The Power of Search, and Changing Shopping Habits.

On Friday I received a notice that I had money left in my FLEX account that I have to spend by December 31st. It’s not a ton of money, but it is enough to cover the cost of new eyeglasses frames.

Today, I was down on the Plaza en-route to Three Dog Bakery to get some treats for Cosmo and Zoe, when I decided to drop into a locally owned eyeglasses shop and price out some frames.

This is where the power of the internet comes into play.

Just like I did 10 months ago when I bought new eyeglasses, I had the sales staff write down the model number, brand, and price. Then I immediately Googled the  frames I liked and did a price comparison. Just like last time, the frames I want are available online for half of what they are asking for them in the store. That’s right, half.

Including prescription transition lenses, with UV coating, polished edges and the drilling charge for rimless lenses, the cost is still over 100 bucks cheaper than the local store.

You would think in this day and age, of always connected, always on, internet in my hand, retailers would wise up and price accordingly. I checked the frames on 10 individual websites and the price variance was about 75 dollars from low to high, but even the highest priced site was still almost half of the cost at the store on the Plaza. I really feel like I should call the store and tell them about my experience, and explain to them that I’m not alone in my shopping habits, but I doubt it would have much impact.

To be fair, I did check with three other retailers in the metro. Retailers located in areas where the rent isn’t nearly as expensive as the Plaza. The thing is, they were all about the same for the frame price, so this isn’t isolated to the pricey Plaza shopping district here in Kansas City.