Buying Glasses Online vs Buying Glasses in Person

One question that's becoming more and more common is, "What's different about buying glasses from Krystal Vision and Sunwear instead of buying them online?" Well, to be honest there's a lot that's different in how we do things and what we are able to control vs what most online opticals can. Trust me, we understand the convenience of buying glasses online. Why spend your time in a boring optical when you can order a pair of glasses from the comfort of your own home while binging on your favorite Netflix show? But that's why we strive to keep the experience more interesting and fun at Krystal Vision than it is at a regular optical inside a stuffy doctor's office. It may seem like it's a simple measurement and that's all anybody needs to make your glasses but there's so much more that goes into it. Below you'll find a few of the most common issues we come across when we help people who have bought online.

  • Fit: This may seem like an afterthought to most. But at Krystal Vision it's not out of the ordinary for a patient to try on 50 frames before we find one that we like the fit of and the patient likes the style. Finding the right frame for the right person is more of a skill than most people realize. It can become a balancing act between style and fit at times. But the main questions we ask ourselves while going through frames consist of things like, does it fit well behind the ears and leave room for adjustment? How do the glasses fit on the bridge? Are there nosepads to adjust or is it it a saddle bridge with very little to no adjustment? Is the bridge wide enough? Is the frame too wide or too narrow? Where do their eyes sit in the frame, too high or too low?
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  • Quality: Quality is something that belongs with the eye of the beholder. Meaning, everybody has a different definition of quality. Does it last longer? Is it made better? Does it use superior materials? The answers to these questions all fall under the same realm in eyewear, you're going to find quality products from independent eyewear brands who's full attention is focused on designing eyewear with function, longevity, and style in mind. As it's been pointed out in the media over the last few years when you're buying most designer name brands you are paying more for a name instead of quality. This is why we choose to carry brands like Etnia Barcelona, Ovvo Optics, Feb31st, and many others who's sole purpose is designing eyewear that will last a lifetime. We believe eyewear should be designed by skilled artisans rather than mass produced in factories using mediocre materials.
  • Measurements: Most online opticals will ask for one measurement to make your glasses, it's called a PD or pupillary distance. The problem is they've oversimplified how this measurement is used. Your PD will change depending on the distance you're looking. So if you're using your glasses primarily for reading a book or working on a computer your PD will be different than if they are used mostly for driving. Also the more severe your prescription is the more precise this measurement must be. Other than the PD there are several measurements that need to be taken to ensure you'll have the best vision possible. Things like Vertex Distance, Wrap Angle, Pantascopic Angle, among others are very important to make sure everything is aligned properly. These measurements will change depending on the frame you're wearing. These aren't measurements that can be taken online because you have to have the specific frame you've chosen, it needs to be fully adjusted, and you have to be wearing it while they're taken. But they are vital in making sure you can see as best as possible.
  • Repairs: If you've ever broken your glasses or scratched your lenses you've probably been able to take them back to the optical you've bought them from and got a replacement for free or a small fee. When you buy glasses online you lose this opportunity, typically you have to buy another pair if you break a frame or scratch a lens. Combine that with a lower quality product you will end up paying more for a pair of glasses online than you would have if you would have just bought a pair with a warranty from your local optical. At Krystal Vision we offer a two year warranty on any lens with an Anti Reflective Coating and most of our frames come with a two year warranty as well.
  • Adjustments: Buying glasses online takes away from a lot of benefits you receive from buying at a brick and mortar optical. We've covered a lot of them above, but one thing we haven't mentioned yet is adjustments. When you buy glasses from Krystal Vision and come to pick them up there is one thing that happens with EVERY customer. We sit down and one of our trained optician's adjusts your glasses. And no two adjustments are the same. Everybody's face and head are shaped and sized differently, so every adjustment is different. We customize the bend in the temple to relieve pressure around the mastoid process, or tweak the nosepads to create a better fit on a nose that's been broken once or twice. Some online stores will suggest ways you can adjust them yourself, more often than not this ends up in a broken frame. Or they'll advise you to stop by a local optical and have them adjust the glasses, the problem with this is if the glasses don't fit before you buy them there's very little chance we can make them fit afterwards. With less expensive frames comes less expensive materials, and less expensive materials don't adjust well and don't hold an adjustment well.
  • Technology: The last thing I'd suggest looking out for is an online optical being able to give you the latest lens technology. This is simply false advertising, the latest technology in eyewear has to do with very precise and personal measurements that can only be taken in person using the frame you've chosen. Without these measurements you might as well be buying a lens from the 90's. So next time somebody online is telling you they are giving you the latest Varilux or Shamir lens understand that although the lens may have the same name, the measurements needed to make these lenses superior to others are defaulted so you're not getting the added benefits.

This all may sound like we are completely against online opticals. However, that couldn't be further from the truth. We understand that they have their place in the eyewear industry and there are companies online that have higher quality frames available.  But as of right now glasses online serve a particular purpose, whether you're on a tight budget and need something to get you by, you've been mistreated by an optical in your town, or your options are limited based on where you live. Buying glasses online may be a solution for you. But if you're close enough to the Logan, UT area we'd love the chance to win your business. We have packages that include frame and lenses with a one year warranty for $49.95. We have one of the most diverse eyewear selections in Utah and offer the best customer service around. Our opticians will help you from the first step through the last and make sure you get the glasses you want with the service you deserve!