Glasses are idiotic in pricing and the buying experience is horrible. Everyone that wears them knows this. There should be riots outside but we just keep paying a fortune for glasses.
So, I've been looking for an alternative way to buy glasses and came across Warby Parker. They don't really sell their glasses in retail. So how do you make sure that the glasses look right on you?
Well, Warby Parker will send you 5 pairs of glasses of your choice in what they call "Home Try-On". Best of all, it's completely free and shipping both ways are covered by them. I'm not sure how many times you can use this service but I had to try 2 sets before I made up my mind.
They give you 5 days with the glasses so it's even better than the store where you have to make up your mind on the spot. The glasses you receive have been tried on by others so some of them are slightly bent. You get the idea though.
Here are some of my favorites from the ones I've tried. This one is Bensen.
This one is Roosevelt.
Roosevelt again. Warby Parker only sells plastic (cellulose acetate) frames at the moment. That's all I wear anyways. The frame are apparently made by a 150-year-old Italian company and manufactured in China.
Thatcher. This one was my second favorite.
The build quality of these glasses are really not bad at all. Tolerance are good and the pattern execution is authentic.
All of their frames use a 5 barrel hinge design that's Teflon coated. We'll see how these last in the real world.
In the end, I went with this, Crosby (in Revolver Black).
So after trying two sets of Home Try-Ons, I put my order in for my glasses. All of their glasses are just $95. Yes, $95. I'll say it one more time. $95. Includes lenses by the way. $95!
The ordering process was very pleasant. You can tell that Warby Parker really is a web-based company. Oh, and by the way, for every pair that they sell, Warby Parker will donate a pair to someone in need. It shocks me that they can sell you a pair of glasses for the fraction of others and donate a pair. Kudos.
This is what you get. Warby Parker tells you that it takes 10 business days to receive your glasses. It took 11 to get mine. I'm happy with the product so all is forgiven.
Now lets talk about the lenses. Warby Parker uses polycarbonate lenses with anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings. The glasses are pointed directly at my window and as you can see, the coatings do a respectable job. You can also request for 1.67 high index lenses for an additional $30, which is what I got. It's something other sellers would easily charge $100 for.
Other than an initial dizziness (which comes with any new glasses with a new prescription), these are wonderful glasses.
I found myself constantly trying to find where Warby Parker cut corners to lower costs. I couldn't find any. Attention to detail is superb. I've never owned super expensive glasses but these are at least superior in quality than Raybans.
So let's go over what Warby Parker offers you. They will send you 5 pairs of glasses to try on for completely free. If you like one, you can order them for $95, and they will throw in the prescription lenses for free. And for just $30 extra, you can get thinner high-index lenses. Frankly, I think I'll only be buying glasses from these guys from now on. Boutiques will charge $150 for just the lenses and the frames easily cost $300. If you're in the market for glasses you've got to try a few of their frames. I mean, it's not going to cost you anything.