In recent years, it has become more popular for people who wear eyeglasses to buy them online. At our optical shops serving Princeton, Hamilton, and other New Jersey communities, we now see a lot of patients who come in with ill-fitting, uncomfortable frames or low-quality lenses saying they got a good deal online. Here are 5 reasons this so-called “savings” isn’t really worth it:
- Nothing compares to having the frames in your own hands. You get to physically try on the frame instead of seeing a virtual frame imposed on your uploaded picture (how most online shops let you “try on” their frames). Beyond seeing how the frames look, you get to feel the quality of the metals and plastics of the frames, test out the hinge or flexible metal, feel the weight of the frame, and so on.
- Quality of the materials and lenses bought online is usually lower. Most online optical retailers do not offer today’s latest technologies when it comes to frame and lens designs, or they have bought frames in bulk that have been discontinued. This is done to offer designer frames at what they state are huge savings. But, in fact, if you are purchasing a discontinued frame and you need repairs or parts in the future, it will be highly difficult to find what you need.
- Deciding what frame best suits your prescription can be tricky. An optician takes many considerations into account when helping you choose the best frame for you. The right frame consists of more than just what looks good. Just as one size frame does not fit all faces, one type of frame does not work for all prescriptions. An optician helps guide you into a frame that cosmetically makes your prescription look ideal. He or she can also help you determine what lens materials and options best suit your lifestyle and take your vision to the best levels possible.
- It’s imperative that measurements are done correctly. Pupillary distance measurements are just one of many important measurements and requirements for eyeglasses to work properly. Some lens designs and prescriptions are frame-specific and not general for all patients. While helping you select frames, your optician is doing more than just showing you frames that fit your needs cosmetically and prescription-wise — that person is also paying close attention to your general stance and head positions while the 2 of you discuss options. The optician also asks open-ended questions to help determine which lens design will best meet all of your needs and concerns. All of these subtle observations play a huge roll in how opticians measure you for your eyeglasses. Your optician is making several mental notes during the process to help make your experience and result the best they can possibly be.
- Problems can arise after you receive your new glasses. Your glasses may not seem right once they arrive at your door. Did you enter the prescription correctly? Did you take the right measurements or choose the correct lens design for the tasks you need the glasses to help you perform? Did the online shop make them correctly or even verify that it did so before it packaged them and shipped them to you? Perhaps the glasses do work correctly but now you need them adjusted, repaired, or simply maintained. You are likely now spending any money that you may have saved from ordering the glasses online with trips back and forth to the doctor trying to figure out what’s wrong. Or you will now have to find an optician to help you adjust or repair your glasses. Because the glasses were ordered online, opticians in your area may not be willing or able to repair, adjust, or troubleshoot them. More charges may occur, and your frustration may build. The few dollars you may have saved will now seem not worth all the inconvenience and additional fees you have incurred.
Although the Internet can be a great resource, one thing is perfectly “clear.” Online eyeglass ordering is not the best solution for your eye care needs. A brick-and-mortar optical shop will have your best interest at heart and solutions at hand. They provide a service that no online optical service can come close to meeting. If you’re still not convinced and have ordered your eyeglasses online, we suggest you have an optician inspect the glasses to make sure they are made correctly.