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Buying Eyeglasses Online?

Reviewing: Zenni #2208  |  Rating:
dohdeelicious By dohdeelicious on
Badge: Author | Level: 4 | Devices & Aids Expertise:

I've worn eyeglasses for the last 20 years or so. My Rx is fairly straight-forward. It's a single vision lens. I'm mildly astigmatic in one eye and a bit more so in the other. Also slightly far-sighted. Glasses are expensive. We don't have Vision coverage on our health insurance and my husband also wears glasses. A friend told me about ZenniOptical.com: Rx eyeglasses for $8. I was skeptical. Very skeptical.

I thought the frame choices would be unattractive. They're not. I thought there would be a catch which would bump the cost considerably. There wasn't. I figured the quality of the lenses would be poor. They weren't. I assumed the frames would be cheap construction. So far, so good after 4 months.

The site's not the easiest to navigate - all the frames in a given category are on one very long page - but the HELP section is one of the best I've seen online anywhere in my 8 years of online shopping.

I was looking for frames that were similar in size and shape to the frames I was replacing. I figured since I can't try them on, this way I could be pretty confident they'd be a good fit to my face and features. I wasn't planning on wearing them outside of the house when I originally purchased this pair of glasses.

It's a bit more work than going to the nearest Optician or Big Eyeglass Center. First things first: I had to find out my Pupilary Distance [PD]. It's a data point collected when you have an eye exam. Some doctors put it on the Rx; mine did not. I called the office and they gave me that bit of information. Fortunately, the web site tells you how to measure it at home and warns not to measure it yourself. You'll need a careful friend or family member to help you. Or, go to the nearest eyeglass store and ask them to measure it. They will; they did for the friend who recommended the site to me.

I carefully measured my existing frames to compare the dimensions to the frames I was considering on the web site. It took some time but it was worth it to me.

You'll have to enter your Rx for each value for each eye, of course. And the on-screen help is TRULY helpful.

The Extras:

Anti-reflective coating: Add $4.95

Tinted Lenses: Add $4.95

Clip-on Sunshades: Add $3.95 [available for all frames]

Mid Index Single Vision Lenses: Included in frame price

Other lens types [bi-focal, progressive, etc]: Extra charge varies

Rx Strength: Regular is no charge. Extra strength is ~$9

Return policy seemed fair to me - 50% refund, excluding shipping, on returned glasses. If there's a problem with the Rx itself, I don't know what the policy position would be. My husband wears a complex Rx that he takes back to the Optician countless times during the first 6 months of any changes to his prescription. He wants to get his glasses from Zenni and I suggested he continue to pay retail pricing so he'll be happy with the level of service he needs given his vision requirements.

I ordered my glasses on a Sunday. The following Tuesday I visited the site again and noticed the Lens Type selection had a "High Index" Lens option. I was concerned I'd ordered the wrong type of lenses. I called. Left a message late in the day. By the time I came into the office the next morning, there was a very clear and precise message from Zenni that given my Rx, the lenses I'd selected was appropriate.

My glasses arrived within 7-9 days of the call. Total # of days from order to receipt: 9-11. Not bad for the price.

All told, my glasses cost ~$17 [I ordered the AR coating since I do a lot of computer work].

Turns out I liked the new frames so much that I retired my old frames to use at home. I've gotten a lot of compliments on my new frames. For a little effort, absolutely worth the price for a straight-forward Rx.