Sunday, May 19, 2019

These Glasses Are Trash - A full review of Dresden Vision


A few weeks ago, myself and a good friend were out exploring Toronto (we do this a lot as we both moved here within months of each other a little over a year ago) when we decided to check out the new Stackt market. This is a market completely made out of storage containers. The store that stood out to me the most was Dresden Vision and I was so intrigued by the glasses they sold I almost bought them on the spot. 


Now let me be clear. This store is NOTHING like any other eyeglass store you have ever seen. To start with, they are literally made of trash.

They start with a recyclable material, like the beer keg above. Granulised wood, discarded fishing nets and waste from the production of bank notes are also turned into glasses. They choose the materials they re-use very carefully, to make sure they are up to standards and to give us the desired structural stability in the final product. They can’t use just any old plastic – if they used the wrong sort, then glasses could shatter on impact. Taking out the technical jargon, their durability standards are all about that unfortunate basketball to the face in the school yard. Imagine what would happen if a child got a ball to the face and their glasses shattered into their eye… That won't happen to someone wearing Dresdens.

I went home thinking about them and went back today to buy a pair. I learned at that point that the location at the Stackt market was the only location that could not cut glasses right there so off I went to the Riverside location to go shopping. It takes 10-15 minutes for them to cut your glasses with your prescription if you have it, and if not, you can always get an eye exam in store. 
  


Now if you have read to this point, you are probably thinking that this post is all about how they are eco friendly. Nope. I will be super honest here. I really wish I cared as much about that aspect of them. I don't. I want to, but I just don't. It was just kind of a nice bonus. Two major factors caught my attention. First, the modular system I will explain in a moment. And second, the price.

First, the most important thing for anyone on a budget, the price:


Yes. $49. Including your prescription! And as freaking exciting as that is (and trust me, I am all for that), its NOT the most exciting part. Its a modular system. A freaking modular system for eyeglasses. What do I mean?


Notice how all those glasses have different colour ear pieces (temples) and front pieces (frames)? Its because you clip together the pieces as you want them.


So to be clear, for $49, you get a set of temples, a set of frames and the actual lenses. That equals one pair of glasses.


They come in four different sizes. XS, S, M and L. These are the M I did not get:



And these are the size S.  The frames also come in an even smaller size, and an even larger size.




But, since you put the frames and the temples together yourself (and just pop in the lenses) you can buy additional frames and temples for $20 each (or $10 each added on to an eyeglass purchase). So for an additional $40 you could buy four extra frames giving you 5 completely different coloured glasses for a total price of only $90!!!




Just in case I have not yet sold you on these freaking amazing glasses, they also come with a 45 day money back guarantee AND a lifetime warranty. And unlimited extra pins. I am currently loving the blue pins , but will go back and pick up some more fun colours of the pins in the near future (they are free).

I was very proud of myself in the moment that I narrowed it down as much as I did. I got a pair of glasses along with 2 extra frames and one extra set of temples.  A complete set of dark grey glasses, the darker teal frames, the purple frames along with a set of clear temples.  So this was what I ended up with for $80. It works out to be 6 different eyeglass options: purple with grey temples, purple with clear temples, teal with grey temples, teal with clear temples, grey with clear temples and finally solid grey glasses.

I clearly also was far too restrained so I will have to go back and get another full set of frames (it's cheaper than just buying individual pieces if you are getting 4 pieces or more).


Dresden has 3 locations here in Toronto:

  • 599 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B5 (416) 551-9298
  • 733 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H1 (416) 461-2221
  • 28 Bathurst St Unit 1102, Toronto, ON M5V 0R4, (647) 551-4710 
Just please note that if you go to the Bathurst (Stackt) location, you will either have to come back in a day or two to pick up your glasses or stop by one of the other two locations to pick them up as they do not cut the glasses on site. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Thredup! To Canada? Duties, Taxes & Everything a Canadian Needs to Know.

I have thought long and hard about how I wanted to write this post. And while breaking down the positives and negatives seems logical, I feel like this leans very negative. So I will start by saying I really like Thredup and will order from them again. There are a lot of issues I have with the site. But please do not take that for this being a negative review. I will break this guide so to speak in to the following catagories; shopping the site, shipping options, customs, duty and taxes, and finally if I think the items received matched descriptions as well as condition.

SHOPPING THE SITE

So Thredup has A TON of selection. Which is great. But when I say a ton, I really mean it. You can be sucked in to the vortex of shopping their site for hours. For me this is great. But it can be overwhelming to many.

PROS:

  1. As stated, very large selection
  2. The ability to favourite or like the items you are interested in to be saved. This is super helpful when you are looking through pages and pages of items.
  3. Ability to both save your favourite searches, as well as save your sizes to your profile. If you save your sizes to your profile, it will automatically show only the sizes that "fit you".
  4. You can keep something in your shopping cart for up to 24 hours (12 hours until you make your first purchase, but after that, 24 hours!). Its a virtual hold of sorts that ensures no one buys it out from under you while deciding. 
CONS

  1. The search options are very limited. You can search by blouse or button up tops within the blouses, but things that come up do not always make sense and things that should come up are often excluded. Multiple ballgown skirts, cocktail dresses and an amazing sequin pencil skirt I fell in love with (and bought) all come up listed as casual??? Aside from very illogical and often simply wrong labeling, its (at least for me) super frustrating that I cant search for long sleeves separately, or short sleeves.
  2. No measurements given. No skirt has a waist size. It has a length (usually), though of the 2 dresses I purchased, one was 2 inches shorter than listed. 2 inches can make a BIG difference if you are like me and do not wear things that go above the knee. Also, of the 6 shirts I bought, 3 had incorrect sizing. Which only gives one measurement: the bust.
     
  3. Very limited levels or options supplied for condition. They give new with tags (great! sign me up!!), This item is in excellent condition. You might mistake it for brand new! (also great. No false advertisement in that department yet), This item is gently used with minor signs of wear (minor{either fading, or piling}) and the last option is that the item is majorly discounted due to a stain, or piling, or wear, etc.

    The truth is my experience is that the few items I got that say gently worn with minor fading (only times I have ever bought the gently  used is minor fading. Wont buy piling, etc.) is that the fading was 100% not noticeable and could have easily been marked Excellent Condition.
  4. The pricing is very often VERY OFF. Take this dress for example. Its not a Sachin + Babi, its a Sachin + Babi for Anthropologie and the retail on it was only $98. 

 
Now that being said, I actually really like Thredup. I say that with 100% sincerity. I have gotten some AMAZING deals. Take this Noir Sachin & Babi Hanabi skirt for example. The retail on it was $595. I managed to score this piece for just under $80. 


This $248 silk Trina Turk blouse I managed to grab for just $24.50! The Club Monaco skirt I paired it with was new with the $198 price tag still attached and I managed to grab it for $23.99. 


This Maeve Garden Glitz solid sequin skirt also had its $148 price tag still attached and was mine for the price of $21.99. 


And while used shoes creep me out (just a personal thing, no judgement on those who score amazing used shoe deals), if they are brand new and never worn you can sign me up ANY day. And these Loeffler Randall espadrilles for $33.15 were fantastic! Far better than the original $195 pricetag still attached to the sole of the shoe. 


But I guess if I were to discuss the best find, it would not be the most expensive piece I got for best price, but this. My winter jacket I wore literally all winter. And am still wearing today because apparently winter will never end here in Toronto this season. The retail on it is around the $400 price. Its DKNY and for only $34.99 it was my go to winter coat. Fully lined, in pristine condition, and while the picture is terrible, its a gorgeous green colour that gets me regularly stopped on the streets and asked about it. 



Now the question I desperately wanted to know before ordering the first time was the question we Canadians ALWAYS ask ourselves. "Will I get hit with duty and customs?" The answer is yes. And the answer is no. If your bill stays under the $35 mark before shipping you are 100% good to go and no duties. But if after converted to Canadian funds the total tops the $50 mark, assume yes. Not terrible though. I have an order that will be arriving today, that before shipping was $198 (don't worry, its more than 10 pieces with a retail price of over $2200) and the customs fees were $36.00. 

I have had parcels shipped both FEDEX and the standard USPS. The faster shipping is usually the cheaper option once you get more than 4 or 5 pieces, so always try to change the shipping to see if your total goes down. The duties owed have been the same with both methods and having gotten about 9 orders now, I can safely say the method makes no difference, though FEDEX is for sure the more reliable and faster option. So yes, you will get hit with duties most likely. But yes, its absolutely worth it still and I still highly recommend it. 

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