How to buy Snapchat Spectacles

Gas up the car, roll the dice.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
3 min read

Editor's note: As of Monday, February 20, Snapchat Spectacles can be purchased online and Snapbots will continue to pop up around the U.S.

The Snapbot was last seen heading north. It is described as yellow and friendly-looking. If you encounter it, do not approach it, but find your spot at the end of the long line of Snapchatters standing in front of it, hoping they'll be lucky enough to snag a pair of Snapchat Spectacles .

Where are Spectacles sold?

Most likely, nowhere near you.

If you are looking to snag a pair of Snapchat Spectacles, then you need to track down a Snapbot, the playful vending machine that Snap is trucking around the country to sell (and create insane buzz around) its new Spectacles. The $130 sunglasses with a camera inside aren't sold online or in stores. It's Snapbot or bust.

On eBay and Craigslist

Some people are lining up to purchase Spectacles just to flip them on eBay and Craigslist. If you go that route, expect to pay $750-$2,000 for the glasses. On eBay, many of the sellers don't have many ratings, so choose your seller carefully. If you're desperate enough to go through Craigslist, use safety precautions and consider meeting with the seller at a SafeTrade Spot.

Or: don't spend up to 10 times the retail price and wait for supply to increase.

Where the Snapbot has been so far

The Snapbot first appeared on November 10 in Venice Beach, California, near Snap's headquarters. The Snapbot then traveled up the coast to its second pop-up location on November 13 in Big Sur, California. Where will it be next? No one knows, but if the Snapbot's current trajectory continues from Venice Beach to Big Sur, then perhaps somewhere in or near the Bay Area is next.

Update: I was way off. The Snapbot popped up outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, on November 15, near the Blue Whale roadside attraction on Route 66 in Catoosa. As of 9 a.m. PT, the Spectacles sold out.

Update No. 2: On Monday, November 21, the Snapbot popped up in a pop-up shop in New York, New York, and will reside there through the end of the year. According to Snap's website, the shop at 5 E. 59th Street in midtown Manhattan will be open through New Year's Eve and closed only on Thanksgiving and December 24 and 25. If Twitter rumors are to be believed, a limited supply will be sold each day.

Snap Inc.

Find out where the Snapbot will go next

You can view the Snapbot's location on this map from Snap's site or from the Snapchat app. In the app, go to Settings > Spectacles and tap at the top to Learn more about Spectacles here. The link opens the Spectacles website; scroll down and tap the Find a Bot button to view the map or a countdown timer.

The timer lets you know how much time remains before the bot's next location is revealed. You could also sign up to get an email notification from Snapbot Spotter when the next location is announced (but do so at your own risk -- there's no privacy policy on the site.) Alternatively, set a calendar reminder for a few minutes before the next reveal.

Once the Snapbot's location is on the map, RUN. Lines have been long at the first two locations, and supplies are limited.

If you open Snapchat and a Snapbot is nearby by, you'll see a Spectacles geofilter to alert you to the bot's presence. Make sure you have location services enabled for Snapchat or you might miss out.

Buying from the bot

Should you find yourself face to face with the Snapbot, you'll need three things:

1. $130

2. A credit or debit card

3. A firm decision on which color will look best on you: black, teal or coral

The Spectacles come fully charged and with a case that doubles as a charger, a charging cable and a cleaning cloth.

For more, read our hands-on Spectacles preview and find out what Spectacles video looks like.

Will Spectacles ever be sold, you know, in a store?

Eventually, sure. But right now Snapchat is using this limited-release strategy to build excitement and demand around scarcity. We could see more Snapbots or other forms of pop-up shops before these land on store shelves.

Stay tuned to this post as we add updates to the availability of Spectacles.