Inexpensive Glasses and Frames Can Easily Be Found Online
Prescription eyeglasses, or even simple reading glasses, can be very expensive if purchased from a traditional optometrist. Even people with good insurance plans may not have eyeglasses covered in their plan. It may not be possible to get an eye exam over the internet yet, but penny pinchers can certainly save a good chunk of money by buying quality glasses online.
Prescription or Reading Glasses Can Be Ordered Over the Internet
All that is needed to order a pair of frames and lenses is a simple prescription, which any optometrist can give you. Some sites require additional information, such as the pupillary distance, or certain adjustments for patients with astigmatism or those requiring bi-focal lenses, but that information can be obtained by asking the optometrist to add it to the written prescription.
Most of the websites offering low price glasses, including Zenni Optical and Prescription Glasses Online, are able to offer glasses as low as $8 a pair because they use plastic. However, these frames and lenses are made out of durable plastic, and often are more scratch resistant than traditional glass lenses.
Bi-focals, progressive lenses, and fancy UV or transitional coatings are also offered by many of these retailers. While these options do up the price by quite a bit, it’s still much cheaper than what an eye care center usually offers. A basic pair of glasses can run as high as $300 at an optometrist’s office, and bifocals can add at least $50 on to that quote.
Buying Online Has Its Downsides – No Trying Glasses On, Prescription Can Be Wrong
Of course, many people enjoy being able to try on as many pairs as they like to pick what fits their face best. This is a major downside to online shopping. It’s impossible to try on the frames that a website offers, and it’s possible to end up with a pair that isn’t quite the right style. The best way to avoid this is to try on a few pairs when visiting an optometrist for the eye exam, and deciding on a general style to find online.
The prescription given to the patient can also be wrong, and that often only becomes obvious after the glasses have been ordered and tried by the patient. Almost all optometrists simply send them back and get new lenses made, at no cost to the patient, since it was their error. However, these online retailers don’t offer the same – once ordered, even if the prescription is wrong, the buyer is stuck with them.
But the price point is usually low enough on these sites that ordering another pair with a corrected prescription is still way below the cost associated with purchasing a pair from an optometrist. Care should be taken to make sure the person administrating the eye exam is trained, and that the numbers on the prescription seem logical before using them to order a pair of glasses.
Some optometrists may balk at giving a patient a written prescription since much of their profit comes from eyeglass orders, but according to the Zenni Optical website, they are legally required to supply all patients with the written prescription upon request. It may be helpful to mention the need for a copy of the prescription while making the appointment.
Money Can Be Saved by Buying Cheap Prescription Glasses Online
Even for people who have insurance or already have a good pair of eyeglasses, the cheap pairs that can be found online are perfect for a backup pair in case of emergency. For those without eyeglass coverage, extremely cheap glasses can make it possible for them to get a new pair every year, as recommended by optometrists, instead of being limited by a high price point.