39 Dollar Glasses Review

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Cheapism
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This site sits in first place on the basis of strong reviews from hundreds of patrons telling of quality glasses, attentive customer service, and speedy delivery.

A popular and well-reviewed online eyeglasses provider, 39 Dollar Glasses earns a spot at the top of the order in Cheapism's category lineup. More than 5,000 reviewers award the site an average of 4.5 stars on ResllerRatings for factors such as on-time delivery, helpful customer service, accurate prescriptions, and price. Some customers concede initial trepidation over how the process would work out, but in the end, they say the lenses and frames fit and look just fine -- even drawing compliments from acquaintances. Several reviewers tell of receiving help entering complicated prescriptions, and when they erred, 39 Dollar Glasses stepped up to correct the mistake. A number of reviews gloat about low-triple-digit savings over the cost of prescription glasses at a chain store. Some, however, point out that the final tab is likely to be higher than $39, what with add-ons such as anti-glare coating or tinted lenses.

In a comparative review of 11 online eyeglasses sites by TopTenReviews, 39 Dollar Glasses stands out for speedy delivery -- a minimum arrival time of five days compared with the category average of 6.8 days and a maximum of seven days compared with the category 10.45-day average. Customer satisfaction with support services is about average. The return window of 30 days for a full refund (minus shipping) lags the category average, which is skewed by Coastal's 365-day policy. It is certainly among the best policies among the sites we researched, many of which offer only partial refunds or store credit. At 39 Dollar Glasses, returns can earn full store credit for up to 90 days. One unusual feature that merits a shout-out from TopTenReviews is the option of printing full-size images of glasses frames, cutting them out, and "trying them on" to see how they look. The other alternative is the usual picture upload for a virtual try-on.

Where to buy

Accolades aside, a fraction of 39 Dollar Glasses reviews pan the product and the service. There are claims about frames falling apart shortly after arriving, lenses that don't fit properly in the frames, color coating peeling off the frames, and unpolished edges. Some assert the styles are dowdy and others decry what they consider erratic service and inconsistent quality. There are relatively few complaints about lens errors, but they skew toward problems with progressive lenses. The company often responds to these online reviews, noting errors in the order process, such as choosing distance lenses when the wearer really needs reading glasses or opting for a lens type that isn't suited to the prescription strength -- and then offering to help out in some way.

Frame and Lens Options. 39 Dollar Glasses is a full-service provider that stocks no-name generic frames. It sells single-vision reading or distance glasses and bifocals for adults and children, and progressive lenses for men and women. Consumers can order prescription sunglasses and contact lenses, Transitions lenses that change color according to the ambient light, or lenses to fit frames they already own. A frame-lenses combination (single-vision 1.59-index polycarbonate, no extras) starts at $39; moving up to a 1.67-index lens adds $59.95 to the cost; and a premium 1.74-index lens is available for an additional $99.95. A frame-lenses package for bifocals and progressives starts at $119. All glasses come with scratch-resistant and UV coatings, a hard case, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.

Website. The website is intuitive. There are numerous filters -- gender, frame size, frame color, frame material, shape, lens type -- and tabs for new arrivals, best sellers, bifocals and progressives, and plastic frames. There is a limited FAQ section and several "help" videos. Support is provided via email, chat, or phone.

39 Dollar Glasses claims that 95 percent of orders ship within three days, with up to four more days for bifocals, progressives, and strong prescriptions, and up to three extra days to put new lenses in an existing frame. First-class shipping through the U.S. Postal Service costs $4.95 and takes three to seven business days; orders exceeding $99 ship for free. Reviews suggest that 39 Dollar Glasses is good about correcting errors, regardless whether the company or the consumer is the responsible party.

Bottom Line. Overall, this site scores for selection, quality, and service. Thousands of customers seem pleased with their purchases and many are repeat buyers. This is a fairly safe bet for consumers eager to save money when buying prescription eyewear.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at Cheapism.com, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

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