Do you need to buy glasses online?

Our digital devices have made online shopping safer and more convenient than ever 1 . But shoppers beware: Not all online stores are created equal. And that’s especially true when it comes to glasses.

These are eight things you need to know before buying glasses online.

1. Durability

What good are new glasses if they break quickly or the lenses scratch easily? Look for an online retail store that can offer durable frames. And make sure they provide lenses and accessories that fit your lifestyle and protect your eyes, like polycarbonate lenses, anti-reflective and scratch-resistant treatments, and ultraviolet (UV) protection. Also, if you have children or play sports, check to see if the store offers high-impact resistant lenses.

2. Multifocal, Progressive, or High Index

Lenses Fitting multifocal lenses is an elaborate process. Because of this, many online retailers avoid stocking these more complex prescription lenses. But some do, like Glasses.com, which uses one of the best labs in the country to design each pair of glasses carefully. High-Index lenses are similar to polycarbonate lenses but are the thinnest lenses with the highest tensile strength for maximum durability. They are recommended for lenses with prescriptions lower than -4 and higher than +3.50.

3. Ability to apply for your vision care benefits

Many online stores do not accept vision insurance, which means that you may have to sacrifice value or variety at some point in the decision. Choose a retail store that carries your vision care benefits online so you can get the best of both worlds—and no paperwork! EyeMed Insurance members have access to several participating network providers, including lenscrafters.com, targetoptical.com, ray-ban.com, glasses.com, and contactsdirect.com.

4. Variety

Ideally, it would help if you had a variety of frame styles to choose from, including top designer brands you can trust. Depending on your type and your activities that involve wearing prescription glasses, you may need more than one pair. If your vision plan offers discounts on additional complete teams, we recommend selecting an online optical store that offers variety, as well as one that accepts your deals.

5. Try them on before you buy

Want to see how you look in your new glasses before buying them? Some online eyewear retailers have virtual try-on technology, like this tool from Glasses.com. You can see how you’ll look in frames from every angle before choosing your perfect pair. Some retail stores will also ship your glasses right to your door for you to try on.

6. Fit

Fit is an essential point with eyeglasses and is often a big challenge for many online eyewear stores. Budget for the cost of a proper fitting by an eye care professional at a physical store near you. If your frames don’t fit you, they will not only be uncomfortable, but they can also cause vision problems or headaches since you won’t be able to see through the lens correctly.

7. Shipping

You can buy your new prescription glasses very quickly online, but will you have to pay for shipping? And how soon can you expect to receive your new glasses? When choosing your online store, definitely check the shipping options and confirm the delivery time.

8. Return Policies

What if your order is not exactly what you expected? Before ordering, please read the return policy to find out exactly how the retail store handles returns. For example, how many days does the store give you to return the glasses? Also, will you have to pay for return shipping, or will the store pay for it?

However, you choose to shop for your next quality eyewear, carefully review what each eye care provider offers to get the most out of your purchase.

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