Following up an online spectacle December 29, 2007 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Do we have glasses yet?

Before that thread closed, a bunch of people said they were ordering glasses online. ropadope, (a.k.a. Mr. Glassy Eyes) continues to maintain his blog, and mathowie's written up his experience elsewhere. But what about the rest of you - how were your experiences, and how are your specs three months later?
posted by ardgedee to MetaFilter-Related at 6:55 AM (29 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

Well, perhaps with this new MeTa thread, goodnewsfortheinsane's question will finally be answered. And thanks for bringing this to MeTa, as I had missed this originally on the blue. I'll be really interested myself: all the cheap glasses I ever bought (and they were pretty much all cheap glasses up until just a few years back) didn't hold up very well over time. In the last few years I've sprung for expensive glasses, twice now, and I've been glad I did.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:28 AM on December 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

I should admit a month after I wrote my 2-week old experiences, one of my favorite pairs of cheap glasses have kind of stretched out and the hinges seem slightly loose. Still, it was only $26 for the pair so it's not a big deal.

I do like knowing I have a bunch of spares though, I used to live in dread of ever harming or losing my single $400 pair of glasses and being forced to buy another $400 1-hour pair.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:35 AM on December 29, 2007

Missed it on the blue. Totally hooked up with some pink rimlesses glasses now, thanks! 8-)
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:41 AM on December 29, 2007

I've bought a few pairs from a few places. One I wear everyday, and another which doesn't fit so well (my fault) I keep in the family room for watching TV. The rest I keep as spares.

Amusing anecdote: the ill fitting pair ended up coming from Pakistan and was so poorly packaged that I seriously thought it might be a bomb. It looked like a prop from a TV show, complete with weird greenish cardboard, haphazardly placed tape, and tears leaking cotton stuffing. My address was scrawled on the top with black marker in jagged rough lettering. Even my mailman expressed some concern when he gave it to me. If I had a blog, I probably would have written an entry titled "LOOK AT THIS FUCKING SCARY BOX". Anyway, the glasses were fine, but delivery took around 5 weeks on that one. Other pairs that I got from Hong Kong or China arrived much faster, and were not packaged by escaped convicts.
posted by tracert at 8:47 AM on December 29, 2007 [11 favorites]

I bought them that day from Zenni. Got them two weeks later. They didn't make my eyes fall out, but they were a little too hip for normal wear, so I don't wear them much. But I'm happy to say they were cheap and they work and I like them.

Then I forwarded the thread to all my friends, who accused me of spamming. Ah, the zeal of the new convert.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:16 AM on December 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

thank you for the reminder. ordering a couple of pair is one of my to-dos in the new year.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:42 AM on December 29, 2007

I bought two pair from optical4less back in September '06, and am still very very happy with them.
posted by mrbill at 10:56 AM on December 29, 2007

Aw, hell yeah. I'm an evangelist for Zenni Optical now. I got 2 pair (total of $55), and I have NEVER gotten more compliments on glasses as I have with these. I'm about to buy pair 3. I've worn glasses since I was 11, and it is a totally wonderful luxury to be able to wear a *different* pair every day or so!
posted by tristeza at 11:32 AM on December 29, 2007

My wife bought 2 pairs, they got here six weeks ago and she's been happy with them. For some reason Canada post took a week to get them from vancouver to us (customs I guess) but otherwise no problems.
posted by Mitheral at 11:46 AM on December 29, 2007

I ordered some from goggles4u and am quite happy. :)
posted by IndigoRain at 11:59 AM on December 29, 2007

Bought my first pair of 'internet glasses' from 39dollarglasses one or two years back, and they served me very well as an occassional pair (I primarily wear contacts). Ditto with the frames/arms stretching. Granted, this has also happened with other in-store glasses -- the difference is that I have no brick-and-mortar store to heat and re-position them on my head for me.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a pair from eyebuydirect, and was very pleased with quality, service and shipping (total cost, ~$80 out the door (inc. shipping, etc)) and a "for the hell of it" pair from Zenni (total of $19 otd!) which also look very good and fit very well.

All in all, pleased with the online glasses experience. Mentioned to my eye doc that I was doing this, and was met with no cautionary tales, shock or awe. He seemed to think it was pretty normal, considering how much glasses can cost, and how many people don't have any vision insurance/spending allowance. Myself included.
posted by NikitaNikita at 12:06 PM on December 29, 2007

I plan on ordering a pair very soon, and will report back via this thread. My current pair of glasses is deteriorating quickly. I feel lucky to have ran across that FPP--I've worn glasses since I was eight, and don't like the way contacts feel in my eyes.

Also, I like the taste of Chinese toothpaste, so it's a win-win.
Mmmm... diethylene glycol
posted by not_on_display at 12:44 PM on December 29, 2007

I ordered a couple pairs from Zenni Optical before that thread and I love them. They look better than the $400 pair I spent 45 minutes in the shop trying on. They feel better on my head. And the arms don't stretch and move as much as the expensive pairs.

I'm definitely going to order more pairs from some of the other cheap places. I know it seems weird but I totally used to have Spectacle Anxiety; always worrying about losing them, breaking them, having my hair stick to the lens and muck it up. It's really been a relief to change my thinking about specs and their value. I mean, I might even get bangs. A concept I wouldn't even consider when I worried constantly about my hair touching my lenses.
posted by birdie birdington at 2:11 PM on December 29, 2007

Awesome, thanks for the post and replies. One question I would ask (I haven't ordered yet), is how long did the glasses take to arrive? It might be longer to Europe of course but I will be sending them via a (Mefite) friend in the US.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:07 PM on December 29, 2007

Good bye local eye-glasses economy! Lenscrafter employees, either kiss your job goodbye or suck up a might-as-well-be-Chinese paycheque for your labour!

No, really, it's a good thing.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:07 PM on December 29, 2007

I'm wearing a pair of my Goggles4u glasses right now. As mentioned upthread, they are not big on packaging unless you like got here, the glasses are fine, and I can't tell the difference between my $30 glasses and the £250 ones I bought a couple of years ago.

However, I have previously had a duff pair from them, when I brought frameless specs and the nose-piece was stuck on slightly off-centre. In that case the email customer service was pretty good and we settled on a discount off my next order, which I was happy with.

I've also used Glasses Direct, and the glasses were very nice (and only took 2 weeks to arrive).
posted by penguinliz at 4:26 PM on December 29, 2007

I ordered a pair of progressives from Zenni Optical a month ago; I was pleased with the price, delivery time and frames, but alas- they totally screwed up one of the lenses and they are unuseable. I am very very sad.
posted by fish tick at 4:51 PM on December 29, 2007

After reading that post I bought two pairs from eyebuydirect for $17 each. They are as good as any I have bought locally, and came in less than a week.
posted by Killick at 5:03 PM on December 29, 2007

This still sounds totally crazy to me, since I'm conditioned to believe that it's going to cost several hundred dollars for a pair of glasses. The skeptic in me says there's something wrong here, but the I'd-like-to-have-more-than-one-pair-of-glasses-but-am-not-made-of-money side of me is willing to dip my toe in the inexpensive glasses water.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:48 PM on December 29, 2007

i got my two pairs. the plastic ones feel cheap, but just as cheap as other plastic glasses feel. I'm wearing my "normal" pair right now, and they are great. Reccomended to many friends.
posted by milestogo at 6:41 PM on December 29, 2007

I should admit a month after I wrote my 2-week old experiences, one of my favorite pairs of cheap glasses have kind of stretched out and the hinges seem slightly loose. Still, it was only $26 for the pair so it's not a big deal.

I was just thinking today "I should e-mail mathowie to see how his online glasses are working out" and here's this thread. Heh.

I'm all for an alternative to the Luxxotica monopoly. They've been screwing me over for years. Example:

2002: Hardware benefit from insurance is $75. Go into Lenscrafters. Pick out frame, one with these nifty magnetic clipons. Expensive. With lenses, minus benefit, $300.

2004: Hardware benefit from insurance now $150. Go into Lenscrafters. Pick out frames, a little designer but plain jane and $50 less than the ones without magnets. Same lens types as last time. With lenses, minus benefit... $300.

So, I walked in with $75 more to spend, spent $50 less on frames, and ended up getting charged the same amount? It's like they're tailoring the price to my vision benefit.

I'd rather brave 3-4 hit-or-miss sets of glasses for $150 from the online places than spend $300 on one pair of glasses from Lenscrafters.
posted by dw at 7:07 PM on December 29, 2007

It's like they're tailoring the price to my vision benefit

Well, Luxxotica does have it's claws in the vision insurance industry too!
posted by blasdelf at 7:52 PM on December 29, 2007

Good bye local eye-glasses economy!

Yeah right! Spend the dough on laser eye surgery and save yourselves the dependency on glasses. I'm glad I did.
posted by clevershark at 9:21 PM on December 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

My mother had the laser surgery a few years ago, and based on her experience (stars, loss of night vision) I'd rather keep buying glasses for my -7 eyes than let that laser anywhere near them.
posted by dw at 6:52 AM on December 30, 2007

Ditto with the frames/arms stretching. Granted, this has also happened with other in-store glasses -- the difference is that I have no brick-and-mortar store to heat and re-position them on my head for me.

If there's a Wal-Mart Supercenter nearby with a vision center you can get a free glasses tuneup. There's no purchase required though obviously the store would like one.

I've also just gone into random glasses stores in the mall and asked for a tuneup. No one seems inclined to charge, I guess because they're almost all owned by the same company and think the glasses must be theirs. Or it's maybe because the person paid by the hour will be there that hour regardless of whether they tune any glasses.
posted by Tuwa at 7:42 AM on December 30, 2007

i got some from zenni a couple weeks ago. both pairs had the proper prescription in them, so that was a bonus (for so cheap, i really wasn't sure). one pair looked really nice and seemed decent enough for 9.95. the other pair looked and felt very, very cheap. i was not pleased with that pair. i think next time i'll try another online site, but my experience with zenni was okay and certainly not bad.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:48 PM on December 31, 2007

Anyone buy any sports glasses, especially sunglasses, online? Mathowie mentioned it in his 43folders blog post but didn't say where he bought them.
posted by bassjump at 10:06 AM on January 4, 2008

I have been dealing with Zenni by email; they will replace the unuseable pair they sent me at no charge. Yay!
posted by fish tick at 7:35 AM on January 24, 2008

So I've ordered and received two pairs of glasses, one from 39 Dollar Glasses, one from Optical4Less.

The 39 Dollar Glasses pair were polycarbonate sunglasses. I'm somewhat meh about them, mainly because they need adjusting and I need to get to an optician who will do that. Also, the frames feel a little cheap. OTOH, I finally have prescription sunglasses, and they go well with my funeral outfit.

The Optical4Less pair were, well, a vanity choice. Since I finally embraced my nerd/geek-ness I'd wanted a pair of nerd glasses, or really, some big, chunky mid-50s scientist glasses. And look what they have. But here's the thing -- they totally rock. I put them on, and they not only looked right, they felt right. Pictures forthcoming (when I finally unpack the camera). It's worth the wait to get them from Hong Kong.

Both pairs cost ~$65, thanks to my prescription needing thinner lenses. My "main" set of glasses, which I got filled at Costco, were $190. I got a "meh" pair and a "ROCK!" pair for $60 less than a pair at Costco (though admittedly my insurance covered most of the Costco pair).

So long as you're willing to do the research, understand what all the numbers mean, and are willing to put up with some "meh" pairs among the "ROCK!" pairs, ordering online is totally worth it.
posted by dw at 9:40 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

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