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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dream of Being Poor

Or: Shop Like You're Poor

I was in a situation a few years back in which I was in need of new eye glasses as I wasn't seeing very well out of the ones I had purchased many years ago. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the eye exam along with the cost of the new glasses. The eye exam is a minimum of one hundred dollars and the glasses - well, glasses will cost in the hundreds of dollars. Further, I wasn't dreaming I was poor. I really was poor. Like many others, I had lost my job. To further enhance the situation, my mother needed my help so I moved back home. I searched for a job here in town but nobody wanted to hire a middle aged woman with years of publishing and management experience.

With no well paying job in sight, I had to get creative in finding new eye glasses so I could see. Thus began my search on the Internet for a decent pair of cheap glasses. It took weeks of looking through pages of URLs before I found a company that sells really inexpensive eye glasses.

Zenni Optical is where I finally landed. I could hardly believe my eyes. Glasses for twelve dollars? You're kidding me, right? Nope, not in the least. This discovery took me on another search but this one was to find ratings from others who had used Zenni Optical. I could find no major complaints about the company. Oh, there were the usual complaints about slow delivery here and there but every rating I read said the same thing. All who had purchased from Zenni Optical were satisfied with their purchase.

I also looked up the company on Dun and Bradstreet. I knew if I found it listed there it would be a legitimate company. I didn't think about looking up the company in the Better Business Bureau website which was sort of a stupid move on my part. My guess is if I looked them up today, I wouldn't find any - or very few - complaints.

Something more nagged at me, though. I came to realize this company fulfilled orders through a company outside of the United States. After further research, I realized a Chinese company was fulfilling special orders and would fulfill mine as I requested no-line trifocals. I have nothing against the Chinese. I have never been to China. I don't particularly like their politics but what bothered me the most was I was going to have to go outside of my own country to get a new pair of eye glasses. It's apparent to me that Zenni is somehow connected to China. I presume they're a branch of a company there. I will say I don't know for certain. It just seems logical to me.

However, this knowledge didn't stop me. I needed new glasses and I had no alternative but to go through with the purchase. I did and my twelve dollar glasses have served my sight well. The ear pieces are titanium, and won't and don't loose their shape. The lenses are scratch resistant and the entire package is light weight. They aren't heavy so don't hurt my nose.

I started this evening's blog to encourage people to shop like they're poverty stricken; to learn to scrimp and save at every turn but it seems I have come up with another subject or two. But I won't go into either this evening. Instead, I'll end this with the thought with which I originally began.

Dream of being poor and shop like you are. It is amazing how much money you will save. We did and managed to pay for two cataract surgeries.

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