My two-year-old pair of glasses open two inches wider than my head, which means it was time to plunk down $250 at Lens Crafters for a new pair. NOT!
My friend Megan alerted me to a Web site that sells cheap glasses, Goggles4u. All the frames are $13. My light prescription added another $17 to $45 dollars. There was a good selection of cute frames, an easy way to compare favorites and a handy guide to measure the size of my face. I found six pairs I liked. A feature that uploads your picture and lets you virtually try the glasses on did not work, unfortunately. The site offers free shipping and refunds the full cost of the frames and 50 percent of the lenses if you are unhappy.
I also found Zenni Optical, which sorts frames by price: $8, $10, $13, $15, $16, and $19 for complete pairs (upgrades available). You can also search by type of frame. The site was not as user-friendly as Goggles4u and had more frames made out of metal than plastic, which is what I wanted. I did not find any frames that I liked. Returned pairs must be received within thirty days of the initial shipment date for a 50% percent refund.
39 Dollar Glasses is just like it sounds. The site sells glasses with a prescription for $39. Bifocals are $79. You can search by frame type or look at new arrivals. I liked many of their pairs, but had a hard time telling what I would actually be happy with. The site’s return policy says if they cannot re-cut your lenses to fit a new frame, you can exchange them for a new pair or you get a refund minus a 30 percent restocking fee.
After browsing these three sites I was uneasy purchasing prescription glasses online. If I didn’t like my purchase I estimated I would incur fees ranging from $12.50 to $25, including shipping. That seemed like a lot of money to essentially try on a pair of glasses.
I decided to head over to Costco, where I had gotten a super cheap eye examination for $49. I quickly narrowed it down to four pairs, all $49.99. “I can see why you didn’t want to buy them online,” Hubby said. It was so hard to tell what looked good until I put them on.
Finally a salesman came over and asked if he could help. Yes! He knocked out one boxy pair straight away and helped me decide against a dark green pair. The two remaining pairs turned out to be the same Norma Kamali frame, one in black (above) and one in a deep red.
I chose red. Anti-reflective glare was another $29.99 and my prescription was $27.99.
My total came to $107.97, which is about $50 more than if I had bought them online, but a lot less than going to Lens Crafters. I decided $50 was worth knowing I liked the frames and not having to deal with returns. My friend loves her glasses from Goggles4u, but I couldn’t stomach the risk. In the name of vanity, I paid extra.