It all started when the clerk at our swimming lessons mentioned,
Hey, your kids wear glasses. I just found the coolest place to get cheap glasses online.
We politely listened, looking at each other like, “yeah, right!” when she said that the glasses could be purchased for as low as $6.95. Cheap glasses online? They’re probably junk!
Ok crazy lady, whatever!
We intended to check out the link that she gave us but never got around to it. Time passed and our boys’ glasses (age 6 & 8 at the time) were getting really wonkified with all of the wrestling, bike riding, and chicken wrangling that comes with summer.
I finally dug out the info and decided to give it a go.
We ordered 4 pairs of glasses. Two pairs were to be used as spares for the boys. My husband and I also chose a pair for ourselves.
The Process at Zenni
- We measured our current frames to get an idea of what styles would work on our faces
- Using the advanced search option we looked for similar glasses
- We chose the glasses and lens type, input our measurements (acquired from our optometrist’s office) and…
- After the standard $4.95 shipping and e-coupon from RetailMeNot we paid… $113.63 for 4 pairs of glasses! But Wait! Does that seem a little steep for “cheap” glasses? Here’s the breakdown per pair and I’ll explain why I’m so jazzed about this price.
- $15.95 – Oldest Boy’s Glasses
- $15.95 – Second Oldest Boy’s Glasses
- $23.95 – Husband’s Glasses
- $64.90 – My Glasses
Why am I so excited about $65 glasses?
Confession time; I’m blind as a bat!
I wear contacts during the day but switch to glasses at night. In order to get glasses that don’t look like coke bottles I have to purchase high index lenses.
Normally, when I buy a pair of glasses at my optometrist’s office it costs me more than $300 per pair!
Now do you see why I’m so excited about only spending $65? I am so jazzed about these new glasses that I’m planning to purchase another pair. There’s nothing that scares a blind lady more than the thought of not having glasses or contacts when an emergency strikes.
What about the quality of the glasses?
In my experience, the quality is equal to the big name manufacturers. Seriously.
It really is possible to buy cheap glasses online that are top quality. We received both metal and plastic frames in our order and both are comparable to the frames that we were paying four to eight times more for at the optometrist’s office.
I can’t confirm this, but I heard from a reputable source (Ok, it was an episode of Shark Tank) that the majority of the world’s glasses come from one maker anyway, regardless of where you purchase them.
Is there any downside to purchasing from Zenni?
I’m not going to lie, measuring the pupillary distance (PD; the distance between your two pupils) can be a bit tough.
It’s important to get the PD measurement correct because it affects the focal point on the glasses. The PD is measured in millimeters which makes it tough to calculate, particularly with children.
“Hey, hold your eyeballs still while I wave this ruler under your nose!”
After trying many different ways to calculate this number we settled on a pretty sweet method of marking glasses with a whiteboard marker while staring off in the distance.
We ended up asking for our PD measurement from our optometrist. They had given us our glasses prescription no problem but hadn’t written down the PD. The number from the optometrist was very close to what we had determined using the glasses/marker method.
Lens Manufacturing Issues
The other downside to purchasing from Zenni is that the lenses might not be manufactured perfectly. Out of the 4 pairs that we ordered, 3 were just fine, but one was a bit off.
With an adult, it’s pretty easy to tell if the prescription is funny and it’s no big deal to contact Zenni for a replacement. When you’re dealing with kids it’s more difficult to tell if there is a problem (particularly if their prescription has changed).
For this reason, we decided to continue purchasing the boys’ glasses from the optometrist. At the office they are double-checked for an accurate prescription, ensuring that none of our kids is running around hurting their cute little eyeballs with lenses that weren’t cut correctly. Even so, we’ll always make sure to have a backup pair of Zenni’s for them. And…
…I’ll never buy a pair of glasses from the optometrist again. I am so jazzed about the cost savings for my blind-as-a-bat self, and the quality of the glasses that I’m a forever customer.
The great news is that Zenni offers a 30-day warranty for their glasses so you’ll have plenty of time to try them out and have a replacement pair sent if you experience any problems. You really can find cheap glasses online that are high quality too!
Do you wear glasses? Does paying big bucks for eyewear drive you crazy?