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March 6th, 2010

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Go for It

Friends, I’m nearsighted. (I blame it fully on years of squinting at computer monitors.) Thus I’ve had to wear glasses and contact lenses for quite some time. I switched to contacts back in high school and while I still have glasses, they’re mostly for nights and whenever my eyes are tired.

The pair of glasses I had were outdated, old, and pretty crappy to be honest with you. I got them for a song at America’s Best, one of the few eyeglass chains not owned by Luxottica. (Seriously – they own so so much.) But again, I needed new ones to match my slightly updated prescription.

My wife had had a positive experience ordering online although her first pair didn’t quite pan out. She still got a nice pair of frames for super cheap after I had told her about Glassy Eyes and Matt Haughey’s experience. I decided to go for it too.

After I had my annual eye exam I asked my doctor for a written eyeglass prescription as well as my pupil distance, or PD. As Matt says once you have those two items you’re ready… mostly. It’s also good to measure your existing pair of lenses very very carefully, as I discovered. Once I did that I shopped around and found a nice pair at EyeBuyDirect. I placed my order using my FSA and within a week and a half, I had new glasses.

Unfortunately they were way too big for my face. I thus got to experience EyeBuyDirect’s customer service which was fine, but not stellar. I was able to return the glasses with no problem but I was out the shipping costs round-trip. It ended up costing $10.

While I had planned to exchange my eyeglasses at EyeBuyDirect I found another pair I liked more at 39DollarGlasses. Sure enough my pair was, uh, $31… because I had a coupon. Ordering was easy here too and in under a week I had glasses.

The end result is very good! The glasses fit well and I really like the way they look. They came with a good quality hardshell case, cleaning cloth, and mini repair kit. I only have two small quibbles. First, the frames are painted plastic and I can see very small imperfections around the lens. Not enough to notice from even a reasonable distance luckily. And second, the right lens doesn’t fit as snugly as the left lens. Much like the paint it’s such a slight thing that it’s not even noticeable; I could easily take it to a optometrist to get it tweaked but since these are limited-use glasses, I likely won’t. If these were $50 or $100 glasses I’d be peeved but, really, I can let it go at this price.

All in all I’m quite happy with my purchase. I remember back in the olden days that I couldn’t imagine buying, say, shoes online but now I do… so why not eyeglasses?

Posted in Consumer Commentary

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