It seems like it was ages ago when I first wrote about saving money by purchasing prescription eyeglasses online, and since then I have taken advantage of the savings many times. I wanted to bring one site to your attention, as you might not have yet tried them: SmartBuyGlasses.
Founded in 2006, SmartBuyGlasses is now in their 10th year of delivering authentic name brand prescription eyeglasses to customers via their online site. Those of you who like the model of brands like Toms or Warby Parker will like the fact that SmartBuyGlasses has a BOGO policy; when you buy a pair, they will donate a pair of eyeglasses through their partner Unite for Sight. SmartBuyGlasses says that over the last 10 years they have donated 2.3 million worth of glasses to people in need.
When you purchase a pair of glasses, you are contributing to a great mission of reducing the number of visually impaired persons worldwide.
If you’re nervous about ordering prescription eyeglasses online, don’t be. All you need is a copy of your eyeglass prescription (including pupil distance), and you’ll be able to order. If your optician is tricky about including your PD on your prescription (I can’t imagine why, but some seem to hate sharing it), you can measure your own. This video shows you how …
SmartBuyGlasses features many of the popular name brands that you’d see in a nicer eyeglasses store, including Ray-Ban, Gucci, Prada, Tom Ford, my favorite — Persol, and many, many others; they also have special deals on a selection of frames. The thing that sets SmartBuyGlasses apart from any brick and mortar store is the number of frames they have for you to choose from — over 80,000 pairs!
If you are worried about whether the frames will look good on you or not, SmartBuyGlasses offers a virtual try on, where you can use your webcam to take a photo and see what the styles you’ve selected will look like on your face.
You can even try on and compare up to four pairs of glasses and sunglasses at the same time.
Prices are competitive with other online eyeglass retailers, but you can feel confident in your purchase because SmartBuyGlasses offers a 14 day best price guarantee — in other words, if you buy the glasses and then find them for less elsewhere online, as long as you are within the 14 day window they will match the lower price.
SmartBuyGlasses offers full refunds or exchanges within 100 days, and they have a two-year warranty on all eyeglasses and sunglasses; they even offer a three-month warranty on all contact lenses.
So let’s see what happens when you order …
First, you find the frames that you like; you can filter through the glasses by gender (or unisex), and you can sort through color, rim-style, frame material, eyeglass size, popular shapes, and price. Once you’ve found a pair that you like, you can select whether you want them with lenses or not. Most of the styles will have multiple sizes available (check and old pair that fit you well if you aren’t sure which size you need — it’s usually stamped on one of the inner arms) along with multiple colors.
If you opt to get the glasses without lenses, you can take them to a local eyeglasses place and have them done, but if you decide to go through SmartBuyGlasses, you’ll have a large selection of lens thicknesses and tints to choose from at competitive prices. All prescription lenses are processed “by a professional and licensed lab”; SmartBuyGlasses also does progressives and bifocals, if you need them.
You’ll have the return guarantee to fall back on if you discover any issues with your fit or the prescription, and the glasses you receive are the same as you’d receive in a local shop — minus the high prices. These are the glasses I ordered for Kevin through SmartBuyGlasses for this write-up — they are great!
The only downside to ordering online is that you can’t be in a big hurry; it can take around two weeks to get your prescription glasses once they’ve been ordered. I’ve found that to be true of all of the online eyeglasses places I’ve ordered from, so I don’t think it unreasonable.
Look to SmartBuyGlasses for your prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, sports glasses, contact lenses, and non-prescription sunglasses; they offer a 10%-off student discount, and they ship worldwide for free.