I’m smart, frugal, and internet savvy, so you’d think this concept would have occurred to me before now. After all, you can buy nearly anything online nowadays, usually for much less than you’d pay at a store. Until very recently, though, I had it in my head that you simply couldn’t buy glasses online, that it took an expert to make them the perfect fit and prescription.
According to “Adventures in $40 eyeglasses” (via LifeHacker), though, I couldn’t be more wrong. All you really need are a few simple measurements (e.g., pupil distance, lense width, arm length, etc.), your prescription, and an understanding of what it all means. You only need an expert for the eye exam; after that, you apparently have everything you need to know.
I scanned through the article’s comments, and the author’s experience seems legitimate. As for where to buy glasses online, a lot of commenters spoke highly of Zenni Optical and Goggles4u. Not a single one mentioned any dissatisfaction, which is surprising. More importantly, nobody mentioned paying more than $100, and many said they paid less than $50. In several cases, people bought multiple pairs, all with the same quality that you’d pay $100s for at LensCrafters.
Granted, the jury is still out on laser eye surgery. I know my wife is too squeamish to go through with it, though, so we’ll probably be buying glasses online for her. I’ll be sure to give an update on the experience after we’ve given it a try. After reading the article, though, I am decidedly… opti-mistic.