How to Buy Glasses Online


I'm a lucky gal who has a generous vision plan thanks to my employer. When I went for my eye exam I took a look at some glasses frames since I haven't gotten a new pair in many years.

I went to a few different stores, tried some on, found a few pairs that I really liked and then I took a look at the price tags.  All the frames I loved where in the $200-$350 price range. Sure there were frames that were closer to the $200 price point but I refused to buy a pair of outdated flimsy looking frames.

Even with insurance things weren't looking fantastic as I hoped they would be. Knowing that I have expensive taste and break stuff easily I decided to take my prescription and try my luck online. After searching around and harassing customer service people I was able to get the glasses I wanted at a price I could afford.

Here are a few things you need to know prior to doing your online hunt for the perfect pair of glasses.

Your Eyeglass Prescription - Seems like a common sense thing to have. Well many of us know that common sense isn't common. Remember your contact lens and your eye glass prescriptions are two different things.  Here are a few things you should know when ordering.

  1. Oculus Dexter (OD) is your right eye.
  2. Oculus Sinister (OS) is your left eye.
  3. The spherical correction (Sph) is how far (+) or near (-) sighted you are.  If PL is there then you are at zero.
  4. Add is for bifocals.
  5. Cylinder and axis is for those with astigmatism.

Pupillary Distance - PD (pupillary distance) is the distance between your pupils. Your optometrists will take this measurement during the exam. If it isn't written on your prescription then ask your optometrist to write it down for you. Be polite about it too! If you don't have it then some people have measured it themselves with a mirror and a ruler. I've never done the whole mirror and a ruler thing since I'm shameless and have no issue asking for ALL my measurements during my eye exam.

Watch Out For Add Ons - Add ons can add on some unexpected money to your bill. This often happens with the lenses.  Find out exactly what you need then shop around a bit to get the best deal on the final price rather than getting suckered by a good advertisement.

To find the best deal on a pair of glasses you need to shop around a bit.  Don't get stuck on name brands. Personally I've had really great luck with Eye Buy Direct and Coastal Contacts. I know people who've found great deals at Frames Direct and 39 Dollar Glasses.

Have you bought glasses online before? Are there any brick and mortar stores that you can get glasses that aren't a mortgage payment?

Image thanks to Walt Stoneburner

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