Glasses – Are the online shops worth it?

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My eyes are terrible. Now granted I can still drive without glasses (even according to the DMV test you take when you renew your license.) But I rarely do.

And forget seeing anything on my phone, a book, or my computer screen. I literally went into a panic when my glasses broke earlier this year and I had no money.

With all our prescriptions well past expiration, and my recent panic moment about my glasses. I knew that getting an eye exam was a priority for me. And it turns out it was for both my daughters as well. Yes, we all NEED glasses, but only I need, need them. They can function without.

I started calling around for quotes on eye exams, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Sam’s Club exams start at $67. They go up from there if you want dilation or need a exam with contacts in mind, etc. but for just the basic exam. It was doable. I booked our appointments for a Sunday, when everyone is off work and school, and we met half way between our house and Princess’ apartment at college. (Not all Sam’s Clubs have a doctor, so that made choosing a place to go relatively easy.)

After our exams, we all left with new prescriptions, but no glasses ordered. And then enjoyed brunch before heading our separate ways.

Sidenote: I met Princess and her boyfriend a few weeks back at a different Sams because she needed something from the house. She’s now been added as the second adult (free) on my membership since Sea Cadet and his girlfriend switched to Costco. He was the second adult. I digress. The three of us went into Sams and all ate for less than $15 – pizza and sodas. It’s a steal to eat there at their little dining area. Just saying.

Ordering Glasses

Here’s where it gets tricky. Glasses can get expensive quickly. Especially when you are like me and half 3 pairs. I have a pair of single vision glasses for my computer work, a pair of sunglasses (they are about 2-3 prescriptions old, I don’t update their lenses often,) and then my daily wear bifocals/trifocals, I’m not really sure. These daily ones are the ones I broke in January.

I knew I couldn’t afford new glasses yet, but I’m prepared with prescription in hand when I can.

But the girls moved forward with ordering theirs already.

Princess went back to her local Sam’s Club and ordered hers. Nothing fancy, a black plastic frame with single vision lenses. Because of our Plus membership, she got 20% off but they were still a couple of hundred dollars. (Her old frames were in need of replacement.) They took about a week to come in.

Beauty ordered hers online at and I believe she got a BOGO offer because she ended up with two pairs and I think they cost her between $20-40.

Sea Cadet has been using online glasses providers for several years and has been really happy as well. But his are also single vision.

Here’s my question, for people with BAD EYES, meaning you require bifocals, trifocals, whatever. Have you had luck with these online places? As I hope to be able to order some new ones for myself in the next month or so, I want to hear from people who have more complex eye issues. I know if I use somewhere local or Sam’s Club I can reuse my same frames. All three of my frames are in great shape which would save me at least a hundred on each pair. But online…maybe cheaper and get a new look? I’m torn.

But my glasses are key to my daily life. So do you have more complex eye prescriptions and have you ordered your glasses on line? From where? Results? Give me all the good and the bad feedback?

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