The rush is on to find solar eclipse glasses. Many retailers are reporting skyrocketing prices or are selling out. Remember that the solar eclipse is scheduled to come on August 21, 2017.
Many people are wondering whether you can purchase solar eclipse glasses at popular retailers like Best Buy, Kroger, Target and CVS. The answer is that some of those retailers do sell them, but many products are sold out. You can see links and explanation per retailer below. Two important things to remember: Never, ever, look at a solar eclipse without proper eye protection. It can cause serious eye damage.
You might luck out (some have), but most retailers are now sold out of solar eclipse glasses. That leaves eBay, Craiglist, DIY projects, and you can always try libraries, universities, museums and other non-profits that have bought of solar eclipse glasses for public use and events. (If you decide to check Craigslist or eBay instead – which might end up your only option – you have to be careful not to fall for a fake. You can read more about that here.)
Kroger and Best Buy were great choices – if they are not sold out, that is – because they are on the NASA approved list of retailers selling solar eclipse glasses. CVS and Target are not, but Target was also selling solar eclipse glasses. Whether your local outlet has them still will depend on demand there, but it’s worth a shot (call ahead, though, so you don’t waste a drive).
The American Astronomical Society has a lengthy listing of other reputable vendors but says most of them are sold out. Other retailers listed on the American Astronomical Society’s list of approved retailers in addition to Best Buy and Kroger are “7-Eleven, Bi-Mart, Casey’s General Store, Hobby Town, Kirklands, London Drugs [sold out], Love’s Travel Stops [sold out], Lowe’s, Maverik, McDonald’s (Oregon only), Pilot/Flying J, Toys “R” Us [sold out], and Walmart.” It’s a good idea to use an approved retailer or vendor because there have been problems with unsafe glasses flooding the market. The page also has a list of other online vendors you could try. As noted, you could also try eBay, but be very careful that you buy certified glasses.
Secondly, if you can’t find what you want at a retailer, there are many suggestions for making homemade solar eclipse viewers. Here’s how. Just make sure that you follow all safety precautions carefully. The eyes are too precious to risk. If you can’t get glasses, the Society suggests trying its pinhole projection method instead. You also might be lucky enough to be able to go to a NASA viewing area to get free glasses or a local library. USA Today offers detailed instructions for making a solar eclipse viewing card at home. National Geographic has detailed instructions for how to do so. Just make sure to follow all safety precautions.
Here’s what you need to know:
Best Buy is selling several solar eclipse products. Some of them require 2-day shopping online, but you should check your local Best Buy retailer for the items. Be aware that they are selling fast.
“A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking all or part of the sun. On August 21, 2017, all of North America will experience a partial solar eclipse that will last two to three hours. Certain parts of the United States will witness a total solar eclipse,” reads Best Buy’s page devoted to the 2017 solar eclipse.
Best Buy sells solar eclipse viewing binoculars, telescopes, and solar eclipse viewing kits. However, online most of the products are sold out, with the exception of a telescope. Again, check with your local store. Your issue will be whether they are already sold out not with whether Best Buys sells solar eclipse products because the retailer does carry them. Southeastern Wisconsin Best Buys are reporting that cardboard viewing glasses for the eclipse are sold out, for example.
Here’s another page listing Best Bay solar eclipse viewing products. The viewing kits can cost as little as $9.99.
Some Kroger stores are selling solar eclipse glasses. However, some of them are selling out too. For example, reports THV11, “Kroger stores in central Arkansas, who received up to 500 pairs, sold out and don’t plan to restock.” The only item that comes up on the Kroger website under “solar eclipse” is lip gloss, so contact your local Kroger before wasting the trip to make sure they’re selling the glasses and to see whether they are also sold out of them.
According to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kroger and Best Buy are among retailers “on a NASA-approved list of retailers recommended by the American Astronomical Society selling safe solar eclipse viewers.” One Kroger store in Texas said it sold out on August 18 after a school official bought 200 of the glasses.
The other issue is that purchasing online is dicey because retailers probably can’t guarantee anymore that the glasses will come in time. According to The Star Telegram, some retailers are worried about the prevalence of fake glasses that don’t rely protect the eyes. If you do get glasses, it’s important to check whether they are safe by following instructions from the American Astronomical Society here.
Some Target stores are selling solar eclipse glasses. However, in some areas, like southeastern Wisconsin, the cardboard solar eclipse viewing glasses are sold out at Target stores. Thus, it’s a smart idea to call ahead. You won’t find them on the Target website, though.
What about CVS? Is it selling solar eclipse glasses? CVS does not offer solar eclipse products on its website. Check with your local CVS to be certain. However, of the four of these retailers, Best Buy has placed the most focus on the solar eclipse; it has an entire page devoted to solar eclipse safety tips, for example.