Save A Buck..or Several Hundred

For most of my life I’ve had better than 20/20 vision.  It came in handy when I was a flight instructor many years ago, and it sure helped out as a photographer!  Eventually, my eyesight began to deteriorate because of a condition that infects countless other poor souls:  Old age.  At first it wasn’t too bad and I could fight off this scourge by simply keeping a stash of dime store reading glasses at strategic locations around my house and car.  Eventually, however, I had to face up to the fact that I was actually going to need real glasses.  Not only did I need glasses, I needed bifocals.  My distance vision wasn’t all that bad, but my near vision had gone the way of the dodo.

For several years I bought all my glasses at the local Lenscrafters.  A decent pair of no-line(progressive) bifocals would run me about $300 to $400 dollars, and this was on sale!  This rather large expenditure made me put off updating my prescription for way longer that I should have.

Well, no more people!  I’m now a loyal supporter of Zenni Optical.  I had listened for over a year to a coworker singing Zenni’s praises and finally decided to give them a try.  I got my eye exam locally and then ordered a pair of progressives from Zenni.  I chose a set of Zenni’s cheapest frames for $6.95.  I upgraded the standard lenses to polycarbonate and added their premium anti reflection/anti fingerprint coating.  I also ordered a pair of computer glasses that are basically a singlevision lens adjusted for a portion of my near vision magnification.  My total for this order was only $78.  That’s a far cry from the $400 my last pair cost me here in town.  I sat back and waited the three weeks until they arrived.  Long story short, they’re wonderful!  They fit comfortably and the prescription was perfect.  To my eye, these glasses were of the same quality as any I’ve found at local eyeglass stores.  I then went ahead and ordered another pair of progressives and a pair of progressives with a sunglass tint added.  Total for this order was only $95.70.

After I had worn all three of my glasses for a while and made sure I was happy with them, I talked my wife into ordering some for herself and my daughter.  Let me sum it up this way:

  • 2 pairs of polycarbonate no-line bifocals, one pair of computer glasses, and a pair of no-line bifocal sunglasses for me:  Total = $173.70
  • 1 pair of singlevision glasses and 1 pair of singlevision sunglasses for my wife, and one pair of singlevision glasses for my daughter:  Total = $43.75
  • Grand total for SEVEN pairs of glasses: $217.45

To me, this is now a no brainer:  I got seven pairs of very nice glasses for just over half the price of ONE pair of glasses bought locally.  I no longer have to live in fear that I’ll damage or destroy my glasses and have to shell out another $400 for a new pair.

Ordering from Zenni couldn’t have been easier.  Their website is easy to navigate and there are pop-up help screens for each of the items that you might have questions about.

The only problem that I had was with the pair of progressive sunglasses I ordered.  I wore these for several days and they just didn’t feel right.  I would get a headache if I wore them for more than a few minutes.  This is an obvious indicator that the prescription is wrong.  Now, normally the procedure with returns at Zenni works like this:  You send the glasses back and Zenni checks them out.  If there’s a problem Zenni will remake the glasses and send them off to you.  They will only refund 50% of the order price if you are returning the glasses for any other reason.  In my case, I needed the glasses sooner than it would be possible if I went this route, so Zenni kindly agreed to cross ship some new glasses and then refund the full amount of the glasses if they were defective (they were).  The replacement glasses were spot on.  I don’t expect people to be perfect, I simply expect them to live up to their end of the bargain and Zenni did just that.  Kudos to them!

A few additional notes if you’re planning on ordering from Zenni:  Do not buy the premium “Oleophobic Fingerprint Resistant Anti reflection Coating.”  Instead, order the basic anti reflection coating.  The premium coating costs about $11 more and is no better.  Also, I ordered the 80% amber sunglass tint.  I really like the tinting on my old Ray-Bans and I was hoping that Zenni’s amber tint would be very similar.  My fear was that it would be more like the hideous amber/yellow tint that “Blue Blocker” sunglasses have.  I needn’t have worried as it turned out to be almost identical to the Ray-Ban tint but not quite as dark.

In summary, run, do not walk, to the Zenni Optical site to buy your next pair of glasses.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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2 Responses to “Save A Buck..or Several Hundred”

  1. Great write up. Very thorough. I’m very familiar with Zenni Optical because…well…they are my competitor :) Next time you need eyeglasses give us a shot (link in name) I’ll whip up a coupon code for you so you can save a few more bucks.

  2. Hello,

    I have recently bought a couple of pair of Zenni glasses and thought I’d give an update since your review is old. They are still excellent quality. I have not tried any coatings other than the basic anti-reflective.

    I got a 10% pink tint and it didn’t turn out to be what I wanted (too dark — wish they had 5%.) I simply called them and they gave me 100% store credit as soon as I shipped them back (which cost only $2.00.) They didn’t argue or ask any questions so I believe they have improved their return policy.

    Also, I have ordered the custom clip-on sunglasses with each pair. I am very pleased with them. They don’t look awkward at all. Zenni was also able to cut me a new clip-on for a frame that was discontinued. So I guess they keep the measurements around for this purpose. Just call them and they will add it to your order.

    I am very happy with Zenni Optical. My experience with them was even better than a more expensive online place. The glasses are the cutest I’ve ever owned.

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