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High-quality eyeglasses at fraction of cost

December 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
There is a new website that can get you high-quality eyeglasses at a fraction of the cost while letting you virtually try them on with a photo and a computer.

Eyeglasses are almost as much a fashion statement as jewelry. And at the cost of around $300 to $500, most people can afford only one pair.

"Glasses are really a fun fashion accessory," said Neil Blumenthal. "They really are a powerful vehicle to self-expression. It's one of the only things you wear on your face. So the glasses that you wear really say a lot about you."

But just like jewelry you have to spend a lot of money for a pair of spectacles- or do you?

"We think there's a lot of people like us that love glasses but hate paying several hundred dollars for them," said David Gilboa.

Blumenthal and Gilboa started WarbyParker.com, a website that specializes in selling prescription eyeglasses for no more than $95 a pair.

"We do that by bypassing middlemen," said Blumenthal. "Because we deal directly with suppliers and sell directly to consumers online, we don't have to pay licensing fees to other brands."

According to the founders the frames are vintage inspired with a fashion forward twist. And every pair is fitted with anti-reflective, polycarbonate, single-vision prescription lenses. You can even get polarized sunglasses for $95.

Another selling point is you can virtually try on any of the frames before you buy by using your computer.

"So you can just upload a photo of your face and you can virtually fit the glasses on and see which ones look good, which colors look good on your skin tone, which shapes will look good on your face," said Blumenthal.

Once you find what you like they will send you up to five pairs for five days to really try on at no cost to you. And if you buy a pair of glasses, Warby Parker will see to it that another pair of glasses gets to someone in need.

"We've already distributed over 100,000 pairs of glasses to people in need," said Gilboa. "We just launched a year-and-a-half ago so we are pretty excited."

So buying glasses can be inexpensive and convenient while helping others.

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