Consumer News

Buying Glasses Online Offers Savings, But Is It Worth It?

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Susan Koeppen
A nationally known, award-winning journalist, Susan Koeppen co-anc...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you wear glasses, you know how expensive they can be.

So, before you plunk down $200, $300 or even $500, you may want to consider buying your next pair of eyeglasses online.

You can get some great bargains, but are they a good deal?

To find out, KDKA-TV Consumer Editor Susan Koeppen found two women who wear glasses and sent them on a simple mission – buy some glasses online and tell us what you think.

Jennifer Paty and Sally Nava never got into wearing contact lenses; so for them, it’s eyeglasses all day every day.

Susan Koeppen: “When it comes to buying glasses, is it a big process?”

Jennifer Paty: “It’s a big, big process. It’s hard to find the right pair.”

Paty and Nava both say they spend a lot of money on their glasses, about $200 a pair. And with Americans plopping down more than $15 billion on glasses each year, it’s clear, saving money is enticing.

Paty and Nava looked at several sites that sell glasses online, places like GlassesUSA, Warby Parker and EyeBuyDirect.

Paty settled on bifocals from a website called 39DollarGlasses.com. When all was said and done, the total price was $89.

Sally went for glasses on a site called Zennioptical. Her total came to $12.95.

After the glasses arrived, KDKA had them tested by Dr. Mark Clement, an optometrist at Gateway Eye Associates.

Dr. Clement: “First thing we want to do is make sure they are the right prescription.”

Paty and Nava also gave them a test run.

The good news for Nava, her glasses were the correct prescription. However, it was a different story for Paty who spent $89 on a pair of bifocals. Her glasses didn’t match her prescription.

“We would have sent these back,” said Dr. Clement.

During a recent study by the American Optometric Association, more than 150 pairs of online eyeglasses were tested and 45 percent of them had inaccurate prescriptions.

Nava is happy to keep her pair, but if she orders online again. She will have a doctor check them out.

“Since I have three kids who wear glasses, I can save a lot of money,” she said. “I’ll definitely take all the glasses in to have them checked.”

KDKA contacted the company where Paty purchased her glasses.

They said all glasses are checked for accuracy by a technician before they are sent out, and they do offer a 100 percent worry-free guarantee.

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