Advantages of Online Buying
Apart from the obvious convenience of being able to make your purchase from home, there are some other upsides to shopping online:
You will have access to a multitude of different sites to browse, and a wider variety of styles, colors, and other features than you are likely to find at a single physical store. Also, there is a good chance you’ll save some money by buying online. A Consumer Reports survey found that shoppers saved up to 40% by buying their glasses online.
When shopping online, it is also much easier to look up reviews of companies or specific products to help you make a more informed purchase.
Disadvantages of Online Buying
All that being said, there are some ways in which the good old fashioned in-store method of picking out and purchasing glasses still holds an edge.
Obviously, being able to physically try on frames is a huge benefit. It’s also harder than it sounds to measure that important distance between your own pupils. Some experts even say it’s as hard as cutting your own hair. A hands-on approach with someone right there to assist you is, in this case, probably more precise. WIth fewer degrees of separation, you are also less likely to wind up with glasses with the wrong prescription or other problems.
Especially for people with more complicated needs such as progressive lenses, it is recommended to visit a store in person so you can be more certain all the important measurements are correct. People don’t always realize that part of what makes a proper fit of a frame is the lens positioning in relation to your eyes. With no ideal frame of reference, online companies will likely put your vertical center of vision in the geometric center of the lens, which is not ideal for everyone. In person, the professional can ensure that the lenses are positioned exactly right on your face. Additionally, a doctor you see in person will have a better understanding of your lifestyle to make proper recommendations
Opticians are trained to help patients navigate the various options involved in choosing a pair of glasses, and this training enables them to make better recommendations. Having another set of eyes judging how a pair of glasses looks on you goes a long way to ensuring you make the right choices.
When making a purchase online it’s also easier to miss or to simply forget to check the return policies (the amount of time you have to make a return can vary greatly). You should also check whether the site you are looking to purchase from takes insurance; not all do.
Finally, glasses ordered online may not look or fit how you expected them to, due both to things looking different online as opposed to in person (where you can see frames on your face in the mirror), and due to potential errors, which are not all that uncommon with online ordering.