Somehow, nearly three years after I first wrote it, my review of my Shady Rays sunglasses is still the highest ranked result on Amazon for “shady rays review” that’s not either Shady Rays themselves or their Amazon product listing. I have no idea how my review ended up being picked as The One, but it still gets a crazy amount of traffic.
So y’all deserve to know how everything ended.
In my last update before I dropped off the face of the Earth and stopped blogging, I noted that my Shady Rays broke. So here’s what happened after that.
Shady Rays offers a “lifetime replacement plan.” They’ll send you a new pair, no questions asked, if you break or lose your first pair. I bought two pair of sunglasses originally on a two-for-one plan.
Did I get my replacements?
Yes, and with little trouble. But you do need to read the fine print before you purchase. There are two things in particular you need to know.
- You are limited to two replacement pair per original purchased pair.
- You have to pay just under $9 in shipping to get your replacement pair.
I knew the first before I purchased, and I suspected the second. But here’s the math:
- Two pair for $45
- I paid $6 for expedited shipping. At the time of my original purchase, free shipping was an option.
- Four replacements available at roughly $9 each = $36
- Total for six pair: $87 (could be $81 if you opt for free shipping).
- Cost for a pair of Iron Man sunglasses from Wal-Mart: $15-20 per pair
So here’s the thing. At the end of the day, the Shady Rays sunglasses were essentially a complete wash compared to what I’d been getting. The quality was about the same, the price was about the same.
On the plus side, I had a spare pair around for much of that time. On the down side, the one time I switched from my normal pair to the spare, and then broke the spare, I had to wait a few days to get the replacements, rather than just walking into Wal-Mart to buy a new pair.
In other words, the entire experience was basically a wash.
Do I regret buying them? Not at all – although I would not personally pay $45 for a single pair. If you can get the 2-for-1 deal, then it’s good. If not… well, I personally don’t think they’re $45 sunglasses after 3 years.
Am I going to buy them again?
The honest answer is that it’s such a wash that I can’t decide. My last pair broke a few weeks ago, and right now I’m wearing Wal-Mart sunglasses again. I didn’t want to wait. And I have to admit to being a bit disappointed in how they broke. I literally walked out of a store one day, opened up my sunglasses… and they broke. I wasn’t doing anything rough to them at all.
To be fair, the previous pair had stood up quite a bit better than that. But still, I didn’t love that.
Should you buy them?
If you lose or damage sunglasses less frequently than I do, and if you can get a two for one deal, and if you’re ok with low to mid range sunglasses? Why not? There’s nothing wrong with them compared to other sunglasses in this range.
If you can’t get the two-for-one deal, then no. After three years of use, I can’t recommend them at $45 a pair.
Previous entries in this series: