Your Complete Guide to Buying Cheap Eyeglasses

Filed under: Blogroll — Francesca @ 3:46 pm

If you’re required to wear eyeglasses, learning that you need an upgrade probably isn’t the best news. Getting a new pair of eyeglasses from optometrists and well-known lens stores can send you back several hundreds of dollars, and that’s not even counting add-ons like anti-reflective or polarized sun lenses.

If you just found out that you need yet another pair of eyeglasses, don’t reach deep into your pocket just yet. The CheapStuff Team did a little research and uncovered a couple of ways for consumers to buy cheap eyeglasses. Curious? Then put on your glasses and read on.

1. Get them online – Do a little surfing on the Internet and you’ll find that you can get a decent pair of eyeglasses for as low as $20! No, it’s not a scam, and you won’t get second-rate products either. According to Farhad Manjoo of, eyeglasses are so affordable over the Internet because of cheap overhead costs. The truth is, a lot of eyeglasses sold in the US are made in China and are sold at really low prices. However, optometrists and lens stores add a lot of fees, which cause that low price to shoot up. Manjoo furthered that when you’re purchasing eyeglasses in these places, “you’re paying mainly for rent, labor, marketing, designer licensing fees, and a huge markup.” Websites don’t need to add these many costs, because online retailers usually work directly with lens and frame manufacturers. Manjoo writes that, “When you place an order, lenses that fit your prescription are cut and molded into your frame, then shipped directly to you. The price competition between online retailers keeps markups low, too.”

Thinking of purchasing your next pair of eyeglasses online? You have to complete a few steps first. Matthew Haughey of states that first thing you have to do is to get your measurements. Head to your eye doctor and get an eye exam to receive the most up-to-date prescription. He said to also ask for your pupil distance measurement which involves “looking through a binoculars-like device that measures the distance between your pupils.” Once you get your measurements, be sure to write them down, and keep them handy when you’re shopping.

Additionally, Haughey mentioned that it would be beneficial if you had the exact measurements of the type of eyeglasses that you want.  In his case, Haughey “took millimeter measurements of all aspects of my old glasses: lens height, lens width, length of bridge (distance between lenses), total width of lenses plus bridge, and the length of the side arms.”

Once you have all your measurements, head to an online lens store, and pick the style that you want. Add in your prescription details, and include additional options (i.e. high-index lenses, non-glare coatings, anti-reflective coating, etc). Once you’re done, enter your shipping details and you’re good to go.

2. Try Walmart or Costco – If you’re not comfortable with purchasing eyeglasses that you haven’t touched or tried on yourself, then you could head to the optical department of stores like Costco and Walmart. These shops may be relatively pricier than online retailers, but they’re still cheaper than what your optometrist would charge.

Image credit: GoRun26 on Flickr

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