Six Ways to Save Big on Prescription Eyeglasses
guest post by Jocelyn Gibbons
Eyeglasses are so much more than simply a necessity for sight. They help shape your image and can make (or break!) your overall appearance and even confidence. Because of this, it’s crucial to find that perfect pair of prescription eyeglasses, and it’s tempting to settle for paying upwards of $400 for a pair that looks great.
However, know that there are ways you can save on prescription eyeglasses without sacrificing the quality or look. Saving money does not have to mean getting a pair of ugly glasses—you just have to know where to look beyond the expensive optical stores. Armed with your prescription and your pupillary distance (PD) from your eye doctor, you are ready to save big on your next prescription eyeglasses. Read on for how.
1. Shop at Discount Stores Like Costco, Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club
It’s true that you can go to an independent eyeglass store or the mall—but if you do, be prepared to pay premium prices. When you need your glasses the same day, retail optical stores are the only option. But if you can wait a week or two for your glasses, discount stores are a better bet. Discount stores offer a large selection, making it probable that you will find something you like. They also offer the same options for lenses as at eyeglasses stores, including anti-glare coatings, transition lenses, and scratch-resistant coatings. However, the prices will be roughly 40% less than the prices charged at optical stores.
2. Avoid Designer Frames
When you buy brand name frames, you are paying for the brand logo—a logo that is so small that most people will never even see it. If you find a brand name style you like, you will likely be able to find a generic version that is pretty much the same with a much lower price tag. The quality of these name brand frames is not necessarily any higher than the quality of generic frames. However, when you choose generic frames you can save 60% or more.
3. Recycle Old Frames
As the saying goes, everything old really is new again, with even cat-eyed glasses from the sixties making a comeback. Do you have a pair of antique frames that belonged to your grandmother that are still in great condition? You can recycle those antique frames by just having the lenses changed out for a small fee at a local glasses retailer.
You can also recycle your own old frames. Pull out any old glasses you have around the house and see if you still like the frames. As long as you like them and they are still in good condition, you can simply have new lenses put in them. You then save a significant chunk of money by only paying for the lenses.
4. Buy Glasses Online
Did you know that you can save up to 90% off retail store prescription eyeglasses prices by simply shopping online? This new and exciting way to find and buy glasses has many advantages—starting with the hundreds of dollars of savings you’ll find with each pair. When you buy your glasses online, you also enjoy an amazing selection. Whether you are looking for an older style, something more traditional, or a frame that’s very modern and chic, you can find that perfect frame online, if you’re willing to simply search for it.
A downside to buying glasses online is that you don’t get to try the glasses on beforehand. If you have an old pair of glasses around that you like, it’s easy to find another pair online that fits. Simply write down the measurements of the frame, found in almost every pair of glasses on the inside of the temple as three numbers, such as 50-18-140. These are the lens width, bridge size, and temple length, respectively. You can then use these measurements to search for same-size glasses online at substantial savings. And as with everything online, you can become an educated online consumer in just a few internet searches. Many online retailers offer free information on buying glasses online as a resource to potential customers. You can find such information as how to buy glasses online, how to choose a frame, or any other glasses-related issue. Plus, online glasses retailers usually have great return policies to compensate for the fact that you can’t physically try on the glasses.
5. Order Frames Online, Buy Lenses Locally
You can find almost anything at auction sites such as eBay, including glasses frames. Choose from a unique assortment of vintage and name brand frames that typically sell for a fraction of what you would pay in retail stores. All you have to do is take the frames to your local eyeglasses store and have the store install your prescription lenses.
You can also do this with any frame retailer online. Just buy the frames online and have the lenses installed locally. Keep in mind that whenever you are having lenses cut for a frame not sold through the retailer, there may be an additional charge for the service.
6. Know Your Warranty
Manufacturers typically offer a one- to two-year warranty on eyeglasses frames, but these warranties typically only cover defects in workmanship. If your dog eats your glasses or your three-year-old mangles them, the damage will not be covered.
If you purchased anti-reflective coating with your lenses, though, you may have a lifetime warranty. If your lenses are scratched and you still like the frame, you may be able to get the lenses replaced for free. Check with the place you bought them from as to what your warranty covers.
Save Money By Shopping Smart
Frugal shoppers everywhere know that the key to saving money is to think outside the (retail) box. The same is true for buying prescription eyeglasses. You don’t have to buy glasses at your eye doctor’s or at the mall. By exerting a little extra effort, you can cut hundreds of dollars off the cost of your eyeglasses. All you need is your prescription, your pupillary distance (PD), and the know-how of where to look.