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I have been eyeballing GlassesShop for quite some time now and I have definitely been curious about what this American owned and operated online eyewear retailer has to offer.
GlassesShop is run by a group of eye doctors that understand your struggle with the extremely high cost of eyewear. All because one company controls every aspect of the market and uses it as a way to hold the prices high. But GlassesShop along with many other start-ups in recent years has been fighting to disrupt the market by providing the same great high-quality eyewear at prices that people can afford.
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That being said we wanted to check out GlassesShop, I keep hearing their name tied to a “first pair free” promotion which is intriguing. They also have plenty of other promotions running constantly as well so they are definitely a place that is worth taking a peek into, you never know you might find a frame that you like. Especially since GlassesShop carries only in-house designed and manufactured frames, and generic frames with no brands.
What you need to order your glasses
Just like any American online prescription eyewear retailer, you will, of course, need to have a valid prescription before you are able to make your purchase through GlassesShop.com. In the United States, a valid prescription is one that is less than two years old.
If you have a prescription that is over two years old it is definitely recommended to have an eye exam done. Remember that when you get your routine eye exam your eye doctor not only checks your prescription but there are hidden health concerns that may be able to be detected through your eyes. Many times these hidden health concerns can be detected even before you find out from your regular doctor.
Along with having your prescription you should also have your PD measurement. Your PD measurement is the distance between your eyes from the center of one pupil to the center of the other pupil. Occasionally you might be able to find this measurement written down on your prescription. If not, you can always contact the doctor’s office that you got your eye exam done at and see if they have it on your chart. If that option didn’t work you can always have a friend help you measure it yourself.
Picking your frames
As I mentioned all of their glasses are in-house frames but they have quite a nice selection of frames for you to pick from. When you start looking at frames there are filters you can use to filter for different sizes, shapes, materials, frame style, color or features that you might want on your glasses assuring you are only seeing frames you might be interested in.
I have always found filters quite useful, for me personally I always look for frames that are wider or else they wouldn’t fit right. I would hate to really like a frame only to find out it was too small.
Take your time going through the frames since they have a large selection. They have a specific section for their first pair free promotion so I took a look at those.
First pair free
Over at GlassesShop, they have a promotion that is valid only on certain frames in their collection but if it is your first time shopping at GlassesShop you can pick one of the frames and use code FIRSTFREE at checkout and get a pair of glasses with 1.50 standard plastic single vision lenses with a scratch-resistant coating for free.
There weren’t many frames in the first pair free collection that were very large but I did find a Wayfarer style frame that was available in clear so I had to go with that one.
Picking out your lenses
Before you even start thinking about what lens material you are going to get you first need to know if you are going to be getting single vision or bifocals. GlassesShop has a few different options and they are one of the few that carry a lined-bifocal. What does this all mean? Here’s the difference.
- Single Vision – These are lenses that have a single power throughout the entire lens. You can get these lenses either for distance, intermediate (computer), or reading but not combined in any way.
- Bifocal With a Line – These lenses have two power ranges one for distance, and one for reading. With the lined bifocal you are able to visibly see the reading area.
- Progressive No Line – These are bifocals in which have no visible line for your reading area. Progressive lenses start with your distance power on the top portion of the lens and slowly blend down to your reading area. In between the two would be your intermediate for a computer.
- Fashion – GlassesShop has an option for you to get lenses for no prescription if you just want the look only.
The layout of where you pick out your lenses is a bit confusing, but if you are looking for the standard plastic lenses that are free through GlassesShop when you get to the Lens Type area there will be a part that says Choose Lens Package and this part has different lens materials ranging from polycarbonate to the thinnest 1.74 high-index material prepackaged with the anti-reflective coating.
Right below those packages, there is an area that says “Select your preferred lens index and coatings”, if you click that you will be able to find all of the lenses without the cost of anti-reflective coating included. Here’s how it breaks down,
- 1.50 Standard Index – This is your standard plastic lens. This is the most basic lens you can get, they are lightweight but can be vulnerable to scratches and could chip if something hits the lens. This material is good for low prescriptions usually less than +/-2.00 diopters.
- 1.57 Mid-Index – This is usually a composite material blend of plastic and polycarbonate. This material provides a slightly thinner and lightweight lens. This material is good for low to moderate prescriptions up to around +/-4.00 diopters.
- 1.59 Polycarbonate Impact Resistant – Polycarbonate lenses are the lenses that will give you the most protection for your eyes. Generally used in safety glasses, this lens material is 10 times more impact-resistant than standard plastic or glass. The impact resistance of polycarbonate exceeds the FDA’s requirement by more than 40 times. Polycarbonate lenses are good for moderate to strong prescriptions up to around +/-6.00.
- 1.61-1.74 High-Index – These are all your high-index lenses, these lenses provide you with thinner and lighter-weight lenses for individuals with moderate ro strong prescriptions who do not want their lenses to look or feel thick and heavy. The higher index you go with the thinner and more lightweight the lenses will be for you. High-index lenses also happen to be one of the most scratch-resistant materials only second to glass.
For the particular order I am placing today I am going to just stick with the standard plastic lenses that come free with the frames. My primary pair of glasses I wear I would usually get high-index to make sure they are as thin as possible because of my strong prescription.
After you decide which lens material you want to go with there are a number of different coatings, add-ons or upgrades thatyou are able to get depending on what you needed. Occasionally your eye doctor might recommend various coatings depending on your prescription. Here is what is available at GlassesShop,
- Anti-Reflective Coating – An anti-reflective coating is one that is often recommended to help reduce reflections on the surface of the lenses. This helps more light pass through the lens and onto your eyes providing you with improved vision.
- UV Coating – This coating is generally only needed whenever you purchase standard plastic or glass lenses since those types of materials do not automatically filter out UV as polycarbonate does. Think of the UV coating as the sunblock for your eyes.
- Super Hydrophobic Coating – This coating helps repel dust, smudges as well as any liquids that could potentially get on the lenses. Some more expensive anti-reflective coatings from some retailers automatically come with a hydrophobic coating.
- Blue Light Blocking Coating – This coating helps reduce the harmful blue light that you get exposed to when you are looking at digital devices such as smartphones, computers, tablets, televisions, even fluorescent lights inside buildings.
- Photochromic Lenses – These lenses are also known as Transition lenses or light adaptive lenses. These lenses darken when they get exposed to UV rays outside in the sun, and they are clear when you are indoors. These lenses are great for anyone who spends a lot of time indoors as well as outdoors but does not want to carry around multiple pairs of glasses.
Prescription Sunglass lenses
If you need prescription sunglasses at GlassesShop you are able to put sunglass lenses into any one of their frames that you like. It doesn’t have to specifically be a sunglass frame, however, generally, sunglass frames will give you better protection from the sun due to the larger frame size. There are regular frames that have large enough lenses to give adequate protection from the sun. As far as the lenses go there are a couple of ways you can have your prescription sunglasses made.
- Basic Tint – If you just want a basic tint you are able to pick from 7 different colors in 4 different shades to make your glasses however you like them.
- Gradient Tint – Gradient tint is similar to how the basic tint is but instead of the entire lens being covered like the basic tint, the gradient tint is dark on the top and gradually blends down to clear on the bottom.
- Mirrored Lens Color – This coating is commonly seen on sunglasses and is available in various colors. This coating makes your glasses appear like little mirrors and can provide you with additional protection from glare by reflecting it away from your eyes.
- Polarized Lenses – Sunglass lenses that are polarized helps reduce glare that you would be getting from the light that is reflecting off of horizontal surfaces such as water, the road, or a hood of a car. Polarized lenses can be beneficial for anyone who is around large bodies of water or driving.
If you do not have a pair of prescription sunglasses, I highly recommend them. Especially if you live in a place that has a lot of bright sunny days. Even if it’s not sunny all the time, it is always nice to have a pair of prescription sunglasses, especially for driving.
Shipping Cost & Time
GlassesShop offers free standard shipping for orders that are over $79 and free expedited shipping for orders that are over $249. If you can’t meet those order minimums then shipping is $5.95 for standard shipping and $24.95 for expedited shipping.
The glasses take anywhere between 3-7 days to make before they are shipped out. After they ship, if you used standard mail it takes anywhere between 7-15 business days, and if you pick expedited it can be anywhere between 2-5 business days.
Return Policy & Warranty
GlassesShop has an interesting return policy. You have 14 days from the delivery date to return your glasses, But you can only get 50% if you want a refund. However, if you just want store credit then you get 100% of the amount to use.
After your 14-days have passed you have a warranty against any manufacturer defects for up to 90 days. The warranty does not cover your standard wear and tear on your glasses.
Oh, and they don’t pay for return shipping either.
Sometimes it can be a challenging task to find a frame that fits your budget as well as your style, but GlassesShop.com offers a great selection of frames for you to choose from and their first pair free promotion literally gives you one of their glasses for free. Granted you do still have to pay for shipping, and my prescription was apparently high enough to draw an extra $8.95 charge but it is still an inexpensive pair of glasses.
What do you guys think about GlassesShop? Let me know below! Don’t forget to check back for the update when I received my glasses from GlassesShop!
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