This store sells affordable glasses—but are they any good?
Here was my experience with EyeBuyDirect.
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Look (pun intended). I’ve reviewed a lot of glasses at this point. I’ve covered wire frames, tortoiseshell, and everything in between. So, when given the opportunity to hop on and check out EyeBuyDirect, I was excited.
My expectations were quite high, as EyeBuyDirect is the brand I hear about most through word of mouth—and often when I comment on frames out in the wild, most seems to come from this retailer. EyeBuyDirect is known for having a huge catalogue of options and great prices, so we checked it out to see if it could live up to the hype.
What can you buy from EyeBuyDirect?
EyeBuyDirect is an online glasses retailer that offers prescription glasses frames for men, women, and children. It offers many different varieties of trendy and classic glasses frames, as well as sunglasses and glasses by popular brands like Oakley. Frames from the EyeBuyDirect brand are very reasonably priced, and once you add up your lenses and additional pieces, you can get a pair of prescription frames for as little as $35. The company has a variety of lens types available, including transition lenses and readers. Even better, Tan France has a collaboration with EyeBuyDirect and his collection features several really great, chic styles with mid-range price points.
If you want to try on before you buy, EyeBuyDirect has a virtual mirror that will allow you to upload a photo and fit the frames over the image. The system the site uses generates the frames based on your pupillary distance and allows you to maneuver where the glasses will sit across your face. It’s not as intuitive or comprehensive as some of the Try-On programs we’ve tested, but the ability to adjust the frames to the photo is a nice touch.
Unlike some online retailers, EyeBuyDirect does not offer a prescription measuring or testing service, but it does have information on eyeglasses providers in your area if you have your location information turned on on their site.
What’s the ordering process look like?
EyeBuyDirect makes it extremely easy for users to input all their prescription information and lens preferences. To pick your frames, you can either browse through its collections or sort from all its glasses by using the filters located at the top of the page, using criteria like the glasses shape and material to sort through the available options. If you’re uncertain about where to start with the options available, the website offers a quiz that will help sort frames for you based on your preferences, which I highly recommend as it pulled up some great styles for me.
I ended up going for the Hollie in pink and the Amity in blue. I would recommend checking the dimensions of whatever frames you pick, as the Amity glasses arrived slightly smaller than I had expected based on the photos.
Once you’ve selected your frames from the many styles they have on offer, you can move on to pick your lenses. The lenses can be found in varieties ranging from bifocals to prism glasses to regular prescription lenses, and EyeBuyDirect offers several different kinds of blue-light blocking coating and finishes like anti-reflective coating and anti-scratch coating. Once you’ve picked out which of the bells and whistles you want to add, you’ll be directed to place your order. After I placed my order, I received an email to confirm whether or not my prescription information was correct, which was great—my prescription is strange, so for me it's a sign of quality when a retailer reaches out to confirm its accuracy.
One thing of note regarding the ordering process—these glasses arrived almost immediately. EyeBuyDirect offers two-day delivery, which is a very quick turnaround for prescription lenses. I was pleasantly surprised to find them in my mailbox only a few days after I placed my order, much sooner than the other glasses retailers I’ve tested. The glasses arrived in individual boxes with cloth storage bags inside. While the packaging was fairly barebones, I wasn’t worried that they would arrive damaged as the boxes were quite sturdy.
What we liked about EyeBuyDirect
Overall, I had a great experience ordering from EyeBuyDirect. Here are a few things I really loved about the service:
The variety of sunglasses is great
One of the things I've noticed about online glasses retailers that sell sunglasses is that the sunglasses catalogues can occasionally seem neglected or lacking in variety compared to the regular frames. EyeBuyDirect has a really great range of sunglasses in trendy and classic styles, and when you select "Women's Sunglasses" up to 186 styles come up, which is far more than I've seen on other sites. The sunglasses tend to be a bit more expensive than the regular frames overall, especially if you choose to put prescription lenses in, but if you're looking for a specific style it's highly likely they have it.
Editor's Note: I purchased a pair of sunglasses from EyeBuyDirect separately from Madison's review. I went with the Nevada pair, and they are among the sturdiest sunglasses I've ever purchased. They came with a cloth bag that doubles as a lens wipe, and they are absolutely gorgeous. I would highly recommend these to anyone who's looking for new sunglasses.
There are multiple sizes for frames
This is a very small detail, but many online retailers don’t differentiate between the sizes of their frames, or give you the option to choose between sizes for a specific style. EyeBuyDirect lets the customer choose between sizes for many of its own-brand frames. If you’ve ever ordered glasses and had them arrive slightly smaller or larger than you expected, then you know the true value of being able to pick and choose your frame size (I immediately regretted not having confirmed my size on the website before I made my selections, especially since it was such an avoidable problem).
The wide variety of price points
As with many glasses retailers, EyeBuyDirect has a range of cheaper own-brand frames and brand name frames from retailers like RayBan and Oakley. The own-brand frames are very reasonably priced, and once you add up your lenses and additional pieces you can get a pair of prescription frames for as little as $38. EyeBuyDirect also hosts great sales a lot of the time, so be sure to check in with its website. If you see a pair of designer frames you want, it's worth taking a look at their own-brand lines, as it's likely they'll have a similar, cheaper style in their collection.
Their sustainable eyewear collection
Most recently, EyeBuyDirect has released a line of eco-friendly eyewear called 5 to See, which is an eco-friendly collection of glasses frames made using five recycled plastic bottles for every single pair of glasses in the collection. The frames in the collection come in a variety of great styles, including some sunglasses styles. Each pair of the 5 to See frames comes with a lightweight case and glasses cloth, and with every pair purchased EyeBuyDirect donates a pair of glasses to someone in need. The 5 to See frames are extremely lightweight and come in a soft, smooth matte finish that was great to handle. Of the several pairs I tested out, I really enjoyed the tortoiseshell Citrus pair. If you're considering hopping onto the sustainable eyewear train, 5 to See offers great looks at good prices and it's likely that they'll continue to expand the styles on offer over time.
What we didn't like about EyeBuyDirect
Even though I had a great experience with the glasses themselves, there are a few things I wasn't crazy about.
There's discoloration from blue-light coating
This is an issue I’ve noticed coming up most frequently with online orders—since you can’t see the glasses beforehand, it’s difficult to know just how prominent blue-light coating will be on your lenses. The EyeBuyDirect blue-light coating does seem to create a slightly green discoloration on the lens, visible when you tilt the frames to have direct light on them. As much as the discoloration seems to be a hazard of blue-light coating, other brands (like Warby Parker) have managed to blend their blue-light coating seamlessly with their lenses.
You’re going to get a lot of emails
EyeBuyDirect seems to take an Olive Garden approach to emailing you. Once you’ve made an account, it'll send you as many emails as your older relatives will send you Facebook articles. The good news is that often those emails contain information about sales, so there is some use for them.
The website tools’ location isn't ideal
Some of the more useful tools that EyeBuyDirect has to offer (like its frame quiz and try-on) are tucked away in the ordering process (or don’t appear unless you scroll to the bottom of the webpage). Other glasses retailers tend to prioritize their helpful tools, so it would have been nice to see those somewhere prominent.
Should you order glasses from EyeBuyDirect?
The primary draw in using EyeBuyDirect lies in its prices and variety. If you’re looking to pick up a pair of trendy frames, EyeBuyDirect is an excellent option. The quality of both pairs I ordered was extremely high. The larger glasses I got are now permanently in my rotation and haven’t caused me any headaches, which is more than can be said of some of the glasses I’ve tested with the same prescription information. Ultimately, I will definitely be ordering from them in the future and would recommend them.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.