Tag Archives: cheap

Cheap Bakelite

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Ah, bakelite…beads, bangles, earrings and many other items made from “the world’s first synthetic plastic” are a hallmark of the swing era, and rose to popularity during the 1930’s because of bakelite’s affordability (as compared to fine jewelry). If only this were the case today – when I encounter bakelite in most antique or vintage stores, the price is usually heavily inflated, with bangles selling for over $100 each. Why do these sellers think they’ve found a gold mine? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t pay that much for any piece of plastic. It’s not THAT rare.

I began to grow frustrated with the prices in these stores, wanting some bakelite pieces to complete certain outfits, then I remembered my old friend eBay. eBay has sellers offering bakelite in abundance, at all price points, including some really great and affordable bakelite pieces. Here’s a sampling of what you may find in bakelite for under $15.00 on eBay:

Carved ivory bakelite bracelet, starting price $0.25!

This little bakelite horseshoe pendant just needs a chain - starting bid $0.99

Set of three bakelite bangles, bidding at $5.50

Swirled bakelite ring, starting bid $6.00

Interesting red bakelite brooch, starting bid $9.99

Green bakelite earrings, starting bid $9.50

Black Art Deco bakelite clamp bracelet, bidding at $12.50

Orange carved bakelite bracelet, starting bid $9.99

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Warby Parker Follow-Up

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

A few months ago I wrote a post on Warby Parker, an online eyeglasses retailer offering $95 glasses (including frames, lenses, shipping, and try-ons), and for every pair of glasses purchased, they would donate a pair to someone in need. I desperately wanted some new frames so I could have a fun pair of glasses, rather than my only other pair of glasses that scream “practical” and “responsible.” After browsing the selections at the Warby Parker website, I diligently narrowed down my favorites to five styles (using their virtual try-on tool), then placed my order for free try-ons. The five pairs I selected arrived in a neat little case with five compartments, each pair pristine and wrapped in plastic. After about 20 minutes in front of the mirror I settled on the Harper in Summer Green. Green glasses!

I put these glasses on my Christmas and Birthday list, which I email to my mother in the fall of every year, and included the link and my prescription. Surely this useful, cost effective gift would be appealing to my practical parents and I would get either a box or a card with a Warby Parker gift certificate for one of these occasions. No dice. Birthday and Christmas came and went and the glasses were still out of my possession, so it was time to take matters into my own hands.

I went to the website to place my order and realized I did not have my pupillary distance, so I called my optometrist, who, after some struggle, gave me this information. After placing the order I was contacted by Warby Parker customer service and informed that North Carolina law required them to either have copy of the written prescription or verbal verification of my prescription from my optometrist. After more shuffling involving a medical release, faxes, more phone calls to my optometrist, and emails to Warby Parker customer service, my order was finally given the green light. Throughout the process, Warby Parker was very communicative about what they needed from me and my optometrist.

My glasses arrived yesterday in a tiny little box that included my green Harpers, a glasses case, and a cleaning cloth. The fit and prescription are perfect and I knew they would look good on my face, thanks to the try-ons. Overall, this was a fairly painless process and I couldn’t ask for a better result – great looking glasses and money leftover in my pocket.