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Founder Roy Hessel started EyeBuyDirect with a vision to make high quality prescription eyewear easily available and affordable to all who need it.
To make that vision a reality, the company says it designs and manufactures eyewear in-house and sells exclusively online to keep costs low — and those savings are then passed on right to you.
But how do you know if this affordable online optical shop is right for you? We took a close look at the company and its products to help you decide if your next specs buy should come ~directly~ from EyeBuyDirect.
- Glasses galore. The company sells prescription and nonprescription glasses, sunglasses, kids’ glasses, and sports glasses in frames of all shapes, colors, and materials. You can customize them by adding blue-light-blocking lenses, colorized, mirrored, polarized, and even colorblind lenses (sunglasses only).
- Selfie approved. Take the Fit & Style Eyewear Quiz to find frames that fit your style and face. Then see how they look using a virtual try-on feature.
- Permission to change your mind. If you don’t love the look or fit of your new frames, you can return them for a replacement or refund within 14 days, no questions asked.
- Look out for others. For every pair of glasses purchased, the company donates a pair of glasses to someone in need in the country of your choice.
- Go green. EyeBuyDirect offers frames made from biodegradable materials that can be recycled.
- Designer desert. The company only sells Ray-Ban, Oakley, and its in-house brand, Rflkt.
- No touch and feel. EyeBuyDirect only exists in cyberspace. There aren’t physical locations to visit where you can physically try on glasses to find the perfect pair.
- No contacts. You can’t buy contacts through EyeBuyDirect, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for a second retailer if you wear both.
- Cost creep. The starting price may be affordable, but lens add-ons can add up.
- Pay upfront. You can use vision insurance, but only by submitting for reimbursement after you purchase your glasses.
EyeBuyDirect sells prescription and nonprescription eyeglasses and sunglasses for adults and kids. The company offers Ray-Ban, Oakley, and its in-house brand, Rflkt, glasses for reading, distance, sports, and just plain looking good.
The specs: When eyeglasses are the name, options are the game. Frames come in a multitude of shapes and colors and you can choose from distance, bifocal, progressive, bifocal, and nonprescription lenses (hello fashionista!).
And that’s just the beginning of your vision decisions. Upgrade your lenses to make them thinner, or add features like:
- transition (shades when you need ’em, specs when you don’t)
- UV protection
- blue light blocking
- dust and water repelling
What reviewers say: Reviewers agree the quality is on point, especially for the price. Overall, customers are pleased with the fit although some complain that their glasses keep falling off their face.
The specs: Whether your shades are for good sight, good looks, or both, EyeBuyDirect has you covered. The company sells prescription and nonprescription sunglasses of all styles. Sort by brand, shape, rim, material, or color to easily find the look you want.
Pick your frames then refine your style by adding on some lens upgrades:
- tint color
- colorblind (designed to help people with red-green color blindness better see color contrast, vibrancy, and depth)
What reviewers say: A lot of first-timers agree buying online from EyeBuyDirect is easy peasy. And customers who opt for the 2-day shipping love how quickly they get their new glasses.
Glasses on EyeBuyDirect are less expensive than other online retailers like GlassesUSA and Eyeconic. But with all the add-on and customization options available, it’s still possible to lose sight of your budget.
Eyeglasses cost anywhere from $6 to $306. Upgrade your lenses to make them thinner or add UV protection, anti-smudge, or dust and water repellant for an extra $6.95 to $79.90.
Transforming them into transition glasses ranges from $35.95 to $119. And adding blue light protection will cost an extra $19 to $116 depending on which of the options you choose.
Sunglasses start between $19 to $196. Stick with the basic lenses and choose your tint color for no additional cost. Or upgrade to gradient, mirrored, polarized, or colorblind lenses for an extra $4.95 to $99.
It’s decision time. Here’s a step-by-step rundown of how to buy your glasses from EyeBuyDirect.
But first, a note on insurance
EyeBuyDirect doesn’t take insurance upfront — but that doesn’t mean your glasses won’t be covered. The company will give you its tax ID number and a detailed copy of your invoice so you can submit for reimbursement through your insurance company.
You can also use flexible spending accounts (FSA) or health savings accounts (HSA) if your card is affiliated with a major credit card like Visa, AMEX, Discover, or Mastercard.
- Check with your insurance. If you plan to submit for reimbursement or use your FSA or HSA, check with your carrier first to make sure the product you want is eligible.
- Get your prescription handy. Make sure it’s up to date and not expired (prescriptions are typically good for 1 to 2 years). If you don’t have a prescription, the site has a search feature to look for eye doctors near you.
- Choose your frames. Use the top navigation bar to sort by brand, size, shape, rim, material, color, and special features to easily browse through frames you might like. Click the “Try me on” button to connect the site to your camera and see the glasses on your face in real-time.
- Pick your frame color. Most frames come in at least three color options.
- Select frame size. If you’re not sure what size you need, EyeBuyDirect provides a size guide that includes frame width, arm length, and bridge width. And don’t worry, if your glasses don’t fit, the company allows you to return or exchange them within 14 days with no questions asked.
- Choose your lens type. Select distance, bifocal, progressive, reading, or nonprescription.
- Enter in your prescription info. You can keep this info saved in your account for future orders.
- Customize your lenses. Go with the standard lenses or upgrade to blue-light-blocking lenses, transition lenses, or protective coatings.
- Pay. EyeBuyDirect almost always has discounts available so be sure to check the discount coupon page.
And you’re done. Your new specs or shades will arrive in 7 to 14 business days, depending on the complexity of your prescription. Or, if your glasses are eligible, you can pay for 2-day delivery and have ’em even sooner.
Shipping, returns, warranty
EyeBuyDirect’s company policies are a prescription for customer satisfaction:
- Free shipping for orders over $99. Available in the U.S. only.
- 14-Day Fit & Style Guarantee. If your glasses don’t fit your face or your style, you can exchange them for a new pair or get a refund within 2 weeks of receiving them.
- 365-day product guarantee. If there’s a defect in the material or workmanship of your glasses within the first year, you’re eligible for a replacement pair.
Both guarantees come with one small caveat: you may have to pay a shipping fee for a replacement pair.
Also — if you use a coupon code — be sure to read all the details of the promotion. Some customers were unpleasantly surprised by their refund amount after returning glasses bought with a discount coupon.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives EyeBuyDirect an A+ rating. While there are some customer complaints about issues getting their money back, the company always addresses it and appears to issue refunds.
Got your sights set on something else? Here are other online options for your optical needs.
- GlassesUSA sells top brand-name prescription and nonprescription glasses, sunglasses, and contacts.
- Zenni Optical offers affordable glasses manufactured in-house.
- Warby Parker lets you try five frames at home for free and also sells contacts.
- Eyeconic has a large selection of popular designer prescription and nonprescription eyewear and contacts.
- Blenders Eyewear sells fun, colorful eyewear at a low cost.
EyeBuyDirect has a ton of glasses at solid prices, but not a ton of brands to choose from. So if you’re looking to shop all the latest designers, the company may not be your best optical option. It’s also not a great option if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for your glasses, sunglasses, and contacts.
But if you’re looking for quality glasses at a reasonable price with some pretty cool customization options, EyeBuyDirect is definitely worth a closer look.