a special process or where to look for required information on a frame (see inside the book photos below).

The first chapter gives reasons why not to buy cheap and tips to save on buying eyewear as well as information about practices in the industry. You will be surprised!

The second chapter covers what are the most flattering frames for the various face shapes. Who doesn’t want to find the most flattering pair. See it this way, unless you also have contact lenses you wear your glasses everyday. They are part of your appearance, an (maybe unwanted) accessory that has not only to go with all your clothing, but also your facial features. He has a great discussion on frame quality and materials, importance of details to camouflage features, e.g. a long nose.

Other fashion-related interesting reads in the book are the chapters about who-is-who in the optical industry and fashion trends’ what’s hip and what’s not.

The third chapter addresses the kind of lenses material-wise (with saving tips). The advantages and disadvantages of tri-focal, bi-focal and progressive glasses and what to expect when you get them the first time. In plain English, you have to adapt to them. … and he is so right. When I got my first pair of progressive glasses, stairs became a hazard until I finally go used to the progression!

Next he addresses types of reading glasses and off-the-shelf vs. customized pairs. Even
When your arms become too short to read, you need reading glasses for the small print. - Granny Hannah #quote Click To Tweet
is your only relationship to eyewear, Mark’s insights are worth reading to make an educated decision what’s best for you.

Chapter five is all about eye protection, tinting, polarization and coating of the lenses and how they work. Why is this important? To make the right choice to buy what you really want (need). Oops, did I ever tell you about my lenses starting to shed their coating after 1 year of use?

Of course, safety glasses for work and kids are covered as well and how to buy glasses online. From reading Mark’s book when buying online it is important to know the location of the online store. Different US states namely have different legislature. This means that when you want highly qualified optician setting the lenses into the frame you have to buy in a state where they have to to be certified.

The part on buying glasses online is a great step-by-step description, almost a tutorial. It well addresses typical fears like will the frame fit, insurance coverage, and many money saving tips.

Take a look inside

example of the great illustrations
Ever wondered about all those numbers on the frame and what they mean?

schematic view of different type of lenses
Photo of the schematic views of different types of bifocal and progressive lenses
Step-by-step guide how to buy glasses online
Step-by-step guide how to buy glasses online and how to mail frames you want to update with your new prescription

look inside the book
Example of photo and diagram page with explanations

How Mark’s secrets could have avoided (my) negative experiences with glasses

I wish Mark had written his guide earlier and my parents (and later I myself) had read it. I have been wearing glasses since 4th grade, … and I hated them. My first pair was a sort of pink clear plastic frame with oval eye rims. Because my parents wanted to protect my eyes without investing in a prescription pair of sunglasses, my mother ordered glasses with a slight tint. The type she always was wearing too. I found them absolutely useless in the Sun as well as indoors. Light was too bright in the former and too dark in the latter setting. Later, when my vision became worse, I got plastic glasses. They even more looked like coke bottles. So they wouldn’t glide off my nose (because of their weight), the tip of the temples wrapped around my ears. They were nickel covered and I had rash behind the ears all the way during their tenure.

Knowledge of Mark’s secrets would have saved my parents and me a lot of money over time

Did you know that making a second pair of glasses with the same prescription is actually cheaper than making the first pair? My parents didn’t know this back then, neither did I all these years prior to reading Mark’s guide. In other words, buy one get the second one half price is something to negotiate! Knowing this sectret would have avoided me a lot of squinting as a child and later as an adult. It would have saved me money, when I finally started buying prescription sunglasses in my twenties.

Another example of a secret that would have saved me money

The physics behind lenses is that they change the focus point. When you are near-sighted the lenses give the impression off very small bird-like eyes. When you are far-sighted they give you frog-like big eyes. I always think of this like the mini-world of the mirror cabinet.

The farther you are off of the correct sight the thicker the glasses become. Coke bottles alert! We all know that, but did you know that there are four different materials that have different power to refract the light beams? The material choice can really make a difference for your look.

But did you also know that there is an US law that requires plasric lenses to be at least 2 mm thick? Mark reveals that depending on your prescription (+/-4 sphere), it may be a waste of money paying for a higher refraction index. This means that paying for the highest refraction index possible, is not needed to keep the lenses thin and light under a certain threshold. The law limits how thin they may become. My parents most likely were fouled into paying more without any benefit for weight and thickness when I still had a minus 3 point something sphere. However, my today’s prescription would be worth the money.

In summary: Mark’s book helps you to learn about and shop around for eyeglasses

When glasses are playing an essential part in your life and you are annoyed off paying a week’s worth of a paycheck for new glasses, Mark Agnew’s Eyeglasses Buying Guide is a great reference that can help you to save a manifold of its price. His secrets for sure will be of great value for your (and my next purchuase) of the next pairs. Buy your copy of his guide now at Eyeglasses.com or amazon before you buy your next pair of specs.

Knowledge is power. Learn how to save on eyeglasses with Mark Agnew's buying guide. #shoppingsecrets Click To Tweet

Did you know of these secrets (the book has many more for you to discover)? Have you made negative experiences buying specs? Have you ever bought your specs online? Were you happy with them? Let me know, I am curious.

P.S. Like this information? If so, please share this post with your friends. Friends won't let friend pay too much. #friendship Click To Tweet

P.S.S. As part of Agnew’s committment to helping people improve their vision, Eyeglasses.com works with Sankara Eye Foundation, which provides free surgeries in India to people who, through improper nutrition, became blind from cataracts. He has committed to restoring visions to at least one person per day, and to date over 500 people have their eyesight restored.

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Photos: N. Mölders

Disclosure: Press Shop PR sent me Mark Agnew’s self-published book as a sample for review. The post is not endorsed by them or Mark. I wrote it myself and all opinions are my own and 100% honest.

© 2013-2019 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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2 thoughts on “How to buy eyeglasses and sunglasses – Pay less and get more

  1. I just started wearing glasses a couple of years ago, and had no idea there was a book on the topic! Thanks for sharing. Nipa

  2. Wow….I’ve been wearing glasses forever too, and this book sounds perfect!!
    XOXO
    Jodie

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