Sunglasses and summer go hand-in-hand and many shoppers will prep for the first of the season by grabbing a new pair shades. But protecting the eyes from harmful rays isn't a top priority. More consumers focus on style and brand over function, spending anywhere from $200 to $600 on a single pair of designer shades.
Although these prices may shock you, CNBC reports that many Americans are increasingly willing to dish out big dollars on high-end sunglasses.
"Industry experts attribute the rise in sales to an increase in the selection of brands and styles along with celebrity influence," said Andrea Woroch. Woroch is a nationally recognized consumer and money-saving expert who gave us the scoop on designer shades.
"There's also the notion that a $300 pair of luxury sunglasses is an attainable designer good compared to a $2,000 handbag, and fulfills the desire to wear a high-end fashion label such as Gucci or Prada," Woroch told us.
Whatever the reason for driving sales, if you're vying for a luxury brand, review these sunglass shopping tips to reduce costs:
Size 'em up. A quick way to waste money on designer sunglasses is to purchase a pair you spotted on your favorite celeb without considering how they look on you! Test multiple styles at a store before buying, or purchase from sites like Nordstrom or Piperlime to avoid delivery and return fees. Also, check out Warby Parker's free Home Try-On program, which lets you choose up to five styles to wear for five days before deciding on the one that fits you best. The site also offers a Virtual Try-On option in which you upload a picture to test various styles from your computer.
Do your research. Now that you know which sunglasses fit your face best, it's time to research prices before you splurge. TheFind.com is a comparison search engine for all things fashion and will point you to the cheapest prices on just about any pair of sunglasses. A quick Internet search will also uncover similar trends from last season that are typically sold at a lower price so you can get the look for much less.
Consider second-hand shades. From your local consignment store to online shops that specialize in used designer goods like YoogisCloset.com, you can find like-new designer shades at a fraction of the retail price. For example, a used pair of Tom Ford's popular Cat Eye sunglasses are nearly $200 less than a new pair. eBay is another great resource for shopping gently-used designer duds.
Snag outlet steals. Before you head to the mall, pop over to an outlet center to browse a wide selection of sunglass brands at Saks Off the Rack and other discount stores. Even Sunglass Hut offers outlet sales online for savings of up to 50 percent (though you have to create an account). For instance, you can snag Ray Ban Aviators for $105 compared to the original retail price of $210.
Buy a discount gift card. You can find discount gift cards for specialty sunglass retailers as well as department stores that sell high-end shades at sites like GiftCardGranny.com. For instance, Sunglass Hut gift cards are offered for 11-percent off and Bloomingdales gift cards are available for 17-percent off. Combine discount gift cards with store sales and printable coupons from sites like CouponSherpa.com to maximize the discount. You can even track price drops using Hukkster so you know the cheapest time to buy.
Stay tuned to Part 2 of Andera's tips tomorrow!
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