The world buys a ton of sunglasses. According to the latest statistics, the market for sunglasses in the U.S. alone is in excess of $3 billion. Nearly 87% of all U.S. millennials wear sunglasses on a regular basis, and about 60% of the total adult population buys a pair every year.
In terms of how much we spend per pair, that door is wide open. You can find cheap sunglasses for under $10 at just about any gas station and convenience store. You can also spend $500 or more on a new pair from a luxury brand. It depends on how much your budget affords.
For those of us who do not want to spend the equivalent of a week’s salary on new shades, there are ways to save. Here are a few key strategies for doing so, compliments of Salt Lake City’s Olympic Eyewear:
1. Keep an Open Mind
First and foremost, it’s important to keep an open mind about designer sunglasses. Fashion is an industry that relies heavily on brand awareness to determine pricing. Brands like Gucci and Prada are so expensive because those with means are willing to pay extra for them. But Gucci and Prada do not necessarily offer better quality than an Olympic brand. So keep your mind open to buying a brand you’ve never heard of before.
2. Don’t Be Influenced by Fashion Trends
Next, do your best to avoid being influenced by fashion trends. Understand that the fashion industry creates trends in order to sell more product. They have every right to do so, as you have a right to buy what they produce. But here’s the point: trends come and go because that’s what the industry wants. If you buy your next pair of sunglasses based solely on the latest trend, just know they will be out of style three months from now.
3. Compare Retail Prices
Comparative shopping is something we do on big-ticket items like houses and cars. So why don’t we do it for sunglasses? The truth is that prices can vary quite a bit from one retailer to the next. And of course, they can vary even more between designers and brands. There is no harm in shopping around and comparing prices. You do it for your car insurance. Do it for your sunglasses, too.
4. Just Say No to Peer Pressure
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to avoid spending a small fortune on sunglasses is learn how to say no to peer pressure. It doesn’t really matter what all of your friends are wearing. It doesn’t matter what Hollywood stars think about designer shades. What matters is what you think. Your only task is to find a pair of sunglasses you like, a pair that does the job and fits within your budget.
5. Stay Away from the Gimmicks
Finally, there are those manufacturers whose businesses are built on gimmicks. Again, they are free to do so in a capitalist market. But gimmicks cost money. If that is what you want and are willing to spend, that’s fine. But if you are looking to save money on your next pair, stay away from the gimmicks. You don’t need sunglasses with a built-in sound system. You need a pair that protects against UV rays.
The amazing thing about the eyewear industry is that price points vary so much. It’s all good. So many styles and price points mean there is something for everyone. Just know that you don’t have to break the bank on your next pair if you don’t want to.