Final review of my online eyeglass purchase
I’ve had about 10 days with them – I got them last Monday, but they may have arrived sooner since I hadn’t checked the mail in 3-4 days. This fits with the timeline provided by Zenni Optical:
Most orders will be delivered within about two weeks , orders which require some extra,special or custom lab work like progressives, bi-focals, custom suntint, or extra strength prescriptions can take three to six days extra.
I ordered my my glasses on June 19, and due to my stronger prescription, the additional 3-6 days count. If they were shipped in 2 weeks and 3 days (on July 6th), they came right on time for regular first class (aka not Priority) mail.
Here I am with my new glasses. Coincidentally, I grew my sideburns in the meantime. With them and the new glasses, I look like most of my relatives did in the 60s. I figure in 10 years I’ll probably look like they did in the 70s. (If I end up looking like I did in the 80s after that, I’ll blame it on dementia)
They arrived in a padded mailer (plastic bubbles) and the hard case was fine for rough postal handling (lunchtime games of postal football, etc.). Enclosed were the glasses, the magnetic clip-ons and a cleaning cloth. The clip-ons had protective stickers for the lenses since unlike the glasses, they don’t have any anti-scratch coating.
Before moving on, I’ll state directly that my opinions are strongly affected by the price – $57. I’ve always considered it a test and that pretty much anything that is attractive and usable will be fine. I do intend on buying more eyeglasses now that I have received and worn the glasses.
I like the frame quite a bit – I was bored of my old glasses (see right), and since my face is rounder than it was, I wanted more angular frames this time. The weird thing is how rounded the arms are – they bow out leaving what seems to be a larger than usual gap between them and my face. I’m not sure if this is intentional or not, but it nicely illustrates the one big hazard of not being able to try the frames on. For $57, I can’t really complain.
The most important thing, of course is the prescription, and when my glasses are seated right on my nose, my vision is perfect. I haven’t had frames that rest directly on the nose since I was 10 and they naturally slide down a smidge, and when they do, the vision is blurred *just* a bit (addendum 12/19/2009: I don’t see this blurring at all now – seems like my eyes needed to get used to the lenses). If I had spent $400, I’d be hopping mad. For $57, it doesn’t bother me that much. I’d like to find something that will keep my glasses from sliding, a sticker of some sort.
The other thing I notice with the glasses is if I look out from as close to the lens edges as possible, there’s a slight curvature to what I see. I didn’t have these in my previous glasses but those are the only pair I’ve not had this. Trish still has it with hers, and I’m not sure if it’s due to the thickness of lenses (I went for the second-thinnest lenses for an extra $17 than the thinnest for $37) or what. The lenses are quite a bit thicker than those in my old glasses. (addendum 12/19/2009: I rarely look out the glasses like this – the curvature is still there, but I had to try hard enough to see this that my eyes felt strained. It’s definitely not a normal way to look, so this criticism is moot.)
The frames also came with a magnetic clip-on and that I REALLY like (see bottom for a close up the magnets in the frame). I haven’t had any eye protection against sunlight since my old clip-ons got bent by my son when he was an infant and it’s absolute joy to be able to be in bright sunlight without squinting. I’m really digging the fact that the clip-ons are magnetic since they 1) go on REALLY easily and 2) they make the glasses look like regular sunglasses rather than eyeglasses with bulky clipons:
They’re not perfect – you can see that they’re lower on the left and higher on the right – but they did cost $4.95. I should’ve ordered another 1 or 2 of them as well. At that price, they have no anti-scratch coating, and I managed to scratch them already with … a plastic plate. Still, for the price I have no complaints.
I give Zenni Optical 4 out of 5 stars. They haven’t blown my socks off, but I think the quality is fine for the cost. I would have considered 3 or 5 stars had any other online eyeglass buying experience to compare with.
Overall, I am quite satisfied with my experience and definitely will be buying another pair online. I’m not sure whether I’ll go with Zenni Optical again, but it will probably depend on what kind of a frame I’m looking for or if I want something specific, like prescription sunglasses. For this experience, I limited myself to eyeglasses with magnetic sunshades and picked the one that I found most attractive. I would definitely recommend buying eyeglasses online since you can do it 3 times until you get the perfect pair and still save a big chunk of change.
- Delivered on time
- Great, great value
- I can buy 6-7 more pairs online for the price of one pair at the popular retail stores
- I may have considered another pair had been able to try them on, due to the gap between the arms and my head
- Vision is not perfect when they slide down a bit (this is *very* slight)