The online marketplace has reduced the shopping process for millions of custom items, like shoes, clothing and décor, to a few clicks. Shopping for glasses can also be reduced to a fully at-home experience, but unlike clothes and books, glasses are engineered for a unique medical purpose.
Shopping for glasses online can be convenient, but there are a number of drawbacks to consider – especially if what you need is a pair of prescription glasses. Online glasses retailers offer measurement services and can even manufacture prescription lenses, but the options for a custom fit are limited. Higher-power prescriptions and specialty lenses require more precise facial measurements, and the margin of error is much slimmer. Even trained optometrists have a difficult time making their own facial measurements in a mirror.
Fit and style are important considerations for anyone who wants a pair of glasses. Try-on methods vary from site to site, and the effectiveness of these methods also varies widely. In-home try-on programs are the best way to find out how a pair of frames will fit your face when you’re shopping online, but not all online retailers provide such programs. Brick-and-mortar stores not owned by a manufacturer also will carry a wide variety of designer frames to help pin down your exact style.
One last tip: a local optical shop may offer repair or alteration services on their glasses that are unavailable from online stores. As you get used to the fit of your new glasses, it’s useful to be able to visit a store and have them adjust parts of the frame while you wait.
So, the right place to find glasses depends on what you need and want. If you need a low-power prescription and you’re willing to try a few online fittings to find the right frame, shopping online might be right for you. If you’re in need of a powerful prescription or precision lens and more confidence in the style of your frames, it might be wise to stop by an optical store and try on a few pairs.
If you’re looking for unique, custom-fit frames or a place where you can get specialty lenses crafted just for you, look no further than Northwest Eye Center’s own optical shop. We carry popular brands and economy frames to light up your face.