Buying Glasses Online – Part 1

August 21, 2009

Glasses are expensive. Even with insurance, glasses are expensive; thankfully, the internet is home to a host of other options that your local optometrist might not have at his or her disposal. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with buying from your local optometrist, far from it (got my moto glasses and SCUBA mask from a local optometrist), just that you may want to look into alternate vendors if you need to save some cash. First up: Zenni Optical I found this place in February 2007 and bought a couple of prescription sunglasses from them (Total: $50.65 = $12.95×2 Frame + $4.95×2 Anti-Reflective Coating + $4.95×2 Tinting + $4.95 S&H), again when my expensive glasses broke around the hinge (Total: $21.85 = $8 Frame + $4.95 Anti-Reflective Coating + $3.95 Clip-on Sunshade + $4.95 S&H), and most recently this week after getting my yearly eye exam (Total: $67.60 = $19 Frame + $12.95 Frame + $15.95 Frame + $4.95×3 Anti-Reflective Coating + $4.95 S&H). Pros: $4.95 Flat Rate Shipping Plenty of options: Photochromic lenses for $39 Anti-reflective Coating (basically required for anyone who works with computers) for $4.95 Tinting (at 10, 50, or 80%) available in Gray, Green, Amber, Blue, Purple, Pink, or Yellow for $4.95 Clip-on Sunshade for $3.95 Offering Bifocals for $17 more and Progressive lenses for $29 more Cons: The site has no option to remember your prescription, so you have to reenter it on each page. No option for Prisms (which Jon’s vision requires) Can’t send them your frames to have them put in new lenses Before we get to the other sites, I must point out another blog, Glassy Eyes, which alerted me to these other sites. Additionally, for those of you confused about your prescription, 39DollarGlasses has the nicest article on reading your prescription (though it doesn’t cover Prisms); it even has pretty pictures for you.