BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The most common call lately into the 2 On Your Side newsroom is from viewers wondering where they can get glasses to safely watch Monday's solar eclipse. Unfortunately, your options are limited.
Most of the organizations previously handing out free glasses are no longer doing so.
The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, for instance, had about 3,000 pairs of glasses to divvy up between 37 locations. Only a couple hundred remain, and those are being kept to hand out to those who attend a special "Eclipse O' Rama" event planned for the Lafayette Square library Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Buffalo Science Museum is no longer handing out free glasses in order to keep enough for attendees planning to watch the eclipse at the museum Monday afternoon. That's also the plan at the plan at the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium.
Although 2 On Your Side didn't contact every single library and other organization across Western New York, we reached out to many, and it appears there's no longer a 'free' supply ahead of Monday.
That means you'll need to purchase glasses. The American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable vendors for eclipse glasses, plus a list of retail chains that are selling them.
But we found many outlets -- both brick and mortar stores and online sellers -- are sold out.
No glasses are available at any Western New York Walmart, Best Buy, Toys 'R' Us or Lowe's store.
As far as online retailers, many are also sold out; others are charging a lot of money for the glasses and expedited shipping.
TheRealEclipseGlasses.com, one of the AAS-approved retailers, was charging $98 (including shipping) for 3 pairs of paper glasses that would have arrived in time for Monday. But after our story originally aired, that deal also sold out.
As of the time this is being published, glasses are still available at EclipseGlasses.com. For $100, you can get 25 pairs, which is the minimum accepted. You must add $53.66 for FedEx Priority Overnight shipping, the only option that allows the glasses to arrive in time.
The best online deal 2 On Your Side found Wednesday was from B&H, a reputable web retailer.
A 10-pack of glasses (including tax plus 'Solar Eclipse Express' shipping) comes to a total of $48.88, or less than $5 per pair.
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