In the day and age of “on demand” convenience, being able to order glasses online and have them shipped to you, without the hassle of stepping foot into an ophthalmologist’s office seems ideal. However, to ensure that you have a seamless shopping experience, you want to be sure to consider these 7 questions.
- Is your prescription accurate? Since you won’t have the luxury of paying for a same day eye exam, you want to make sure your prescription is up-to-date. If you are using a prescription that is more than 2 years old, you’ll want to schedule an eye exam before ordering your glasses online. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a pair of glasses, waiting for their arrival, only to find out that they leave the world around you looking blurry.
- Do you know what style looks best? If you have a “go to” frame style that you like, then you should be all set. However, some online eyeglass retailers offer a wide range of frame shapes, sizes, and styles. Because you won’t have the opportunity to try them on before buying, you’ll want to do some research into which styles work best for your face.
- What’s the return policy? Generally for non-prescription sunglasses, you’ll have the opportunity to return the glasses, but this is not the case for prescription lenses. This is why having an accurate prescription is key to avoid being stuck with glasses that you don’t want.
- What type of lenses do you want? Whether you’re in the market for bifocals, progressives, or polarized lenses, it’s smart to take time to research your options before placing your order. Many online eyeglass retailers will offer a step-by-step guide to help you decide which type of frames and lenses to buy.
- What’s the manufacturing process? If it will take over 2 weeks to get your new pair of glasses, you’ll want to know this upfront. Oftentimes the manufacturing time depends on if the retailer has an in-house manufacturing plant or has to ship orders out to be fulfilled. Either way, be sure you’re clear on the process and how long you’ll have to wait after you purchase.
- Will your insurance cover the purchase? Some insurance plans may not cover eyeglasses purchased online, as they usually have pre-existing contracts with certain retailers. You may, however, use your flexible spending account (FSA) funds to buy prescription lenses, but you’ll want to check if your insurance will cover the bill first.
- What’s the warranty? Keep in mind your eyeglasses may be handled by more people during the online process and you want to be sure that if something goes wrong that you’re covered. Online retailers may offer a warranty on the frame and the lenses, or on one and not the other. Either way, look for retailers that offer at least a 1-year warranty on the frames, if not, extended warranty options.
If you’re looking for a few reputable online eyeglass retailers, we highly recommend Warby Parker, Glasses USA, and Felix + Iris. We also encourage you to use this checklist above to help guide you through the online buying process.