I wanted to share several things about buying glasses online and my new glasses for those who may be considering getting glasses online in the future.
- You will need to get the prescription from your eye doctor. This seems pretty obvious but I am mentioning it because they don’t give you a copy and don’t always give you all the info you need. Be honest and be gentle, let them know you can’t afford the $200 just for frames they have in their store and that you are going to shop around for your glasses. They may give you an awesome deal that you can’t refuse if they know, I don’t know. Mine didn’t even try.
- When you get the prescription ask to have your pupil distance measured, otherwise you will have to grab this measurement at home (my husband measured mine.) There are plenty of resources online that explain how to do this but it is easier if they will measure it there. You will need this number when ordering.
- If you already have glasses the next bit is easy. Use your measurements when looking at the new glasses. If they aren’t too old they will have a list of numbers inside the frame–these tell you the bridge size, the overall width, the length of the stems. If you look for glasses with similar numbers you then know they will fit your face. (I had to measure mine since any numbers have worn off completely in the 5 years I have worn them daily.) I had to look through a lot of glasses before I found ones that had the same measurements as my old ones.
- Use another site to try on glasses. If you are using Zennioptical.com you will want to use one of the other glasses sites to try on glasses to see which work best on your face. Zennioptical does not have a try it on feature but they cost about half as much as the other sites. I used a photo and tried on several pairs to see how they would work, looking for ones that looked similar to the ones I was thinking about on Zennioptical. I already knew the basic looks that worked on my face and what really, really didn’t work so it wasn’t hard to figure out.
- Consider ordering a spare pair. I have worn bifocals for almost 20 years (since college). The reading glasses weren’t strong and I needed them mostly because of taking notes originally, then later because I was doing a lot of back and forth distance to lose range work. My glasses, due to various things, cost about $500 in a regular glasses store. They only cost $35 from Zenni but we decided that it was time to try a pair of just distance glasses to keep as a spare and see if we can get my glasses cheaper in the future. For $12 it was worth a shot. I LOVE them. They are now my favorite glasses and I only need the bifocals for when I am reading, and am considering ordering a pair of reading glasses from Zenni as well (I have to have prescription because of my estigmatism.)
- Cut your losses. One of the downsides of Zennioptical is that they only refund you 50% of the cost if the prescription is messed up (if you input it wrong or it doesn’t work right) aand they seem to be kind of hit or miss when it comes to getting the prescription right. I read several reviews that were very negative but enough positive to make it worth a shot, especially for the price. I made sure to pick frames I LOVED and that were cheap in case the glasses just did not work for me, that way I could always take the frames in and ask the office where I had my exam to put lenses in. I still paid MUCH less for the frames ($30 for BOTH frames compared to $200 for one pair at the doctors office).
- Be prepared to adjust them yourself. Just like any other new glasses these will likely not fit quite right (especially bifocals–bifocals are tricky since Zenni always puts the line at the same height instead of adjusting to where your eye hits.) There are plenty of how tos online to help you adjust your glasses. This is the one I used to make my glasses stop falling off my face but if you prefer video this looks good. Instead of using a blowdyer (I couldn’t find mine) I ran them under very hot water then slowly bent them to match my other glasses. They fit perfectly now. If you are nervous of doing it yourself you can take them into Walmart or some other generic place and ask if they can adjust them for you. Usually they are perfectly willing regardless of where you got them. (My old ones used to fall apart a lot and I would take them into Walmart while I was there and ask if they could fix them–there was never any problem and worse case senerio they will charge you a few dollars for their time.)