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#1
Old 05-11-2013, 03:04 PM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,151
My experience ordering online glasses from Zenni and Eyebuydirect

I first heard about these two companies here on the dope. As I needed new glasses and didn't want to shell out $ 400.00 a pair as I had for my last ones. One of the dopers in the other online glasses threads told me to keep an eye out for eyebuydirect coupons. I did and these were very helpful in reducing costs even further.

The glasses I received were all done correctly per the prescription variables I entered. I discovered after the fact that you do not need a current or new prescription. You can use whatever prescription works for you as long as you have the measurements. They don't verify prescriptions or anything so if you have an old prescription that works for you don't need to get a new eye exam unless you want one. Walmart typically offers eye exams around $ 50- $ 60 and will do a PD (pupillary distance) measurement as well. You need to tell the doc you need the prescription for online ordering and they will write it out. You can also print out a gauge for PD measurement if you need to measure it yourself. You need to pay close attention when inputting the numbers and make sure the - and + designations are marked correctly next to the numbers.

You will need to take digital camera headshot of yourself so the ordering website can show you what the frames look like on your head. You do need to pay attention to the frame size relative to your head. You can use your current glasses as reference point.

The frames I got were a mixed bag. The lens were all done correctly, but there was a lot of variability in finish levels. The titanium half frame Agrigento's from eyebuydirect I got were beautifully made and I would put them up against any pair of $300-$400 glasses out there. I got these in sunglasses and clear lens. I chose the polycarbonate lens option for maximum impact strength..

The glasses I got from Zenni were sharp looking and optically perfect but the earpiece hinge on the frames looks like it would not take any rough handling at all. It is both thin and very small. It was difficult to tell how delicate these were in the online pics. The hinge is not the entire frame corner it's just a tiny slice behind it which is not evident in the online pics. If I had handled these in a B&M store I probably would have passed them buy. I'm kind of surprised that a hinge this lightweight would be put on a pair of everyday use glasses. They look good but I handle them very gingerly.

I also ordered 2 prescription sports glasses for my son. The Marcion and the Mani These looked fantastic in the online pics and when received they looked good as well, but when looked at closely the fit and finish and materials were not the same quality as the higher quality sunglasses you might buy from Oakley or a similar upper tier vendor. The rubber and plastic molds had small gaps where pieces mated and the mold marks were rough looking. They were about the same level of manufacturing precision and finish as pair of drug store $ 20.00 sunglasses.

Also and most importantly the plastic of the frames was not the high impact flexible nylon type plastic you see in better high impact sport frames, it was a touch stiffer. It appeared to be the same type of stiff plastic you see in drug store glasses and I could tell that after a few hits and it would probably shatter and break. The double lens arrangement of the separate Rx lens behind the sunglass color lens (see pic) put your eyelashes very close to the lens, but this might be just how these types of glasses have to be made.

At around $ 45. each delivered they were a deal for prescription sport sunglasses but there is limit to what you can expect. You are not going to get a pair of Oakley quality frames with Rx lenses for $ 45.00 delivered.

Re delivery times it took approximately 10 days from order to receiving them in all cases.
Overall I'm quite satisfied.

Last edited by astro; 05-11-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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#2
Old 05-12-2013, 11:43 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
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After hearing about Zenni here and other places Mrs. FtG and I ordered glasses from them. Both of us were very disappointed.

She got simple reading glasses, shouldn't have been too much to get it right but she really didn't like them. Quite unhappy with the view.

I got some transition bifocals. I can only see clearly out of them dead ahead. I can't use them for driving since the peripheral vision stinks. When doing crosswords I have to keep my head moving since just shifting my eyes doesn't work. Also the transition "line" is way off. I have to wear them fairly far down my nose. I also ordered a "better" midrange frame and it is incredibly flimsy feeling.

Just recently did For Eyes and I'm much happier.

At least it wasn't a waste of big money. Live and learn.
#3
Old 05-12-2013, 11:57 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 57
I purchased a pair of prescription sunglasses from Eyebuydirect about a year ago. No problem at all with the frames or lenses. The one issue I had is that the nose pads kept falling off, but to be honest they're not any less comfortable without them.
#4
Old 05-12-2013, 01:04 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,422
I bought a pair of sunglasses from zenni. I got plastic frames with a few upgrade options on the lenses and paid around $60 for them. I wear them every day and they're great. My $400 glasses (not tinted) I bought from my optometrist get scratched every time I clean them and they look somewhat foggy as a result even though I've probably only worn them 15 times. The zenni sunglasses are still scratch free even though I wear them every day and clean them every day and carry them in my pocket without a case whenever I go indoors. I'm planning on getting another pair from them so I don't tear the house apart and end up late for work when my kids hide them from me.
#5
Old 05-13-2013, 10:41 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chi NYC Berlin LA Vegas
Posts: 13,728
Found out about ZenniOptical here on the boards.
My SO and I ordered a few pair of glasses from them.
We are very happy and satisfied - great selection (not just the boring grandpa glasses) and you can't beat the price.

I wouldn't get glasses anywhere else now.
#6
Old 05-13-2013, 10:33 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 290
I've bought three pairs from Zenni now. Each pair has been better than the last. My wife recently got a pair of glasses from the local optometrist. She has a weaker prescription and somehow managed to rack up a bigger bill than I did on my Zenni glasses. That's with her only getting a scratch resistant coating. For less than her glasses, I also got ultra thin lenses and anti-glare and oleophobic coating. She complains about how hard it is to clean her glasses, and I can clean mine on almost anything.

I will say that their glasses aren't for everyone. My wife felt the womens glasses were less than great, which is why she got the pricier pair. If you can find a pair you like, that fit your face well, they can't be beat.
#7
Old 05-14-2013, 01:40 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 26,561
I'm wearing a pair of $12.95 Zenni glasses right now which are the best glasses I've ever owned. I like the design, the quality is good, the prescription is right. This particular frame does have a really thin bridge and I tend to break them every 9 months to a year, I don't think it's an issue of craftsmanship/materials so much as poor design for this particular frame. But at 10 bucks a pop, I can just buy 5 of them at a time, have years worth of them, and still only be paying 1/8th as much as one pair from a retail optician.
#8
Old 05-14-2013, 07:11 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Close to home
Posts: 9,627
I'm wearing my second round of Zenni glasses right now, and I love them as much as the first round. I do go for the ultra-cheap plastic frames and no, the plastic isn't as high quality as more expensive frames would be. However, I just wear mine around the house in the evening and early morning, so it isn't a big deal to me. More than worth the price tags.

I have astigmatism + myopia. I don't order any upgrades with my glasses.
#9
Old 06-05-2013, 08:21 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 22,072
The SDMB has convinced me to give Zinni a try. Theres been several threads and positive comments.

I like the aviator style, in a large. Not a lot of choices but did find two.

My biggest concern is getting the frames adjusted for fit. Will any of the optical shops do this for me?

I'm a little worried about the quality, but its worth trying. I have a easy prescription. Don't require bifocals yet.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-05-2013 at 08:25 AM.
#10
Old 06-05-2013, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 22,072
Feel a little sad leaving Lenscrafters. But they have refused to reuse my frames couple time times now and its expensive.

It's always the same old story. That frame was discontinued and we can't get glass that will fit your old ones.

I reused frames a lot when I was a kid. No problem.

Zenni here I come. I won't mind new frames with cheaper glasses.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-05-2013 at 08:35 AM.
#11
Old 06-05-2013, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Maine
Posts: 7,282
My glasses are also from Zenni--at ten bucks a pop I bought two pair right off the bat and have had zero problems with them. In fact, after a year and a half (at least), I would say they have considerably less scratches on them than any pair I've owned in the last thirty years.
#12
Old 06-05-2013, 08:37 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 24,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
My biggest concern is getting the frames adjusted for fit. Will any of the optical shops do this for me?
Perhaps if you pay them for the service? I recommend that you tell a local optical shop that you bought the frames on line and ask them for fitting assistance. Let us know what they say.
#13
Old 06-05-2013, 08:39 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 39,272
I bought a pair of bifocals from Zenni. In general I have no complaint, but when I'm driving I can read the instrument panel only through the "distance" part of the lens. This means I have to lower my head to see the panel through the top part of the lens. This kinda defeats the purpose of wearing bifocals when I'm driving.
#14
Old 06-05-2013, 09:47 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,154
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post

My biggest concern is getting the frames adjusted for fit. Will any of the optical shops do this for me?
If you haven't already done so, have a look at this thread. Your biggest challenge is finding the right frames. Once you have the frames, there is not a lot of "fitting" that can be done. All they do (in my experience) is heat up the frames and bend them a bit. They usually do this because the frames you have chosen aren't the right size and they don't have that style in your size.
#15
Old 06-05-2013, 10:52 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cebu, Philippines
Posts: 12,836
My wife orders a half dozen pairs a year from Zenni, just to get a wide array of fashion styles, and she loses half of them and the other half just break (frames) so for about $75 a year, she has a constant flow of glasses and exciting things coming in the mail to try on. She has never found any to be optically unsatisfactory.

Moi, I've worn the same glasses for decades, I've had cataract surgery so my Rx never changes. But I have a pair of single-vision Zenni reading glasses next to the bed.
#16
Old 06-05-2013, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 25,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Feel a little sad leaving Lenscrafters. But they have refused to reuse my frames couple time times now and its expensive.

It's always the same old story. That frame was discontinued and we can't get glass that will fit your old ones.
Yeah, yeah, yeah - I've been told that by Lenscrafters, too, every time I inquired. Funny, though - when I went elsewhere they didn't have any problem at all fitting new lenses to my old frames....

About 20 years ago now I bought some very nice titanium frames, 2 pairs. Yes, they were expensive, but I'm still using them. Given that in the past I've never broken lenses but I have broken frames it seemed a wise investment for me.

As a general rule, I find most shops will do minor adjustments for you at no charge if you ask them politely. Once or twice I've been asked for a token about, $5 or less, to have a screw replaced or something of that sort.

Last edited by Broomstick; 06-05-2013 at 01:30 PM.
#17
Old 06-05-2013, 03:13 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Calgary, AB Canada
Posts: 744
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethelbert View Post
Your biggest challenge is finding the right frames. Once you have the frames, there is not a lot of "fitting" that can be done.
If you already have glasses that fit you can just take a ruler and measure the important bits (width of the frame and length of the arms). I used that to filter the available frames and picked a couple I thought looked decent.

Since my prescription is pretty simple the price was low enough that even if the glasses broke in a few months I wouldn't feel too bad. I've had my current two pairs (daily wear & sunglasses) for over a year and they're still fine.

My optometrist checked the lenses themselves (to rule out errors with the glasses when diagnosing my left eye issues) and they were fine. So I'm not going back to brick and mortar stores anytime soon.
#18
Old 06-05-2013, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 24,630
An important number is the pupillary distance, and you can't get that off the old frames. Someone needs to measure that on your face. (Zenni Optical sends a ruler for measuring this when you order glasses from them.)
#19
Old 06-05-2013, 04:13 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 301
I have a pair of Zennis I ordered after having my cataracts done. $9.95 aviator style frame, $31.50 total delivered. Can't beat it!
#20
Old 06-05-2013, 05:08 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 8,223
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethelbert View Post
If you haven't already done so, have a look at this thread. Your biggest challenge is finding the right frames. Once you have the frames, there is not a lot of "fitting" that can be done. All they do (in my experience) is heat up the frames and bend them a bit. They usually do this because the frames you have chosen aren't the right size and they don't have that style in your size.
That's assuming that both your face and your glasses frames are perfectly symmetrical. And for most people, neither of those things is quite true. There's quite a bit of tweaking the nose and earpieces that has to be done on my glasses to make them not sit crooked on my face. It takes an experienced optician about 5 minutes to make those adjustments. It took me a couple weeks of trial and error to get them right.

Mind you, a couple hundred dollars' savings makes up for an awful lot of trial and error.
#21
Old 10-28-2013, 10:56 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Zinni/Eyebuydirect

I had 0 success with either of these. The problem is that optometrist dont want to provide the PD required to go with the glass script because they know you can bypass them. Ive not had one PD measure correctly when I bought the glasses and as a result, they glasses dont work.
#22
Old 10-28-2013, 11:12 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cheshire, UK (since 2006)
Posts: 5,014
I haven't used these two sites, but have used a UK site and yes, finding a place that will give you your PD is a real challenge. I went around all the optometrists in the Trafford Centre in Manchester and finally found a place that would - but they charged me 35 for it. Still, it's not a measurement that changes, so I figured it was worth spending the money. And in fact, if I was to buy glasses from a store again, I would definitely go back to that store, because they were the only one willing to help!
#23
Old 10-28-2013, 11:26 AM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra_nz View Post
I haven't used these two sites, but have used a UK site and yes, finding a place that will give you your PD is a real challenge. I went around all the optometrists in the Trafford Centre in Manchester and finally found a place that would - but they charged me 35 for it. Still, it's not a measurement that changes, so I figured it was worth spending the money. And in fact, if I was to buy glasses from a store again, I would definitely go back to that store, because they were the only one willing to help!
Pupillary distance can very easily be measured with a metric ruler with a millimeter scale. You can use a mirror or someone's assistance. I had the Walmart do it then did it myself using online instructions. They were identical.

Instructions here

http://youtube.com/watch?v=o18-PIaIro4

Last edited by astro; 10-28-2013 at 11:26 AM.
#24
Old 10-28-2013, 04:44 PM
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Location: Cheshire, UK (since 2006)
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I did it myself before going to a professional and the measurements were completely different. Also, each eye has a different measure, which might have added to the complexity.
#25
Old 10-28-2013, 05:04 PM
TBG TBG is offline
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Location: Michigan
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I ordered a pair from zenni and they seemed good for the price and all, but they were way too damn small, so I couldn't wear them. Since then I just get them at Walmart (which is where I go for exams and contacts anyway).

I mean, their product is good (IMO) but it just one of those things where you need to be able to try on before buying.
#26
Old 10-28-2013, 09:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,178
NOTE: About ordering glasses online. If they do not meet your expectations, it is possible that they just need adjusting. Since your face isn't available to the people producing the glasses, any number of things could just need some physical adjustment.

The last pair of glasses I ordered from Zenni were out of alignment and a trip to my optician and some straightening/bending or whatever they did made all the difference. I was about to return the glasses (for the second time).

Bob
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