Ordering glasses online
February 5, 2005 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone ever ordered eyeglasses from an online retailer? (+)

I'm sort of idly considering it, though it seems like it might be fraught with peril. I found a site where you can upload your picture and then virtually try on glasses. The prices look very good, and the selection is great.

In the past I have used Huge National Chain and been pretty satisfied. Additional info: I'm getting bifocals for the first time (getting old sucks). HNC will remake the lenses for free within 30 days if I can't get used to the no-line progressive bifocals. Thoughts?
posted by fixedgear to Shopping (11 answers total)
I have a pretty large head and 90% of the glasses at most stores don't fit on me ... the stem aren't long enough to curl behind my ears. I wouldn't buy glasses online unless I'd tried the exact model on in a store first. At which point I'd just buy it at the store.

I also bought a pair from HNC last summer and there seemed to be something wrong with them - I couldn't focus with both eyes at the same time. I'd bought them in Cleveland and was in New Hampshire the next day. I went to the nearest mall, found a HNC, and had a pair that satisified me "in about an hour". So, there's something to be said for that.
posted by sohcahtoa at 7:44 AM on February 5, 2005

Yeah, I bought from an outfit that said 'These frames will fit from xxx to yyy size lenses,' which turned out to be bushwa. Your myopia may vary.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:54 AM on February 5, 2005

I just did a couple of weeks ago, even ordering from America to Europe. Was happy with the service, the product, and the price. But obviously you need to be sure of the prescription details. Here in the UK many opticians offer a free eye test service - this might be an option.
posted by keijo at 8:13 AM on February 5, 2005

I'm curious about this, too. There's not just the prescription, but when I've gotten glasses in the past, they measured how far apart my eyes were. That piece of info isn't on my prescription. How would that information be conveyed to the online retailer?
posted by cactus at 8:38 AM on February 5, 2005

cactus: they ask that when you order. I had that info in my prescription but there were also online instructions on how to get a friend to measure that for you.
posted by keijo at 9:05 AM on February 5, 2005

You need to make sure your eye doctor or local eyeglasses retailer measures your eye width/distance for you -- make sure they write those numbers down on your prescription. That way you'll have all the info you need to shop for glasses online.

Also, more info in previous threads here, here, and here. I can recommend eyeglasses.com mentioned in those previous threads -- great customer service.
posted by jca at 10:53 AM on February 5, 2005

They call that measurement your PD or pupillary distance. Thanks for all of your input. Although I have no problem ordering shoes from Zappos, after much deliberation I decided to go with HNC. Besides being concerned about having to possibly have the lenses remade, sohcahtoa reminded me of a good reason to use HNC. If I'm travelling on business, for example, and I have a problem I can easily get to my nearest HNC and get fixed up. Plus the try on factor was very important, as these things are gonna be on my face for two years or so.
posted by fixedgear at 2:33 PM on February 5, 2005

I have ordered sunglasses from Eyeglasses.com twice. I've been reasonably happy, but one thing is, even with the picture, you won't be able to tell how good they work until you actually try them on. My last pair looked good in the picture, and, frankly, make me look really cool, but they suck as sunglasses (too small -- the sunlight gets through the sides and the darkened glasses make things even more hard-to-see). Also, you have to fit them yourself, or pay to have them fit for you (they gave me coupon to use for free fitting, but I bet most places don't honor it). I would never use them for general purpose eyeglasses.

I measured the PD myself, and apparently got it right.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:21 AM on February 6, 2005

eyeglasses.com was the one I used as well. Normally, here in Europe, I've been able to walk into any optician and have my spectacles fitted even if they haven't been bought from their particular establishment, don't know if the ones in the U.S. are less friendly.
posted by keijo at 2:40 AM on February 6, 2005

I ordered my glasses while in Australia from 39dollarglasses.com. Not sure where they are based, but it was fairly easy, and I got the glasses in about a week. The glasses are standard, kind of cheapie frames, but what do you want for 39 bucks...
posted by Dag Maggot at 4:39 AM on February 6, 2005

The question you didn't ask, about no line bifocals:

Sometimes they try to explain to you, sometimes they don't, but the no line bifocals only have two clearly focused spots you can see through the glass, and the rest of the surface area is pretty well eaten up by the process of transitioning from one to the other. Some people seem to love them, some can't stand them, just sayin' it's something to be aware of.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:51 AM on February 6, 2005

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