Learn the Pitfalls of Buying Cheap Glasses

Learn the Pitfalls of Buying Cheap Glasses: Advice from Your Trusted Calgary Optometrists

When it comes to purchasing eyewear and visual aids, more and more people are moving to alternate sources such as drug stores or online sites that offer attractive deals and huge discounts. There are several websites with sophisticated features that allow you to upload your photo and allow you to try out a range of frames to see how they appear on your face, before you place your final order. Some online retailers offer ‘try-at-home’ services, where they ship up to five different frames, letting you choose the ones you wish to retain, while facilitating the returns for the remaining ones. With such user-friendly shopping facilities, doorstep deliveries, and freebies and bargains available at the click of a button, have you felt tempted to explore cheap glasses?


If the answer is yes, pause and think whether that was the best decision for the health of your eyes? At Crowfoot Vision Centre, we know of several instances where people were lured by “Buy One, Get One…” offers or cheap deals, only to find that the glasses or frames were not up to par, or caused strain to the eyes. Before you explore the deals and offers, read on to know more about the pitfalls of buying cheap glasses, without involving a professional optometrist.


Key Drawbacks of Cheap Glasses

Most online retailers promise high-quality frames at a fraction of the price that you will otherwise pay in a professional in-store optometry. Since these companies do not have the same expenses as the brick-and-mortar stores, their lower overheads allow them higher profit margins, some of which they may be passing on to the consumers. This may be true for reputed companies and leaders in the eyewear industry, who have an online presence. However, many other players tend to cut corners and deliver products that do not meet your physical and visual needs. Here are some of the key drawbacks of ordering cheap glasses:

  • Quality issues

Cheap frames made with low-quality materials, will be quick to scratch, scruff, warp, fade, show wear and tear, and break. Such frames are not likely to withstand any rough usage, especially if the wearers are kids or young adults. If the frames are made from cheap metals such as nickel alloys, they can even cause skin irritations.

  • Inaccurate lenses or improper fitting

Over the last decade, several studies have been conducted to check the accuracy of glasses purchased online.


 • In one study, researchers found that 19% of the lenses did not match the prescription and 81% of the frames did not pass the grade in terms of right fit.


• Another study evaluated 154 online orders to analyze the lenses, including measurement of sphere power, cylindrical power and axis, separation of distance of optical centers and the center thickness. The results showed that nearly 29% of the glasses contained at least one lens that did not match up to the dimensions of the optical analysis.


In the case of professional optometrists, the final inspections in the optical laboratories ensure 98% accuracy in terms of match to prescription. That means, after delivery, only 2% of wearers are likely to return the orders for inaccurate lenses or faulty fittings.


Virtual or home try-ons don’t work as they claim

While you may think that uploading a picture and trying out a number of frames from the convenience of your home or office is a neat shopping feature, the actual product may not necessarily fit and look the same as it did in your virtual try-on. In reality, the product colour, fit and size could be vastly different, leaving you with an unsatisfactory purchase. Moreover, online retailers rarely offer any personalized or systematic post-sales mechanism where you can raise your concerns for an improper fit or an inaccurate prescription.


Cheap sunglasses could be harming your eyes

It is hard to tell whether your sunglasses have the promised features, such as 100% UV protection or polarization, since these components are tough to identify by just look and feel. Two glasses of varying quality may appear identical to you, but the one with mediocre quality may be allowing harmful UV rays to penetrate your eyes, causing more damage than you can imagine. When you place orders with unknown retailers, you may not be able to determine the quality of your sunglasses, until it is too late.


More choice isn’t necessarily a good thing

Online sites feature pages after pages of frames in varying shapes, sizes and colours. However, a wider collection doesn’t necessarily mean a better collection. Here at Crowfoot Vision Centre, we handpick the best selection of eyewear from reputed manufacturers, while weeding out the less suitable options. As an in-store optometry, we do not compete with the vast inventory of the online retailers, but we can help you to narrow down your choices to the right kind of frames, instead of getting confused with the excessive options online.


For a selection of quality eyewear, including frames, lenses and sunglasses, rely on Crowfoot Vision Centre. We are a family eye health clinic and a full optical dispensary, offering advanced eye exams and comprehensive vision testing. We have been serving residents of Calgary NW, Arbour Lake, Calgary and the surrounding areas since 1992.


To schedule an appointment at a Crowfoot Vision Centre, call us at 403-241-3000. You are welcome to visit us at a location convenient to you, or complete our online contact form.


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