A Cheap Glasses Primer

specsI’ve had a lot people ask me about how I buy my cheap glasses online. Here is a step by step tutorial in case you want to join the cheap (at least cheaper) specs revolution.

1. Get an eye exam wherever you get you eyes examined. I’ve been going to the same optometrist for many years and like him a lot. My insurance covers one exam per year. Get a print out or an email of your prescription. They will give it you, so no worries about asking.

2. Go online and shop for frames. I bought my most recent frames from this eBay store. Don’t be put off by the freaky party frames, just keep scrolling, there’s a huge selection. My frames are by Pablo Zanetti and I paid $12.99. (It is very possible that they were knock-offs–see the update below.) In fact, I bought two different styles and only used one. Note for progressive lens wears: it used to be that you needed fairly deep lenses. There are now so called ‘short corridor’ lenses that let you use progressive lenses in relatively shallow frames.

3. Have lenses made to fit your new frames. I have this done locally at Hartig Optical in Kirkwood. He has no web site so there’s no direct link. In fact, his office hasn’t changed in decades. Ask to see his rotary phone! Seriously, the guy has almost no overhead. My lenses were $188.00. Wait, you say, that’s far from cheap. It’s true. I get Cadillac Transitions (as well as progressive) adaptive lenses because I don’t want to have to keep track of sunglasses. Not everyone loves them but I do. If you wear single vision lenses, try this place for frames and glasses. You can’t beat $39.00. There are online shops that will grind your lenses if you send them the frames. I haven’t tried that but might in the future when Dr. Hartig retires.

That’s it! Get out there and disrupt the overpriced eyeglass industry…

Update: It turns out that some things are too good to be true. These particular frames had a rubbery coating that started to buckle and come off. I’ve gone back to Warby Parker, which are not exactly cheap but are very good quality and well designed.