How to Buy Glasses Online

Get ready to change the way you shop for eyeglasses!

Once upon a time, when you needed to buy glasses, you made an appointment with your eye doctor. He or she examined you, gave you your prescription, and then directed you to a large room full of expensive, fancy frames to choose from.

With no other real option at hand, people just went along with it, often dropping hundreds of dollars on new eyeglasses. Now, thankfully, the whole system has changed.

Online eyeglass stores now provide shoppers with a breadth of options and much lower prices than brick and mortar stores.

However, since the notion of buying glasses online is still pretty new, many people are at a loss about how to do it.

We're here to help! At 1-800-GET-LENS, we've got you covered with our complete guide to purchasing glasses online.

Why Buy Online

There are many reasons to shop for eyeglasses online. Here are just a few of the perks of taking your eyeglass purchases online:

Cost

Online eyeglasses are much less expensive than in your doctor's office. You can save hundreds of dollars by buying both frames and lenses online while still getting the same high quality product.

Variety

Now, you are no longer limited to the eyeglasses in your optometrist's display room. You can see hundreds, even thousands of styles and variations at the click of a button.

Convenience

Online purchasing allows you the variety of options with the ease of shopping at home. Save time and money. Our 30 day no questions asked policy makes purchasing today even easier.

What Information You Need

Before you hop online to grab your next pair of eyeglasses, you'll need a few pieces of information first.

Prescription and PD Measurement

You'll need your prescription before you can purchase eyeglasses. This can be obtained by seeing your local optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Frame Size

If you already have a pair of glasses, this part might be easy.

Take a look at the frames of your current glasses, where you should see three numbers printed. This will often be on one of the long supports that go behind your ear.

These numbers can inform you on the lens size, arm length, and bridge of your glasses. If you need further assistance you can look to a frame size chart for guidance.

What You Are Looking For

It might be helpful to make a quick list of the qualities that are important to you in your eyeglasses before you start shopping and go down the rabbit hole of options.

Consider a few of the main aspects of your glasses choice, including appearance, lens type, and purpose.

Appearance

Depending on where you plan on wearing your glasses, you may want them to have a particular look or communicate a certain message about you. Do you want standard rectangle or round frames, or are you looking for something bolder like cat eye or aviator glasses? Are you looking for your glasses to stand out or blend in? Knowing the answer to these questions ahead of time will make your search a bit easier.

Of course, it's wise to choose glasses that will work with your face shape. For example, rounder faces are often better suited for square or rectangle frames, while round frames complement those with angular facial features.

Think about the look you're trying to achieve with your glasses, and come up with a few words to describe it so that you can narrow down the hunt.

Lens and Frame Type

While you may have your heart set on a specific type of frame, keep in mind that some frames may not work for you depending on the type of lens you need.

For example, if you need progressive, you'll need to pick a frame with more vertical height. Fortunately, on 1-800-GET-LENS we indicate when frames can be used for progressives. But, no need to worry. If you order a frame/lens combination that won't deliver the performance you need, our expert technicians will let you know and you can select another combination.

Purpose

People need glasses for all sorts of reasons: driving, reading, sports, everyday use, etc. Depending on the situation, you may need different qualities from the glasses you pick out.

Scratch-proof? Extra durable? Photochromic lenses? Prescription sunglasses? Built for action? Made for heavy readers? For kids?

Know what you are going to be using your glasses for, and have that in mind when you start looking.

Cost

You may be living large, and want to buy a pair of glasses for every occasion, or maybe trying to save money, or maybe you're just tired of being gouged.

Before clicking on websites looking at different eyeglass prices, write down a target number you'd like to aim for. That way, you won't be led astray by thinking you're getting a great deal when actually it's way above your intended price.

Paying for the Glasses

Speaking of cost, despite the lowered prices when buying glasses online, figuring out how to pay for glasses is still a consideration for many individuals.

Luckily, people with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can curb the cost by tapping into these benefits. Both of these accounts allow employees to sock away money for medical expenses directly from their paychecks, and can typically be used towards things that are not covered by insurance.

Since some eyeglass websites do not accept insurance, check to see if you can pay for the glasses online using an FSA or HSA, and what information you need to provide in order to do so.

Make sure to check the fine print on both your account details and the website you are using, as oftentimes you must take advantage of the benefits before a deadline near the end of the year.

Overall Tips for Buying Glasses Online

As you pursue your options for buying eyeglasses online, there are a few things to keep an eye out for to make sure that you have a positive experience.

Check the Return Policy

Of course, one of the big downsides of buying glasses online is the risk that you won't like the glasses that arrive in the mail, they will be damaged, they won't look good, or any of the many other issues that could come up.

Make sure you are protected from any of those incidents by checking out the website's return policy. Given the nature of buying glasses online, you want to make sure you won't get nickeled and dimed by stores that want you to pay for return shipping or the like. Look for return policies that favor you, the shopper, not the online store.

If after buying your eyeglasses, you think something might be off, take them to get inspected at any optician. They may charge you a fee for this inspection, but it will be worth it to know the glasses you plan on wearing match your prescription. Again, make sure your online retailer has a quality return policy in place so you can swap your specs for a better product.

At 1-800-GET-LENS, you don't need to worry about a complicated return policy. We offer free returns on all orders within 30 days of delivery.

Look for Warranties

Similarly, eyeglasses are a household item that can sometimes get scratched, bent, or broken. It happens, and it can be an unpleasant surprise if you find out that your glasses aren't covered under warranty.

Finding an eyeglass provider with solid warranties for such occurrences is an important consideration for buying glasses online. When shopping for glasses, make sure to check:

  • How long the warranty is
  • What is covered
  • How to submit a claim for replacement

At 1-800-GET-LENS, we offer a one-year manufacturer's warranty on all lenses and frames. This means that if you notice any defects that are covered under warranty, we will replace or repair your glasses within one year of purchase.

Go Forth Without Fear

Now that you know the basics of buying online, it's time to take the leap and give it a shot. Just remember our suggestions when you set out to find the right pair of glasses for you:

  • Buying online improves cost, convenience, and variety.
  • Know your best lens and frame type, frame size, and what you are looking for in your glasses.
  • Consider using an HSA or FSA to pay for your glasses –– just double check the fine print!
  • Protect yourself as a consumer:
    • Check the return policy.
    • Look for warranties.

It's true that the whole process of buying glasses has changed a lot. But armed with all the right information, you can make sure that the next pair of glasses you buy online is a perfect fit.

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