You can go to your local department store and find all sorts of cheap sunglasses. Likewise, you can visit a boutique in the mall and find shades that cost several hundred dollars. It is really up to you. But it’s a good idea to know what you’re looking for before you buy. There is more to price than you might think.
For starters, is it really a bad idea to buy cheap sunglasses? In a word, no. And in fact, the vast majority of sunglasses sold around the world are those considered to be on the lower end of the price scale. Your average consumer is not spending $300 on a designer brand.
This leads us to the idea of expectations versus reality. What do you expect from a cheap pair of sunglasses? Moreover, have the sunglasses you have bought in the past met your expectations?
Adequate UV Protection
As with most discussions about sunglasses, ours must start with UV protection. There really is no point in spending any amount on a pair of sunglasses that doesn’t protect your eyes against ultraviolet light. This can be a problem with cheap sunglasses.
A cheap pair may not offer any UV protection at all. If they are rated, the rating may be less than UV 400 – the rating that indicates 100% of the harmful rays are blocked. So if you expect 100% protection, you have to look at the label rather than the price.
Durability is one area in which it is not uncommon for reality to differ drastically from expectations. And the difference can go in both directions. According to Olympic Eyewear, a Utah company that designs and manufactures fashion sunglasses, price is not necessarily indicative of durability. You can buy very affordable sunglasses capable of standing up to a lot of punishment.
On the other hand, you can also buy very expensive sunglasses that break the first time they are dropped. Price is really less of a factor than most people think. The key is closely examining a pair of sunglasses before you buy. A good look and a few minutes of handling will tell you right away what you are getting.
Function is another area with some big concerns. Polarized sunglasses are a good example. You could buy a pair online with the expectation that they will eliminate the glare you normally experience on your weekly fishing trips. On your next trip out, you discover that your new pair of shades doesn’t really work as advertised.
Here’s the thing: manufacturers and distributors can say all sorts of things about their sunglasses. Most the time there is nothing to worry about. But there is always a chance you’ll wind up with a pair that doesn’t deliver. This is one of the reasons it’s wise to stick with a trusted brand.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment in terms of expectations lies with manufacturer warranties. There are quite a few well-known brands that come with what appear to be ironclad warranties. Some of them even include lifetime guarantees. That is, until you read the fine print.
The reality of manufacturer warranties is that they seldom cover what buyers expect them to cover. In some cases, they cover little more than manufacturer defects. Such a limited warranty is pretty useless in this day and age.
When it comes to expectations versus reality, cheap sunglasses often end up being not what buyers expected. The good news is that reality often exceeds expectations. The truth is that you don’t necessarily have to spend a small fortune to get a good pair of shades.