[image-1]Nothing brings out the best in the free market like a once-in-a-lifetime natural phenomenon.

On the eve of the total solar eclipse set to darken the skies over Charleston, tourists and locals alike have all been making their final last-minute arrangements. Atop many to-do lists leading into Monday afternoon’s astronomical event is acquiring a pair of eclipse glasses. As anyone familiar with the principle of supply and demand would expect, the cost of eclipse glasses has skyrocketed as darkness nears.

A look at online marketplace Craigslist shows plenty of eclipse glasses going for around $10 a pair, but a few cunning opportunists have apparently decided to make Aug. 21 a major payday.

As of the day of the eclipse, glasses are currently going for as much as $75 a pair from at least one Charleston seller. Posted the Sunday before the eclipse is set to occur, one seller is offering their final four pairs of eclipse glasses for $75 a piece. A few other dealers are willing to part with their remaining eclipse glasses for only $30 or $50 a piece. Email if interested. Please do not contact with unsolicited services or offers.

Of course, Charleston is not immune to this type of price gouging. According to Huffington Post, your average pair of eclipse glasses cost between 30-70 cents to manufacture, but the price of a 10-pack of glasses has gone from $8 in late July to as much as $159.

As for Charleston’s $75-per-pair asking price, that means local prices have increased by more than 100 fold, based on the 70-cent manufacture cost. That is if you aim to make a profit.