You Need a Current Prescription
To buy your eye glasses on line you will need to have an up-to-date prescription. If your examination was less than a year ago you can get a copy of your prescription from your optometrist. If your last eye examination was more than a year ago you will probably need to have a new one as your eyes may have changed significantly in that time. A standard eye test is likely to cost you around $65-80.
Along with your prescription you need to know the distance in millimeters between your pupils. Sometimes you may get two numbers which when added together make up the pupil distance. If for some reason you have a problem with gaining access you can measure the pupil distance yourself with a ruler but it won't be exact.
Shop Around Locally First
It pays to try on as many different pairs of glasses as you can before beginning your online search. This will give you a good idea of the style and colour of the frames that suit you. If you need progressives like I do you will need to be aware that not all frames are suitable for these type of eye glasses. If you find a particular pair that you fall in love with write down the manufacturer name and frame measurement which you will find on the inside of the frame.
How to Select the Right Frame
Choosing a frame that suits you is half the battle of buying glasses online. Here are some general principles when selecting frames.
Two Golden Rules for Selecting Frames
Avoid choosing frames that are of a similar shape to your face. For instance don't go for a round frame, if you have a round face.
Make sure that your frame isn`t wider than the widest part of your face. Select a small frame if you have a smaller sized head and a larger frame if you have a larger sized head.
Here is some advice given by Global Eye Glasses on how to select a frame
Long Thin Face - large frame in round or rectangular shape. This will make your face appear wider and shorter
Square face - round frame to soften the angular look of your face
Round face - rectangular frame
Heart-shaped face (a wide forehead and a small chin) - frame wider at the bottom in comparison to the top
Diamond-shaped face (narrow forehead, wide temples and an angular chin) - small, oval frame. This will minimize the horizontal distance between your temples.
Oval face - any type of frame as your face is perfectly balanced at the top and bottom!
Consider the Look You Want to Portray
Serious, Conservative, Businessperson Look
Shape of Frames: uncomplicated shapes eg ovals and rectangles
Materials: thin plastics, titanium and stainless steel
Colour: silver, brown and black
Uncomplicated shapes: eg ovals and rectangles
Materials: thin plastics, titanium and stainless steel
Colour: brown, golden, burgundy and coffee
Student/Office Worker - Basic but Stylish Look
Shape of Frames: oval or a rectangular
Colour: plum, deep red or soft green and black
Senior Citizen/Younger Look
Shape of Frames: bold, rectangular eye frames
Colour: avoid colors such as black and silver
Women (Take Years Off)
Shape of Frames: soft, cat-eye frames
Colours: burgundy and dark brown, avoid colours such as black and silver
Professional/Trendy Fashionable Look
Shape of Frames: unusual, large-sized frames in thick plastic
Colour: blue, green or purple, color laminations
Frame Measurement Considerations
While doing your research locally take notice of the following with respect to the frame measurements and size:
Temple Width: length of frame side arms
Lens Width: may be called eye size
Lens Height: make sure you get this right or you may have the annoying problem of being able to see below the lenses when carrying out everyday tasks
The measurements for my glasses for instance are: 135, 52-16
Also find out the bridge size i.e. the distance between lenses if you can
Searching Online for Eye Glasses
Once you know more or less the look and the frame measurements you need you are ready to hop online and do a search. If you are having trouble deciphering your prescription or you need help with your frame measurements most online eye glass retailers have good help sections to guide you in choosing the right frame.
If you know exactly what you want typing the brand and frame size into Google or other search engine should help you find what you are looking quickly. If not check out the following sites for deals on eye glasses beginning as low as $7.99
Other Considerations Before Placing Your Order Online
You will probably be asked to choose your lenses. Middle of the road thickness of lenses should be the minimum you consider. This will turn a $20 pair of glasses into maybe a $50-$60 pair but it will be worth it. Likewise plump for non-glare coating which will add some dollars to the price but will cut down reflections and ensure others can actually see your eyes. If you are buying these as a second pair of glasses you might decide to dispense with the extras which are nice to have but not essential.
Ordering Your Eye Glasses Online
With such a big choice online for eye wear it can be a daunting task finding a pair of glasses that will suit you. Be prepared to spend some time exploring options so set aside the time to shop. One tip for keeping your prescription information and frame measurements together while you shop is to create a small text file in Notepad or similar and keep it open while surfing the net. Some online stores provide advanced search features so you can key in the specifics to narrow your search. At the very least the dimensions of the frame will be displayed beneath each pair of glasses pictured so you will need to refer constantly to your frame details.
Ordering and paying online is simple with a credit card. Shipment I have found to be pretty speedy - a few weeks max. At prices as low as these $50-$80 you might consider buying two or more pairs to complement your wardrobe. Think of how liberating it would be to get up in the morning and choose between several sets of glasses depending on what you are wearing.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Online
Cost is the most obvious benefit of buying your eye glasses online as the savings are considerable. Quality is generally pretty high and most problems stem from poor frame choice rather than faulty workmanship. You need to be organised or you can waste a lot of time surfing . Most online retailers have a right of return policy if you are not completely satisfied so you can have some piece of mind that you are not going to be stuck with unsuitable frames if you are not satisfied with your choice. Having said that though it pays to make your selection carefully, double check all specifications and you do your homework beforehand. If you approach buying eye glasses systematically you will be able to take advantage of a large selection of well priced eye glasses with relative ease.
With the advent of online shopping eye glasses are no longer an expensive item so do yourself a favour and treat yourself to some designer eyewear at a fraction of the cost you would normally have paid. Also watch out for online specials I know of one New Zealand online retailer that was recently offerring 500 few pairs of glasses in a bid to attract custom.