Buying eyeglasses online

I recently got an eye exam and the doctor recommended progressives.  I had tried them years ago and hated them – never could hit that middle sweet spot and they drove me crazy.  He said the technology has improved and suggested I give them another try.  I know why – *after* the insurance benefit, one pair of progressives would have cost just over $400.  My quest began.

After much reading, research and asking friends and co-workers, I ended up trying  (Zenni was recommended as well, but I didn’t really care for their frames as much.)  I read the ordering directions carefully and went back to the eye doctor to get my pupillary distance (“PD”) measured.  You can measure that yourself, but if you have a bifocal or progressives Rx, they recommend you have the eye doctor measure it.  And actually it wasn’t the eye DOCTOR who did it, it was the lady who helps you pick out glasses, and she did it at no charge.

I also measured my current glasses every which way to Sunday.  Note: It’s all in millimeters. The drawback to ordering online is you obviously can’t try on the frames.  They have a tool where you can upload a picture of yourself and “virtually” try on glasses, but it is kinda lame. If you have a pretty good idea of what you like, it’s easy to pick out a decent pair.  You can always try on frames at Costco, Sams, etc.  Take good notes, measure, and you should be all set.

I ordered 3 pairs of glasses on August 17th and got them August 30th.  If you want, you can receive emails at each stage of processing.  The last update will have a tracking # for the shipment.  They arrived via regular mail like this, kinda like boxed checks from the bank:


Each pair comes in a plastic case with a cleaning cloth:


And here’s what mine look like:


I should be able to easily adjust and tweak them myself with a pair of needlenose pliers.  Here are some things I learned:

  • I wanted a pair of bifocal sunglasses so I could read the GPS easier.  At, the frames classified as “sunglasses” are single vision only. What I decided to try was regular frames with bifocal lens and then I added an 80% tint.  Works like a champ.  What I would do differently next time is order slightly bigger lenses.
  • I made a mistake on ordering my regular bifocals.  My original pair was made for close-up on the bifocals section, and then “computer distance” for the rest.  I forgot to put the computer distance numbers in for that pair.  I ended up with reading/bifocal and distance/remainder.  However, I did put in a specific instruction to raise the bifocal line and they did that exactly right.

I got all three pairs for $105 total.  The frames aren’t super fabulous quality, but they are lightweight and look nice.  Plus I typically hang my glasses on my shirt and drop them at least once a day (you’d think I’d learn, lol) so if these get dropped, I really don’t care. What’s nice is since these are inexpensive, you can get some extras without breaking the bank.

I would have to say if you do your research and have a pretty good idea of what you like, it’s a good way to go!