I've been wearing glasses since I was about twenty. I didn't start wearing them until college when I had a luggable computer with a really small screen. Not sure if that was a cause of the need for glasses but the timing was the same. With that said, whenever I've bought glasses, I typically go to the eye doctor, get a new/updated script, then buy the glasses, either from the doctor's office or one of those mall stores. Almost always, what I ended up liking was around two or three hundred dollars. Now, vision plans from work might help reduce the cost, but if you lose or break the glasses enough, you're out of luck.
It was recently time for me to get my eyes checked again to see if I needed a new prescription for my lens. I happened to get an email to try out GlassesShop.com at just the same time. Perfect timing I figured. Instead of getting new glasses through the eye doctor, I'd try to buy them online. In short, I was surprised how quickly they arrived and how inexpensive they were. The only thing missing when ordering online is being able to physically hold the glasses in your hand to try them on and being fitted/sized by a professional. Basically, you're on your own, both in entering the prescription online and making sure they're sized properly.
That sized properly part has to do with measuring your PD or pupillary distance. It is the distance in millimeters between the centers of your pupils. You can try to measure it yourself, check to see if it was done for your last pair of glasses, or visit any optical shop / optometry practice.Once you have your script in hand, it is time to pick out some glasses online. You can shop by gender, type of lens supported, by type, by material, or by shape. For me, it was easy, I wanted rimless, which quickly brought number of available glasses down to under 20. However, if you're less sure of what you want, shopping for men's frames had 20 pages of results, while the same query for women had 22 pages. You can't just do a quick scan around the room or ask an online support rep fro opinions. Instead, you have to pick out the jacket all by yourself.
I went with a $32.95 model that looks similar to what I'm wearing now. Yes, that is $32.95 for the frame only. You still have to pay for the lens. For that, the cost was $19.85 for a total combined price of $52.80.
The glasses come in their own lightweight plastic container. And the whole packaging was well wrapped to prevent damage while in transit.
To see the difference from old (bottom pair) to new eyeglasses, I snapped this picture. The lens look nearly identical. Where they differ most is in what's left behind for the frames. My more expensive pair has arms that bend and fold and cost $200ish more. The new pair of glasses have the more standard frames that fold along the side.
How do they feel? It seems I got the PD right so they're sized properly. The lens feel like they have the right prescription behind them but I did NOT verify correctness. They're definitely lightweight like the originals. At least for these glasses, what differs most is the arms. My old glasses have a bend in the arms which seems to keep the glasses on more easily when moving around actively. The new glasses do not AND, the hinge on the side of each frame can be a little distracting for your peripheral vision.
Combined the cost of the new glasses was a whopping $52.80. If your purchase is covered by your job's Health Saving Account (HSA) or insurance, you would submit that in for reimbursement. If, however, you don't have a vision coverage on your health plan, the cost is just $52.80. Replacing the old pair is definitely not worth the extra couple hundred dollars I would have had to spend without the online store. But the inexpensive price does allow you to purchase quickly online without needing to do the eye doctor visit in person.
I liked the experience and will definitely consider purchasing online again from GlassesShop.com next time I need new glasses. For those in the market now, you can save 50% off on your eyeglasses, with free lenses, with code GSHOT50. Also, in addition to regular eyeglasses, you can also pickup prescription sunglasses there, too.
*Read my Disclosure