For buying eyeglasses and sunglasses, EyeBuyDirect is a well-reviewed online retailer that is worth considering when looking to make a purchase.
From our research, the company’s biggest weakness is its lack of affiliation with insurance providers, which can complicate getting your costs reimbursed, although it doesn’t completely prevent reimbursement.
Basics of EyeBuyDirect
EyeBuyDirect is an eyewear seller where you can buy a large variety of eyeglasses and sunglasses. They offer access to several premium brands, including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Arnette, Vogue Eyewear, and RFLKT. The lenses offered by EyeBuyDirect come in many different types and styles, with the majority of the options a person might want, such as transition and blue light lenses available.
The exact scope of the company is difficult to discern from publicly available information, but they’re a large and well-established operation. The company’s products have thousands of reviews online and a largely positive reputation.
Pros & Cons of EyeBuyDirect
EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of frames and lenses, including extremely low-cost frames that are available for under $19. While many of these low-cost frames are simple in design, there is enough variety in their shapes and patterns that most people should be able to find frames that suit their needs, including low-key options that could work in the majority of professional settings. This is in addition to their more luxury options, with frames from premium brands costing upward of $140.
There are some notable cons to using EyeBuyDirect. One of the most important is that they aren’t affiliated with any insurance companies. This doesn’t mean you can’t get your glasses covered by a vision plan, but it does mean the process to get reimbursed is more complicated and that coverage isn’t guaranteed.
They also have not adopted the at-home try-on option that many other eyewear sellers have. They have a virtual option, allowing you to see what glasses might look like using a picture of your face, but many people would prefer to physically see what their glasses will look like before committing to a pair.
EyeBuyDirect has a large selection to choose from and most customers should be able to order a customized pair of glasses that will suit their needs. They don’t offer contact lenses.
At the time of writing, their site lists 879 “male” pairs of glasses, 1,126 “female” pairs of glasses, and 15 “kids” pairs of glasses. This is in addition to their sunglass options, of which there seems to be about 50 percent fewer options than their standard glasses options.
Their most popular lens options include the following:
- Blue light glasses
- Reading glasses
- Transition lenses
- Bifocal lenses
- Progressive lenses
- Prism lenses
They also offer a few coating options, including these:
- Anti-reflective coating
- Polarized coating
- Mirrored coating
Costs & Returns
As already discussed, frames are available at most price points, from frames under $10 to luxury frames over $150. While the specific lenses you choose can vary, a review of the site suggested that a standard pair of prescription glasses can be expected to cost around $70, which aligns with our research. However, a very basic, non-prescription pair could be purchased for significantly less, and a luxury pair with many optional lens modifications could cost significantly more.
EyeBuyDirect can ship throughout the United States and internationally. International shipping will cost around $10 and domestic shipping starts around $6 unless an order is over $119, in which case shipping is free.
The company has a 14-day free return policy, allowing you to request a full refund or return a pair of glasses for a one-time replacement pair of equal or less value. They also offer a 365-day guarantee, allowing you to get a one-time replacement pair of glasses within 12 months of your purchase if the pair has noticeable defects in its craftsmanship.
What You Need to Know Before Ordering
EyeBuyDirect has a guide you can read through to understand their ordering process. Assuming you want a prescription pair of glasses, you will first need to have your eyes assessed by a professional to get a prescription. Make sure you understand the prescription you’re given, as you will be inputting the numbers on that prescription, so your glasses can properly correct your vision.
If you want the cost of your glasses reimbursed by insurance, first confirm you have a vision plan and then research how reimbursement works with your provider. It is often, but not always, possible to get your costs partially reimbursed at least once a year when buying glasses even if a company isn’t directly affiliated with your insurance company.
EyeBuyDirect doesn’t appear to have a subscription service, but it does offer a loyalty program. This program has three tiers: Silver Bright, Golden Sight, and Diamond Light. An account that spends at least $75 in a year qualifies for Silver Bright. Spending over $150 and $250 total qualifies you for Golden Sight and Diamond Light respectively.
Once you qualify for a given tier, your status is maintained for the duration of that year and the full following year. After that point, you have to spend enough to qualify for a tier each year.
The perks these tiers offer are relatively significant if you regularly purchase expensive glasses or multiple pairs of glasses in a year, with higher tiers offering significant discounters of frames and lenses. At their highest Diamond Light tier, shipping is free to the United States and Canada, and you receive preference in customer service queues.
What Types of Discounts Are Offered?
A variety of discounts are available with EyeBuyDirect, with the most reliable discounts available from the loyalty program discussed above. The company also regularly offers other types of discounts. For example, in late March, the company often offers a 20 to 30 percent discount for Saint Patrick’s Day for non-premium brand purchases. This discount cannot be stacked with discounts from other offerings, like their loyalty program discounts.
EyeBuyDirect’s biggest weakness is arguably its lack of direct affiliation with insurance companies. Instead, they have a guide on how to submit reimbursement requests for items bought from their store.
They do recommend you call their customer service specialists at 1-855-393-2891, so you can talk to someone who is knowledgeable about how to take advantage of your insurance for their offerings. They can also give direction on how best to use FSA and HSA dollars for your purchases.
Does EyeBuyDirect Offer Online Vision Assessments?
EyeBuyDirect doesn’t appear to offer online vision assessments at this time. They do, however, make it very easy to input a prescription once you have one. In order to know your prescription numbers, you will need to get assessed elsewhere, which requires an in-person visit for best results.
The company advertises positive reviews from a variety of sources on its website. As noted earlier, outside sources seem to also indicate the company’s products and services tend to be well received.
Issues seem to be rare. When they do occur, the company is reportedly responsive and will generally help correct the issues unless damage or return requests are due to accidents, negligence, or improper care on the part of the customer, which is normal for companies of this type.
The most common issues with the company, according to reviews, appear to be relatively minor problems. One complaint we noticed in our research were reports of customers receiving a discount code via text that would not work on the site.
Alternatives to EyeBuyDirect
According to The New York Times, EyeBuyDirect is one of the best online glasses retailers, offering a good mix of prices and selections with the glasses purchased from the site being highly rated by their testers. However, one option they also recommend is Zenni, which they say has the potential to land a customer some of the best prices available for a quality pair of prescription glasses from an online retailer.
Is EyeBuyDirect Worth It?
EyeBuyDirect is a well-reviewed eyewear seller with a wide variety of options available to their customers. Overall, they’re worth considering and don’t seem to have a pricing point egregiously different from what you can expect from their competitors. It’s worth the time to do a bit of price comparisons on their offerings to determine if they are a good choice for your needs.
Shipping & Returns. EyeBuyDirect.
How to Place an Order for RX Glasses. EyeBuyDirect.
Earn Your Way to Perfect Focus. EyeBuyDirect.
How to Use Vision Insurance. EyeBuyDirect.
What Are People Saying About EyeBuyDirect? EyeBuyDirect.
The Best Places to Buy Glasses Online. (December 2022). The New York Times.
Last Updated May 24, 2023
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