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FramesDirect Review: What to Know Before You Buy

FramesDirect is an eyewear retailer that operates online and sells a number of luxury branded frames, from Gucci to Armani to Ray-Ban. They also sell contacts from several of the most popular contact brands. 

FramesDirect has a few budget frame options but that isn’t the focus of their model.

How Do They Work?

FramesDirect is an online eyewear retailer with a focus on premium eyewear. As with most eyewear retailers, their model is fairly easy to understand from the consumer’s perspective. You find a pair of frames you want, select the right size and choose from a few different lens options, and input your prescription (assuming you don’t want non-prescription lenses). 

Purchasing contacts is a similar process, although generally with less customizability. An order is then prepared and, once ready, shipped to you.

What Does FramesDirect Offer?

FramesDirect sells eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contacts. One of their main selling points is that, in addition to carrying most major brands, they also carry luxury brands like Gucci and Armani. They also offer relatively competitive pricing on these brands, although the nature of luxury eyewear means these frames can still often cost upward of $400.

Pros & Cons

For consumers who want luxury eyewear, FramesDirect is a good option, with an extensive collection of luxury brands available to choose from. They also have cheaper frames available, including budget options, although the budget options are limited. 

For those looking for contacts, most major brands are available.

Cost 

Discussing cost is made somewhat complex when luxury brand frames are involved. However, as mentioned, FramesDirect does have cheaper options. For example, the non-luxury Arnette AN7109 frames they have on their men’s eyeglasses listings are often on sale for $48 with a very obviously advertised discount code offering 60% off prescription lenses. However, this frame only comes in one size and has what many might call a simple design. 

On the upper end, some luxury frames approach nearly $600. This is before accounting for the cost of lenses, although it appears (at the time of writing) that these purchases can also benefit from the lens discount noted earlier. Lens costs vary depending on the option selected, with single vision prescription lenses costing $23.99 and progressive no-line lenses costing almost $127.99 before any discount. 

A user then selects their desired lens material. Even the “basic plastic” option (the cheapest available) adds to the total cost of the lenses, with the price listed at $23.99.  Additional options include polycarbonate and high-index options for strong prescriptions, with 1.74 high-index material adding $163.99 to the total cost.

Contacts appear to be priced fairly standard, with 1-day 90 packs costing around $60 on the lower end. Prices are in line with what one would expect from a contact retailer.

Insurance Coverage

Like nearly all online glasses retailers, FramesDirect qualifies as an out-of-network provider for most insurance plans. This means it’s possible to use your insurance to get the cost of your purchase at least partially reimbursed, but it requires submitting a claim

Make sure to research ahead of time how submitting a claim works for your insurance plan and what type of purchases are considered valid for reimbursement.

How Do They Compare Pricewise to Competitors?

FramesDirect seems to largely price their luxury options as one might expect. While expensive by most people’s standards, you can look at luxury companies like Gucci and see that FramesDirect prices seem to more or less match the prices for those same brands. 

FramesDirect isn’t a budget eyewear retailer, even if they have some budget options. Every lens material option adds to the total cost of a purchase. Many other online retailers offer at least one budget material that doesn’t add to the total cost. 

Shipping Information

FramesDirect offers a variety of shipping options, from a basic free option with an estimated shipping time of between 3 and 11 days, to express UPS for $17.95 with an estimated shipping time of one business day. The pricing on these shipping options is highly competitive, at least when shipping to locations in the US.

How Does Ordering Work?

Once you have found a frame that you like on FramesDirect, you can then select from a variety of colors, choose a size (although some frames don’t have multiple sizing options), and then select which lenses you want. 

As part of this process, if you want prescription lenses, you will enter your prescription or use one already on file for your account (if you made an account). Alternatively, you can choose to send your prescription later. Then, you can review your selection, select your shipping option, and pay.

Reviews & Brand Reputation

FramesDirect generally reviews well, with one professional review highlighting its many discounts, customer-friendly policies, and quality products. Many consumers have been very happy with their purchases, enjoying the company’s luxury offerings and finding them to be a good combination of fashionable and utilitarian. 

On the other hand, some online reviews are much more negative about the company. On SiteJabber, FramesDirect has reviewed quite poorly, getting a 1.5-star rating, with customers claiming the same glasses can often be purchased for less elsewhere, complaining of shipping issues, and more. 

Is This Brand Worth It?

With FramesDirect divided reputation online, it’s hard to say what the average customer experience with the company actually looks like. Overall, the company is worth considering if you want luxury products. As with any luxury purchase, it’s important to compare costs across multiple sites offering the same or similar products before committing to a purchase. 

Alternatives to Consider

The best alternatives to consider will depend on your needs. Eyebuydirect and Warby Parker are two online eyewear retailers that review well, but for people who want luxury eyewear, you should expand the sites you’re looking at to include any reputable dealer that offers those products, including the luxury brand’s own site. 

Luxury pricing can be highly varied. Finding the best legitimate offer online can sometimes save you as much as a hundred or more dollars.

FramesDirect FAQs  

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about FramesDirect:

Is FramesDirect legitimate?

FramesDirect is a legitimate online eyewear retailer with a focus on premium offerings. It has a strangely mixed reputation online, with most sources seeming very positive about the site, but some other sources listing many negative reviews. 

Does FramesDirect sell authentic brands?

Yes, FramesDirect sells real, luxury eyewear frames.

Does FramesDirect require a prescription?

FramesDirect doesn’t necessarily require a prescription, although you will need one if you want prescription lenses. It also offers non-prescription lens options.

References

FramesDirect. Frames For America, Inc.

Men’s Eyeglasses. Frames For America, Inc.

Using Vision Insurance, FSA, and HSA accounts at FramesDirect.com. Frames For America, Inc.

Shipping Options & Estimated Delivery Times. Frames For America, Inc.

Optical Frames. Gucci.

Is Frames Direct Legit? Are Cheap Designer Glasses Worth It? | Review | Frames Direct Reviews of Online Prescription Glasses. Advisory HQ.

Frames Direct. SiteJabber.

The Best Places to Buy Glasses Online of 2023. USA Today.

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