Buying Eclipse Viewers

At every solar eclipse (I’ve seen 12) at the last minute people realize, “Oh wow- there’s an eclipse today or tomorrow. How do I watch it safely?”  Hundreds of thousands of people want to look at the sun….

Safe eclipse viewers are not expensive, but sadly they rarely get ordered in advance.  You can help people view the eclipse safely and make money at the same time.  This can be a great moneymaker for clubs or groups (science club; boy scouts, girl scouts; science teachers).  Plan an event at a local museum.

For the 2000 eclipse in the photo above, I got the Chicago Sun Times to put 600,000 in the Sunday paper. The Museum of Science and Industry bought advertising which was printed on the cardboard temples of the glasses.  The paper made money, the museum got a big boost in attendance.  Their ad said to bring in the glasses for a discount on admission.  For the 2017 eclipse I hope to reach every state in the US.  The quantity prices for glasses are as follows:

  • 100-250  $0.75 each
  • 250-500 $0.60 each
  • 500-1000 $0.50 each   More than 1000 the price is even less.  Glasses usually sell for $2-3 retail near eclipse day.  So if you bought 500, for $300 cost, they would sell for $1000 or more and you would make a substantial profit.

Publicity is important, and usually free.  Newspapers and TV love to cover eclipses.  If you plan to set up in a mall or other public place the weekend before the eclipse, and/or the weekend of it, tell the media and get them to do a story.  Do it as a public service. Maybe you can get a civic club like Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions, or a local company to pay for eclipse glasses for schools.  Advertising can be printed on them.

If you are interested, please let me know: dduncan@colorado.edu.