EyeBuyDirect Review

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Cheapism

Judging by the number of online reviews, EyeBuyDirect is a smaller, lesser-known online glasses shop. At ResellerRatings it draws an average 3 stars out of 5 from about 225 posts. Some reviewers tell of noticing an uptick in quality and service over the past few years while others crow about the low prices that don't translate into a lesser product. One customer reports buying four pairs of specs for $175 total; a first-timer was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the order, the free anti-scratch coating, and the rapid turnaround time; and a third notes that a company rep tried to expedite the process after a lens broke.

Unhappy EyeBuyDirect customers, meanwhile, report opposite experiences. They grouse about no-show orders, light-adjusting photochromic lenses that are wavy and distort vision, and reading specs that make text look blurry -- really cheap glasses sold at the drugstore are a better deal, one reviewer claims.

Where to buy

Frame and Lens Options. Frame prices start at $6 and most sell for less than $35; frames that are part of "collections" sell at higher prices. Although the most basic single-vision 1.50-index lenses with anti-scratch coating are included in the price of the frame, the website's structure helps EyeBuyDirect upsell to pricier lenses. Adding anti-reflective coating to the basic package costs $6.95; thinner, lighter 1.59-index lenses, billed as "most popular," cost $18.95 and come with the two coatings plus UV protection; 1.60-index lenses with all three "extras" go for $30.90. Consumers can customize a lens order, choosing any of six lens indexes up to 1.74 (for $84.95), each available with free and optional add-on coatings that carry a price.

EyeBuyDirect also offers bifocals and free-form progressives, Transitions lenses that change from dark to light based on the surroundings, sunglasses, special lenses that protect wearers' eyes from the blue light of digital screens, and frames with no-prescription lenses. A hard case and microfiber cleaning cloth -- free at other prescription eyeglasses sites -- cost $4.

Website. The site seems relatively straightforward, but finding the useful information, including the free lens option, requires a bit of hunting around. Users can search by gender, kids, size, shape, rim, material, color, and feature (e.g., frames suited for bifocals or progressives). Each frame is displayed with four different views, and measurements are provided. Users can upload a selfie for a virtual try-on. EyeBuyDirect offers a 14-day guarantee for fit and style, which entitles customers to a refund or free replacement. A 365-day warranty against defects in manufacturing and workmanship on frames and lenses is backed by a new pair at equal value. Delivery takes seven to 14 business days and costs $5.95, or is free for orders over $99. Support is available by live chat and phone.

Bottom Line. EyeBuyDirect is another alternative for prescription eyeglasses wearers who are loath to shell out hundreds of dollars for a single pair of specs. Given that review assessments for this provider are comparatively thin, it doesn't make our list of top picks but still may be worth checking out.

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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