Why do glasses cost more in an optical shop than online?

At Cedar Park Eye Care, we know that a pair of glasses is an important medical device. An inaccurate prescription or measurement can have a huge effect on your vision which is why custom fitting and prescription verification is vital! That is why our opticians help you select a frame, take custom measurements, and verify the prescription before dispensing and adjusting the glasses. Along with top-notch lenses, our shop has a huge(1,000+) inventory of designer frames that have been carefully selected for durability and style. We stand behind our products by offering two year warranties on frames and coated lenses. Many online opticals do not offer warranties, return polices, adjustments, and may send you an incorrect prescription. Be sure to ask questions and make sure your cost saving is worth losing the benefits of buying from an optical shop. Online glasses are better than no glasses, but if you wear glasses 365 days a year it is worth the investment to get a good pair.

Online retailers cut costs by using cheap materials and cut corners on customer service and safety standards. About 44% of glasses made online are not the correct prescription and over 20% do not meet ANSI safety standards.

If you have a pair of online glasses, check out the temple(the part that attaches to your head) and see if there is a thin piece of metal inside of the plastic. In the picture above, you can slightly see the metal core. The metal is attached to the hinge making it stronger, and runs all the way down the side keeping the frame in adjustment longer. Online frames are rarely handcrafted, and use a process called injection molding to mass produce frames at a low cost. Online metal frames are normally made with monel, which behaves like a toothpick when compared to titanium and surgical stainless steel frames. Typically online retailers buy their frames wholesale for around $3. Of course, there are online opticals that have handcrafted, designer frames. We have done many comparisons of websites like Eyeconic and Frames Direct and have found that their prices are not very different than purchasing glasses at Cedar Park Eye Care. It is difficult to give an exact number because there are so many lens options and frames, but the difference is usually around $20 in either direction (most of the time when you add in-store promotions, we are cheaper). Basically, you pay the same price for the same product with no warranty and a limited return policy.

ANSI safety standards for impact resistance is verified by drop-ball testing. Meaning the lens should hold up if a 5/8 inch steel ball is dropped from a height of 50 inches. This simulates what would happen to lenses in a car accident or a hard fall.  When you get into an accident, the last thing you should worry about is your lenses shattering and cutting your face up. If you bought your glasses online, there is a chance that your lenses do not pass the standard safety standards.

So why is there such a big price difference?

  1. We use quality, handcrafted frames
  2. We source our lenses from American optical labs that abide by safety standards
  3. We provide customer service and adjustments
  4. We offer warranties that we honor
  5. We fit the glasses properly and give you expert advise on lens options

We could offer glasses for prices similar to online opticals, but we see value in providing top of the line products and customer service.

Stay tuned,


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