Author Topic: Online prescription glasses good or bad?  (Read 11315 times)

Watertree

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Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« on: November 20, 2015, 07:35:51 AM »
I am about due for eye exam. I had eye exam two years ago. I need progressive bifocials and I have astigmatism. I have been reading online that prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses are available from several online companies including Zetti.com. The online reviews are mixed. Some online eyeglasses customers are thrilled with their glasses, especially the cost savings. Other reviewers say stay away from online prescription glasses.

Would appreciate experiences from Mustachians with prescription eyeglasses purchased online. I would like to save a few bucks on eyeglasses, but is it worth it? Please let me know the good and bad of online eyeglasses.

Thanks!
Watertree

lthenderson

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 07:43:44 AM »
I have gotten my prescription eyeglasses online from eyebuydirect.com for about ten years now and don't have a bad thing to say about them or the glasses. They are the same quality as those that you buy in an optometrists office but at a tiny fraction of the price. Because they are so cheap, I usually get three pairs, two prescription clear glasses (one for backup) and a pair of prescription sunglasses, all for a third of the price of a single pair of glasses that I was buying at my optometrists office.

I have seen people leery of going this route because you don't have a custom fitting but all they every do at the optometrist office is bend them to fit, something I can easily do at home with a mirror and a pair of needle nosed pliers.

The two closest things I can say negative about the experience is that you don't have as big of selection but I'm not particularly picky so this hasn't been a problem with me. The other thing is that if you do break them, some glasses shops won't fix them unless you bought them there. I don't find this a problem since I always have a spare set and I can buy seven more new pairs and still be less than what I would have paid buying them in a brick and mortar store.

Matumba

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2015, 07:48:54 AM »
I used Warby Parker. Good quality glasses, but probably more expensive than the usual glasses you buy online. I didn't like the first pair they sent me, so they re-made it for free. Will buy from them again.

GuitarStv

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 07:51:03 AM »
I have a very high prescription.  Due to this, if the focal point of my glasses is off by even a couple millimeters I can't see properly through them.  The last three pairs of glasses I've had made have needed to go back for changes afterwards.

With the online stuff, how easy is it to send glasses back to be remade if something is (just slightly) off?

canadian bacon

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2015, 07:54:28 AM »
I did online frames and lenses from Costco.   Reasonably cheap solution and allowed me to use vision insurance for my lenses

Matumba

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2015, 07:59:39 AM »
I have a very high prescription.  Due to this, if the focal point of my glasses is off by even a couple millimeters I can't see properly through them.  The last three pairs of glasses I've had made have needed to go back for changes afterwards.

With the online stuff, how easy is it to send glasses back to be remade if something is (just slightly) off?

With Warby Parker, it was very easy. I also have a high prescription. They help measure the distance between the pupils if it's not written in the prescription (and it usually isn't because money hungry traditional pharmacies want to make their profits too).

RelaxedGal

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2015, 08:00:30 AM »
I've purchased from Zenni and Coastal.

Coastal has great customer service and return policy.

Zenni: you get what you get, I forget if they don't offer returns or if it just wasn't worth shipping it back.

In both cases: finding a frame that's the right size was a challenge, it has taken me a few years to figure out what I like and dislike in glasses, what search parameters I need to put in, etc.  I dipped my toe in the water by buying my first pair of prescription sunglasses from Zenni after getting my eye Dr's optometrist to measure my pupil distance VERY IMPORTANT.  Loved them, then the next pair was too wide, the next too tight, etc. 

I keep going back to Zenni because they're just so damned cheap, the prescription is accurate and I've figured out what I need to make them fit well.  For a first pass, though, I'd recommend someplace with a better return policy like Coastal if they'll be your everyday glasses.  Or dip your toe in the water with something you won't use everyday, like I did with the sunglasses.

Knitwit

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2015, 08:04:33 AM »
I've never had a bad experience with ordering prescription glasses online.

For those people who've had trouble with fit, see the attached image. Take a pair of glasses that you like and fit well, check out the numbers on the inside arm, and narrow your search with those parameters. Most online glasses retailers post those size numbers for all of their frames. Good luck!

lthenderson

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2015, 08:16:07 AM »
With Warby Parker, it was very easy. I also have a high prescription. They help measure the distance between the pupils if it's not written in the prescription (and it usually isn't because money hungry traditional pharmacies want to make their profits too).

I have always used a metric ruler held up underneath my eyes while staring straight ahead into a mirror to get the pupil to pupil distance. The rest of the measurements are easy to figure out from an old pair of glasses.

Dicey

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2015, 08:17:28 AM »
Ouch. I just bought new glasses this week. $532 after insurance. Oof. However, I have a very strong correction, am both near- and far-sighted, with a heaping side of astigmatism and a dollop of glaucoma on top. By the time I get progressive, high index, anti-scratch, anti-glare, auto-darkening lenses, the tab is huge before I even start pricing frames. For all that, they're kind of crappy for laying in bed watching TV. I'm thinking about trying a pair of distance-only glasses, with minimal bells and whistles (except at least semi-high index lenses, so they will actually fit in the frames) just for that purpose. I'd be willing to take a gamble on an internet provider for those, so I'm following to see what other Mustachians have to say. I'm especially interested in the experiences of others with complex corrections.

Rural

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2015, 02:46:06 PM »

 I've been very happy with Zenni, including bifocals with my very pronounced astigmatism. The customer service has been great the one time I've encountered them. They contacted me, actually - something on my numbers didn't make sense and once They explained it to me I knew exactly what I'd done wrong.


I've never needed to return a pair because of the prescription, but if they screw up, they replace for free, including shipping.  If you order the wrong size frames, they take it back for a credit I think half the cost and apply to your reorder. So it makes sense to be sure about your frame size first. You can even order the frames with plain glass to try it out if you're not sure ( they will ship lenses only and have a video explaining how to change them). Or you can call them up, and they'll talk you through everything you could possibly need to get the measurement  right the first time.


 I've been using Zenni for five or six years now, and I ordered my first pair of bifocals from them just a couple of months ago. Everything's been great, and they do progressives as well; I just was chicken and tried bifocals with the lines the first time. Those bifocals with my strong astigmatism  cost me about $35, I think.


I  also ordered myself several pair of supercheap close up readers that correct for my astigmatism, and God I wish I'd done it years ago. I actually like them better than the bifocals, which are still making me dizzy when I try to walk. But I can switch to my 6.99 purple sparkly readers that are my prescription for my astigmatism and see stuff just one of stuff up close!  I have one pair at home, one on my desk at work, and one in my bag. At 6.99, why not?

Shinplaster

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2015, 04:26:03 PM »
I ordered my first pair of glasses from Zenni in July 2014.  I love them, and the prescription is spot on (confirmed by my optometrist).  I spent a long time comparing measurements, etc. first though.  I had many pairs of old glasses kicking around, and sorted them out by best fit/worst fit.  Then I used the best fit measurements to find similar ones.  At Lenscrafters, my glasses always cost over $500 Canadian (bifocals, anti-reflective, transition lenses).  At Zenni, they were $85.

After my experience, I ordered a pair for Mr. SP, and my Mom.  Both of those pair were also perfect.   I ordered a pair of sunglasses to keep in the car, and those were not as good.  The prescription is right, but the installation of the lenses in the frame was really sloppy.  Since they cost me $30, and I don't use them all that often (because I have transition lenses) I didn't worry about it.  If these were my primary glasses, I would have been more dissatisfied.

I have heard complaints about their customer service though.  It seems to be hit and miss, and returns/credits take forever.

lbmustache

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2015, 05:21:40 PM »
I used Warby Parker. Good quality glasses, but probably more expensive than the usual glasses you buy online. I didn't like the first pair they sent me, so they re-made it for free. Will buy from them again.

I have used Warby Parker too. Zero complaints for both glasses and prescription sunglasses.

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2015, 05:47:35 PM »
I've used zenni twice.  And then bought one locally at Sams.  Sams was way more expensive... and the zenni glasses were actually better.

I did break one of the zenni frames at some point.  Sighed and though "oh well."  Wife said "Hey, dumbass, the frames are $10, why don't you just buy another frame?"   She had a point.

Penny Lane

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2015, 05:55:35 PM »
Warby Parker.  I don't wear bifocals so I just got my distance prescription in very good looking frames for $95., delivered and guaranteed.  very good company.

Watertree

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2015, 06:48:40 PM »
Thanks for the info for online prescription glasses!!

Watertree

serpentstooth

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2015, 09:44:19 PM »
I've been very happy with CoolFrames.com. I've gotten a half dozen pairs from them, no complaints.

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2015, 11:48:22 PM »
OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???

arebelspy

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Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2015, 01:27:50 AM »
The wife and I have bought from Zenni Optical maybe 3-4 times over the last 5 years, and are happy with it.

We have to pay extra cause our prescriptions are terrible (around -9.5 to -10.5), but the total still comes out to be under $30.

OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???

Yup!

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Rural

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2015, 03:42:54 AM »
OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???


Legally they have to give you the prescription, as it's your medical record, so no whining about liability, but some pointing out of their own lovely frames has been known to happen. They are not legally obliged to give you the PD (pupillary distance), and so many don't. This is why the online places provide guidance in measuring PD.

undercover

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2015, 05:52:03 AM »
OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???


Legally they have to give you the prescription, as it's your medical record, so no whining about liability, but some pointing out of their own lovely frames has been known to happen. They are not legally obliged to give you the PD (pupillary distance), and so many don't. This is why the online places provide guidance in measuring PD.

I would find a better doctor if this were the case. There are many stand-alone doctors who I presume have no interest in whether you buy glasses or not. I had no problem getting my doctor to measure my PD, even though it's not hard.

MrsPete

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2015, 08:16:48 AM »
I had a bad experience with Zenni. 

I loved the look of the glasses I ordered (actually sunglasses), and the prescription was dead-on ... but the "arms" of the glasses were too short.  Within minutes of putting them on, I'd have a headache because of the "pull" on the back of my ears.  You can go to the walk-in place at the mall and ask for an adjustment (even if you didn't buy your glasses from them), but to make them fit, they had to essentially straighten out the whole "arm" ... and the glasses wouldn't stay on without a behind-the-ear curve. 

I've never ordered again. 

Spork

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2015, 10:07:56 AM »
OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???


Legally they have to give you the prescription, as it's your medical record, so no whining about liability, but some pointing out of their own lovely frames has been known to happen. They are not legally obliged to give you the PD (pupillary distance), and so many don't. This is why the online places provide guidance in measuring PD.

I would find a better doctor if this were the case. There are many stand-alone doctors who I presume have no interest in whether you buy glasses or not. I had no problem getting my doctor to measure my PD, even though it's not hard.

This exactly.  Going to an optometrist in a glasses shop is the equivalent of needing a lawyer and calling that ambulance chaser that advertises on late night TV.

mm1970

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2015, 10:13:34 AM »
OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???


Legally they have to give you the prescription, as it's your medical record, so no whining about liability, but some pointing out of their own lovely frames has been known to happen. They are not legally obliged to give you the PD (pupillary distance), and so many don't. This is why the online places provide guidance in measuring PD.

I would find a better doctor if this were the case. There are many stand-alone doctors who I presume have no interest in whether you buy glasses or not. I had no problem getting my doctor to measure my PD, even though it's not hard.
I order from 39dollarglasses.com

I have noticed that my doctor doesn't put the PD on my prescription anymore.  But they did at one point in history (been going to them for almost 20 years).  So now I know it.

arebelspy

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2015, 10:17:17 AM »
You can just ask for it. Ours didn't have a spot for it on their paper, so they didn't put it naturally, but were happy to measure and jot on the side when we asked.
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Meowmalade

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2015, 10:48:13 AM »
I love my eye doctor, but at the end of the annual exam she hands me off to the optometrist who sits me down and treats me as if the next obvious step is to buy a pair of new glasses.  I'm sure it must work better than asking "are you interested in a new pair of glasses today?".  Anyway, I got PRK (similar to LASIK) earlier this year and have gone from extremely near-sighted to slightly farsighted.  Got sticker shock when she priced out a new pair of glasses.

So I went on eBay and found a pair of really nice LaFont frames (same fancy French brand as the pair that I'd liked best at the shop), but the funny thing is that buying the correct size meant that I ended up buying kid's frames!  I must have a small face.  My insurance covers up to $70 for out-of-network frames every two years, so I'm fully covered there.  Then had 39dollarglasses.com re-lens the frames for about $70 with their anti-glare package, and my insurance should reimburse $30 of that.  Just got the glasses back this past week, took about a month for the turnaround, but the quality was good and they gave me a nice new case, too!

Oh right, so eye doctor did not include PD on the prescription, but they measured it when I went in to ask.  Apparently the numbers differ for reading vs distance, so it's better to get an optometrist to do it.  They said I could get the measurement done anywhere, took just a couple of minutes.  Must be one of those services that they'll do for free if you just ask, like jewelry cleaning!

lbmustache

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2015, 11:18:47 AM »
OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???

I go to Costco. No sales tactics, no long wait times, easy peasy. $80!

Rural

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2015, 11:37:38 AM »
OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???


Legally they have to give you the prescription, as it's your medical record, so no whining about liability, but some pointing out of their own lovely frames has been known to happen. They are not legally obliged to give you the PD (pupillary distance), and so many don't. This is why the online places provide guidance in measuring PD.

I would find a better doctor if this were the case. There are many stand-alone doctors who I presume have no interest in whether you buy glasses or not. I had no problem getting my doctor to measure my PD, even though it's not hard.

This exactly.  Going to an optometrist in a glasses shop is the equivalent of needing a lawyer and calling that ambulance chaser that advertises on late night TV.


Yes, but I can do that or I can drive 45- 60 miles one way and pay twice as much, so I don't. Anyway, PD doesn't change, so you only need to get it once.

serpentstooth

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2015, 04:06:05 PM »
I love my eye doctor, but at the end of the annual exam she hands me off to the optometrist who sits me down and treats me as if the next obvious step is to buy a pair of new glasses.  I'm sure it must work better than asking "are you interested in a new pair of glasses today?".  Anyway, I got PRK (similar to LASIK) earlier this year and have gone from extremely near-sighted to slightly farsighted.  Got sticker shock when she priced out a new pair of glasses.

So I went on eBay and found a pair of really nice LaFont frames (same fancy French brand as the pair that I'd liked best at the shop), but the funny thing is that buying the correct size meant that I ended up buying kid's frames!  I must have a small face.  My insurance covers up to $70 for out-of-network frames every two years, so I'm fully covered there.  Then had 39dollarglasses.com re-lens the frames for about $70 with their anti-glare package, and my insurance should reimburse $30 of that.  Just got the glasses back this past week, took about a month for the turnaround, but the quality was good and they gave me a nice new case, too!

Oh right, so eye doctor did not include PD on the prescription, but they measured it when I went in to ask.  Apparently the numbers differ for reading vs distance, so it's better to get an optometrist to do it.  They said I could get the measurement done anywhere, took just a couple of minutes.  Must be one of those services that they'll do for free if you just ask, like jewelry cleaning!

I think the trend is toward bigger glasses. I've been wearing the same frame for five years, updated with seasonal color changes by the manufacturer. It used to be a woman's frame and now it's sold for girls. Go figure.

Tjat

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2015, 04:37:44 PM »
I had a bad experience with Zenni. 

I loved the look of the glasses I ordered (actually sunglasses), and the prescription was dead-on ... but the "arms" of the glasses were too short.  Within minutes of putting them on, I'd have a headache because of the "pull" on the back of my ears.  You can go to the walk-in place at the mall and ask for an adjustment (even if you didn't buy your glasses from them), but to make them fit, they had to essentially straighten out the whole "arm" ... and the glasses wouldn't stay on without a behind-the-ear curve. 

I've never ordered again.

The arm length varies by frame. So it sounds like you just need to order a longer one?

OK excuse me from being stupid, but do you just go into an optometrist and pay for the prescription and they give it to you?

No high pressure sales tactics or whining about how they can't sell you the prescription w/o the glasses cus of liability blah blah???


Legally they have to give you the prescription, as it's your medical record, so no whining about liability, but some pointing out of their own lovely frames has been known to happen. They are not legally obliged to give you the PD (pupillary distance), and so many don't. This is why the online places provide guidance in measuring PD.

I actually was told in person that it was a medical prescription and they "had to give it directly to the distributor." Rather than argue, I told them the 1800 number and said I'd wait while they call. I obviously could overhear the conversation...

I used $39 glasses for a crummy pair to wear around the house. I typically need high quality lenses, so these are just polycarbs. Seem alright

justchristine

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2015, 06:24:38 PM »
I just bought glasses from Zenni for the first time a few months ago.  I was nervous about buying online so i started by getting a pair of sunglasses. I figured I wouldnot care as much if they werent perfect since I wouldn't be wearing the very frequently.  They turned out to be so comfortable that I bought a regular pair in the same frame.  I love them.  They are the most comfortable glasses I have ever owned.  My prescription is -7 to -8, so I got the high index lenses and anti reflective coating, but each pair cost less than $65 including shipping.  I will definitely be ordering again in the future.

Greg

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2015, 10:29:55 PM »
I used glasses.com and except for having to ask my optometrist for the pupillary distance, it was easy.  Glasses arrived faster than quoted.  Will soon order bifocals or reading glasses, maybe both.

kimmarg

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2015, 05:53:24 AM »
Be sure to get a left and right pupillary distance. If your eyes aren't centered just measuring between them and dividing by 2 won't work. Mine are about 1mm different between sides which is enough to be nauseating with a strong perscription.

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2015, 07:41:34 AM »
Bought twice from Zenni. First time went smoothly, glasses fit great until I stepped on them and completely destroyed the frames. Second time, emboldened by my $19 experience, I ordered four pairs. They sent me someone else's shipment, promised to send me a new shipment, and two weeks later, I still don' t have them. So it's great when it works, but customer service is poor.

teen persuasion

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2015, 01:01:10 PM »
Bought twice from Zenni. First time went smoothly, glasses fit great until I stepped on them and completely destroyed the frames. Second time, emboldened by my $19 experience, I ordered four pairs. They sent me someone else's shipment, promised to send me a new shipment, and two weeks later, I still don' t have them. So it's great when it works, but customer service is poor.

DH ordered prescription sunglasses from Zenni.  Apparently his order got held up in customs or something, and they reordered for him.  He received his pair and was happy.  A few months later, he got another, identical pair.  The original order finally turned up, and they sent that to him, too, for free, since it was his prescription and no one else could use it.  He keeps a pair in each car.

bobertsen

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2015, 01:15:47 PM »
I've used both Zenni and Eyebuydirect, and found both to be reasonable quality and accurate prescriptions. Since Costco started automatically adding mandatory coatings and charging like $30 for them, I found the online retailers to be the best bet. Even with the anti-glare, anti-scratch, etc, the lenses still come in cheaper online.

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2015, 10:31:55 PM »
39dollarglasses.com has a Cyber Monday deal, the greater of $20 or 20% off!  Code CM20, expires midnight ET and is not valid on relensing orders or contact lenses.

mandy_2002

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2015, 03:23:20 PM »
Zenni's Cyber Monday deal is buy 2 get 1 free (so three for price of 2 - Code B2G1).  My prescription changed, so I needed to get new frames.  I was planning on getting 5 pairs (Peace Corps services doesn't replace sunglasses, so two of these, and 3 regular frames), so I found a 6th regular frame and am spending $81 for 100% UV protection, scratch resistant, regular anti-glare (some with fancier anti-glare to up the price of the free pairs).  It's worked out very well for me.  I've bought about 20 frames here in the last 7 years, and never had an issue I couldn't fix myself (2 or 3 screws have fallen out of a couple frames).

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2015, 09:03:17 PM »
I'm an optician.  If you get your PD, you need to get your Monocular measurement. That's for each eye. Your Binocular PD may be 66mm, but in reality, your right eye may be 32mm, and your left eye is 34mm.  If you have a high RX, that number is very important. Being off by 2 or 3 mm can induce prism.

Also, I know it sounds like the optician is whining, but it really is a liability issue when giving out that number to someone not buying at your location. If the doctor is not measuring it, it's not a true part of the prescription. This comes into play a lot when I work with parents wanting that number for their kids, ordering glasses for the first time online. The PD measurement does change for people under 18. People's faces get bigger and wider.  A mom gets that number when her daughter is 3, and thinks it is the same when she is 7. That number could be 10mm different by then.

Folks ordering single vision lenses online don't have as much of an issue. But you need to be very careful ordering a multi-focal lens, like a progressive online.  You need to be measured correctly for the seg height for the bifocal. Your PD may not change once you get older, but the seg ht will always be different for every pair of glasses, and especially a metal frame with nosepads.

I'm a very frugal guy, and am always trying to save money. I've ordered a few pair of online glasses for myself and have been happy with the quality.   But I just want to play devil's advocate since I'm in the field and deal with this stuff every day.   There are many different options for lenses too, so if you are shopping around, you need to compare apples to apples. There's not just one progressive lens, or one "thin style lens".  It's just not all about the "greedy doctors that want to steal all your money." 
In a lot of cases, the actual RX can come back incorrect from where you buy it. You get them in the mail and just wear them for a year or two. Meanwhile, the RX was slightly wrong and you weren't aware because you adjusted to them after a bit. Again, this is a big problem with kids, because kids don't always know how to tell their parents they aren't right.

Also, proper measurements by the optician are key. Another issue I deal with all the time is someone that got their RX from my doctor, then took their RX to Costco or Lenscrafters to have the glasses made.  Then they get the glasses, can't see, go back to where they bought them. The place checks the actual RX, tells the patient that the RX was made correct, and to go back to the doctor for a recheck.    Patient comes in, I check the RX. It is correct, but the measurements are incorrect.  Once everything is lined up properly, then the pt can see.
This is tough to do when you get them online.   Now if you are only paying 30-50 dollars per pair, then it may be worth it to play the odds.

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me a PM. I've been doing this for over 12 years.    If you are trying to figure out what to buy based on your RX, let me know and I can give you an honest opinion.




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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2015, 09:00:56 AM »
I'm an optician.  If you get your PD, you need to get your Monocular measurement. That's for each eye. Your Binocular PD may be 66mm, but in reality, your right eye may be 32mm, and your left eye is 34mm.  If you have a high RX, that number is very important. Being off by 2 or 3 mm can induce prism.

Also, I know it sounds like the optician is whining, but it really is a liability issue when giving out that number to someone not buying at your location. If the doctor is not measuring it, it's not a true part of the prescription. This comes into play a lot when I work with parents wanting that number for their kids, ordering glasses for the first time online. The PD measurement does change for people under 18. People's faces get bigger and wider.  A mom gets that number when her daughter is 3, and thinks it is the same when she is 7. That number could be 10mm different by then.

Folks ordering single vision lenses online don't have as much of an issue. But you need to be very careful ordering a multi-focal lens, like a progressive online.  You need to be measured correctly for the seg height for the bifocal. Your PD may not change once you get older, but the seg ht will always be different for every pair of glasses, and especially a metal frame with nosepads.

I'm a very frugal guy, and am always trying to save money. I've ordered a few pair of online glasses for myself and have been happy with the quality.   But I just want to play devil's advocate since I'm in the field and deal with this stuff every day.   There are many different options for lenses too, so if you are shopping around, you need to compare apples to apples. There's not just one progressive lens, or one "thin style lens".  It's just not all about the "greedy doctors that want to steal all your money." 
In a lot of cases, the actual RX can come back incorrect from where you buy it. You get them in the mail and just wear them for a year or two. Meanwhile, the RX was slightly wrong and you weren't aware because you adjusted to them after a bit. Again, this is a big problem with kids, because kids don't always know how to tell their parents they aren't right.

Also, proper measurements by the optician are key. Another issue I deal with all the time is someone that got their RX from my doctor, then took their RX to Costco or Lenscrafters to have the glasses made.  Then they get the glasses, can't see, go back to where they bought them. The place checks the actual RX, tells the patient that the RX was made correct, and to go back to the doctor for a recheck.    Patient comes in, I check the RX. It is correct, but the measurements are incorrect.  Once everything is lined up properly, then the pt can see.
This is tough to do when you get them online.   Now if you are only paying 30-50 dollars per pair, then it may be worth it to play the odds.

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me a PM. I've been doing this for over 12 years.    If you are trying to figure out what to buy based on your RX, let me know and I can give you an honest opinion.

Thanks. Great Info.
Appreciate you shedding some light on this.

BeardedLady

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2015, 01:11:14 PM »
I'm an optician.  If you get your PD, you need to get your Monocular measurement. That's for each eye. Your Binocular PD may be 66mm, but in reality, your right eye may be 32mm, and your left eye is 34mm.  If you have a high RX, that number is very important. Being off by 2 or 3 mm can induce prism.

Also, I know it sounds like the optician is whining, but it really is a liability issue when giving out that number to someone not buying at your location. If the doctor is not measuring it, it's not a true part of the prescription. This comes into play a lot when I work with parents wanting that number for their kids, ordering glasses for the first time online. The PD measurement does change for people under 18. People's faces get bigger and wider.  A mom gets that number when her daughter is 3, and thinks it is the same when she is 7. That number could be 10mm different by then.

Folks ordering single vision lenses online don't have as much of an issue. But you need to be very careful ordering a multi-focal lens, like a progressive online.  You need to be measured correctly for the seg height for the bifocal. Your PD may not change once you get older, but the seg ht will always be different for every pair of glasses, and especially a metal frame with nosepads.

I'm a very frugal guy, and am always trying to save money. I've ordered a few pair of online glasses for myself and have been happy with the quality.   But I just want to play devil's advocate since I'm in the field and deal with this stuff every day.   There are many different options for lenses too, so if you are shopping around, you need to compare apples to apples. There's not just one progressive lens, or one "thin style lens".  It's just not all about the "greedy doctors that want to steal all your money." 
In a lot of cases, the actual RX can come back incorrect from where you buy it. You get them in the mail and just wear them for a year or two. Meanwhile, the RX was slightly wrong and you weren't aware because you adjusted to them after a bit. Again, this is a big problem with kids, because kids don't always know how to tell their parents they aren't right.

Also, proper measurements by the optician are key. Another issue I deal with all the time is someone that got their RX from my doctor, then took their RX to Costco or Lenscrafters to have the glasses made.  Then they get the glasses, can't see, go back to where they bought them. The place checks the actual RX, tells the patient that the RX was made correct, and to go back to the doctor for a recheck.    Patient comes in, I check the RX. It is correct, but the measurements are incorrect.  Once everything is lined up properly, then the pt can see.
This is tough to do when you get them online.   Now if you are only paying 30-50 dollars per pair, then it may be worth it to play the odds.

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me a PM. I've been doing this for over 12 years.    If you are trying to figure out what to buy based on your RX, let me know and I can give you an honest opinion.

^^Great information.

I am an optometrist (eye doctor), and I will chime in as well. My policy has always been to educate my patients about their options and recommend the best products while letting them decide what works best financially. Sometimes it makes sense to choose price over quality, and as a mustachian I will certainly not fault those who do.

You will have better luck with single vision glasses ordered online than with progressive lenses, and the best (sharpest, clearest, thinnest, safest) progressive lens designs are not likely to be available online. The more measurements needed for your glasses, the more opportunity there is to screw it up. When done in person, this is much less likely. There is a difference in quality with anti-reflective coatings and other upgrades that you lose when you purchase online or at discount retailers (America's Best, Eyeglass World, etc). That is how the prices can be so low at these places. It comes down to how much both quality/durability and the highest clarity of vision are worth to you. Maybe it doesn't matter if things are a little off. However, in our sight-driven society, it does matter for many.

Studies have been done regarding accuracy and safety of online eyewear purchases. Here is a link to the one I reference most, which shows that nearly half of online glasses orders either are outside of the standard acceptable "wiggle room" on the prescription or do not pass safety standards: http://www.aoa.org/newsroom/let-the-buyer-beware-a-closer-look-at-ordering-eyeglasses-online?sso=y

The most frightening one for me is that 25% of children's eyewear ordered online in this study did not pass impact testing. This means that lenses could shatter when hit while playing sports, causing permanent damage to little eyes. Two things that should also be mentioned with this study are that it is from 2011 and that it is a smallish sample size with 200 pairs of glasses being ordered. Take it as you will.

The last thing I will mention is that I try to support small, local businesses when I can because they make my community the wonderful place that it is. If that is also important to you, consider spending accordingly.

GuitarStv

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2015, 01:23:40 PM »
The linked study says that 1 in 4 pairs of glasses ordered online simply don't get delivered.  Then of those that do actually get shipped, 29% are the wrong prescription.  That seems shockingly high.

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2015, 01:44:48 PM »
The linked study says that 1 in 4 pairs of glasses ordered online simply don't get delivered.  Then of those that do actually get shipped, 29% are the wrong prescription.  That seems shockingly high.

Yes, it does. We do not do impact testing in office, but we always verify the glasses prior to every exam. Of the ones bought online for which we have the previous Rx in our records, that number is pretty typical.

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Re: Online prescription glasses good or bad?
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2015, 09:11:33 PM »
The linked study says that 1 in 4 pairs of glasses ordered online simply don't get delivered.  Then of those that do actually get shipped, 29% are the wrong prescription.  That seems shockingly high.

Yes, it does. We do not do impact testing in office, but we always verify the glasses prior to every exam. Of the ones bought online for which we have the previous Rx in our records, that number is pretty typical.

I seem to remember very similar statistics in the pre-online ordering days.  I.e, just "lots of eye glasses are wrong."  But: That's from memory, not from any particular study.  Take with a grain of salt.