Jul 2nd 2024

5 Simple Steps for Buying Glasses Online

5 Simple Steps for Buying Glasses Online

Buying glasses can be very expensive and what’s even worse is that vision insurance doesn't always cover glasses — and in cases when it does, it may not cover the whole cost.

However, if your prescription isn’t complicated, you can save some serious money by ordering eyeglasses online. All you need to know are these couple of steps that will help you order glasses online.

How To Buy Glasses Online In 5 Simple Steps

1. Get A Prescription

Glasses on prescription Even though this might seem as an obvious step, some people forget to have their prescription available when ordering online. Usually, a prescription for glasses is valid for a year or two, depending on the state you live in.

A valid prescription should show your type (reading glasses, bifocal, trifocal, progressive, single vision, distance, computer etc.) and your metric numbers. If you haven’t had an eye exam recently, or you think that your prescription may need to be adjusted, make an appointment so that your eye doctor can check whether your metrics are still up to date and correct.

2. Know Your Pupillary Distance (PD)

Another important piece of information you must have before placing your eyeglass order online is your pupillary distance measurement. Your pupillary distance (PD) is the distance, in millimeters, between the centers of the pupils of both eyes. Sometimes the PD can be listed on your prescription, but in cases when it’s not, give your eye doctor a quick call to find out what it is.

Your PD is a crucial measurement no matter how you’re buying your eyeglasses, as your lenses need to be centered on your pupils and if they aren't, the glasses will likely cause eyestrain.

3. Finding Frames That Fit

Not trying glass frames on might seem like a problem when not buying in a store. But don’t fret, there is a solution even for that. Assuming that you already have a pair of glasses that fit, you will find three primary measurements engraved on the inside temple of the eyeglass frame. These measurements are the temple size (arm length), bridge width, and lens width.

If these measurements are not available, or if you are purchasing glasses for the very first time, it is a good idea to spend a little time trying on glasses at a retail eyewear store to determine your sizing measurements.

4. Lens Types And Index

Whether you’re buying glasses online or in a store, the next thing you must decide on is what type of lenses you want to get. Getting anything beyond a basic, single-strength lens will add to the overall cost, but some upsells can be worth it. Lenses are often offered in three primary options, including photochromatic lenses, clear lenses, and tinted or Polarized Lenses, but of course there are other options as well.

Photochromic lenses change color in the sun, though they won't necessarily get as dark as traditional sunglasses. The biggest brand in photochromic lenses is Transitions.

Progressive lenses are made for people who wear bifocals (glasses that have two strengths for seeing near and far) or trifocals (which have three strengths), progressive lenses don’t have lines where one strength lens meets the next.

Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses are lightweight plastic lenses that offer great durability. They’re an ideal choice for kids or for general wear when playing sports or doing other outdoor activities.

High-index plastic lenses as the name implies, have a higher index of refraction. That means they're the thinnest lenses you can get — and they can stay thin while providing clear vision for people who need stronger prescriptions. The higher the refractive index of these lenses, the thinner they are.

5. Lens Coatings

Most of the coatings, if not all, that are about to be listed here, may be included with your lenses when you order glasses online. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be offered better (and more expensive) versions of these coatings. Also, be aware that the more you customize your prescription glasses online, the more likely it is you won’t be able to return them.

Anti-reflective coating is a thin layer that removes reflection on the front and back surface of the lens making your eyes more visible. It also provides better vision while driving and working on computer by reducing glare.

Scratch-resistant coating is makes the surface of the lens harder to scratch. Keep in mind that no glasses are fully scratch-proof. But having some scratch resistance is good, especially if you're hard on your glasses.

Ultraviolet protection is important, because your eyes can be damaged by exposure to UV light the same as your skin can. However, many lenses are capable of blocking 100% of UV light without any additional coating.

Hydrophobic coating keeps rain, snow and fog at bay.

Pros And Cons To Buying Glasses Online

At first it does sound a bit scary if you have never purchased glasses online. But once you have tried and gotten the hang of it, you’ll never want to go back to those annoying salespeople who seem to know what they’re doing but don’t really. Plus, it is quite a bit cheaper buying online! Let’s take a detailed look at the benefits and drawbacks of buying glasses online.

Pros To Buying Glasses Online

1. Convenience

This basically means buying from the comfort of your home or office without having to put time aside. Buying glasses online means that you don’t have to take almost any time out of your day but instead just put a few minutes aside. That is why many people nowadays have turned to purchasing glasses online.

2. Pressure Free

Salespeople can sometimes be pushy, lack knowledge or simply not interested. When buying online you don’t have to worry about people chasing after their sales commission. Furthermore, many sites include integrated chat features where you can talk to a salesperson if you do need advice. Therefore, you won’t be alone to make your purchase should you need a hand. Nevertheless, thanks to the protective barrier of the internet, you won’t feel pressured into buying something you don’t want.

3. Time

No queues, crowds or closing times which means you can take as long as you want in finding the best frames. Also, you can shop any time you want, whether you’re a night or morning person, the site will be there 24/7. You can save links or create an account to compare frames later if you find some but you’re still not sure. However, if time is on your side, you can take your time and come back a few weeks later too.

4. Price And Quality

Sites can afford to work with smaller tight-knit teams from offices and warehouses, and their running costs tend to be far less than stores. This means that because they sell more frames, they can lower their profits per sale and render them more accessible. Additionally, sites can offer the same quality as what you’d get in-store for far less.

Cons to Buying Online

1. Too Much Choice

Many options can be daunting and leave you wondering if you bought the right thing from the right place. And because of that you have to be very sure of what fits you best and what not, that way you’ll avoid disappointments and doubts.

2. Unreliable Online Retailers

Buying online carries its own risks. From unsafe URLs to scammers or simply poorly-designed websites and spammy newsletters, it’s not easy finding the best places to buy online. Fortunately, it is easy to ask around and find some excellent sites that offer a customer service and quality that are even better than in stores.

In the end, whether you’ll purchase your eyeglasses online or in a store, as always, is ultimately up to you. Here we have given you some simple steps to make your online shopping easier and not as daunting (if you are a first-time buyer). Have you ever purchased anything from our or any other sites? If so, let us know how it went. We always welcome your feedback and suggestions and would love to hear from you.

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Nick Zelver
Nick Zelver

Nick Zelver is the Editor at WebEyeCare. With a professional journey beginning at Optimax Eyewear in Tel Aviv, Nick excelled as the Director of Online Sales Channels, where he spearheaded the development of strategic sales channels and branding initiatives, fostering significant growth in online sales. His notable achievements in the field are underpinned by a rigorous academic foundation, having earned an entrance scholarship to Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).

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