How I bought Snapchat Spectacles for $130

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You may or may not know this, but On September 23 Snapchat changed it’s name to Snap Inc. and introduced Spectacles. Spectacles, are a pair of sunglasses with a built in camera that records 10-second snippets of video, and posts directly to your Snapchat Story.

Now, you may be wondering – what is Snapchat and why is it such a big deal? Snapchat is a social network messaging app that took off as a tool for disappearing photos. It now has 150 million active daily users globally.

Google had a similar concept as Snapchat called Google Glass which retailed for $1,200 and was officially retired in January of 2015.

Snapchat or Snap Inc. is trying to win over its younger demographic of 13-34 years old with the $130 pair of Spectacles. The CEO Evan Speigel calls the video-sharing sunglasses “a toy” but sees an upside to freeing his app from smartphone cameras.

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Spectacles records the video in a circle format which allows the viewer on Snapchat to look around similar to a 360 video. It also allows you to record video with out having to hold your phone, which makes for a very unique first person point of view. 

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The only way to purchase Spectacles are through a vending machine called a Snapbot or on Ebay where the going rate is about $1,700 at the time of this article. The Snapbot, which looks similar to a Minion appeared in a parking lot in Venice Beach on November 10th, not to far from Snapchat’s headquarters. Spectacles cost $130 and like true internet fashion the word spread quickly and the line was 4 hours long.

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Snapbot in Venice Beach, CA
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Snapbot in Venice Beach, CA

I was determined to get my hands on a pair, so I used the online serviced called Task Rabbit to hire a guy to go down to Venice Beach and stand in line and purchase me two pairs. That plan was working to a point until the guy I paid had to leave and I was without the first initial pair of Spectacles released into the world.

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Fast forward to Sunday morning at 10:00 am. I was waiting for Spectacles to update their website to see where the next Snapbot would land, and it was in Big Sur, California, two hours south of San Francisco. I was calling everyone I knew in the Bay Area trying to convince them to make the drive, and I was willing to pay them $200 to drive down and get me a pair. Huge thanks to my boy Jeff Moore who made the journey down to check it out, except he was 45 min to late and they had already sold out. I am now “oh-for-two” in attempting to purchase Spectacles.

November 15th, at 8:00am EST time, the next location for the Snapbot was released. To my surprise it was Tulsa, Oklahoma on Route 66 next to a giant Blue Whale public art sculpture. 

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The night before, I was prepping for a Task Rabbit user for a New York City launch, boy was I wrong. After seeing if Task Rabbit was available in Tulsa and seeing it wasn’t I had to make a new game plan.

I was looking on Google Maps to see what stores, restaurants, business where in the area that were open at 7:00am CST. The only two open that early where a Subway and a grocery store called Reasor’s. I picked up the phone and called the Subway location, where a very nice girl answered the phone. I introduced myself, said what I do for a living and asked her if she knew anything about the Snapchat Spectacles being in Tulsa. She had no idea! “I asked her if she wanted to make $150,” of course she jumped at the opportunity but couldn’t leave because she was the only one working. She took down my name and number incase someone showed up early.

I then called Reasor’s where a very nice girl named Maikayla answered the phone, I again explained who I was and what I do for a living, I told her about the Spectacles and the Snapbot being at the Blue Whale down the street from the store. I upped the price a little bit and I told her I’d pay $200 to head down to the Blue Whale, purchase two pair of Spectacles from the Snapbot and ship them to me. I know most of you would be very hesitant to give money to a completely random stranger, without ever meeting the person. But I figured what the HELL, lets see if people still believe in helping other people.

Snapbot in Tulsa, OKSnapbot in Tulsa, OK

She was hesitant at first and I sent her an initial amount of money to show her I was serious. She got the money, headed over to the Blue Whale and purchased a pair of Black and Teal Spectacles. She was the third person in line and it was already 7:30 in the morning.  She sent me the photos of the receipt and the Spectacles to confirm everything. I sent her the rest of the money and we figured out shipping. I used my FedEX account to create a pre-paid overnight label so she wouldn’t have to deal with any shipping costs or finding a local FedEx. I scheduled a FedEx delivery from between 1:00pm and 3:00pm and the FedEx driver, showed up and picked up the package which showed up at my door this morning, Tuesday November 16th around 9:30am.

Spectacles are the next BIG thing in the tech world and I can’t wait to start showing more behind the scenes from my photoshoots, meetings and travels around the world. Just remember, the best camera is the one that you have with you.

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Be sure to follow me on Snapchat! Good luck getting your own pair!

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