How to Shop for Glasses for Cheap

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Over 75% of Americans wear glasses or contacts. Although this is an expense often covered by medical insurance, there are many plans that only cover exams or don’t provide vision coverage at all.  Since glasses are such a common purchase, it’s helpful to learn a few ways you can save money while taking care of one of your most important senses. A few of the main factors to consider when shopping for eye wear are quality, price, convenience, and service.

The quality of your glasses is very important because you’ll be wearing them on a daily basis for up to a few years. Their fit, durability, and resistance to damage are important to your everyday life. The highest quality lenses and frames are going to cost more, naturally. Buying your glasses or contacts based solely on price and not quality may cost you more in the long run if you have to replace them sooner.  If you’re paying out of pocket, it can be tempting to find the cheapest glasses, regardless of the quality. Save money (while not skimping on quality) by only purchasing features you need. Your eye care professional should be able to help you decide what features work best for your eyesight and lifestyle, without pressuring you to buy anything that’s unnecessary. Doctor’s offices aren’t in business to make money off their eye wear, unlike retailers. If you want the lower price of a retailer, read up beforehand about features that are offered and what’s recommended, from an unbiased source.

The pricing of lenses and frames can vary drastically, depending on where you purchase them. It’s okay to shop for lower prices, but remember that the further you stray from the beaten path, the more you’re gambling with your money (and your eyesight). If your insurance covers eyeglasses, you’re better off getting them through your eye doctor, since the expense isn’t a concern. Then you can cash in on the benefits of localized, personal service. But, if you’re paying for a significant part of your eye wear out of pocket, you may want to check out a few of the following options.

(1).Big-chain retailers
Retailers such as Costco, Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club include vision centers and large selections of discount eye wear.  According to Consumer’s Report, Costco received the highest ratings from customers who shopped for glasses in 2012. Prices at these bulk supply and department stores can be as much as 50% lower then doctor’s office prices or eye wear-exclusive retailers like Lens Crafters.

(2). Online retailers
Online prices can be some of the best. Many frame and lens sites sell the same brands and models you’ve seen in stores, so you can take advantage of knowing how they fit and then request the online price at the walk-in location. There are also sites that sell extremely unique frames in case you want to stand out. Always be sure to verify that the site you’re shopping on is reputable and that transactions are protected.

Convenience & Service
Convenience becomes important the minute you damage or lose your glasses. If you ordered your glasses online, it can take a few weeks for replacements to arrive. Since they usually employ outside companies to fill their orders and make major repairs, doctor’s offices aren’t much faster. The fastest way to get same-day service is through more expensive eye wear companies like Lens Crafters (they have to be doing something right to stay in business!). Prompt and personal service is also lacking if you purchase your eye wear online or at retailers who don’t offer much more than a low price. There’s something comforting about being able to walk into an office to get your glasses adjusted and cleaned completely for free.

Purchasing glasses is a small investment in your vision. While the best possible price is desirable, there are many more factors that are equally as important and need to be considered so you are able to enjoy and benefit from your glasses for months or even years to come.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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