Friday, May 27, 2011

Off Topic But On My Mind: Zenni Optical

Periodically I have *important* thoughts on subjects other than food.  (Shocking!)  Thus this – and probably future – posts.

I recently ordered two new pairs of eyeglasses from a website.  That statement alone is nothing short of miraculous.  I do not buy items online very often.  I am loathe to buy shoes online due to the wide-ranging variance in manufacture’s shoe sizes.  Same for most clothing items.  Another great drawback is the return/refund issue.  Thus, Target is almost my lone purveyor of online goods due to the ease of return in-store, if necessary.  Oh, and I don’t like to pay more for shipping.  There’s that too.

However, a few months back there was a post on a blog I follow (Money Saving Mom: about how she had discovered Zenni Optical and had a good experience with it.  Basically Zenni has a wide range of frames to choose from, starting at about $6.95.  You can digitally upload a glasses-free, front-facing picture of yourself so that you can “try on” the frames.  (It’s pretty technical and specific so that made me feel pretty good, actually.)

I was in the market for some new eyeglasses & I’m always game for a good deal.  The last time I bought glasses I went to America’s Best because they had a deal for 2 pairs of glasses & an eye exam for $69.99.  HOWEVER, that included basic plastic lenses and this near-sighted gal needs a higher quality lens to avoid the bottle-cap mishap just waiting to happen.  So I ended up paying over $200.  Which was still a pretty good deal for 2 pairs of new glasses.  But then I only ended up ever wearing one pair. 

I learned my lesson and only sought out plastic frames for my new pairs, knowing that though I like the look of metal frames, I will not wear them in the end.  And I limited my frame search to those in the lower price ranges.  If I was waffling between two similar choices, I just went with the cheaper option.  I loaded my “cart” with several choices and then involved my optician sister in the process.  (She would not normally recommend such things, probably, but she knows my cheapskate ways & lack of funds for such frivolous items such as EYEWARE.  Please note the heavily dripping sarcasm.)

She helped me select two good options.  Then I went to a brand new eye place offering an eye exam for $29.99 (glasses prescription only).  I graciously skirted the sales people there & went home to enter my prescription online, selected my lenses (again, with my sister’s help – I found this step to be more challenging, again because of my prescription strength & not knowing if one lens width would be worth the price difference, etc), breathed deeply and hit “submit order”.  It took a couple weeks for manufacturing and delivery, but the magical day arrived.

I received two complete pairs of eyeglasses, along with a specific clip-on set of sunglass lenses for each pair (at just $3.95 each), all for under $110 shipped.  And I like them.  They’re definitely worth the price I paid.  I could probably go to Walmart and get them “fitted” for free (or take a trip to see Sis) but since I go with plastic frames, sometimes that just makes them sit more askew anyway.  (My sister will probably have a fit when she sees how they sit on my face, but I never see what she sees.) 

If you have a relatively easy prescription, I would definitely give Zenni Optical a try!


  1. i cant believe you didnt know about this? i must not have discovered them when our paths were crossing. man, you know i go through about 4 pairs of glasses a year. the only way to save our bank account, and my marriage was zenni optical. i order two pair every time. its the most amazing thing out there!!!! the best thing about them, other than cheap glasses, is you dont even need a current prescription! ha! take that eye glass man! i converted a lot of believers at CCU to zenni. thanks sweeds!

    -justin d.

  2. I can't believe you didn't tell me about this!! But in all fairness, I may not have listened to you about it anyway, due to my skeptical nature. :-)