glasses follow-up #1

  • Dec. 6th, 2011 at 11:13 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
(If you missed it, here's my first post about buying glasses online.)

So far my online glasses-buying experience has been mixed. One pair I'm still waiting on, one pair is gorgeous but something seems wrong with the lenses, one pair the lenses are fine but the frames are so-so, and one pair has cute frames but a chipped lens. No Perfect Glasses yet.


Both of the pairs I ordered from Goggles4u are sold out/discontinued, so I don't know how long these links will work. The first is a black and clear plastic frame. They're pretty nice and the prescription is very sharp, but the frames are a bit too big for my face, I think. I'm not in love with them. Still, they're a good backup pair.

The second pair I liked a lot. It's a gray half-rim skinny cat-eye, and it was something of an impulse buy. I was like "dude, for this cheap, I'll get a fun pair too!" so this was my "fun pair." I ended up liking it more than the regular pair! However, after a day of wearing them I noticed one of the lenses is chipped. I don't know if they came that way and I didn't notice or if they chipped somehow in the course of me wearing them (unlikely, as I wasn't playing dodgeball), but either way it's not a great testament to the quality of Goggles4u. I e-mailed them but I'm not sure anything will come of it, since their return policy seems to say "we don't want to give you any money back" with lots of words.

For the record, I did NOT get my glasses in a cloth bag from Pakistan or whatever the thing is. I was a bit disappointed. However, I was amused that the confirmation email and return address listed them as coming from "Steve."

Time from ordering to arrival: 8 days
Comes with: Hard clamshell case, cleaning cloth (I got baby blue and baby pink for some reason)
Pros: Huge selection, cheap, cute
Cons: Useless virtual try-on, abysmal website in general, cheaply made?
I paid: $23 per pair (with their current deal of $0 frames and $10 off lenses)
S&H: $9.98

Coastal Contacts

I ordered the Jill Stuart 112 frames using their "first pair free" option. Their virtual try-on is great and as soon as I saw the glasses on the photo of me, I was like "THESE." They look pretty great in real life too! Slightly larger than I'd imagined, and after wearing brown and burgundy glasses for five years, the shiny blackness startles me every time I look in a mirror. But I really like them; they're my favorites so far.

They tried to push thinner (and more expensive) lenses on me at checkout, telling me 1.61 was "the minimum recommended index" for my prescription. Well, after getting the actual glasses I can say that this is bullshit, because I got the 1.59 polycarbonates, and they don't look thick at all. They don't protrude outside the frames in any noticeable way. Maybe with wire-frames they'd look huge, but with these thick-rimmed frames they're fine.

But... something seems wrong with the lenses. I'm not sure if they got my PD wrong or what. At first I thought it was the prescription, since things just don't seem as sharp and clear as with the Goggles4u ones. So I went to the eyeglass store located at my eye doctor's office, told the guy I got them online, and asked him to measure the prescription on them. Before he even measured them he asked me a bunch of questions about how did I get my measurements and my PD, basically being condescending about me trying to buy glasses online. I was thinking Look just measure the glasses dude. He finally measured them and said the prescription strength is correct, but then he tried to give me a lecture on how "that's only ONE of the measurements that goes into making a QUALITY pair of glasses." Yeah, whatever. Some of us can't afford the price of all that QUALITY.

I've heard that a lot of people have this experience with physical glasses stores--that they'll try to discourage you from buying online. Of course, since they want your business and they can charge you hundreds of dollars. But surely they realize that a lot of people can't afford hundreds of dollars?

I just wish I knew what was making these particular glasses feel "off." I didn't ask the guy to measure the PD on them, because he was being obnoxious, but maybe they got that wrong? Maybe the coatings are wonky? (I messed up and got UV coating even though the lenses are polycarbonate, which comes with UV protection already.) Or maybe my eyes are too low or too high to be at the right point on the lens? I don't know. A millimeter or two seems like it shouldn't make too much of a difference, but obviously I don't know about QUALITY pairs of glasses.

I can see OKAY out of these ones, but not AWESOMELY like with the Goggles4u ones. But I can't very well return them to Coastal Contacts and be like "make these again, you did it wrong even though I have no idea how!" So I'm kind of stuck on what to do. Should I:

- Go to an actual physical glasses store and try to get them re-lensed, possibly for a lot of money and/or hassle, but then they can measure my face and make sure all the little things are right, or
- Send them to a cheaper online re-lensing service like has and see if that helps, or
- Suck it up and deal?

I REALLY like these frames and would love to be able to see perfectly with them. I'm willing to pay more money to make that happen, because I think I could wear these for years and not get sick of them, but obviously I am still as poor as I was before this started so I can't pay TOO much. I would appreciate any advice.

Time from ordering to arrival: 6 days
Comes with: Hard clamshell case, cleaning cloth (I got blue), little tiny screwdriver for adjustments
Pros: Designer glasses, petite frames, great virtual try-on, quick turnaround, 365-day returns, first pair free
Cons: Expensive, website overrides "open in new tab" function, tries to upsell on lenses, no wishlist, lenses are somehow weird?
I paid: $34.95 with the "first pair free" deal (so the cost is for lenses only--these frames are normally $88)
S&H: a whopping $18.97--part of that is for insurance, which you can't opt out of, but whatever

39 Dollar Glasses: Not arrived yet

These are taking their sweet time to get here, but when I checked the status of my order it told me: We are sorry but your order has failed final inspection. We have already begun remaking your order and are fast-tracking it so it ships with minimal further delay. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the very purpose of our thorough inspection is to ensure that your new glasses are accurate and free of any defects.

I don't know how common this is, but it's probably not their usual shipping time. I e-mailed them to bug them about it, because they've been stuck in that status for over a week and that doesn't seem like it's been "fast-tracked." We'll see if anything comes of that.

Time from ordering to arrival: ???
I paid: $57.56 with glassyeyes's 10% off discount
S&H: $4.95

No photos yet because I haven't showered today and my hair is dumb, also it's nighttime. I'll try to take pictures in natural light tomorrow.


a post that is all about glasses

  • Nov. 26th, 2011 at 3:49 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
So after reading this blog post, which led to THIS blog post, which led to this site, I've become slightly obsessed with buying glasses online. Yes, online. I was skeptical too, but I need new glasses for my updated prescription, and I can't afford the hundreds of dollars I'd have to pay at a physical glasses store, so I've been putting it off. Online, the prices are so low I thought I'd give it a try, and now I'm hooked. Can't stop won't stop!

So far I've ordered three pairs--two from Goggles4u and one from (They haven't arrived yet.) I haven't yet bought anything from Zenni, because I've heard bad things about their service, but they have a good "try on glasses" face photo thingy so I've been spending a lot of time there. Although now I am sick of looking at my own face.

The thing is, if you know what you're doing, it turns out you can get a pretty accurate idea of whether or not a pair of glasses will look good on you. You need to know your prescription, of course. Then you need five different measurements for the frames themselves, three of which you can often get just by reading the numbers on the right temple-arm of your current pair of glasses, or you can estimate all five by using a metric ruler on your current pair. The measurements are: total width of glasses, lens width, lens height, bridge distance, and temple length. Which of these are most important will vary with your glasses-style preferences. The three numbers on the arm of your glasses are usually [lens width - bridge distance - temple length]. For example, mine are 46-18-135, in millimeters.

You also need to know your PD (Pupillary Distance--the distance from one pupil to the other), which I was apprehensive about because it wasn't listed on my prescription, but then I found this tool that measures it for you if you have a webcam and a credit card. (For size comparison, not for paying them money.) I measured mine that way and the number was almost exactly what I got when measuring it by holding a ruler under my eyes and looking in a mirror, so I'm pretty confident about it.

Once you have all those measurements written down, just look for frames with similar ones and you can be reasonably confident that they'll work for you. A lot of sites let you upload your own photo and virtually try on glasses, so you can get an even better idea of how they'll look. (If you think about it, buying shoes online is way less accurate in terms of fit, and I've done that tons of times--and paid more for them.)

If anyone is interested I've written brief reviews of the major online glasses websites below the cut. I'll write more when I actually get the glasses in the mail. (OMG I can't wait until I can SEE again.)

Read more... )

One caveat is that my prescription is fairly simple. I only need distance-vision lenses, not bifocals or progressives or whatever it is people with astigmatism need. I don't know if I'd buy online if I had a complicated prescription, since there's more room for error and no way to try the glasses on first.

Anyway, I will check back and maybe post pictures when my glasses actually arrive, and let y'all know what I think. I've spent an average of about $40 per pair so far, so I figure even if only one of the three pairs works for me, I'm still saving a whole lot of money over going to LensCrafters or VisionWorks or wherever. I'm excited that I can now be both poor AND able to see!


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