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View Full Version : Where are the best places to purchase eyeglasses online?


RTFirefly
02-15-2012, 12:28 PM
I need a new pair of glasses, but I keep on not finding the time to go to an optician and have a pair made. But I've become increasingly aware that a lot of people are buying glasses online.

So where do my fellow Dopers go to buy eyeglasses online, and how happy have they been with the results?

Laggard
02-15-2012, 12:41 PM
Zenni Optical and Goggles4U and Optical4Less. Have never been let down.

RedBloom
02-15-2012, 01:15 PM
Zenni Optical.

Rachellelogram
02-15-2012, 01:27 PM
Zenni (http://zennioptical.com/)!

DiosaBellissima
02-15-2012, 01:46 PM
Zenni takes a million years to ship because it comes from China. Now, don't get me wrong, they are cheap and I dig that-- I've certainly ordered from them a few times. That said, I've now moved on to a better site: EyeBuyDirect. I find their site easier to navigate and I really do get the items twice as fast as I did with Zenni.

Plus, EyeBuy always has tons and tons of coupons (hop on RetailMeNot.com, type in EyeBuyDirect and you'll see all the options). I just got two pairs, shipped, for $18 the other week using a 30% off coupon.

Eyebuy also has a referral program, so if you get friends and family to buy from them, you get $5 toward your next pair. So, ya know, if anybody wants a 15% off code, feel free to PM me :p;). Though really, you can probably get a better coupon on RetailMeNot.

Eve
02-15-2012, 01:57 PM
Eyeglasses and shoes are two things I cannot imagine buying without trying on first--I have to go through scores of both of those to find ones that don't hurt.

DiosaBellissima
02-15-2012, 02:01 PM
Eyeglasses and shoes are two things I cannot imagine buying without trying on first--I have to go through scores of both of those to find ones that don't hurt.

What I do is measure my current glasses that I love and work from there. It's easy to take that starting point and find something that is the same exact shape, size, and style. Without doing that, though, I definitely couldn't buy online.

Bridget Burke
02-15-2012, 02:25 PM
Eyeglasses and shoes are two things I cannot imagine buying without trying on first--I have to go through scores of both of those to find ones that don't hurt.

Then there's the "looking like a dork" factor. I'm not that ironic....

I get regular eye exams but buy cheap glasses from a local source (http://smithsopticians.com/)--they take about 3 days. Still, I'm glad the internet sources are out there!

Eyebrows 0f Doom
02-15-2012, 05:21 PM
I've bought several pairs from Zenni and been very happy with them, but thanks Diosa for mentioning EyeBuyDirect! They have some really nice frames there that I couldn't find on Zenni!

tomcar
02-15-2012, 05:24 PM
I highly recommend Warby Parker. You can try on the glasses for free.

Doug K.
02-15-2012, 06:51 PM
Eyeglasses and shoes are two things I cannot imagine buying without trying on first--I have to go through scores of both of those to find ones that don't hurt.

Not only that, but they need to be fit to you individually after they're finished. Also there are measurements that are necessary for making the lenses that require the optician to be nose to nose with the patient wearing the frame. It is impossible to make glasses properly by mail order.

DiosaBellissima
02-15-2012, 07:13 PM
Not only that, but they need to be fit to you individually after they're finished. Also there are measurements that are necessary for making the lenses that require the optician to be nose to nose with the patient wearing the frame. It is impossible to make glasses properly by mail order.

*shrug* I get my pupillary distance from my eye doctor, then order online. Now, I will readily admit that my prescription is a light one, but I think for folks like me, online is a fabulous option. I used to rage volcano every time I'd have to spend $50 on an eye exam, then another $400 on glasses in store (no insurance). Online has far more options for far lower prices-- definitely the best option for someone with a light prescription like me.

Freudian Slit
02-15-2012, 07:17 PM
I highly recommend Warby Parker. You can try on the glasses for free.

Agree. They're also very reasonably priced.

fifty-six
02-15-2012, 07:45 PM
Any suggestions for non-prescription reading glasses? Or how to write myself a prescription for a pair or reading glasses.

I always end up liking frames for prescription glasses but then I need an expensive prescription to use them. I just want to read in style and on the cheap.

Dewey Finn
02-15-2012, 08:38 PM
Can't you buy non-prescription reading glasses in a drugstore? They're sold in some states.

As for Zenni, I ordered from them a couple of weeks ago, and the glasses are on the way. They have a fairly large selection but I wasn't totally satisfied with it. And as others said, get the pupillary distance from the ophthalmologist. You may also need the temple length and lens width. If you have existing glasses that fit, you can get these number from them.

Laggard
02-15-2012, 08:44 PM
Not only that, but they need to be fit to you individually after they're finished. Also there are measurements that are necessary for making the lenses that require the optician to be nose to nose with the patient wearing the frame. It is impossible to make glasses properly by mail order.

Yeah, not sure how my mail order glasses could fit any better than they do. My glasses are made properly and are made quite well. My wife has ordered six pair from zeni with not a single fit or size problem.

$200 eyeglasses and paying to have them fitted "properly" is the biggest scam in retail.

Algorithm
02-15-2012, 09:10 PM
Not only that, but they need to be fit to you individually after they're finished. Also there are measurements that are necessary for making the lenses that require the optician to be nose to nose with the patient wearing the frame. It is impossible to make glasses properly by mail order.

Like what measurements? What does the optometrist do that justifies paying 20 times as much for frames as an online source?

I got 4 pairs of glasses a month or two back from Zenni, for less than $100 shipped, and they arrived in a matter of days. I've never gotten a single pair of glasses for that cheap from an optometrist, even with insurance.

Hockey Monkey
02-15-2012, 09:12 PM
I ordered from Zenni for the first time a few months ago and I am completely thrilled with them. I had no issues adjusting the nose pads for a proper fit. I bought 3 pair for less than $60 and that included shipping.

Doug K.
02-15-2012, 11:52 PM
Like what measurements? What does the optometrist do that justifies paying 20 times as much for frames as an online source?

I got 4 pairs of glasses a month or two back from Zenni, for less than $100 shipped, and they arrived in a matter of days. I've never gotten a single pair of glasses for that cheap from an optometrist, even with insurance.

Not the optometrist, the person who is qualified to fit eyeglasses is an optician. There's too much involved in fitting eyeglasses to put in a short post, but here's a link to a PDF of a text for people starting in the field:

Introduction to Ophthalmic Optics (http://opticampus.com/files/introduction_to_ophthalmic_optics.pdf)

You don't need to read the whole thing, just look at chapter 9, which starts on page 67 of the PDF.

Regarding cost, online companies typically sell discontinued frames or low quality no-name frames. It's been about 7 years since I was an optician, but at the time I left the average wholesale cost of middle of the road frames was over $100. That's just the frames. The markup on eyeglasses is nowhere near what people seem to think it is. Usually retail is 2-3 times wholesale for low end frames and about 1 1/2 times for high end frames -- fairly close to what the markup on consumer electronics was when I worked for JCPenney in college. Markup on lenses is higher, but that's because there's more labor involved.

I buy new eyeglasses about every 2 years, and I don't scrimp because I know why they cost what they do and what I'd end up with if I spent less. And you know what? They cost me about $0.90 a day. I spend more than that on Mountain Dew.

Algorithm
02-16-2012, 12:48 AM
Not the optometrist, the person who is qualified to fit eyeglasses is an optician. There's too much involved in fitting eyeglasses to put in a short post, but here's a link to a PDF of a text for people starting in the field:

Introduction to Ophthalmic Optics (http://opticampus.com/files/introduction_to_ophthalmic_optics.pdf)

You don't need to read the whole thing, just look at chapter 9, which starts on page 67 of the PDF.

Regarding cost, online companies typically sell discontinued frames or low quality no-name frames. It's been about 7 years since I was an optician, but at the time I left the average wholesale cost of middle of the road frames was over $100. That's just the frames. The markup on eyeglasses is nowhere near what people seem to think it is. Usually retail is 2-3 times wholesale for low end frames and about 1 1/2 times for high end frames -- fairly close to what the markup on consumer electronics was when I worked for JCPenney in college. Markup on lenses is higher, but that's because there's more labor involved.

I buy new eyeglasses about every 2 years, and I don't scrimp because I know why they cost what they do and what I'd end up with if I spent less. And you know what? They cost me about $0.90 a day. I spend more than that on Mountain Dew.

Well, I'm honestly curious what trouble you think I might have with the frames I got online. My newest pair is comfortable on the eyes, durable, and fits well. To me, no-name brand is a plus, discontinued is a plus - "designer" brand frames strike me as a total waste of money. 90 cents a day is great - 9 cents a day is much better.

I also wonder if any issues encountered couldn't be solved by visiting an optician with the frames I purchased on the cheap.

kiz
02-16-2012, 05:13 AM
Some opticians won't give you your papillary distance because they don't want you to buy your glasses from Zenni or anyone else but them. I found this out the hard way. I also have bifocals, which "supposedly" makes it more difficult to buy glasses online. I don't know if that's true, though.

Laggard
02-16-2012, 08:52 AM
Well, I'm honestly curious what trouble you think I might have with the frames I got online. My newest pair is comfortable on the eyes, durable, and fits well. To me, no-name brand is a plus, discontinued is a plus - "designer" brand frames strike me as a total waste of money. 90 cents a day is great - 9 cents a day is much better.

I also wonder if any issues encountered couldn't be solved by visiting an optician with the frames I purchased on the cheap.

Same here. We've purchased a dozen pair online and all have fit well and the prescription was dead on perfect.

Some still feel the needs to pay 20x what we do just so someone can make sure the glasses "fit" right. I reckon some just like to have some attention lavished on them and are willing to pay outragous prices to feel special. :eek:

KneeSid
02-16-2012, 09:14 AM
Though there are optician degrees and certificates, in some states you don't even need a license to be an optician, you learn on the job. This leads me to believe it's not as important as some people make out to be.

I tend to be a bit leery of the optical field as I get my eye checkups and the optometrist, says I need a prescription, but the ophthalmologist says I have 20/20 vistion and eyes like a hawk. Well which is is? I have no issues seeing.

Well one profession is wrong. Two ophthalmologists say I have perfect vision, three optometrist say I need glasses. I can see perfectly according to my eye.

Hmmmm?

lindsaybluth
02-16-2012, 09:32 AM
Some opticians won't give you your papillary distance because they don't want you to buy your glasses from Zenni or anyone else but them. I found this out the hard way. I also have bifocals, which "supposedly" makes it more difficult to buy glasses online. I don't know if that's true, though.

In some states that's illegal. In PA, you must give out the pupil distance and a valid prescription if requested. They're not happy about it but they know they have to.

Fear Itself
02-16-2012, 09:33 AM
Some opticians won't give you your papillary distance because they don't want you to buy your glasses from Zenni or anyone else but them. I have 20/20 papillae

Mauvaise
02-16-2012, 09:38 AM
I've purchased (4) pairs of glasses from Zenni (two regular and two sunglasses). I use these mainly when I play tennis for the primary reason that on the off-chance I get hit in the face with a ball and my glasses break (I've seen it happen first hand), I'd rather they be a $20 pair than a $200 pair.

The frames from Zenni are definitely a 'cheaper' quality than those I get at an actual eyeglass place, but the lenses work perfectly to correct my vision and that's really all I cared about for 'sports' glasses.

Oh, and out of those (4) pair, only one didn't fit right (the arms needed to be adjusted for a tighter fit). I was able to take them to the place I bought my expensive, everyday glasses and they adjusted them for me for free with a smile on their faces. YMMV, of course.

purplehorseshoe
02-16-2012, 11:46 AM
Yeah, any of the big chain eyeglass places will do minor adjustments (too tight/too loose at the temples, etc.) for free.

Deegeea
02-16-2012, 11:59 AM
I've bought six pairs from Zenni Optical.

4 were for me. Of those 4, one didn't fit, one was too tight but is fine for short periods (reading glasses), one fits perfectly and I wear it all the time but after a year the lenses are starting to hairline crack (!) and the fourth is sunglasses and fits well and is still perfectly ok. They cost between 18-30 $ each and for the price I feel I did fine.

1 was for my son, sunglasses. His non Zenni pair of regular glasses cost $500. The zenni sunglasses cost $28 and are fine.

1 was for my husband. His non Zenni pair of regular glasses cost $650. (bifocals) The zenni sunglasses cost $50 and one lens popped out the first time he wore it. Hasn't worn it since of course.

So, overall, Zenni has been reasonably cost effective but far from excellent quality for me, anecdotally speaking.

levdrakon
02-16-2012, 12:00 PM
So this Zenni place is in China? How about the others? Are they all Chinese?

Bridget Burke
02-16-2012, 12:02 PM
Any suggestions for non-prescription reading glasses? Or how to write myself a prescription for a pair or reading glasses.

I always end up liking frames for prescription glasses but then I need an expensive prescription to use them. I just want to read in style and on the cheap.

Go to the drugstore. Most racks of reading glasses have samples of small print attached so you can find the right power. Or just bring some small print & see what works. There are fancier places to get reading glasses--with higher prices.

My close vision is still excellent. But not with contacts; rather than get bifocal contacts, my optometrist told me to get reading glasses at the drugstore & told me what kind I needed. So I mostly wear regular glasses--& take them off for reading, computing, etc.

No matter where you buy your glasses--or whether you wear them at all--yearly eye exams are a good idea. As we age, things can go wrong with the eyes. If you only need reading glasses & can't figure out what kind works for you, the doctor will guide your trip to the drugstore....

Doug K.
02-16-2012, 12:16 PM
Well, I'm honestly curious what trouble you think I might have with the frames I got online. My newest pair is comfortable on the eyes, durable, and fits well. To me, no-name brand is a plus, discontinued is a plus - "designer" brand frames strike me as a total waste of money. 90 cents a day is great - 9 cents a day is much better.

I also wonder if any issues encountered couldn't be solved by visiting an optician with the frames I purchased on the cheap.

With discontinued frames the problem is usually minor repairs become impossible because no parts are available. With no-name frames the problems are typically things like cheap metals that won't hold up to being adjusted. If the eyewire threads get stripped out on a decent quality frame it can just be tapped for a larger screw. Not so with cheap metals. The nose pads are frequently riveted on instead of attached properly. This causes them to be unadjustable (the pads need to sit as flat as possible on both sides of the nose to fit right) and unreplaceable, which turns a 2-3 dollar repair into needing to replace the whole frame. Only you can't replace the frame, because even if you can figure out who made it they only made one production run and no more are available. So now you need a whole new pair of specs.

Then there's still the fact that someone needs to see you wearing the frame to get all the measurements needed to make the lenses properly, and someone needs to adjust the frame to your face after it's finished.

Sure, you could visit an optician with the frames you purchased on the cheap. You could also ask an electrician to tidy up the cheap wiring your brother-in-law put in.

Some opticians won't give you your papillary distance because they don't want you to buy your glasses from Zenni or anyone else but them. I found this out the hard way. I also have bifocals, which "supposedly" makes it more difficult to buy glasses online. I don't know if that's true, though.

Opticians won't give out pupillary distances because they can't. They aren't prescribers.

Ophthalmologists traditionally don't dispense, but in the past typically didn't include P.D.s on prescriptions because a: they didn't consider that to be part of the prescription, and b: they wanted to be sure it would be filled by a real optician and not just an order-taker. Anyway, there are other measurements that are specific to the frame on the person. Like bifocal placement.

Oddly enough, most optometrists in the area I where worked did routinely include P.D.s on prescriptions, even though most of them sell glasses and would prefer you bought from them. However, we still took our own because we were ultimately responsible for the accuracy of all measurements other than the actual prescription.

DiosaBellissima
02-16-2012, 12:42 PM
Some opticians won't give you your papillary distance because they don't want you to buy your glasses from Zenni or anyone else but them. I found this out the hard way. I also have bifocals, which "supposedly" makes it more difficult to buy glasses online. I don't know if that's true, though.

Wow, what an ass that guy is. I went to the eye doctor, got my script, and said, "Oh, can you give me my pupillary distance?" And he said, "Oh, are you buying online?" I said, "Yeah, I don't have insurance. You know how it goes." He laughed and said, "Oh yeah, no problem at all, let me get that for you!"

levdrakon a lot of the places are in China (which isn't a big deal to me, except that often times the stuff will get held up for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks coming over on the slow boat from the old country), but EyeBuyDirect (which I mentioned up thread) is in the US. I always get my stuff within 7-10 days from Eyebuy.

Another benefit of these sites? Prescription sunglasses on the cheap!

levdrakon
02-16-2012, 12:52 PM
levdrakon a lot of the places are in China (which isn't a big deal to me, except that often times the stuff will get held up for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks coming over on the slow boat from the old country), but EyeBuyDirect (which I mentioned up thread) is in the US. I always get my stuff within 7-10 days from Eyebuy.

Another benefit of these sites? Prescription sunglasses on the cheap!Thanks! I'm not super anal about "made in China" but I am trying to make a conscious effort to spread my money around other-than-China places. :)

DiosaBellissima
02-16-2012, 01:06 PM
Thanks! I'm not super anal about "made in China" but I am trying to make a conscious effort to spread my money around other-than-China places. :)

Absolutely understandable. For me, I'm just terribly impatient and can't bring myself to wait for things heh.

Laggard
02-16-2012, 01:35 PM
Zeni even provides a nice simple to use device to measure your pd.

Eyebrows 0f Doom
02-17-2012, 02:26 AM
With discontinued frames the problem is usually minor repairs become impossible because no parts are available. With no-name frames the problems are typically things like cheap metals that won't hold up to being adjusted. If the eyewire threads get stripped out on a decent quality frame it can just be tapped for a larger screw. Not so with cheap metals. The nose pads are frequently riveted on instead of attached properly. This causes them to be unadjustable (the pads need to sit as flat as possible on both sides of the nose to fit right) and unreplaceable, which turns a 2-3 dollar repair into needing to replace the whole frame. Only you can't replace the frame, because even if you can figure out who made it they only made one production run and no more are available. So now you need a whole new pair of specs.

Then there's still the fact that someone needs to see you wearing the frame to get all the measurements needed to make the lenses properly, and someone needs to adjust the frame to your face after it's finished.

Sure, you could visit an optician with the frames you purchased on the cheap. You could also ask an electrician to tidy up the cheap wiring your brother-in-law put in.



Opticians won't give out pupillary distances because they can't. They aren't prescribers.

Ophthalmologists traditionally don't dispense, but in the past typically didn't include P.D.s on prescriptions because a: they didn't consider that to be part of the prescription, and b: they wanted to be sure it would be filled by a real optician and not just an order-taker. Anyway, there are other measurements that are specific to the frame on the person. Like bifocal placement.

Oddly enough, most optometrists in the area I where worked did routinely include P.D.s on prescriptions, even though most of them sell glasses and would prefer you bought from them. However, we still took our own because we were ultimately responsible for the accuracy of all measurements other than the actual prescription.

So then you just buy another pair for $15.

You sure give a lot of excuses to try and justify why it's worth it to buy expensive frames.

'Oh but they have to be precisely measured to your face and even the most miniscule deviation will destroy the whole look! You must use a professional!' So take a pair you already have, measure it, and get something similar. Any glasses store will adjust a pair you bring in for free.

I was an optician
Ahhh. That's why.

Doug K.
02-17-2012, 04:31 PM
'Oh but they have to be precisely measured to your face and even the most miniscule deviation will destroy the whole look! You must use a professional!' So take a pair you already have, measure it, and get something similar. Any glasses store will adjust a pair you bring in for free.



Proper measurements and alignment have nothing to do with the 'look'. It's about the optics. It's about making sure the lenses are positioned in front of the eyes correctly. Eyeglasses are a medical device, not just a fashion accessory. That's why they require a prescription.

You need precise measurements because the optical centers of the lenses need to be placed correctly in front of the pupils when looking straight forward. There is no way to know where to place the centers without seeing the frame on the person. You can't just measure a pair you already have. For one, the vertical placement will be different unless you're using another frame of the exact same model and size. For another, unless you have a lensometer and know how to use it you won't even be able to find the optical centers to measure them. Even then you can't be sure because there may be horizontal or vertical prism in the prescription that has changed, or the previous lenses may have been made incorrectly.

The point is, regardless of price, no one can make eyeglasses properly without seeing the patient in person.

Laggard
02-17-2012, 05:21 PM
The point is, regardless of price, no one can make eyeglasses properly without seeing the patient in person.

See though that is just wrong evidenced by boat-loads of people ordering glasses from China and being thrilled with them.

I for the life of me can't figure out how my Zeni glasses could be made any better than they are. They sit perfectly on my face, the prescription is just perfect and they have never given me eyestrain or anything so much as a headache. It's funny seeing people trying to defend 300 dollar glasses.

You keep believing that you need that other person and writing out checks for hundreds of dollars. :)

Doug K.
02-18-2012, 01:07 AM
See though that is just wrong evidenced by boat-loads of people ordering glasses from China and being thrilled with them.

I for the life of me can't figure out how my Zeni glasses could be made any better than they are. They sit perfectly on my face, the prescription is just perfect and they have never given me eyestrain or anything so much as a headache. It's funny seeing people trying to defend 300 dollar glasses.

You keep believing that you need that other person and writing out checks for hundreds of dollars. :)

How does a person who has never seen you know how far your pupils will be from the bottom of the frame you ordered when looking straight forward? How does a person who has never seen you know the vertex distance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertex_distance) of the frame you ordered? Granted, vertex only comes into play in extremely high prescriptions, but optical center height figures in all. Or conversely, how does a person who has never seen the frame on you ascertain that data? It varies from person to person, and it may not even be the same for both eyes. ANSI tolerance for vertical imbalance is at most 1mm.

In the unlikely event that you could find those measurements, Zenni doesn't even have places to put them on their order form. There's no place for seg heights on bifocals or fitting heights on progressives. Their prescription information page claims that seg heights are "standard", a percentage of the height of the lens. That's not how the correct seg height is determined. They are positioned relative to the wearer's lower lid (for lined bifocals) or pupils (for progressives), and again it's not always the same for both eyes.

Why is it funny to defend $300 glasses? How much do you spend a year for food, clothes, rent or house payment, water, electricity, natural gas, phone, health insurance? Eyeglasses are hands down the cheapest necessity of life for most people.

Laggard
02-18-2012, 09:29 AM
How does a person who has never seen you know how far your pupils will be from the bottom of the frame you ordered when looking straight forward? How does a person who has never seen you know the vertex distance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertex_distance) of the frame you ordered? Granted, vertex only comes into play in extremely high prescriptions, but optical center height figures in all. Or conversely, how does a person who has never seen the frame on you ascertain that data? It varies from person to person, and it may not even be the same for both eyes. ANSI tolerance for vertical imbalance is at mo.


You cant enter those numbers but its ovbvious that it doesn't t really matter. How are us Zeno fans being hurt by not having that data.? Seriously, I can simply not imagine how my glasses are hurting me or how they could work for me any better than they do. What am I missing out on?

Doug K.
02-18-2012, 02:51 PM
You cant enter those numbers but its ovbvious that it doesn't t really matter. How are us Zeno fans being hurt by not having that data.? Seriously, I can simply not imagine how my glasses are hurting me or how they could work for me any better than they do. What am I missing out on?

I've explained why those numbers matter, and I've even linked to a textbook co-written by a master optician and an optometrist that explains in greater detail why those number matter so you wouldn't have to take my word for it.

levdrakon
02-18-2012, 02:59 PM
I've bought a fair number of eyeglasses from the same place I got the eye exam, and I don't recall any of this extra fitting and adjusting stuff being talked about. Someone might ask me to try them on and then ask "too tight? Too loose? Okay? You're done!"

I'm not sure that's worth the extra $300.

Doug K.
02-18-2012, 05:50 PM
I've bought a fair number of eyeglasses from the same place I got the eye exam, and I don't recall any of this extra fitting and adjusting stuff being talked about. Someone might ask me to try them on and then ask "too tight? Too loose? Okay? You're done!"

I'm not sure that's worth the extra $300.

It's not. That kind of behavior is a sign of someone who hasn't had any real optical training and probably never will. (If they were new and being trained they wouldn't be turned loose on the patients until they knew better than say something like that.)

There are only 22 states that require opticians to be licensed, and if you don't live in one of them many optometrist's offices and most chain stores won't hire qualified opticians. Where I lived when I was an optician only had three places that had ABO certified opticians--two locally owned independent optical shops and one (out of seven) optometrist's office. A competent optician won't just ask you to "try them on". Of course new frames need to be adjusted, so it should be "Let me put these on you for a moment so I can adjust them to fit you."

If you're not sure they really know their stuff, ask if they're ABO (http://abo-ncle.org/) certified. The answer you want is "Yes, there's my certificate," as they point to the wall where all their optician's certificates are hanging. If they say "no" you should go somewhere else. If they don't know what ABO means, you should facepalm and go somewhere else.

levdrakon
02-18-2012, 07:10 PM
It's not. That kind of behavior is a sign of someone who hasn't had any real optical training and probably never will. (If they were new and being trained they wouldn't be turned loose on the patients until they knew better than say something like that.)

There are only 22 states that require opticians to be licensed, and if you don't live in one of them many optometrist's offices and most chain stores won't hire qualified opticians. Where I lived when I was an optician only had three places that had ABO certified opticians--two locally owned independent optical shops and one (out of seven) optometrist's office. A competent optician won't just ask you to "try them on". Of course new frames need to be adjusted, so it should be "Let me put these on you for a moment so I can adjust them to fit you."

If you're not sure they really know their stuff, ask if they're ABO (http://abo-ncle.org/) certified. The answer you want is "Yes, there's my certificate," as they point to the wall where all their optician's certificates are hanging. If they say "no" you should go somewhere else. If they don't know what ABO means, you should facepalm and go somewhere else.That's a good, informative post. Thanks!

Eyebrows 0f Doom
02-19-2012, 03:09 PM
Yeah... None of the in store places where I have purchased expensive glasses have ever done any of these measurements you keep going on about. They take my prescription & PD and then when the glasses come in, fit the temples so they fit correctly. Never had any issues. It's funny you think that's worth an extra $300+.

PandaBear77
02-19-2012, 04:02 PM
Some opticians won't give you your papillary distance because they don't want you to buy your glasses from Zenni or anyone else but them.


Yeah my optometrist wouldn't give me my pupillary distance, either, and then a lecture about what a bad idea it is to order glasses online.

This is the same guy who wouldn't write me a script for another brand of contact lens when I told him they were too expensive and I didn't like them anyway.

He's a dick. I'm finding someone new next time it's time for an eye exam.

Doug K.
02-20-2012, 01:18 AM
Yeah... None of the in store places where I have purchased expensive glasses have ever done any of these measurements you keep going on about. They take my prescription & PD and then when the glasses come in, fit the temples so they fit correctly. Never had any issues. It's funny you think that's worth an extra $300+.

If that's really all they're doing then they aren't qualified to be fitting eyeglasses.

But here's the thing: There's no extra $300 for services. There's not even $300 gross profit on most glasses. The markup on frames and lenses isn't as much as a lot of people think. In 15 years in 3 different places the highest markup for frames I ever saw was 3 * wholesale in the one optometrist's office I worked for (which I thought was too much, but O.D.s are usually not the best place to buy glasses.)

That's not to say that there aren't places with big markups. Chain stores and O.D.s offices both have a reputation for big markups. They also usually don't have certified opticians, which means you are paying more and getting less. But even then it's nowhere near the 800-1000% markups that I've seen people claim exist.

Unless you live in a state with licensing requirements, your best bet to make sure you get what you pay for is to find out if they have ABO certified opticians.

veMiller
03-02-2012, 08:59 PM
Another vote for Zenni Optical. Have purchased numerous pairs of glasses for my family members and myself, without any problems! According to my experience, most importantly, you must make sure that you have your prescription (including PD) and understand the meaning of the figures. Zenni provides an introduction page about how to place an order. All that you need to do is following their instructions.
BTW, if you want to deal with them recently, you can enjoy their buy 2 get 1 free promotion.

Patience Jones
03-02-2012, 10:48 PM
My husband has a prescription that usually has to be sent off to NASA for them to fashion into giant geek glasses. He found his ideal frames online, and has been more comfortable with them than any other pair he's ever had. And they look great.

Eva Luna
03-03-2012, 01:11 AM
My uncle has been a professional optician for more than 40 years. He made my second-to-last pair of glasses for me. They were fine, but it was a kind of PITA process, because he lives in Florida and I live in Illinois (I ordered frames online and had them shipped to him, and he forgot I'd done that and refused the shipment...long story). So last time I ordered new ones from Zenni. I can't tell the difference in functionality between the two, honestly (though admittedly I have a very weak prescription).

My sinuses are easily irritated and I can't stand wearing heavy frames, so I ordered rimless titanium ones. No need to try on first to see how they look, really. I'll totally do the same thing for my next pair, and my Rx came with PD notated anyway, no need to even ask.

SenorBeef
03-03-2012, 08:46 PM
This frame I'm wearing now has been the best pair of glasses I've ever had - lightest, look good, right size, flexible metal, polished semi-rimless. Had my opthalmologist run them through a lensometer and they were optically perfect. $8.95 from Zenni.

Or... I think the frame is actually $12.95 now, but the originals were under $10.

I do break them every 9 months or so - I don't think it's a sign of poor quality metal or anything, but this particular design uses a really thin nose bridge. But... I don't care, since they're $10-12 each, I just order a few at a time and throw them away if anything ever goes wrong.

Since my prescription has been stable for a few years, I've been thinking of buying 5+ pairs just in case this frame goes out of production because I really like them.

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