Zenni Optical Review


Photo credit: Courtesy of Cheapism

Thousands of reviews extolling low prices, high quality, frame selection, and customer service propel Zenni Optical to the top spot for cheap online eyeglasses.

A consumer favorite, Zenni Optical racks up points with thousands of eyeglasses wearers who have purchased prescription specs online. An average of 4.5 stars from more than 75,000 reviews at ResellerRatings helps elevate this budget prescription eyewear site to the top of Cheapism's ranking. Consumers rave about the stylish options, speedy delivery, product quality, and rock-bottom prices. Many buy multiple pairs to match their mood or outfit on any given day, and others don't sweat a lack of insurance to defray the cost of visually necessary eyewear. Reviews also indicate that Zenni Optical claims serial purchasers who have been customers for years.

On TopTenReviews, Zenni Optical garners a rating of 8.23 out of 10 in the review site's comparison of 11 ecommerce eyewear providers. Standout factors include free UV and anti-scratch coatings, as well as a range of lens options, choices for the entire family, and a huge selection of no-name frames equivalent to other online collections.

Where to buy

Zenni Optical lags the competition on shipping times, according to the review site's calculations: a minimum of 14 days versus 6.82 for the category average and a maximum of 21 days versus an average 10.45 for the category. Ditto for the 30-day return window, which falls far short of the 100-day category average. Zenni Optical hits a high for support satisfaction, with a 95 percent rating compared with an average 90.91 for the other eyewear sites in the comparative review.

Customers who have posted reviews on Yelp, which number just under 300, are slightly less impressed than those at ResellerRatings. Posts reveal they appreciate the cheap prices -- no worries if glasses are lost or broken -- and generally like the product. But some say there's a strong correlation between price and quality; the frames are frumpy, for example, or fall apart for no apparent reason. Several who ordered progressive lenses report problems that interfere with their vision and others grumble about customer service, writing that exchanges, even for errors, are difficult to arrange.

Frame and Lens Options. Prices at Zenni Optical start at $6.95 for a frame with 1.50- or 1.57-index single-vision lenses and top out at $35.95 a pair for the same set of lenses. Adding bifocal lenses starts at $17 and progressive lenses start at $27.95. Prescription sunglasses and generic light-adjusting photochromic and Transitions brand lenses are also available. Add-ons include anti-glare coating or sunglass tint for $4.95. Customers can choose among seven lens indexes, which go as high as 1.74. These include CR-39 plastic, polymer (or polycarbonate composite), and pure polycarbonate lenses; note that some types of lenses, including pure polycarbonate, cannot be tinted. Glasses come with a hard case and microfiber cleaning cloth.

Website. Zenni Optical's website is nothing if not user-friendly. Prices are one click away from the home page and customers can filter search by collection, style, new arrivals, best sellers, and so on. There are styles for men, women, and children, the latter divided into sections for little kids, pre-teens, and teens. Virtual try-on is possible by uploading a selfie. Customer support is accessible via chat, email, and phone. There are help guides and videos on topics such as measuring pupillary distance, replacing lenses in a frame, and ordering mirrored sunglasses. The FAQ section is extensive. Signing up for the newsletter saves consumers 10 percent on a future order. Shipping for the first pair costs $4.95, but there is no extra charge for additional items in the same order. Delivery takes 14 to 21 days.

Bottom Line. A low-cost and customer-focused online glasses shop, Zenni Optical attracts a fervent following. A tiny minority of reviewers may quibble about one thing or another, but with thousands of eyeglasses wearers talking up the offerings, the service, and the prices, there's every reason to regard Zenni Optical as the best cheap online eyeglasses provider.

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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