On a typical day, you’ll find me blogging from my couch wearing sweats and glasses, my 10-year-old lab Franklin at my side.
When I got my first pair of glasses in 10th grade, I hated them. But I’ve actually grown to love them. Glasses are way cooler now than when I was a kid. And over the years, I’ve picked up quite a few pairs so that I can switch them out depending on my mood.
Since I’m all about being creative with my budget, buying glasses the old way doesn’t quite do it for me. And by old way, I mean going to an optometrist where you spend a ton of money on their pricey prescription frames.
To save money, I buy glasses online. I can get way more bang for my buck and get glasses that are of equal or better quality than frames sold in-store.
But saving money isn’t the only reason I prefer shopping online for glasses over visiting stores. Not convinced? As a long-time glasses wearer, here are more reasons you should consider making the switch.
1. Wider Selection
Brick-and-mortar stores have limited floor space, so they can only display so many frames. This explains why they try to showcase as many high-priced designer glasses as possible; those frames make them more money. Depending the store’s vendor relationships, they might offer only specific brands, which further limits their selection.
When you pick from a selection someone else curated, you don’t see other frames that might be more your style. When you shop online, you have your choice of a larger range of styles, brands and frames.
If you have a style in mind — say classic tortoise shell glasses — you might find two or three pairs in-store. Search for the same type of frames online, and you’ll find a wider selection.
I must have 10 different pairs by now. Here’s one of my favorite pairs that I picked up from GlassesUSA.com (product name: Muse Jazz Brown)
2. Clear Vision While Shopping
If you already wear glasses, trying on glasses in-store can be a bit tricky. You’ve got to take them off to try on frames, so… you can’t really see what the new frames look like on your face! If you’ve got a high prescription, it’s nearly impossible to get a good look at the glasses on display, much less what they look like on you.
To make matters worse, you’ll often shop for glasses right after having your eye exam, where your optometrist dilated your pupils — making your vision even blurrier than usual and your eyes sensitive to light. Not ideal for any kind of shopping.
At home, you can wear your glasses while you shop for new glasses. When you want to get a good look at something, 20/20 vision sure works wonders.
3. No Pressure
The in-store experience can create anxiety and pressure.
Optometrists usually have small storefronts with just one or two salespeople on duty. All eyes are on you as you shop. And once you’ve taken the time to try on a bunch of frames, the pressure’s on to make a purchase — even if you haven’t found something you like.
Plus, you don’t want to be that annoying guy who tries on every single frame in the place. But why shouldn’t you? These things are going on your face. You may wear them every single day for a long time. You want to be certain you’ve made the right decision.
Shop online, and you can take as long as you need to find that perfect pair. Take hours if you like. Days even, if you want to mull over a couple options. Buy when you feel ready — not because other customers are waiting and the salespeople are getting impatient because you haven’t made a decision.
4. No Sales Pitch
Optometrists don’t make money on your eye exam. They make money selling frames. So they have important partners in crime. They hire expert salespeople to help you shop immediately after your exam.
Yet if the person helping you doesn’t quite understand your style or has different opinions about looks good on you, this can be an awkward conversation. You might feel pressured into buying glasses that are not totally “you.”
If you already know what types of frames you like — for example, designer, retro or rimless — then it’s easy to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for online. If you’re new to this whole shopping for glasses thing, you can narrow your selection by frame features, measurements or even by your personality.
5. Virtual Try-Ons
Worried about not being able to try on potential new frames? After all, you want to see what each pair will look like on you, not a model.
Get this — GlassesUSA.com offer virtual try-ons. Just upload a photo of yourself and you can see how the frames fit your face and style. Trying to decide between a few different frames? Take a couple of screenshots and send them to friends or family who will give you an honest opinion about what looks best.
Here’s one of me playing around on their site…
6. No Sticker Shock
Ever notice that it’s often hard to find prices on frames in the store? Sometimes they have no price tags at all.
This isn’t by accident. The store hopes you’ll fall in love with a pair of frames, and by then it’s too late. Once you hear the price — even if it’s way over your budget — they’ve got you hooked. They sell you a pair of pricey frames and you max out your credit card.
Prices are clearly marked online, so you know exactly how much each frames costs up front.
This pair costs less than $50…
7. Efficient Shopping
The in-store experience often goes something like this: Go to store. Take time to try on a bunch of frames. Make your selection. Order frames. Leave store and wait for a couple weeks until they’re ready. Go back to store to pick up frames. After wearing glasses for a few days, realize your glasses are too tight and have been giving you headaches. Go back to store to get frames adjusted.
It can be a huge hassle that requires multiple trips.
Cut out all that back-and-forth by ordering frames online. Shop from your couch and get them shipped straight to your door. It doesn’t get much easier or more convenient than that!
8. Generous Return Policies
Ever tried to return a pair of prescription glasses you bought from your optometrist’s office? Yeah, right. It’s usually out of the question.
That’s not the case with most online retailers. Many accept returns and exchanges within a certain window of time. Some even send along a free return-shipping label and offer a no-questions-asked return policy if you’re unhappy with your glasses for any reason.
9. Lower Prices
When you buy a pair of frames in store, you’re also paying for lens crafting and customizing. The total price can run anywhere between $200 and $800. However, in most cases, when you purchase online from GlassesUSA.com, basic single vision lenses are included in the price you see! That alone can help you save up to 70% on the total cost of the glasses.
Can’t decide between a handful of frames that you like? Why not pick up a few pairs and mix things up a little? Instead of spending an arm and a leg for a pair of glasses from the store, spend even less on a few pairs.
Penny Hoarder Readers Can Save An Additional 50%
This is pretty incredible. GlassesUSA.com is offering a special deal to Penny Hoarder readers this month.
If you use the coupon code “PENNY50” at checkout and you’ll save an additional 50% off your order, plus they’ll give you free shipping!
Their glasses are already very inexpensive, so by combining a coupon you can score a pair for as little as $24.
Sponsorship Disclosure: A huge thanks to GlassesUSA.com for working with us to bring you this content.