Evelyn: “The trees look like the way people draw them!”
Me, laughing: “Did you wonder why people drew them that way? With all the sticks?”
Evelyn: “Well, no…they drew them the way they look in photos.”
Me, laughing harder: “So did you think, like, the camera did something to make them look like that?”
Evelyn, shrugging helplessly: “Well…?”
Evelyn: “They made pancakes for breakfast. I only ate a ‘weekday morning’ amount of pancakes.”
Me: “Probably a good idea. They probably weren’t prepared for a ‘Sunday morning’ amount of pancakes.”
Just about a year ago, I bought a couple of pairs of glasses online from Zenni Optical. They were so cheap, and the experience was so good, it was literally unbelievable. I do mean literally, because I have told so many people about getting glasses from this place, and they don’t believe me. It really does seem inconceivable that I can get a pair of glasses for less than $25 (including shipping) that would cost > $300 at a store.
Well, all I can do is put the information out there.
I just ordered another 2 pairs of glasses from Zenni. Last year I tried out a pair of plastic frames, and they served me well. Unfortunately, Oliver slapped them off my face, and they broke on the floor. I don’t blame Zenni for that. They weren’t “cheap” frames, they were just slapped off my face and onto the ground with a lot of force. The style I chose had little brackets or clasps at the corners, which were thinner than the rest of the frame, and one of those broke.
Since they were so inexpensive, I had ordered an extra pair last time as a backup. Those got me through until I could place an order for another two pairs. This time, I was even more adventurous in my selections. I dub this the “zenni-effect”: the glasses are so cheap, why not try something crazy? Get a frame you would never have thought of before. This is something you could never afford to do when the frames were $400 and you could only afford one pair. If you’re paying that kind of money for frames, they better be a pretty good, solid, risk-free pair!
The only complaint I had about my first order was that the lenses seemed particularly hard to clean. On my previous, store-bought lenses, I could just clean smudges off with my shirt tail. These glasses required a cloth at least, and even still they never quite seemed to get clean.
I did some research online, and found out that the anti-glare coating that I paid extra to add (recommended, especially if you work on computers all day) works as a smudge magnet. So I thought perhaps I might risk my eyes and go without the anti-glare coating this time. However, Zenni offered an additional smudge-resistant coating for $10.
Both of my new pairs have the new coating, and so far they seem to be perfect! Just as good as my old, expensive ones. So my one caveat is that, if you are getting the anti-glare coating, go ahead and spring for the anti-smudge coating as well. Best $10 I ever spent.
So anyway, unless you hate money, order glasses from Zenni Optical. I get nothing out of this, other than the satisfaction of saving my readers money. It’s just too good of a deal to keep under my hat!
I mentioned before that I was considering getting some new glasses. Well, I have them, and I’m so ridiculously happy with the company I got them from, that I feel like shouting it from the mountain tops. Since I don’t have any mountains handy, I’ll do the next best thing.
The company is called Zenni Optical, and it is so ridiculously cheap that you will be sure there is a hidden gimmick somewhere. That’s why I didn’t want to blog about it until I actually got the glasses and checked them out. In fact, I would have been skeptical myself, except that my sister-in-law had tried it out with a test pair.
Me: “But how can they be so cheap? There must be something wrong with them.”
Sara: “The better question is, why are the other ones so expensive?”
This is a good point. There is absolutely no reason in this day and age why a little pair of frames should cost > $100, to say nothing of the lenses, etc.! But I never really questioned it before, because that’s the way it always was.
I purchased 3 pairs of glasses, 2 regular and 1 pair of sunglasses. For frames, lenses, anti-glare, anti-scratch coating, tinting on the sunglasses, absolutely everything, it cost me a grand total of $40. That’s including shipping and handling! The very cheapest glasses start at $7 (that’s frames and lenses).
The amazing thing is that the cheapness opens up a lot of avenues. I was nervous about trying out something totally different. But for that price, why not? I’ll just buy a second pair I can fall back on. Heck, I’ll buy 3 more pairs, in case the first two break! And for sunglasses, usually I just put tinted lenses in an old pair of frames. But for that price I can get real sunglasses for the first time in my entire life!
There are a few downsides. The biggest one is that you can’t actually try on the glasses. They have a “virtual frame-fit” feature that lets you upload a picture and “try on” the glasses, but it’s kind of lame. I would recommend trying on some real frames somewhere first, and then looking for similar ones on the webpage. You have to get an eye exam anyway, so you might as well look while you are there. You do have to measure your pupillary distance, which was pretty easy with their directions, but you probably can’t do it yourself. You could have your eye doctor do it for you, but Sara did mine and it was fine. You also have to wait for the shipping, which took me exactly 2 weeks. So it’s probably not good for an emergency pair (but then again, at that price, just order a couple of spares!)
There are probably other downsides too.
Sara: “You know they’re probably made by child labor, right?”
Me: “So are the other ones that they sell for $100.”
I am totally happy with them. They seem to be as good quality as any other frames I’ve ordered. My prescription was correct. I was able to get a little adventurous. I would recommend Zenni Optical to anybody (and I guess that’s what I’m doing right now).
When I put on my new glasses for the first time, Oliver took one look at me and just burst out crying. So I’m going to put him down for a “dislike”. Can you blame him?
I need new glasses, and I’m thinking of getting something radically different. On the other hand, I’ve had similar glasses for so long, that I’m not sure if I can really wrap my head around something new. I usually go for very small glasses that sort of disappear into my face. So I ask you, Internet, can I pull off big, thick glasses?
So, what sayest thou?