Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shop around!

One thing you learn pretty quickly living here is that prices vary from store to store. For example, a prescription medicine at one pharmacy can be 25% more expensive than the same medicine at another.

Shopping around is a prerequisite to finding a deal. Yesterday my penchant for checking in at 6 or more different stores before making a large purchase really paid off.

Recently I had my eyes checked and got two eyeglasses prescriptions: one for the glasses I wear while sitting in front of the computer, and one for my regular pair of glasses. I filled the computer prescription right away, buying the cheapest, cheapest lenses and frames I could find because I will never wear these glasses outside my office.

I put filling my regular prescription on hold because the cost was freighting.

At the first few eyewear shops I checked the lenses were priced out at about R$230 (transition lenses) and frames I liked varied from R$200 – R$450. So I was looking at anywhere between R$430 - R$680. My eyes had not changed, so I didn’t really need new lenses, but I REALLY needed new frames. My old frames were about to fall apart at any minute.

My strategy then changed to reusing my lenses and just finding new frames. But shop after shop did not have frames into which my existing lenses would fit and everyone insisted they could not grind down the edges of the lenses to get them to fit frames with a slightly different shape.

Until yesterday. Luiz and I were in Centro Niterói (downtown) picking up a piece of hardware for a kitchen cabinet. I spotted a tiny storefront with glasses in the window. We went in and I repeated my explanation regarding recycling my lenses and finding frames that fit.

Long story short, this shop had frames I liked for R$80 and they assured me they could grind the lenses to fit the frames without my losing any vision correction.

Bam! I just saved between R$350 – R$600. The glasses were ready today. They charged me just the price of the frames and nothing for the service of getting the lenses to fit. And they look great!


Linds said...

SWEEEEEET frames! Those look really awesome! Hey good lookin... how you doin??

Danielle said...

Lookin' sharp!! Alexandre's father is an ophthalmologist, so glasses are the one thing I don't have to shop around for.

But I'm really excited this week because I've been searching for the cheapest ticket to Buenos Aires in October, and I found an AMAZINGLY cheap one on an American website that was having a sale. Good deals are the best.

Rachel said...

Danielle, which site? I'm hoping to go to Buenos Aires in October too

Jim, looking good! I have a great glasses place Copacabana. Thankfully my mother in law had already done the foot work :)