If you are in the market for new eyewear, shopping online will save you a significant amount of both money and time. Remember that glasses are an investment that can affect the health of your eyes, so it pays to do a little research and buy a quality pair. Here are five very important points that you should keep in mind when buying glasses online.
Know Your Prescription
When ordering glasses that include prescription lenses, you’ll need to have your current prescription ready when you order, including your pupillary distance (PD). In many countries, including the US and UK, your optician is required to provide a copy of your prescription on request.
Also keep in mind that some online companies may not be able to handle complicated prescriptions, but you can usually order the frames and have the lenses made elsewhere.
Use the Tools
With features such as rotating 360 degree views and virtual try-on, you’ll have a good sense of how a pair of glasses will look on you before you order. If you want to know how the frames will actually fit and feel, consider a company that offers a free home trial program, so you can choose several pairs to try at home before committing. The service is completely free, including shipping and return shipping, so there’s virtually no risk.
Be Wary of Extra Costs
Basic prescription lenses are often included in the price of the frames, but be prepared to pay extra if you want bifocals or if you have a vision condition such as astigmatism that requires a more complicated prescription. Other add-ons include anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coating.
These costs can really add up! Make sure to factor them into your budget and check the fine print for details so you won’t be unpleasantly surprised at checkout.
Look for Free Shipping
Take advantage of free standard or expedited shipping offers. (I’m a huge fan of the free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members.) Some websites, such as GlassesUSA.com, also offer free postage on returns — a great idea so you won’t get stuck footing the bill later. Beware of sites that lure buyers in with low prices, but then offset the savings with high shipping costs.
Check the Return Policy
It may take a few days for your eyes to adjust to your new lenses… and your new look. In the event that you don’t love your new glasses, a good return policy is a must. The average seems to be 30 days, which is usually ample time to make your decision. (Of course nothing can compete with the 365-day policy at Zappos.com!)
Watch out for restocking fees that can shrink your refund by up to 20% or more, especially for designer or special order frames.