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Shopping for glasses online has become increasingly popular. Research from the Vision Council Market Research team found that online sales of glasses and contacts reached 2.1 billion in 2018.

But with so many online retailers to choose from, how can you be sure you’re purchasing from the right one?

Below, we take a closer look at online retailer, SmartBuyGlasses. We’ll explore their products, cost, and what customers say.

SmartBuyGlasses is an online retailer of prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contacts.

The company’s biggest draw is that they sell top brands without the designer price tag.

They also offer an interactive shopping experience through their virtual try-on feature and lens scanner app. Both tools allow customers to feel more confident in their online purchases without ever stepping foot in a retail store.

Eyeglasses

SmartBuyGlasses offers a catalog of more than 80,000 frames in men’s, women’s, and children’s styles. This includes 180 brands, such as Ray-Ban, Tom Ford, and Versace.

These designer glasses come with free anti-scratch, anti-reflective, and ultraviolet (UV) protection coatings.

Blue-light-filtering coating

Blue light glasses are becoming increasingly more popular. They help minimize the negative side effects of blue light from everyday activities like working at your laptop or watching a show on your smartphone.

For an extra cost, SmartBuyGlasses offers blue-light-filtering coatings on almost all their lenses. They claim that this will reduce headaches, strained eyes, and trouble sleeping.

Contact lenses

SmartBuyGlasses also offers a variety of options for those shopping for contact lenses, including:

  • colored contact lenses
  • extended wear lenses
  • multifocal lenses

In addition, SmartBuyGlasses has two features on their website to help with the process of shopping online:

Virtual try-on tool

Virtual try-on is a user-friendly tool that allows customers to try on their new eyewear at home.

You record a 5-second video of yourself and upload it to the company’s website. From there, you’ll be able to virtually try on select frames.

Lens scanner app

The lens scanner is a free app where your scan your current lenses to reveal your glasses prescription.

The lens scanner shouldn’t replace an eye exam. Be sure to visit an optometrist to stay up to date with your eyewear prescription.

SmartBuyGlasses is known for their affordable prices and “best price guarantee.” Basically, if you find a lower price online within 14 days of purchase, SmartBuyGlasses says they’ll beat the price by $2. Sales also happen frequently on the website.

You can pay as little as $7 for the most basic set to $50 for designer frames.

You’ll want to consider the cost of lenses and add-ons, though, such as the blue light technology zFORT for approximately $38.

Compared with other online eyewear retailers, SmartBuyGlasses is on the pricier side. Zenni Optical, for example, offers blue light protection starting at $16.95.

Other add-ons that may hike up the cost include progressive lenses, which start at $119, and high index lenses, which range in price. Here’s a quick look at the pricing for high index lenses:

  • 1.61 at an additional cost of $29
  • 1.67 at an additional cost of $39
  • 1.74 at an additional cost of $89

SmartBuyGlasses accepts insurance. Be sure to check with your insurance company before purchasing from SmartBuyGlasses to confirm which expenses are covered.

Once your select your eyewear and your order has shipped, you’ll receive an invoice, which you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Before ordering, you’ll need a prescription and your pupillary distance (PD). If you don’t have your prescription on hand, you can use the lens scanner app.

Measuring your PD is relatively simple. Using a ruler and a mirror or a friend, line “0” at your pupil and then measure the distance from your right pupil to your left pupil.

Your PD may also be found on your eye exam.

Order prescription and nonprescription eyewear from SmartBuyGlasses.

The company promises fast and free shipping. It’s typically 5 to 8 business days for prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, while contact lenses take 3 to 5 business days.

Your order’s arrival may vary depending on shipping speed and stock. For example:

  • Items that are not in stock take a little longer. While the shipping time is the same — 5 to 8 business days for standard and 1 to 2 business day for express — the processing time takes around 5 to 11 business days.
  • You can choose express shipping at checkout for $10.40. This changes your shipping time to 1 to 2 business days.
  • Add-ons may also cause longer time until delivery.

For the most part, customers report fast delivery. On Trustpilot, one person wrote that their order was “quick and easy got my glasses in 8 days.”

One specified that their order of designer Ray-Bans took longer: “Purchased a pair of Ray-Bans, shipping time was a bit slow, but they have to get them from the manufacturer first, so I get why this is the case.”

SmartBuyGlasses offers a 100-day return policy.

To initiate a return, contact the company to request an RMA (return merchandise authorization) number for the return slip. You can find it here.

There’s also a 24-month warranty for prescription and nonprescription sunglasses and glasses, and 3 months for contact lenses.

In general, customers are happy with SmartBuyGlasses.

On Trustpilot, the company has an excellent rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. This is higher than most online eyewear companies. Many customers state that they received a quality product and good customer service.

The ratings are significantly lower on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with an average score of 1.14 out of 5 stars. Customers report everything from slow delivery to cheap product quality.

One customer wrote that they ordered their glasses and had not received them after a month. Another customer shares that the lenses in their prescription glasses were poorly made and did not fit the frames.

Local retailers

There are always local independent retailers that you can buy glasses from. Although they generally cost more, you’ll receive a lot of in-person help, which you won’t find online. They’ll help you select a frame, measure your PD, and make sure everything fits properly.

Optometrist’s office

On that same note, experts recommend that you visit an ophthalmologist or optometrist for an accurate prescription and other eye health needs.

Other online stores and brands

You can also shop around to see if other online retailers are a better fit, such as:

SmartBuyGlasses is one of many choices for purchasing glasses at home. The virtual try-on feature and lens scanner app give the company an edge over their competitors.

They’re ranked pretty high in customer satisfaction, as people enjoy fast shipping, easy returns, and responsive customer service.

All in all, SmartBuyGlasses is a trusted online retailer of prescription lenses and contacts.