Buying Eyeglasses

Where to buy cheap glasses online

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Do you love the idea of buying cheap glasses online but worry about how long they’ll take to arrive or what they’ll look like in person?

The secret to getting a quality pair of glasses at the right price in a reasonable time: Find a reputable eyewear retailer.

What are the hallmarks of a reputable eyewear retailer? Look for attentive customer service, quality products and a fair return policy that covers style mistakes and color errors. How do you find this? Check customer reviews of the website, glasses and warranties.

Choose your online eyewear retailer wisely and you’ll have no regrets if those snazzy purple aviators you loved online clash with your new hair color. 

ALREADY KNOW WHAT KIND OF GLASSES YOU'RE LOOKING FOR? Find an optical shop near you or online.

To help you narrow your shopping options, here’s a look at four of the top places to buy cheap glasses online along with the pros, cons and return policies for each:

EyeBuyDirect

EyeBuyDirect  offers a good mix of affordability and style with fashion-forward frames starting at just $6. In fact, the eyewear retailer features more than 40 frame styles that cost less than $10, so you’re sure to find cheap frames that fit your face — and your taste.

For example, the Drums — trendy $6 rectangle frames  — get top ratings from customers for looks and quality. They come in six colors including navy, red and orange.

The Delaware — another style with rave reviews — is a $9 round frame  that comes in a floral pattern.

EyeBuyDirect sells frames for men, women and children. The site features 600+ styles — glasses and sunglasses — and a variety of lenses, from UV and blue light protective lenses to photochromic lenses that darken in sunlight.

  • Wait time: Standard shipping in the U.S. takes about 7-14 business days, or you can upgrade to UPS Next Day Air.
  • Return policy: The 14-Day Fit & Style Guarantee gives you two weeks to return or exchange your glasses for any reason, and the 365-Day Product Guarantee offers a one-time replacement within 12 months for defects in materials or workmanship.

FramesDirect

FramesDirect.com  offers an array of discounted designer frames  for men and women, with up to 50% off brands such as Burberry, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Versace. Frames start at about $40.

  • Wait time: Prescription glasses take about 10 business days for processing before they are shipped. Shipping time varies based on method selected: UPS Express (1 business day), UPS Expedited (2 business days), USPS Priority (3 business days), UPS Ground (2 to 6 business days) and basic USPS (3 to 8 business days).
  • Return policy: Prescription glasses may be returned within 30 days for a refund — less 50% of the lens price — or exchanged. If an exchange requires new lenses, 50% of the original lens price will be credited toward new lenses. Incorrect or damaged glasses will be replaced within 30 days for free.

Warby Parker

While Warby Parker offers an alternative to getting pricey glasses from your eye doctor, many frames cost about $150 with prescription lenses (without any lens upgrades). Not that it’s easy to tell how much things cost: The website doesn’t display prices in search results so you can’t sort by price or even see the price unless you go to a frame’s individual page.

Pluses include a nice selection, on-trend styles, cool colors and customer-friendly policies, including a Home Try-On program that will ship up to five frames for you to try on for free.

  • Wait time: After your billing information and prescription get approved, your glasses will arrive in 7-10 business days. Expedited shipping costs $30 and can cut that time in half. Frames for the Home Try-On program take about five business days to arrive. Standard shipping and returns are free.
  • Return policy: Warby Parker has a 30-day, hassle-free return or exchange policy. If you’re not happy with your glasses for any reason, you can send them back within 30 days for a full refund or exchange. The eyewear retailer also has a one-year, no-scratch guarantee and will replace eyeglass and sunglass lenses scratched during that time for free.

Zenni Optical

Zenni has a wide selection of frames for men, women and children ranging in price from $7 to $45. The online eyewear retailer also has a unique 3D video try-on tool that can help give you an idea of how your glasses or sunglasses will look from multiple angles.

  • Wait time: USPS standard shipping takes 14-21 days, Priority Mail shipping takes 10-14 days and express shipping (via USPS, UPS or FedEx) takes 7-10 days.
  • Return policy: You have 30 days to return your glasses for any reason, including a manufacturing defect. If you’re sending the glasses back because you don’t like them or you made a mistake on your order, you’ll either get a 50% refund or a credit for the full amount.

Ready to shop for cheap glasses?

So, go ahead and buy those glasses online — there might even be some tiger tortoise frames with your name on them. Just make sure to pick a reputable retailer that gives you leeway to change your mind after you buy.

IS YOUR PRESCRIPTION UP TO DATE? Find an eye doctor near you to schedule an eye exam — having a valid prescription on hand makes the online buying process much easier.

Page updated October 2019

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