My friend Joanna bought some new glasses in August. She stopped by an eyeglass store and tried some frames before she went home and ordered them online. Does it sound too cynical? Well, let me give you an introduction to how you can save hundreds of dollars by buying your prescription glasses online.

The frame she found in the eyeglass store were from Marc Jacobs and costs about 400 USD.

She told me that she thought that 400 USD was “an incredible amount of money to pay for

How it looks like when buying glasses in a physical shop.

eyeglass frame” and that she was confident that she could find these frames cheaper in another store or online. What she did was that she told the cashier that she would “think about the offer and maybe return the next day”, but in fact she went straight out of that shop, logged into the WiFi in a restaurant close by and purchased the eyeglasses in a web shop for 250 USD.

Yep. 250 USD. Close to half price of what the physical optician store would be able to offer her.

After buying the glasses online, she told me that she was a bit worried that they would not fit. The downside of ordering stuff online is the fact that they might be broken or not exactly like you wanted them. That might be a huge problem.

Joanna told me: “I ordered from a website and was a little skeptical, initially I was going to buy the frames in the United States when I was there on vacation. However, everything went fine. The glasses were genuine (yep, not fake Ray-Bans from China) and they were delivered exactly 14 days after ordering.”

Unlikely cheap?

Strong brands such as Tom Ford and Ray-Ban can cost A LOT, but you can also save a lot of money buying them online. But you should do some research before buying ANYTHING online. E-commerce is booming, which means that a lot of “bad” companies have tried to get their market share. The glasses/contact lenses/sunglasses industry is not different at all.

You should be careful about buying prescription glasses online from companies that do not have a lot of good reviews online.

Four tips when ordering prescription glasses online

1. Do you know your needs?

Make sure that you enter the numbers from your prescription correctly when ordering glasses. Imagine if you waited two weeks for the glasses to hit your mailbox and….wow? Too strong? Too weak?

It happens all the time – so be sure that you have your old glasses in front of your eyes when ordering online. 🙂

If you believe that your eyesight has decreased the last couple of years, I would definitely advice you to go to an optician or doctor to check if you need stronger glasses.

2. Know your eyeglass size

If you wear glasses already, it’s a good idea to know the three numbers on the inside of the frame. Numbers indicate the width of the glass, nose bridge and bars. By knowing these numbers, you can get an idea of what size you need for your new glasses.

3. Select a shop with home testing

Many eyeglass sites provide the opportunity to order several pairs of glasses home free so that you can try them at home and send back the ones that you don’t want. It is an excellent opportunity for you to test the glasses before buying them.

A lot of online eyeglass retailers do offer between 50 and 100 days free return, which is more or less the same thing.

4. Go for web shops with fair return policy

Read the fine print before you order. Never buy any glasses online if you are not sure that you can return the glasses after trying them at home.