OK, so want to buy some online glasses but have no idea which lenses or frames you need and who to purchase them from. Don’t worry, buying your glasses online need not be the headache you imagined (excuse the pun) as there are some reputable online glasses websites who have a wealth of experience when it comes to getting your prescription right and giving good customer service. So let’s have a look at what you should expect when it comes to purchasing your bargain glasses and what information you will need to know beforehand.
First of all you will need an updated copy of your sight test prescription which should be less than 2 years old and 1 year if you are aged 70 and over. Surprisingly, for many people, this can sometimes be the hardest part as more Opticians these days are coming to terms with the fact that the general public are aware of the high mark up on frames and lenses and so are ordering their glasses online.
This has become an annoyance to the high street opticians and so they are less than happy when you request a copy of your prescription and can become quite obstructive when handing it over. If this ever happens to you then all you need to do is politely remind them that by refusing to hand your prescription details over, they are breaking the law! This usually has the desired effect and now you can skip all the way home feeling triumphant in your first step for buying online glasses and thus saving a fair few pennies.
Your next step is to decide what kind of lenses you are going to buy when purchasing your spectacles. This is important because not every glasses frame can accommodate every type of prescription lens. For instance, a small and shallow fashion frame will not have enough depth for a varifocal lens because varifocal glasses need lots of depth to be able to accommodate both your distance and reading prescriptions. You only really need to think this part through if you have to wear glasses all of the time and need them for both distance and reading. If you have a high prescription (3.50 or above) then you may want to consider a high index lens which means that the lenses will be made thinner through a special process in the lab. This will not only make the lens look cosmetically better but it will also make the lenses lighter in weight. There are 3 main types of high index lens; 1.60, 1.67 and 1.74 (the higher the number, the thinner the lens). I would make sure before you buy any high index lenses that the supplier only uses good quality branded lenses such as Nikon, Essilor, Ziess, Hoya or Rodenstock as there seem to be many online glasses suppliers who are importing cheap, poorly manufactured lenses from the Far East which won’t give you the best visual acuity. Again, make sure this is so when ordering Varifocal lenses as this can make all the difference to you being able to adapt to the lenses or throwing them in the bin. If I had a penny for every patient I’ve seen who had previously gone into an opticians and been sold poor quality lenses only to give up and throw them away after 3 weeks, I’d be rich beyond my wildest dreams!
The next step is to find your online glasses supplier. I work in a busy opticians practice and talk to a lot of my customers about where they buy their glasses from and I am finding more and more people telling me that they prefer to buy online because of the convenience and most of all the huge savings they make. Many of the people I spoke to told me that they prefer to use smaller, independent online glasses sellers as they get good service that has a more personal feel to it.
Having worked in the opticians industry for over 25 years, both making glasses and dispensing them, my advice to you is to go with an online glasses supplier who knows all about lenses and not just the frames. This is where a lot of people come unstuck by buying glasses from companies who know absolutely nothing about prescription lenses but can supply you with a nice discount designer frame. That’s all very well but the most important part of your glasses is the lenses themselves so it’s not a very good idea to compromise style over prescription correction. Unfortunately, there seems to be few online glasses companies who have the qualifications or experience in this field and just focus on selling cheap designer frames to which they outsource to lens specialists for glazing. As I said before, make sure you go with a company who know their lenses as well as their frames. Any online glasses supplier worth its salt will have a phone number you can call and a qualified person on the other end to answer your questions. Many people I have spoken to who buy their glasses online have told me that some of the bigger, well known online stores have supplied them with glasses for under £20 (bargain!) but then have fallen apart in under a couple of months. If it’s just a cheap pair of reading glasses to keep in the glove compartment of your car then this is a good option but if you rely on your glasses and wear them all the time then this isn’t really a sensible option. By all means it’s great to save money buy purchasing online but you should still invest a little if you want quality eyewear that will last before your next sight test is due. One other thing, try to ensure that whoever you go with, they have a secured and encrypted website when it comes to paying for them as you will have to enter a fair amount of your personal details and you don’t want that getting into the wrong hands.
I am confident that if you follow these simple steps then the process will be seamless and you will end up with a great pair of glasses at a great price that will last you for a couple of years.