Online Eyeglass Buying 101

I’ve been wearing eyeglasses since middle school, in a time before the internet, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Charo sailed the high seas on The Love Boat before she discovered America. I would get my glasses made where I had my eye exams and bent over to pay whatever exorbitant amount of money they demanded. Once I could get glasses cheaper online, I did.

The last time I bought glasses in person was in 2016 when I needed progressive lenses for the first time and wanted them done perfectly. I had my eye exam at Target and figured they would have the best price, $400 later, I was reevaluating my decision. The glasses did fit fabulously but were more expensive than my first car. So this year I decided to go back to buying online.

If you want to buy glasses online (if I can do it, anyone can) all you need is your prescription (no need to understand the numbers, you easily fill in the blanks) and your pupillary distance (PD). You can ask for your PD at your exam (although I got a slight attitude) or each site has directions to do it at home.

To see how you’ll look in the frames, most sites have a place to upload a pic and they show how the glasses will look on your face. I take the measurements off my current frames (inside every frame are three digits measuring the arm length, bridge above your nose and length of the lenses) and get frames similar in size but a different style.

Never pay full price for glasses online. Sign up for the email list at any online store you’re thinking of using or wait for holiday sales. They constantly send out emails with deals. I’ve had good luck with 39DollarGlasses in the past but they didn’t have any discounts this time. If it’s not on sale, I’m not buying.

Check out my package!

My partner liked Warby Parker when he needed glasses a few years back. I picked five frames that I was interested in and a week later they arrived in the mail for a free five day trial. Besides trying on the frames, other perks are they donate a pair for every pair you buy and I could get the glasses adjusted next time I’m in New York City because they have a store in Grand Central Terminal. However, their progressives cost the same price I could pay locally. So I continued my search elsewhere.

No Warby Parker Oliver’s for me!

My old glasses were giving me headaches, I blamed the progressive lenses. I decided I could go back to wearing distance glasses no problem. At least that’s what my medical degree in nothing told me. So I placed an order for two pairs of distance glasses and a pair of prescription sunglasses through Goggles4U. It cost me $60.27 (with a discount code) to learn two things. #1: Once you’ve started wearing progressive glasses, you can’t go back to wearing distance only. #2: Pink frames don’t suit me as much as I hoped. The frames fit but I looked like a 70’s advice columnist. Dear Crabby dishing out sassy tough love along with her cat Fluffy and quill pen.

Step aside Molly Ringwald, there’s a new pink princess in town!

Unable to see the computer screen with my new glasses (blurry porn just isn’t the same), I sucked it up and ordered a pair of progressives with the same discount code for $67.37. When they arrived, they were crooked. I went on YouTube to learn how to adjust glasses at home. I learned two more things. #1: I’m not as mechanically inclined as I thought or hoped. Armed with a hair dryer and crooked glasses, I ended up setting our smoke detectors off. My blow job game is smokin’…literally. #2: If you’re not happy with your glasses, say something. Goggles4U sent me a replacement for the defective glasses.

My replacement Goggle4U progressives.

While waiting for my replacement, I went on Zenni’s website (with discount code in hand) to place an order for a pair of progressives for $76.82. The glasses arrived in two weeks. I am happy with the style and fit. It took a few days to get used to the new prescription but that’s to be expected. Zenni’s had clip-on sunglass for $3.95. I don’t love them because the clip-on is on the lens but it’s a good deal if you’re not picky like me.

My new Zenni progressives.

These prices are for frames, lenses, extra coatings, and shipping that I chose. You can go cheaper or more expensive but each company has clear price menus. I spent a total of $204.46 and ended up with two pairs of progressive glasses and a pair of distance sunglasses (as well as the clips-ons). That’s half of what I paid for one pair of progressives a few years ago. It would have been less if I didn’t try the distance-only experiment. I did take a page from the Warby Parker handbook and donated the unwearable glasses to a local charity that gives old glasses to the poor. My mistake is someone’s gain, some homeless dude is going to look fierce in those pink beauties.

My Goggles4U distance sunglasses.

In my gay opinion, if you need glasses, try ordering one pair online. The worst case scenario is you don’t like them and have a back-up pair for when you inevitably sit on or drop a pair…as I’ve been known to do. If you do like them, you save a lot of money. Good luck and happy shopping.

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