Mr. FW planting fruit trees in his Eye Buy Direct sunglasses

Did you know you can buy prescription glasses online? You can! And did you know they are WAY cheaper than glasses bought in a store? They are! Buying glasses (and sunglasses) online is one of those super easy to implement frugal substitutions I love talking about.

A frugal substitution is when you find the same product (or service) for a drastically reduced price. This is my favorite type of frugality because you don’t have to give anything up or change your behavior–you just have to shop smart (smartly? smarter?). Point I’m trying to make: be smart and save money.

There we go, that pretty sums up Frugalwoods. We can all go home now. Wait! Don’t go anywhere, I have at least 800 more words to say about discount online glasses.

Note: this post contains affiliate links. Here’s an explanation of what those are.

Three Words for You: Eye Buy Direct

Astute readers are now thinking, “but wait, Liz Frugalwoods [legal name] doesn’t even wear glasses! She got LASIK surgery back in 2013.” And to this I say, “Correct[ive lenses].” However, my husband DOES wear glasses and he orders those glasses from Eye Buy Direct. This is actually his third Eye Buy Direct order because his prescription keeps changing and unfortunately, not for the better.

Here’s my 2017 write-up in case you want the OG experience: How We Bought Inexpensive, Awesome Glasses Online.

Mr. FW in his Vienna frames

Mr. Frugalwoods had 20/20 vision until four years ago, so wearing glasses is a relatively new thing for him. We tried several different frame styles and sizes until he landed on something that’s comfortable, durable and functional. The durable being crucial since he spends a lot of time working outdoors on things such as felling trees, splitting wood, digging holes for fruit trees, and hefting around heavy machinery like snow plows.

Now, he just re-orders the same frames from Eye Buy Direct every time his prescription changes.

Here’s What He Bought Last Month:

  1. Axis gunmetal grey prescription eyeglasses (with transition lenses)
  2. Vienna rectangle gray prescription eyeglasses (with normal lenses)
  3. November rectangle matte black prescription eyeglasses (with sunglass lenses)

Grand total: $106.35

This was a more expensive order because he decided to try out transition lenses–you know, the ones that magically change from light to dark–and they cost a lot more than the normal prescription lenses.

He’s been getting the $25 Vienna frames for his glasses and the $9 November frames for his sunglasses since 2017 and continues to be happy with the comfort and fit of both.

I asked him what he thinks of the new transition lenses and he reported, “I think they’re fine. They’re not annoying and they’re sometimes helpful. However, they’re not a replacement for real sunglasses.”

How Do I Buy Glasses Without Trying Them On?!?

Stacking wood in the Vienna frames

Mr. FW wondered this too, but turns out, it’s a lot like buying anything else online and it works totally fine.

To help you with this, Eye Buy Direct has:

  • A quiz to help you narrow down the frame styles that’ll look best on you.
  • A virtual try-on thingy where you take a picture of your face and then select frames to “try on.” We may or may not have had a lot of fun with this…
  • A 14-day guarantee: “you can make a return for a one-time replacement or refund within two weeks of receiving your order, no questions asked.” So if the frames you selected don’t work in person, you can return them at no cost.
  • A one-year product guarantee: “Customers are eligible for a one-time replacement pair within 12 months. A replacement pair will only be issued if there are clear defects in material and workmanship.”

Mr. FW’s Notes

Being the person who actually wears these glasses and sunglasses, I tracked Mr. FW down and got his thoughts on the record:

  • They [Eye Buy Direct] have a lot of variety and make it really easy to search by different frame styles.
  • They have a lot of options for customizing the lenses and sizes.
  • Mr. FW + Kidwoods, featuring the November frames

    I like that you can turn any pair of glasses into sunglasses–you just select “tinted lenses.”

  • I always get a really cheap $9 frame for my sunglasses because they’re going to get destroyed with all the outdoor work I do. I like that I don’t have to worry about breaking them because they were only $9.
  • They’re always having sales, so make sure to look and see what the sale of the day is.
  • The shipping is really fast. They have certain lens and frame combos that can be delivered within two days of ordering. I think most take 7-14 business days, but if you’re desperate, you can search for the two-day delivery options.
  • What I’ve come to realize is that these glasses are so cheap, you should always get several pairs so that if a pair breaks, you have a back-up and it won’t be a big deal to wait 14 business days to get a new pair.

Do I Need a Prescription?

You know this kid would need 19 pairs…

Yes, yes you do. When you go to your eye doctor, have them write down your prescription along with your pupillary distance. You can also call your eye doctor and have them read your prescription to you over the phone.

You’ll input these numbers on Eye Buy Direct and voila, you get lenses with your exact prescription.

If you’re wondering what all these numbers mean, they have this online tutorial for how to read your prescription. Bottom line: they can make lenses for any prescription in any strength.

Kids’ Glasses Too!

EyeBuy Direct also has adorable glasses for kids, starting at $12. I feel this price is reasonable since–if my kids wore glasses–we’d need about 19 pairs…

How Much Can You Save?

A lot. Quite a lot, in fact. According to Consumer Reports:

People paying entirely out of pocket for their glasses paid a median of $91 online, while those buying in-store paid $234. (source: Consumer Reports)

The Vienna frames out on a winter hike

So if the median for an in-store purchase is $234 and Eye Buy Direct has frames starting at $6 (which I’m pretty sure is less than most custom Starbucks drinks), you’d potentially save $228 PER PAIR of prescription glasses and sunglasses. Better yet, look up what you paid for your last pair of glasses and do the math yourself!

Plus, and you know I love this, they have an entire section of the website titled Cheap Prescription Glasses for Men and Women. Bahahaha. It’s like they KNOW ME.

Seeing The World Through a Frugal Lens

Buying prescription glasses and sunglasses online is just one more trick to seeing the world through a frugal lens. It’s not a major alteration to what you were going to do anyway (buy glasses), but it’s a change that can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your prescription-glasses-wearing lifetime.

It’s not like any one of my frugal hacks is going to radically change your finances, but when you add them all up, it’s quite a lot of money.

If you use an MVNO for your cell phone service, and use a cash-back credit card, and cut your own hair, and buy your stuff second-hand, and look for ways to reduce your energy usage, and and and… it adds up over time! It’s about constructing a life that’s filled with everything you need, but that acknowledges when you have enough. It’s a life that’s content being a few steps outside of the consumerism rat race. Buy what you need, buy it for less and move on to do better things with your life than spend a whole paycheck on prescription glasses. The end.

Do you wear glasses? Have you ordered them online? What’s your experience been?

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  1. I needed prescription reading glasses and decided to buy them online and am glad I did.

    I used and I am very happy with the glasses I bought.

    I originally ordered a single pair to see what I’d get. My pair of prescription glasses was under $12 including shipping.

    The glasses were great – I love being able to see close up again.

    I immediately ordered 3 more pairs (2 different styles) so I can leave each pair in a specific place (Office, TV room, car, etc.) for only $25.80

    So, 4 pairs of custom prescription glasses that I’m very happy with for only $37.70.

    I totally recommend

    1. I still prefer buying them in a shop. I did Zenni and they got my prescription wrong. EBD was decent enough, but when I go in a store, I get them fitted and someone helps me decide what lenses work best for me. We have some small, locally owned glasses stores in our neighborhood and I hope they stay in business.

      1. I totally agree. I’m super sensitive and fussy, and may need to go back multiple times to get them right. I think ordering online reading glasses would be okay, and they certainly are cheap enough. I have vision insurance and I still spent hundreds on a pair of new glasses and new sunglass lenses. I know they’re overprices (though I didn’t know that over prices! LOL) Personally, I could never buy glasses online

  2. Pre-pandemic, I needed a new prescription at the optometrist and said something like this to them: “These are lovely brand-name glasses in your shop, but I was looking for something more on the discount side” (in other words, hinting that I’d head online or to some shop with more reasonable prices.) Guess what — they matched the online price. 🙂 I’d probably go directly online today, however, given pandemic realities.

  3. Check first to see if your vision insurance (if applicable) has a site that they work with – for example my vision insurance (VSP) offers discounts if you shop from their site or an in-network dr.
    Bonus!!! They regularly run rebate promotions – currently doing so where you can get up to $150 back per pair of glasses!!!

    1. Thanks for the info. I also have VSP and just ordered my regular glasses in store but to get new sunglass was ridiculous. I was going to try my Sam’s club but I will check out the VSP site first.

  4. Since I wear progressive bifocal lenses, I shop locally. Has anyone had success with buying bifocal glasses online?

    1. Is there something about bifocals that would make them difficult to do online? I wear bifocals, and have thought about trying online, but haven’t tried it yet.

      1. Your pupil distance (a horizontal measurement) will always be the same. However, with bifocals there is the issue of how far down (vertically) to start the reading part. If you’ve ever had a tech mark your selected lenses with a ink dot sorta in the middle of the lense that’s showing where to start the bifocal part. That could vary with how those particular frames fit your face.

        Even saying that the progressives I got online worked fine. But it is a bit more of a crap shoot.

    2. I bought 3 pair online in December from 3 different providers. My 1st pair of progressive lenses I ever purchased. I am very happy with them and will definitely order again.

  5. I love Eye Buy Direct! I have progressive lenses so they cost a bit more, but still well under $100. I made a mistake once when ordering and they replaced the glasses cheerfully and quickly. I have an (expensive) pair of glasses from the doctor’s office I never wear, I always go for the eyebuydirect ones. The sunglasses are great too!

  6. I’m intrigued by this, but I need bifocals in multiple configurations (distance/reading, computer screen/reading). I hate no-line bifocals – is there a way to tell any of these online places where to put the line?

  7. I would suggest Ro Sham Bo Baby for virtually indestructible sunglasses for kids (and adults!) if you don’t need prescriptions. They’re around $20-$30 a pair. We have 2 for the young kids in our household and they’re great! I have a wonky prescription, so I haven’t tried them yet but I am going to order one prescription pair from them.

  8. I’ve purchased Rx glasses on line also. Our insurance covers exam costs 100%, but only allows up to around $100 for frames and lenses. I can get several pairs on line for what one costs locally. On a similar but different subject; magnifying visors. One can pay upwards of $100 for a set of these or go to Dollar Tree or similar dollar store and get up to 5x magnification on reader glasses for $1.00. I do electronics work and have done this for years. Glasses look like regular glasses and they come in bi-focal also.

  9. While I appreciate the frugality aspect, I think that especially in this difficult time we have a responsibility to support stores that spend huge amounts of time helping you choose the right frame for you face, right lens colours etc. Where I live the opticians make no money on eye exams so their only income source is the actual glasses. It also makes a huge difference if there is a slight problem to be able to go back to the store and explain the issue. This gets more important the worse your eyesight is or the more complicated your prescription eg astigmatism etc.
    I believe in spending my money locally and keeping others in jobs. We need these types of stores in small towns and we can only keep them there by shopping local. This is not only applicable to eye glasses but a myriad of stores…toys, bikes, books etc…if everything goes online we are going to lose those fantastic businesses that know everything about a product and can advise and get special items in for you.

    1. So this! People talk a lot about loving their communities, and a big way to help communities is to shop local. Especially in the pandemic where in person shops have been hurting. Especially if you have the means to spend more.

    2. I used to agree with you. However, my glasses in the store with my eye doctor were $450, $250 after insurance. That’s fine!

      Until I got old, and needed progressives…then they were $650 after insurance. I mean, I love my eye doctor and all, and have had her for 20 years, but I just could not justify that cost anymore.

      I do not buy progressives online, but I switched to Costco. $75, including the exam, after insurance.

    3. Your comments are very well made Fiona. I have experience of working in an optical store and it is indeed the sale of frames and lenses that keep the doors open. The return for the testing is very low for such a specialised field and it is important to keep in mind that the test (using very expensive medical equipment) is not only to check your prescription but to check the health of your eyes. I do understand that this is not affordable for everyone but will be very much missed when these businesses start to disappear. Local businesses need our support now more than ever.

  10. We’ve bought many pairs with Zenni, most have been great, almost all progressive bifocals. Great value versus my previous optometrist. With these prices it is affordable to have a dress pair, sports pair, sunglasses pair, etc.

  11. Like Mrs. FW, I had laser eye surgery in 2010 so didn’t need glasses or contacts until my near vision started to go (it’s an age thing). My arms aren’t getting any longer so I ordered a pair of glasses with clear lenses and standard bifocals for up-close work and reading from my optometrist. They were about $180 after the $100 insurance benefit. When they broke, I ordered two pair from Eye Buy Direct. Both pair were $134, less than half the total price of a single pair, and I love them! Plus, I never had two pair of glasses at the same time before. A good source for non-prescription $25 sunglasses in a million styles and colours is Goodr (

  12. I am wearing glasses for over twentyfive years now and did not know you could buy them online. Coincidentally i came across the receipt of the glasses i had bought three years ago and was amazed to see that i had payed around 550 dollars for them. Now i am eve more amazed to see how big the difference is when you buy online. I do have a question about this. Where do you go for adjustments when they hurt behind your ears or keep falling down your nose? Great thing to share and i will look into this.

  13. One thing your husband might want to look into, Mrs. Frugalwoods, are getting those sunglasses as safety glasses. Since he’s doing so much wood chopping, axe throwing, heaving machinery moving, safety glasses are the way to go. My husband has them and they are just his everyday go for a walk or driving prescription sunglasses as well as the rated industrial safety glasses. They are a bit more expensive, but not too bad considering they are rock-quarry rated. Just a thought 🙂

    1. That’s a good idea! Thankfully, he has a variety of safety googles and helmets for when he’s using the chainsaw or machinery, so he’s usually wearing the sunglasses underneath a helmet.

  14. I do love eyebuydirect but somehow 50% of the lenses they send me seem perfect and 50% seem wrong/distorted/give me headaches.

  15. Yes indeed you can save BIG bucks with online eyewear. First be certain you have your pupil distance measurement, then an updated prescription from an optometrist. Ive been doing it for ten years. The best so far, Framesdirectdotcom (60%) discount, although thier delivery is a bit slower. I was able to buy some Stetson XL 36’s with all the perks (progressive lenses, phot grey, non glare, etc) for around $235.00. Eyebuydirect would be my 2nd, or 3rd, choice due to thier limit of available frames add ons.

  16. I usually get all my glasses from Costco. I give myself a limit and have been able to stick with it. Plus I like going to Costco because they help repair my glasses, even if I didn’t purchase from them. Do you have any recommendations on maintaining glasses? Somehow the screws will fall out on me, or the width of the frames needs to be readjusted, or the bend behind the ear needs to be adjusted. I find since I’m probably going to shop at the store, mine as well make the pit stop at the front with all my glasses needs.

  17. I choose to purchase local to support local provider. My eye doctor has provided excellent service to me returning my call within half hour when I had optical migraines. Next day I drove 30 miles for follow-up to check for retinal detachment. Living in a rural area and I have seen many health providers/services move from the area requiring a 200 mile drive. The clinic depends on the markup of eye glasses to supplement revenue to keep the office staffed with friendly competent people. I choose to pay premium as an investment in community health

    1. See, I’m with you on purchasing direct from eye doctor. I don’t wear glasses. But my husband and 3 year old daughter do. The online glasses are definitely cheaper and will get you by. But we’ve never been able to match fit/quality as eye doctor glasses. Toddlers are VERY hard on their glasses. So my daughters glasses must be sturdy and fit well!

    2. My compromise with this is that I buy one pair from the local provider and one or two others on line. I am always leaving/losing glasses so have to have more than one pair. The cost of the local ones is over $300 after insurance, so one pair is all I can afford to buy locally.

  18. Yeah, I’ve bought cheap online glasses in my new prescription, but while the frames are the right size and shape and lenses are correct they hurt behind my ears. I usually need a couple of adjustments in store before they fit right. I think you can heat and bend the plastic frame arms with a heat gun/v hot hairdryer, which I’ve been meaning to try, but not sure how I’m supposed to bend them to make them comfortable.

  19. Costco also has eyeglasses for great prices – and they sometimes run promotions (BOGO), and they accept insurance.

  20. I got frames from Warby Parker. I asked for a gift card for Christmas so got the frames. Then took them to my eye doctor to install lens. More expensive than what your doing but cheaper than what I would have paid. The next time my new insurance will pay for them. Woot woot !

  21. I have pretty bad vision and have tried RX glasses from WarbyParker and EyeBuy and needed to return both of them because the RX was wrong. What I do now is buy frames online for cheap then have the lenses put in at my optician. It saves a lot on frames but also supports local and allows me to go back for adjustments if they are wrong.

  22. I used to buy my glasses from They were pretty great. I loved my eye doctor, but one pair of $250-$450 glasses every 2 years was my limit. When my glasses got scratched, or I needed sunglasses, I went with

    However, I’m old now and I wear progressives. The progressives from online did not work for me. The progressives from my eye doctor were $650 after insurance. When I got THAT sticker shock, I opted for reading glasses.

    What I did is (sorry doc!) I switched to Costco. My first pair of progressives were $75 including exam, after insurance (it would have been only about $95 without insurance). I’m on pair #2, because my vision is still changing. Most recently, I got a pair for $55 (including exam) of just straight up computer glasses because: COVID. All my meetings and everything is on the computer.

  23. I used to get my glasses at Costco Optical (less than through another optician but still pricey). I stopped when they refused to give me my pupillary distance (vital to have correct to get the right fit even if you’ve got all the other numbers right from your prescription). I insisted on that at my next eye exam and have been Zenni every since. Any online shop can only provide what they’re given. They also guarantee your purchase so if you get it wrong, they’ll send you a new pair with the right prescription.

  24. My husband and I recently tried EyeBuyDirect for the first time. We are both pleased with our purchases. Since we need progressive lenses, we spent a bit more. I have a small head/crooked ears and only found one option that worked for me. However, it was still a significant savings over our medical/optical facility. We had good results measuring our pupillary distance at home.

  25. Around here it’ s difficult to get the “pupil distance measurement” as both the optometrists and eyeglass shops hoard that info to prevent you from purchasing on line. They say you could go blind if the measurement is off! Ha!

  26. As someone with a difficult and wonky eyeglass prescription (mix of nearsighted & farsighted at something like 20/800 + severe astigmatism + prism correction) , I think using an online service may not be for everyone. It’s one thing to go cheap(er) on something you don’t really need or use every day, but for my glasses I will pay top dollar. They are an extension of me, the first thing I grab when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I let go of when I go to bed at night. They’re too important for me to trust to a service that doesn’t know me personally. I go to a local optical shop (not a chain) that specializes in difficult prescriptions and they are the only people who can produce glasses that are right for me. The lenses alone cost $400-$500 but are worth it; it isn’t something I buy monthly or even yearly so pro-rated it’s fine. Where I will skimp is on the frames. They have to be plastic (because even with modern ultra-thin lenses, wire frames can’t hold them in properly) and I have to like how they look and feel, otherwise it’s whatever on sale. You can also bring in a pair of frames and have them replace the lenses. I haven’t tried this with a $2 pair of reading glasses but I would imagine it would work.

    Being able to see properly is too important, and wearing something all day every day that is comfortable and I like and makes me feel good is crucial. I’ll clip coupons and hit garage sales and make coffee at home, but I won’t go cheap on my glasses.

    1. With any vision insurance, even the doctor’s office may be obliged to use the insurance-specified lab. I didn’t learn this until recently. Back in the old days, if I wanted new lenses in my old frames (my prescription is tricky as well, with unequal pupil positions) I could have the office order the lenses, then walk in with my frames (I like the ones with the fishing line on the bottom) and in 15 minutes they’d put the new lenses in. Having to use the insurance lab, this doesn’t work unless you can give them the glasses for about a week or two, so you end up buying new frames.

  27. My daughter got glasses starting at 15 months old (she has a lazy eye), and we buy all her glasses from – the only place we could find glasses to fit her tiny face. She’s now 9 and needs new glasses 2-3 times per year due to prescription changes and/or breakage. Each pair runs about $25 and takes 2-3 weeks unless you pay $15 extra for rush service.

    My husband and I also wear glasses, but I’ve been on the same pair since 2005.

  28. I’ve worn glasses since I was six years old. With astigmatisms and other challenges my glasses are vital to me.
    Get glasses by ordering them on line? Never going to happen!
    I might try ordering frames but lenses? No way.

  29. I love the idea of buying glasses online and gave it a try – twice. However, I found the fit rather difficult to get correct. Despite a lot of time devoted to measuring my face and even using my husband’s fancy measuring devices he has for various projects, both times, the glasses did not fit well and slid down my nose constantly. So annoying! This last time, I went local, used my vision insurance and just decided comfortable, well-fitting glasses were just going to be something I will have to budget for. Kudos to those who can figure it out and get a good fit. I think I just have a weird head. 🙂

  30. How do you find a doctor that is willing to give you the PD on your prescription? I went to a place in town that refused to give me the PD just so I couldn’t go buy glasses online. After that experience, I did a little research and discovered it’s not that unusual for doctors to withhold that info, since they make the most money selling glasses.

    1. Hmmm, that’s a good question. We go to an ophthalmologist for our eye care and they do not seem to care since they don’t sell glasses. But this is a great question–maybe other reader can offer some insight?

    2. In our state it is illegal for then to refuse to give you your own prescription, including PD. If someone refused to, that is information I would share on line, and let them know I plan to do that.

    3. You can go to YouTube and search for a video on measuring pupillary distance using a ruler. When I have ordered from Zenni, they have included a small ruler for this purpose.

      1. This is my biggest issue with buying glasses online and I have run into the same problem. Eye doctors make most of their money on selling glasses, not the actual eye exam. They want to sell you glasses. How do you kindly ask for your prescription without it being awkward?

  31. I was curious to see which company you were going to recommend in this post – happy to see that it’s Eye Buy Direct as that’s who we’ve been using for years as well. (Of course…twin!) We’ve found that their $9 pairs fit us both great so we’ve been happily purchasing the same pair for years. I also love my sunglasses with them too. And for anyone curious, they also ship to Canada 🙂

  32. I have bought frames online that were identical to my prior frames, because I really liked them and they were being discontinued. It was the only way to get another of that frame.

    Often you will hear “interpupillary distance” referred to, but if your face is not entirely symmetrical, that is misleading. I once got a pair of glasses from my doctor’s office that made me sick to my stomach. Turned out the lab had obligingly averaged my pupil distances, and they were far enough off that they were unwearable, and they re-made them. I also wear gradient bifocals, and one time they put all of the bifocal area too low down in the lens, so that I was sitting with my head tilted way back to look at the computer screen, and they ended up re-making those. For single-prescription lenses, I’d try the mail-order approach – it works well for my daughter. For me, not so much. Don’t be shy about taking advantage of whatever return privileges the company offers if you go the mail order route. And if there is a question about the lenses, be aware your doctor’s office may charge you for re-checking.

  33. Measure glasses or sunglasses you like and compare those to the online specs!! Thats my hack! We go online for some things (my glasses, which are barely prescription but help at night, and husbands sunglasses) and tend to buy them instore every 5 years or so for my husband who has a very bad prescription. Balance!!

  34. A couple of tips: my doggy chewed the ear pieces of frames so that they can’t be worn. There are many sellers of the ear pieces on eBay. I have a saved search so that I can buy them when they come up

    Also, Amex has a lot of offers available. I love my Raybans & when I needed a new pair, I combine my Amex offer, Rakuten & a first time buyer code & got about 40% off.

    PS wait until you need bifocals. The lenses are so expensive.

    1. My doggy is one of the reasons I no longer buy expensive sunglasses. I feel it’s Murphy’s law: Buy a cheaper pair of sunglasses (with good UV coverage) and they’ll last six decades. Splurge on something expensive and the dog will eat them, you’ll sit on them, scratch them or lose them. Lol!!

      1. I hear you. I’ve worn the same style of sunglasses for 40 years so I feel like it’s part of my personal “brand.” 😂

  35. I really like Costco for my glasses. I have a simple prescription and can usually get 2 pairs for around 300$ and then insurance gives me back around 200$, so 50$ for a pair of prescription glasses that I know are well made, quality lenses and that they will adjust for my face at pickup? Sign me up! I would personally not trust the quality and the “correctness” (? Like, the right measurements) of the lenses, and I feel like the frames would be really flimsy with online glasses.

  36. I will definitely be trying this next time I buy glasses. But I know I wouldn’t get the same service online as at the doctor’s office. I paid $300 or so for glasses. A lot of money. They do offer free fittings, even over time. I can just come in to get them adjusted and the nosepads changed.

  37. We’ve used Zenni for about ten years, since our daughter recommended them, so probably have bought around 25 pairs. We love them!

  38. We’ve been happily using Warby Parker for years and will check out your link – much more affordable though we’re not going to complain with WP’s $100 easy in easy out process. Just wanted to post that if anyone needs a prescription, Costco optometrists don’t require a Costco membership, last year we went I think it was $25 or $35, and it was the perfect prescription for us. We have VSP since it’s $1/month through work and pays for 50% of WP glasses but it’s really not necessary to go to a mainstream optometrist. I cringe at all the years of my parents dragging me to the local optometrist, dropping $300+ on frames in the past.

  39. I use Zenni and have had good success with them. I had a really good customer service experience last time–I ordered a $12 pair of glasses with my prescription plus magnification for reading [I typically wear bifocals, but I wanted a pair that was just for reading] but got mixed up in how to enter the prescription and they were not right. It was 100% my fault, but they completely and 100% replaced them for me with no fee.

    Then just last week I put in a new order with them because my prescription had changed. My eye doc wanted $400 for replacing the lenses in two frames I already owned (and I have vision insurance!!). That’s a nope, so I came home and ordered four (4) pairs of complete glasses and sunglasses for $122 — one with polarized sunglasses lenses, which was notably more expensive than just plain sunglasses.

  40. Don’t forget to consider blue block in your glasses. Years of computer work (looking at screens) can damage your eyes. Fortunately mine was diagnosed early and between blue block and supplements, things are looking much better. I do have vision insurance (full disclaimer) but it doesn’t cover the full cost of blue block (nor my glasses). But my vision is a priority for me so I opt to visit and purchase from my locally owned eye practitioner. Plus they do repairs when I need them.

  41. It also helps to know how long the stems should be and width across your face. Those numbers are on the stems of glasses at places like Walmart, where you can try on different styles and then determine your best size. Try to match those dimensions when you shop and order online.

  42. The thing I find hard about this is the pressure at the eye doctors’ office to sell their own products. How do you navigate the tricky bit where you want to take your prescription elsewhere?

  43. Has anyone gotten high index lenses through Eye Buy Direct? That’s usually the most expensive part of my glasses (and I discovered vision insurance wouldn’t cover it), and I’ve never found a better deal than Costco.

  44. I have a strong prescription and am now at the age where I need bifocals too. My husband has the same issue. We have had great success buying our glasses through Zenni. We have saved hundreds of dollars per pair. I remember when I used to purchase glasses at Sears, Costco, and other places, I paid over $200 a pair. It is nice to have several eyeglasses to change depending on the mood or outfit. Kong ago I realized contact lenses weren’t for me. My eyeglasses are a fashion statement.

    Our optometrist gladly provided the pupillary distance to us at Kaiser Permanente (our HMO). However, PD is something you can determine with someone else’s help. There are online videos that show how to go about it.

  45. This is fine if your eyes aren’t that bad. But if you need a strong prescription it’s better to take them to a discount place (Costco or Sam’s Club are my go-to). You need to try them on and have them mark where the center of your pupil is while looking straight ahead. It makes a huge difference in how well you see out of the glasses. A website can’t guess how low the glasses will sit on your nose, they can only do an average.

  46. Years ago I bought some from Coastal and then I got some at another online site (can’t remember what it was called). Had great experiences both times. I wear contacts, but like having a backup pair of glasses. I don’t have any special eye issues, so it makes it easy.

  47. Another Zenni happy customer here. I wanted the thinnest lens possible along with progressive bifocals…crossed my fingers and have been very pleased. Speedy shipping and great value. After a few pair that were close to $400 locally, I’ll continue with zenni.

  48. I use Zenni and love their glasses! You don’t need to call your optometrist to get your pupillary distance. You just need a ruler and a friend😊 The website gives you instructions on how to do it. Also, be sure to measure your face as well. I thought I had a larger size head but the measurements indicated I was a small so I’m glad we double checked

  49. This is late, but a thrift store fairly near me always has many, many eyeglasses, some of which are prescription. I just buy them for the frames (because I know those frames will take prescription lenses, which some frames will not) and then I’ve taken then to a local optometrist for lenses. I did make the mistake of buying frames and progressive lenses from her but they did a terrible job of fitting the frames and $650 was down the drain.
    This time I’m using an on-line place, and they’re ia family business in my state, not an impersonal big company.

    This time, because

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