General Question

bookish1's avatar

What is the best way to buy a pair of glasses and lenses?

Asked by bookish1 (13052 points ) January 19th, 2013

I have pretty bad sales resistance, so I was hoping to get some advice before I try to buy my first pair of glasses. My insurance will pay me back up to $100, but I know that’s not much.

Is there a legitimate website you would recommend? Or is my best bet to just shop around for local sales at brick and mortar stores?

Thank you in advance.

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

If you have a script in hand, check out any local Lens Crafters

zenvelo's avatar

Go to brick and mortar stores so you can try them on. And take someone whose taste you respect, so they can tell you if you look good or not.

My idea of what kind of glasses I like is different from what i look good in. So taking a girlfriend along was a way to get a good opinion.

wildpotato's avatar

Go to LensCrafters and pick out frames you like. Unless they have a major discount on the lenses if you buy the frames from them or your insurance has reimbursement restrictions on where you purchase the lenses (from an in-network provider, say), do NOT buy the frames there. Instead, copy down the brand name and the little number on the inside of the eyestalk and the one on the inside of the bridge if any. Then use google to find a cheaper pair. I always save between 25%-50% off my total cost by doing this. And I buy a lot of glasses, as my fiancé can’t keep a pair for more than a few months. One time he lost them (and his eyebrows and beard) when a bonfire unexpectedly blew up in his face. Another time a bug flew into his eye while we were kayaking and he knocked them in the river attempting to shoo it away. Now he will probably lose some to the other two elements when an eagle snatches a pair off his head or the earth opens up and swallows them or something.

bookish1's avatar

@gailcalled: Thank you. I’ll try to find one around here. I’d prefer to give my custom to a local store, but I think that would make my sales resistance even worse because I’d feel sorry for them!
@zenvelo: Good advice indeed. Thanks. Especially as I won’t be able to afford another pair until I have a real job, haha.
@wildpotato: Great idea! Can you recommend any particular websites?

wildpotato's avatar

@bookish1 I use eBay, which is great but can be a tad chancy depending on the seller, as you probably already know. I have read that it is best to never buy from a seller with less than 99.6% approval, and I do well following that rule of thumb. One pair I got had makeup on the nose pads so I contacted the seller and requested a 15% refund because the frames were evidently not new as advertised (though they were still in perfect condition). They apologized, did the refund, and explained that part of their stock is from floor models from places like LensCrafters. I was happy with the explanation and the outcome.

Other than eBay, I bet framesdirect.com and overstock.com would be good to check out.

glacial's avatar

I wouldn’t try to buy glasses online – it’s worth spending the time to try on many pairs. Lenscrafters was the place I had my single worst glasses-buying experience (i.e., the lenses were wrong, and they gave me a hassle about changing them), so I’m not going there ever again. Also, their sales staff was ridiculously unhelpful.

I tend to go back again and again to one independent shop that I love. Their service is excellent, and they sell mainly high end frames. But they also (probably because they are already making money hand over fist) have excellent sales, so I can walk out with a pair that fit well, look beautiful, and don’t break the bank. And I’m seriously on a budget at the moment, so that is important to me.

zenvelo's avatar

By the way, I go to the local School of Optometry at the University of California. Eye exams for minimal cost and deep discount on eye wear.

echotech10's avatar

I highly recommend a place called America’s Best Eyeglasses & Contacts. I have had nothing but outstanding experiences with them. Their staff is extremely helpful, professional and courteous. The best part is their prices are very reasonable and fair. If you buy two pairs, they include the eye exam at no extra charge. They have great looking frames for everyone. (No, I do not work for them nor own stock in the company…lol, just a very satisfied customer.) They really take the time to get to know you and your eyewear needs. I have already referred several family members and friends to them. I also just found out my 5 year old needs glasses too, you can bet I will get her glasses there too. They are also on the web at www.twopair.com

majorrich's avatar

I’ve orderdered numerous pairs of glasses from zenni optical and have been very pleased. I have never paid more than $100 even for my bifocals including the frames. you will need to have your prescription values(specifications) to order your glasses.

Bellatrix's avatar

A couple of problems with buying specs online.

1. While you have a prescription, it may not be quite right. I recently had my eyes tested and was told I needed new glasses. I had explained I use more than one computer (ad different distances) to work on. When the glasses I bought from the store came – the script was wrong. My vision was worse though the new pair than through my old specs. So I took them back and they replaced them free-of-charge. Had I used the script to buy online I would have been stuck with them.

2. Unless you are going with an almost identical pair of frames you want to try them on and see how they look and feel them on your face.

Buttonstc's avatar

The best one (and sensibly affordable) is:

www.warbyparker.com

Read up on their history and you’ll see what I’m talking about. They also make it easy to find frames that suit you because you can try up to three at a time and send them back until you find what suits you.

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ragingloli's avatar

I got mine from the local optician, for about 50€.

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