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Buying Glasses Online

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Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: Have any of you bought glasses online? I am extremely tempted -- we have insurance that covers a portion of one pair, but anyone who wears glasses always needs a spare.

pari of glasses
I've done a little research, and the prices are phenomenal! A couple of sites that get some good reviews online are:

  • Zenni Optical. The customer service isn't the best, but some glasses are as low as $8 plus $5 shipping (which takes one to two weeks via USPS first-class mail). The glasses generally come from overseas and arrive in a padded envelope with a translucent plastic magnetic case.
  • 39dollarglasses. One review said this was a great place to get a lens replacement for your frame, but there were mixed reviews as to the speed of shipping. The glasses arrive in a padded envelope with a high-quality case AND pouch. My husband has a very strong prescription and he's pretty skeptical, but if I can save $200 on a pair of his glasses, I'm in.
Of course, a major downside of buying glasses online is that you can't try them on, but if you know the shape that's best for your face, that should help. This might be the best way to try out some new styles!

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Perfecting Parenthood December 20, 2010, 10:23 AM

Try goggles4u. I’ve bought several pairs of glasses there and the prices are great plus you CAN try on the glasses. Upload your picture and see what the glasses look like.

abee December 20, 2010, 5:55 PM

I used Zenni a while back and got a pair of glasses and sunglasses, plus shipping, cases and lens cloth CHEAPER than one pair of glasses from the eye doctor. Got lots of complements on the look of the eye glasses but they were not as comfortable as they were to tight on my face but the sunglasses are comfortable.

Anonymous December 20, 2010, 9:25 PM

I think if you feel confident that you know your prescription, including any stigmatism or that kind of thing, this might be worth doing.

Money-wise, I’m generally willing to try something once to give it a shot. I try not to feel disappointed if it doesn’t work out because I know how good it would have felt if it had and hey, I’ve learned something.

Thirteen dollars does sound suspiciously cheap though. Did you hear about that fire that killed a hundred people in a sweatshop? They were actually locked in there so that an order could be filled. If a pair of glasses usually costs you two hundred dollars, then it’s worth paying fifty or so for a pair online that can prove people aren’t being abused merely to preserve the health of your bank account.

Good luck.

Mary December 21, 2010, 5:31 PM

I tried on several frames when I had my eye exam done, then they started that double talk about getting 2 frames for this price or 4 frames for that price. No matter what I did they claimed I could NOT buy just one pair. Huh? So I just looked at the side of the frames to see what style it was (I knew the brand, needed the style name) and went home. Insurance paid for the exam and I ordered my glasses online for $89. Sticker price on JUST the frames was $150 at the store. There’s nothing wrong with them and if they need to be adjusted any store will do it. I think people just need to be brave enough to stand up and walk out if they don’t like what’s available, you’re not obligated to purchase anything.

alex January 24, 2011, 10:05 AM

If you want to have the best of both worlds, online conveniance and reduced prices together with the help of your local optical professionals, where your eyeglasses will be made, adgusted and dispensed, try the new service offered by

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