Before weighing the pros and cons of buying your glasses online, you need to know a little bit about how the process works. Although you can purchase eyewear through various websites, you still need a valid prescription from an optometrist to order glasses unless you’re opting for over-the-counter readers.
Each site has its own procedures, but most give you two options. First, you can visit your optometrist, get a paper prescription and snap a photo of it to upload when you place your order. Alternatively, you can place your order online and provide the name and phone number of your doctor. The online store will then contact them directly to confirm your prescription.
There are a few key benefits to buying glasses online, including all of the following.
Online stores don’t have the same overhead as optometrists’ offices. As a result, they’re often able to sell the same eyeglasses you can buy from your doctor at lower prices. Many online eyewear stores accept insurance, including some Medicare Part C plans that include vision coverage.
Convenience is one of the biggest selling points of online glasses stores. Shopping virtually means you don’t have to drive or arrange transportation to your optometrist to buy glasses. You also won’t have to worry about mobility issues that may make visits to the doctor difficult. As long as your prescription is still valid, you can buy new glasses anytime from the comfort of home.
Some online stores have innovative technologies that let you see how their glasses look on your face before you buy. You just take a selfie and send it to the site. Then, click on frames that appeal to you and they’ll appear on the photograph.
Another major benefit of online stores is that they often have more styles available for you to consider. Optometrists in Monument, CO, often work with a limited number of brands.
If you already know that you love the style or quality of frames available from a particular maker, you may have to call around to find a doctor who carries them. With online shopping, it can be much easier to get the specific glasses you want.
Although there are some great upsides to buying your glasses online, virtual shopping does have some disadvantages you should keep in mind. Let’s explore some of the biggest ones.
Virtual try-on features can give you a good idea of how glasses look on your face, but there’s more to consider than just shape and color when you’re choosing eyewear. How heavy the glasses are, where they sit on your face and how the materials feel against your face and ears are also important things to think about, and online retailers can’t give you a way to compare these key characteristics.
If you have a complicated prescription, online retailers may not offer the customization options necessary to fill it. Progressive lenses are an example of a specialty option that can be difficult to buy online due to the precise measurements that must be taken to design them properly.
Speaking of measurements, to buy eyeglasses online, you need to know your pupil distance. If you don’t have this information on your prescription, measuring yourself can be challenging. Sites do provide instructions on how to do it, and it’s vital that you follow them carefully. Otherwise, your new glasses may not fit properly.
Anytime you buy something online, you run the risk of experiencing shipping issues. Packages can get severely delayed or lost completely, or they may arrive damaged. Although online retailers will usually make things right when problems occur, you'll have to wait longer for your glasses if anything goes awry.
To have a great experience buying eyewear online, follow these tips.
When shopping online, be on the lookout for coupons and special offers that can help you save money. Also, it’s smart to ask your optometrist if they price-match online retailers, as some will lower the price to get your business.
Before you submit your order, familiarize yourself with the return policy. Some retailers go the extra mile by sending you a return package with your initial order and letting you try your new glasses risk-free for a certain number of days, but others have stricter return policies that could lead to hassles if you end up not liking what arrives.
The key to choosing flattering glasses is to match frame shapes to your face. The Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medicine has a handy guide that can help you discover what your face shape is and what frames are most likely to suit it.
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