Having poor sight can be a pretty expensive problem. Whether you choose to correct it with eyeglasses, contacts, or even shelling out for laser corrective surgery. However you slice it, being near or far-sighted can put a dent in your budget.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to minimize the damage without compromising on quality. There are several quality frames manufacturers that now have an online presence and great return policies—to make sure you get what you want without the hassle of making another trip to the eye doctor.

Here’s some of those manufacturers and what it’ll cost to buy with them. Please note that you will still need a current prescription to buy lenses from any of these retailers.

Coastal.com

  • Types of Retail: Eyeglasses, Sunglasses, Contacts
  • Lowest Price Glasses: $35
  • Highest Price Glasses: $195
  • Return Policy: 30 days—Full refund
  • Discounts Available: Check out their current coupon codes here.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: Check out Coastal’s insurance policy info here.

Eye Buy Direct

  • Types of Retail: Eyeglasses, sunglasses
  • Lowest Price Glasses: $6
  • Highest Price Glasses: $70
  • Return Policy: 14 days—Full refund
  • Discounts Available: Check out their current coupon codes here.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: You need to contact your health care provider to confirm whether or not you can use your insurance at EyeBuyDirect.com.

Frames Direct

  • Types of Retail: Eyeglasses, sunglasses, contacts
  • Lowest Price Glasses: $42.50
  • Highest Price Glasses: $952.50
  • Return Policy: 30 Days—Full refund minus 50 percent of the prescription lens price.
  • Discounts Available: Check out their current coupon codes here.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: Check out Frames Direct’s insurance policy info here.

GlassesShop.com

  • Types of Retail: Eyeglasses, sunglasses
  • Lowest Price Glasses: $14.95
  • Highest Price Glasses: $69.95
  • Return Policy: Each customer is entitled to one return, no questions asked. There is no time limit, but the glasses must be returned in their original condition, in the original case, including the cleaning cloth.
  • Discounts Available: Check out their current coupon codes here.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: You need to contact your health care provider to confirm whether or not you can use your insurance at GlassesShop.com.

Warby Parker

  • Types of Retail: Eyeglasses, sunglasses
  • Lowest Price Glasses: $95
  • Highest Price Glasses: $145
  • Return Policy: 30 Days—Full refund
  • Discounts Available: Check out available discount codes here.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: Check out Warby Parker’s insurance policy info here.
  • Extra Info: Warby Parker allows you to order five pairs to try on at home for free. The company has also expanded to some physical locations in the United States. If you have an issue and live near one, it’s generally easier to get an issues resolved. Check out their locations here.

Zenni Optical

  • Types of Retail: Eyeglasses, sunglasses
  • Lowest Price Glasses: $6.95
  • Highest Price Glasses: $45.95
  • Return Policy: 30 Days—If you don’t like the glasses or made a mistake ordering, you get a 50 percent refund. If they get damaged within 30 days, you get a 100% refund. New customers can get a 100 percent store credit refund for any reason within the 30 days. Shipping charges are not refunded.
  • Discounts Available: Check out available discount codes here.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: Check out Zenni Optical’s insurance policy info here.

On a personal note, I’ve bought glasses from Coastal.com and GlassesShop.com. Coastal’s glasses cost a little more, but I found they were more comfortable and felt a little sturdier. They lasted for three years with no issues until I managed to drop my laptop on my face while I was wearing them.

My next pair came from GlassesShop.com. They were really cheap—less than $30 despite my incredibly high prescription that always results in additional lens fees. They’re a little less comfortable—if I wear them for a few days in a row, the bridge of my nose gets a little irritated. However, they work pretty well since it’s rare that I wear them for more than a few hours a night, since I’m a pretty hardcore contact lens wearer.

Which brings me to our next topic…contact lenses.

It’s amazing how convenient online ordering has gotten. Keep in mind, if it’s your first time getting contact lenses, you really ought to get them properly fit by an optometrist. Also, if you feel your current lenses are uncomfortable or you want to switch brands—get them properly fit by an optometrist.

If you’ve been wearing the same kind forever though, here are a few alternatives to lower the cost or up the convenience factor.

1-800 CONTACTS

  • Types: Daily, one week, two week, monthly, colored
  • Returns: No time limit. If your prescription changes, you can return unopened boxes of lenses. They also replace any torn lenses.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: Check out 1-800 CONTACTS’s insurance policy information here.

Lens Direct

  • Types: Daily, weekly, monthly, theatrical
  • Returns: 365 Days—All returns must be in original, unopened boxes.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: No

Just Lenses

  • Types: Daily, one week, two week, monthly, colored
  • Returns: No time limit refunds. Contacts must be in sealed original containers, though Just Lenses will reimburse you for any damaged contacts.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: No, but they do send an itemized receipt that may be accepted for reimbursement through some insurance companies. Check with your insurance company to see their policy.

If you’re looking to splurge a little on something incredibly convenient, you can also check out Sightbox.

Sightbox is a monthly contact subscription service that also books your annual optometrist appointment for you as part of your subscription fee (that fee covers the doctor’s appointment). You then get your contacts delivered right to your front door.

Sightbox

  • Types: Daily, two week, monthly
  • Fee Range: $39/month – $89/month
  • Returns: You are responsible for the full term of your contract (1 year), even if you decide you don’t want to wear contact lenses any more. If there is an issue with your contacts (damaged or opened boxes), contact Sightbox customer service.
  • Health/Vision Insurance Accepted: No, but you can use your FSA/HSA.

Summary

Taking good care of your eyes doesn’t have to a cost an arm and a leg. It also shouldn’t be a major inconvenience. Today’s awesome collection of online retailers help make the process easy and budget friendly.

Read more

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