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If you’re trying to buy eyeglasses online, the options can seem endless. With so many retailers to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which websites to trust.
EyeBuyDirect is one of the optical retailers that jumped in on the direct-to-consumer business model in the early 2000s. Their claim to fame is that they’re easy to order from and generally affordable. EyeBuyDirect also offers a huge selection of eyeglass frames.
But is EyeBuyDirect worth it for you? This article will let you in on things you should know before clicking “buy.”
EyeBuyDirect is a direct-to-consumer online retailer. The company sells prescription and nonprescription eyeglasses, blue light glasses, and sunglasses. EyeBuyDirect is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has been around since 2005.
EyeBuyDirect offers a wide range of luxury and budget eyeglass frame brands. Ordering from EyeBuyDirect can be a simple way to get new glasses. But there are a couple of tips and tricks to know before placing your first order.
Pros of EyeBuyDirect
- There are tons of options to choose from, including name brands like Theory, Oakley, and Ray-Ban.
- EyeBuyDirect accepts flexible spending account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) debit cards, or you can submit a receipt to your insurance for reimbursement.
- EyeBuyDirect offers free returns within 14 days of getting your order.
- Manufacturing defects are covered by the EyeBuyDirect warranty for a year post-purchase. In these instances, you’ll be given a store credit.
- Buy 1 Give 1 program donates one pair of glasses to a person in need for every pair purchased on their website.
Cons of EyeBuyDirect
- While the frames are very affordable, lens options have the potential to raise the price point.
- If you return your glasses because of faulty manufacturing, you get a gift card in your email, and it isn’t tied to your account.
- EyeBuyDirect isn’t affiliated with any insurance companies, so you can’t use a traditional vision insurance policy or voucher to get your glasses.
- EyeBuyDirect doesn’t offer an at-home try-on — just a virtual try-on option.
EyeBuyDirect offers prescription and fashion eyewear.
EyeBuyDirect sells a wide variety of budget eyeglasses. Many of these eyeglasses mimic the look of upscale designer frames.
EyeBuyDirect also sells well-known brands such as Oakley and Ray-Ban. These brands are called premium selections. Premium brands cost more than EyeBuyDirect’s budget frames, but the frames are often still cheaper than they might be at a brick-and-mortar retailer.
In addition to frames, EyeBuyDirect offers an array of lens options. Lenses and coatings available include:
EyeBuyDirect doesn’t currently sell contact lenses.
It’s a bit hard to know what you might end up paying when you purchase glasses through EyeBuyDirect.
The frames themselves are typically more affordable. There are plenty of frame options for $50 or less.
Once you add in your lenses, the price starts to go up.
Vision distance prescription lenses — i.e., glasses for people with nearsightedness (myopia) — with clear, standard lenses will typically cost about $7. If you want anti-reflective or anti-scratch coating on your lenses, the price increases. You can choose from four different types of prescription lenses, each at a different price point.
EyeBuyDirect’s highest quality lenses, called their premium lenses, include an anti-scratch and anti-glare coating, ultraviolet protection, as well as dust and smudge protection. These lenses add $80 to the cost of the frames that you select — although some of the premium frames on EyeBuyDirect include these lenses in their pricing.
The same logic applies when you buy sunglasses from EyeBuyDirect. While the frames start at a low to moderate price point, different lens options can add to the cost.
If you’re shopping for prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, you’ll need to know your prescription.
You should also have a clear idea of what you want in terms of eyeglass lenses. Do you wake up to find your glasses on the bedroom floor every morning? Anti-scratch may be essential for you.
Do you work at a computer for long hours every day? Blue-light-blocking lenses or anti-glare coating might be worth considering. Knowing what you need will keep you from overspending on things you don’t.
Does EyeBuyDirect take insurance?
EyeBuyDirect isn’t affiliated with any vision insurance providers, but they do provide a form you can use to request reimbursement from your insurance company. This reimbursement isn’t guaranteed, so make sure you know what your policy covers before you make your purchase.
EyeBuyDirect does accept HSA and FSA debit cards as a form of payment.
When you shop for glasses on EyeBuyDirect, you start by narrowing down the frames that you want from their huge selection.
Filter shopping pages and choose frames you like
Much like shopping for clothes at an online department store, EyeBuyDirect has filters you can use to look at frames by color, shape, and size. They also offer extensive advice on how to choose frames online based on your preference and the shape of your face.
Fill out the form with your prescription details
Once you’ve chosen your frames, the next step is to select your lenses. You’ll need to enter your prescription information into the form on their website, being careful not to make any errors. This method means you don’t have to transfer any files, but it is up to you to make sure that the entries are correct.
If you need a prescription, EyeBuyDirect offers a search feature on their website to look up eye doctors they have partnered with in your area so you can schedule an eye exam.
Choose the lenses and coatings you want
At this point, you can also choose add-ons, like anti-scratch coating or smudge protection on the lenses.
Make your shipping selections and add to your shopping cart
Next, you’ll select your shipping options and any additional accessories, like a leather glasses case or defogging cloth, at checkout.
How long does it take EyeBuyDirect glasses to ship?
After ordering, the company states that your glasses can take 7 to 14 business days to arrive with standard shipping. In some cases, your frames may be ready much sooner. Orders over $119 ship for free.
EyeBuyDirect is experiencing some delays as their supply chain copes with storms and pandemic-related challenges.
But once your order ships, the company uses a service, called Route, to help you track your package in real time.
EyeBuyDirect is pretty straightforward about their return and refund policies.
If you receive your glasses and don’t like them, you have 2 weeks from when they’re delivered to send them back.
How to start a return
To make a return, log in to your account and select the item that you’re unhappy with. If you’re within the 2-week window from when you received your order, you’ll be able to choose between a full refund or a replacement pair of glasses.
If your glasses break or are defective, you can get store credit at EyeBuyDirect within 1 year of purchase. You can call the company at 1-855-EYEBUY1 (1-855-393-2891) with questions about your warranty.
EyeBuyDirect doesn’t repair eyeglasses
You may be able to have an optician or eyewear retailer reshape some frames in-person or replace lenses, but these are services that EyeBuyDirect doesn’t offer.
When you buy eyeglasses online, always look carefully at the return policy and warranty. A good retailer will be fully transparent about the way returns work.
EyeBuyDirect has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with over 18,000 Trustpilot reviews and counting. People tend to be pleased with their purchase and feel the product is of comparable quality to other retailers that sell eyewear.
But it does seem that customer service can be hit or miss with EyeBuyDirect. Some customers say that it was hard to get in touch with customer service, or that the answers they got by email or over the phone weren’t satisfactory. Others say they were frustrated that certain discounts or offers didn’t work the way they thought they would.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gave EyeBuyDirect an A+ rating, and customer reviews posted to the BBB website have an average score of 4.2 stars.
There are other online retailers that are similar to EyeBuyDirect, where you can shop online and choose eyewear that’s delivered to your house.
|Retailer||Free shipping||Accepts vision insurance||Return policy|
|EyeBuyDirect||orders over $119||no||14 days|
|Warby Parker||yes||yes||30 days|
If you’re interested in a brick-and-mortar experience and an eye exam, you might want to consider:
- independent optometrists in your area
- Costco Vision Center
How long does it take to get glasses from EyeBuyDirect?
After you place your order, it can take between 7 and 14 days for your glasses to arrive. EyeBuyDirect says on their website that most orders are completed quickly, but some more complicated orders will require the full 14 days.
Is EyeBuyDirect good quality?
EyeBuyDirect carries a wide spectrum of frames. Some are from prestige brands, like Oakley and Ray-Ban. The majority are from less well-known retailers. Their standard lenses are made of lightweight CR39 and polycarbonate plastic, and bifocal lenses are made of Flat Top 28.
Most customers who leave reviews online are happy with their frames and lenses and say the quality is comparable to what you would find in a brick-and-mortar store.
Is EyeBuyDirect good for high prescriptions?
High prescriptions require a higher index lens. Sometimes that means the lenses will be on the thicker side. If you have a higher prescription and choose higher quality (and sometimes more expensive) materials, you can still have thinner lenses that fit most frames.
EyeBuyDirect offers several different options for people that require a higher prescription.
Keep in mind that EyeBuyDirect will ask you to take certain measurements yourself (like the pupillary distance and segment height) if they’re not included in your prescription. If you have a higher prescription, it’s even more important to make sure these measurements are accurate.
How accurate are glasses bought online?
When you order glasses online, you still need to have a prescription from an eye doctor who has given you an exam. In theory, that would mean glasses you ordered online are as accurate as glasses you get anywhere else.
Of course, you won’t be able to talk with an optical specialist in person, try on different frames in the store, or ask about lens coating options and materials. This could mean you won’t be as happy with the overall product. It depends on the type of shopping experience that works best for you.
EyeBuyDirect provides a way for you to get eyewear shipped to your house without going to the doctor’s office to pick them out.
If you’ve never been to the optometrist or if it’s been a while, you’ll need to get an eye exam to get your prescription details before ordering your eyeglasses.
EyeBuyDirect doesn’t work with traditional insurance, which may limit who it works best for.
EyeBuyDirect may be a great option and worth a try if you’re comfortable with your prescription and want to try premium and premium-looking eyewear, especially if you have an HSA or FSA to offset the cost of glasses.