How to score cheap designer sunglasses

Once upon a time, sunglasses were a sign of summer. But for reasons to do with both health and style, shades have become a staple accessory all year round. Gone are the days when we only wear sunglasses when it’s warm. People sport their sunglasses anytime they step outside.

More than a fashion statement, sunglasses have become a necessary accessory in your arsenal of protective gear for adults and kids alike.

It’s no wonder then that nowadays, you can find and purchase designer sunglasses at most retail stores. You’ll need them whether the sun is shining bright, you’re spending more time outdoors, or if you’re just driving your car during the day.

Protecting our eyesight from harmful rays while still being fashionable is the ideal. We hear how harmful and damaging UV rays can be on our eyes. With this awareness, we’ve increased our purchases of sunglasses — cheap sunglasses, polarized sunglasses, prescription sunglasses for people who need them. And with so many occasions calling for stylish eyewear, does anyone own just one pair anymore?

So we’re all looking for cheaper options to buy high quality, designer glasses that are affordable enough to stay within our budget.

When you’re looking to purchase a pair of sunglasses, they should be comfortable, protective, and affordable. Good quality, designer glasses don’t have to be expensive if you know some shopping secrets.

So, here are some things you should know before you shop so you can save the most money and get the perfect pair of sunglasses that fit well, look good, and don’t break the bank.

What Are the Benefits of Regular Vs. Prescription Sunnies?

Benefits of non-prescription sunnies

Regular, non-prescription sunglasses have a lot of benefits. They are almost always less expensive since they’re not specifically made for one person.

For those of you on a tight budget, you can even find some stylish sunglasses at the Dollar Tree for just a buck. They’re more of a one-size-fits-all selection, but they have some cute styles that are comparable to what you’d find in more expensive retail stores.

Of course, it goes without saying that the quality will not compare to designer or name brand glasses, but from the surface, they’re decent in appearance. I’ve purchased a pair or two of my sunnies from the Dollar Tree in the past and they last two to three seasons with no issues. So, if you’re in the market to buy faux designer glasses, check out the dollar stores for an extreme discount. If you find a style you like, buy a handful!

Buying regular sunglasses also gives you many more options. You can find a selection at virtually any store you regularly shop. And you can walk out of the store immediately after your purchase wearing your new favorite sunnies.

Purchasing online is easy as well. With no prescription necessary, you can choose any frame you want and have it delivered to you in days instead of weeks as with your traditional prescriptions that require sizing and special ordering.

Benefits of prescription sunnies

But don’t overlook the benefits you get from prescription glasses. They have a lot of perks and features that their non-prescription counterparts usually don’t.

As far as style, while they don’t have quite as many styles as the regular sunnies, their selection continues to increase. So, if you’re into fashion trends, you can still get a pair of prescription glasses without sacrificing style.

They also provide much more eye protection than regular sunglasses. They’re made specifically to help your vision improve, so protection is built right into the design. Since they’re made for your eyes only, the frame and other components are tailored to fit your face and features just right for the most comfort.

Prescription sunglasses may look to be more expensive on the surface, but applying your vision insurance and other savings plans (if you have either) can help reduce the cost significantly.

Did you know that most vision insurance plans cover the purchase of prescription sunglasses too?

With a prescription, you’re able to submit your claim to your insurance for coverage on the frame, the lenses, and your eye exam. You’ll get custom glasses from whichever designer name you choose, and most of the cost (if not all) can be covered, depending on your insurance policy.

If you need more information, read this article on what you need to know about vision insurance.

It’s a good idea to explore your vision insurance coverage before buying your new sunglasses. That way, you are aware of what’s covered so you can budget accordingly.

Also, it gives you the information needed to make an informed decision on the type of frames, lenses, what features you can add, and so on, so you can have the perfect pair for your eyes without paying all of the cost out of pocket.

Usually, insurance covers a portion of the cost for designer frames as well. So, it’s a good idea to check with your provider first.

You’ll be able to get features that help you see better and provide greater comfort. You may be able to get these features without a prescription, but with a prescription, your cost may be covered by you HSA or your insurance.

Protection features that may be covered by your insurance:

Polarized lens

Polarized lenses provide a filter that blocks glare and intense light that reflects off of surfaces like cars, water, glass, etc.

UV Ray protection 

If you’re looking for great UV protection, make sure your sunglasses are at least rated UV400 protection, which blocks 99.9% of UV rays, according to LensCrafters.

What Are Other Discounts if You Don’t Have Vision Insurance?

If you don’t have vision insurance, you may qualify to put this expense on your HSA, if your employer offers it.

HSA stands for Health Saving Account and it’s a benefit that some employers offer to their employees. The way it works is you determine how much per month is deducted from your paycheck to be transferred to this account, before taxes.

Then, as you get medical expenses (like purchasing prescription glasses), you submit your receipts and you get reimbursed from that savings account.

It’s a great way to lower your income tax bracket and have an account that covers the cost of things like your prescription lenses or glasses.

What if I Decide to Buy my Frames Separately, Will it Save Money on My Prescription Sunglasses? 

Yes, you can save money if you choose to purchase your frames and lenses separately. It’s a good idea to get your frames from a place that accepts your vision insurance, that way all or most of the cost is covered depending on your policy.

For designer frames, there are several options you can choose from to get the best price. Discount retailers like Ross, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx carry designer sunglasses at a fraction of the true retail cost.

Warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club also carry a great selection of designer and name brand frames for less because they’re able to buy in bulk.

The Best Places to Find Designer Sunglasses for a Cheaper Price

If you just want a pair of good quality designer glasses without a prescription, there are several stores that offer great options for a cheap price.

As we mentioned, discount retail stores like Ross or Marshalls have a great selection of name brand glasses. Nordstrom Rack is another place to find designer sunnies at a discount price.

Retail outlets are also a great option. You may have to take a longer drive, but their prices are usually 50-75% off the retail price.

The difference between retail outlets and discount retailers like Ross or TJ Maxx is that you can choose the specific name brand you want to buy and you don’t have to sort through a selection of brands you’re not interested in.

If you want to buy your glasses online, there are several good options as well.

Sunglass Hut offers significant discounts for their online shoppers.

Lenscrafters also has good deals and sometimes offers discounted packages for multiple purchases. offers its frames starting at $6, which is less than a fast-food meal. Talk about a bargain.

What Apps are Available for Finding Coupons on Sunglasses?

Rakuten is a great website to get cashback on all your purchases, including sunglasses. They offer cashback on thousands of retailers.

This is in addition to any savings you get from the retailer sales, which makes your purchase an even better deal.

All you have to do is log in to their site and let them redirect you to the retailer of your choice. You buy your glasses and it’s automatically tracked for cashback. Then, you get a “big fat check” in the mail at the end of every quarter. It’s that simple.

Groupon is another good place to find discounts on designer sunglasses. You can purchase with their discounts directly from their site.

RetailMeNot provides promo codes for your favorite stores, whether online or in-store. Be sure to choose the promo codes based on your shopping method so you can get the discount applied.

Here’s a Bonus Tip to Save Money on Your Sunglasses This Year. 

Shop off-season.

During the spring and summer months, everyone is shopping for summer accessories. The high demand means higher prices on things like shades.

But, if you wait until fall and winter, most of those summertime items will have closeout prices, since the retailer wants to make room for next year’s styles and fashion. This is the perfect opportunity for you to grab shades and glasses at heavily discounted prices. It’s the best time to save the most money.

It is Possible to Find Designer Sunglasses at an Affordable Price

You can have designer sunglasses without spending a fortune. There are online discount retailers, cashback opportunities, and promo codes at every corner of the web. All of these tools can help you shave down the total price that you pay for your sunnies.

You can also shop at discount retail chains and warehouse retail stores. They specialize in cutting costs to transfer those savings on to their customer. They have a sizable collection and you’ll be able to save money on your frames during their sales and other promotions.

There’s no need to pay full price for your sunglasses. Do your research and find stores near you or online that are offering sales on eyeglasses and use the couponing and cashback apps to make the deal even sweeter.

Even if you’re in need of prescription sunglasses, check with your vision insurance carrier and find out how much of your cost can be covered. To save even more money, check with your employer to find out if there are other benefits like an HSA (Health Savings Account) that can reimburse some or all of your costs.

With so many affordable budget-friendly options for good quality sunglasses, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect pair of sunnies to fit your style and your budget.

–By Gina Zakaria


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