Thursday, October 29, 2009

Buyer Review: Purchasing Glasses Online

I wanted to share some positive experiences my family has had with buying glasses online. It took awhile (ok, a year!) for me to come around to this idea for myself, but last year at this time my husband decided to get a written prescription from our optometrist to try buying glasses off the internet. He was tired of paying upwards of $200 for glasses every other year when he wanted new frames, and he researched different glasses websites. He also wanted to buy prescription sunglasses, and they are expensive. The website he selected was Since we have now purchased 3 pairs of glasses from there, I thought I'd write a buyer review.

The company claims to be "The World's #1 Online Optical Store" and has positive reviews on its homepage by Readers Digest and The Wall Street Journal. We're WSJ fans, but the price is what caught our attention more than anything. With 3 glasses/contacts wearers in the family, eye care adds up, and we were looking for ways to save. When each pair of glasses was shipped, they came in a fabric pouch placed in a hard black case in a padded mailing envelope.

I am totally won over now to buying glasses online, and here are a few reasons why.
(1) It's easy to view different types of glasses, and you can easily print a PDF file with the glasses shape and hold them up to yourself in a mirror. The website explains how to easily measure your eyes so you know which glasses fit. There is, of course, some risk involved for those who don't know what frame shapes work on their face shapes. I've worn glasses for most of my adult life, so I knew my limitations. If you don't know yours, I'd suggest trying some on at your optometrist when you visit for an exam. Or you could go to a department store that carries a wide selection of sunglasses and reading glasses and try different shapes on to see what works for you. Be creative!

(2) It's easy to enter prescription information. The paper prescription my optometrist gave me matched up exactly with the information needed to place the website order.

(3) It's quick! For my first order, I took my time to print about 4 different glasses frame shapes, look at myself in the mirror, have hubby verify my measurements, etc. Even still, it took me less than 30 minutes. Now that I've placed an order, it would take me less than 10 minutes to order again. Ordering glasses at an optometrist has typically taken 30-60 minutes for me. I appreciate saving time. And the shipping was quick! My glasses arrived only 4 days after I placed the order, via USPS. Can't beat that.

(4) It's affordable to have a few pairs of glasses if you want different styles, prescription sunglasses or just a second pair in case of damage to your favorite glasses. Our toddler wears glasses, and we have a backup pair for him because he is hard on his glasses every day. It's a low-cost way to make sure he is covered if we have to take his glasses in for repair.

(5) You can get money back through Ebates! I was pleasantly surprised to find a coupon code for $12 off my order if I went through Ebates?! Plus I'll get back an additional 4%. I paid $32 for a pair of beautiful glasses, then Ebates will return 4% to me. Wow!

The only downside we've experienced is that we're on our own when it comes to tune-ups or repairs. Our local optometrist who performs our exams has been very generous with replacing nosepieces, doing repairs, etc. for free, but some optometrists might not be so generous to customers who wear glasses that have not been purchased there. To us that risk is worth it; sometimes we're able to do our own repairs at home, and we wouldn't mind having to pay if it came to that. The cost would still be so much less than buying eyeglasses at a store!

Have you had any experiences buying eyeglasses online? Good or bad, please share them here.
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Ebates and Swagbucks are both easy ways to earn rewards while doing what you normally do - web-searching through Google and shopping for bargains online!


stephanie said...

WOW! Your post could not have been more timely. Thank you for taking the risk with this kind of purchase. I have been putting off a new purchase because I didn't want to spend the money for glasses and sunglasses!

Off I go to the site (through Ebates, of course)!

Kind regards!

Holly said...

Thank you for the review. My husband is need of glasses soon and I might want to get an extra pair soon. I haven't been happy with my last two pairs.

I got a very good deal on contact lenses this year. Check this out!