Monday, July 09, 2012

On A Search for Affordable Glasses

Once upon a time, I was able to get eye exams and glasses for free or nearly free. When I was first prescribed eyeglasses in 3rd grade, my dad's employer provided vision insurance for the whole family. I took it for granted how nice that was. After losing coverage with my dad, my mother-in-law stepped in and got Brett and me some great deals. She used to be an optician and arranged for us to get free exams and really nice glasses at cost. (Thanks Bonnie!) Since she retired, we've really lamented how incredibly expensive vision exams and eyeglasses are. Granted, even at full price, they are "worth" the money since they allow me to see and function in life. However, it is still a challenge to come up with such a large chunk of change. Lately, my vision has been severely impaired because my glasses are incredibly scratched and the anti-glare coating is damaged. I need new glasses ASAP. 

I've been on the hunt. I've called around to various eye doctors to get pricing on exams. Basically, whether it is at Wal-Mart, a store in the strip mall, or a lasik center, I can't get an exam (glasses and contacts) for less than $135 because I have astigmatism. I was considering going to America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses because they offer a free exam when you buy two pairs of glasses. However, when I priced it out, it was still going to cost $330 for a simple eyeglass exam and two pairs of glasses. I forgot to ask but I assume that a contact exam was going to cost extra. (I still want to order contacts but plan to order online since I can find them significantly cheaper.)

My husband suggested that I check out Warby Parker for glasses. Warby Parker is an online-based company that strives to offer "boutique-quality classically crafted eyewear at a revolutionary price point." For just $95, you can get a pair of glasses with polycarbonate lenses and anti-glare coating. At most stores, it costs $100 just for the lens upgrade to polycarbonate with anti-glare coating. At Warby Parker, those "upgrades" are included in every pair of glasses. If you have a particularly strong prescription, they also offer high-index lenses for an extra $30. That's a very reasonable price. Oh, I did I mention that shipping is free?

Eyewear is something you really want to see on your face before you buy. Warby Parker offers a few solutions:
So, that's my plan of attack right now. I've played around with the Virtual Try-On tool and just ordered 5 pairs to try on at home. I'm really hoping that this could be a stylish and affordable solution for me. Oh, and I just might ask for some feedback when the glasses come in. After all, I am a rather indecisive person!

If you're thinking of giving Warby Parker a try, make sure to sign-up for Shop at Home! If you link to Warby Parker through your Shop at Home account, you can earn 3% cash back on your purchase. Every little bit of savings helps!

UPDATE 7/13: I have the trial pairs in my possession! Come see what they look like on me and give me your feedback! You can vote for your favorite pair in the sidebar. Thanks!

1 comment:

Ethan Snyder said...

Thaank you for being you