I am by no means a vain individual. I'm well aware that the vast majority of the time I look like a frazzled soccer mom minus the rug rat, and that look is when I am showered and wide awake. I've been told more than a few times that when I first get up my appearance resembles this:
sxc.hu stock photo by winjohn
I probably shouldn't tell you this but those glasses? Yeah they are under 20 bucks with standard plastic lenses, scratch and anti-reflective coating. Add shipping and the whole package is under 30 bucks. Try and top that at any local optical, I would love to see if you look as cute as me for under 30 bucks.
I'm not just any old eyeglass shopper taking my chances on internet glasses either. I started working as an optician in college and have been in the optical field in some capacity for much of the past decade. I have helped thousands of people select, purchase and adjust to eyeglasses. When I have attempted to buy glasses off the rack at some random shop I often leave the local optician more than a bit flustered. I want high quality plus I want the lens material, brand name, coatings, size, warranty, cool-kid frames at an amazing price and I don't want any lip about it, missy. I know how much those products cost the shop and I know they can get that frame in green if I want it so dang it, give me what I want!
*Sigh* needless to say I often just go to my friends in the business to get my glasses because they put up with me. Until recently I have not been a fan of the online optical market. That change with my first online order from Coastal Contacts.
My experience with Coastal Contacts was stellar. The glasses were flawless- and I am a tough cookie. I know if that prescription is off by even one degree. I reject any lens that is not fit perfectly in the frame with unblemished edges. My glasses far exceeded my expectations. I thought internet glasses would mean subpar work. Man was I wrong. I am so ready for another pair. Eyeglasses are like shoes to me, and at these prices I can so afford a pair for every season!
Did I mention they have brand names like Prada, Gucci, Calvin Klein and Armani? It might seem hard to believe but those brand names are there at prices you could never find locally. Their inventory rotates frequently, so keep an eye out for frames you like. For example, you might not know the name Koali, but they are my MOST favorite line ever in all of the eyeglass frame world. You see the middle frame in the picture below?
That is the Koali 6058K that Coastal carries for just $68! I paid well over that AT COAST for a frame from that line when they first came out, and the frames are every bit as cool today as they were when I got them. I do so love glasses. Couple that with a great deal and I am hard to shut up…
Purchasing Your Glasses Online
The ordering process at Coastal Contacts was super easy; I think anyone could do it without a problem. Although I do have a few tips if you are ordering glasses online:
- Go into your doctor's office to get a copy of your prescription. This way you can assure that the "PD" measurement is on the Rx, a measurement you will need when you order. If you already have the prescription and the measurement is not there you can go into any optical and ask for them to take it for you, most will gladly oblige.
- Have an optician look at your current frames and tell you the size of the frame. In general there are three numbers that are important, the "eyesize" the "bridge" and the "temple length". When you select glasses online try to choose frames that are similar to a pair of glasses you have worn or you have tried on. The numbers of those measurements are in millimeters, so a few millimeters difference between what you are wearing and a new frame is no big deal, but beware if you are looking at something +/- 5 millimeters or more from your current glasses.
- Use the online tools such as the "size info" and "how to read your prescription" videos. These tools are very useful and can help you avoid errors.
- Check your prescription THREE times- once when you enter the data, once on the confirmation page and once when you hit send. If you see any errors after you have placed the order CALL right away, as sometimes the lenses are cut quickly after your order.
- Follow the recommendations for lens type if you want your glasses to look their best. If you are simply ordering glasses to slip on after your contacts lenses are out for the day than the cheap option is just fine. But if you have a -8.00 prescription and you expect to wear those glasses out of the house go with the lens that the site recommends. Trust me on this one. The cost is SO minimal compared to what you would pay at a local store it is well worth it.
- If you absolutely cannot select a frame online go to a local chain and take pictures of frames you like, then try to find the closest match online.
- If you order something and aren't pleased with it contact the company immediately. Coastal has a fantastic guarantee and will gladly help fix the problem, but they can't fix it if you don't tell them. If you order elsewhere read customer testimonies on an independent site before you order. I can't assure you every online optical is going to be on the up and up.
I am interested to know, have any of you out there ordered glasses online? Have you had success or issues? Send pictures if you have a super cute find, I would love to see them!!