For someone who wears her contact lenses as much as possible, I sure do spend a lot of time in eyeglasses. Sometimes because my eye is having an inexplicable physical “reaction” to wearing lenses, and sometimes because eyeglasses can be so stinkin’ cool! In a previous post, you saw my current lineup of prescription glasses in addition to one pair of frames that I managed to part with and sell at Tiddleywink Vintage. Yup, that means that I have three pairs of Rx-filled eyeglasses. Now, to be fair, one of those pairs is an outdated prescription, and they were my “backup” glasses when something was awry with my “go-to” pair. Last spring, you may recall, I added the vintage aluminum cat-eye pair just in time for wearing during the wee hours of the VLV weekender, when the cigarette smoke and long hours are too-too much for my contacts to handle.
Recently, my “go-to” pair started to lose its anti-reflective coating.* The scratches and imperfections in the coating were now starting to give me a headache, and my first instinct was to have fresh, new lenses put into my frames once again. I usually go to Costco for this sort of thing, and I have had nothing but pleasant experiences with the staff at the two Costco optical departments that I’ve used. But…
You may recall that after asking around at what seemed like EVERY local lab, I wound up sending that previously-mentioned vintage pair of aluminum frames to 39DollarGlasses.com to be re-lensed. That wound up working out so well that I decided to have another pair of vintage frames fitted with prescription G15 lenses and I thought that perhaps I’d send these frames in along with that pair, or hey, maybe splurge on a whole new pair, since the cost would be the same!
I don’t recall what unrelated thing I was looking up when Google came back with a Sponsored Ad for ZenniOptical, but I was intrigued by their promise of a complete pair of (single-vision) eyeglasses with prices starting at $6.95. I mean, really. $6.95? Who are they trying to kid? I took a look. I got distracted. I went back a few days later (the tab was still open in my browser) and did a new search… and found the frames at the top of this post. Advertised for $29.95, they’re one of the more expensive pairs on the site. I uploaded my photo so I could “try on” the frames, decided I liked them, and went ahead and filled out the order form so I could find out what they’d actually cost when filled with my prescription (My Rx is affordably single vision, but the strength that I require often results in an extra fee).
There was no surcharge for my strength. I placed my order. I looked around for reviews of the site (NOTE: I recommend that you do this BEFORE buying from a vendor you’re unfamiliar with). It was all too easy to find reviews written by folks who had to wait three or more weeks for their order to arrive. Folks who complained about the quality of the frames. Folks who complained about the quality of the frames, and then noted that, well, they did spend all of $10 so maybe you get what you pay for. I was a little nervous, but not too much. After all, this wouldn’t be my only pair. I’d still have back-ups. And I’d only be out $30.
I placed my order on the evening of November 29th, and received my new glasses in the mail on December 9th. If you don’t want to do the math, that’s 8 business days. They arrived in a padded envelope, packed inside a hard case with a lens cloth and a PD (Pupillary Distance) ruler. I wore them for three days before writing this post so that I could give an accurate review, and I report no headaches, no wavy lenses, no problems whatsoever.
If you need your existing frames, particularly vintage frames, re-lensed, I still heartily recommend 39DollarGlasses.com, where there is also a large selection of attractive new frames, and top-notch customer service. But now I know that ZenniOptical is also a fun option, and while the frames won’t likely last the 50+/- years that my older frames have, or perhaps they won’t last even three years, it’s a small investment to make to have some pretty nifty specs.
*Having worn glasses for nearly 30 years, both with and without anti-reflective coatings, and working daily on computers (the usual excuse for needing ARC) for 15+ years, I believe I am fully qualified to say it’s a crock. Skip the coating, save your money. The ARC coating does photograph better, if that’s something you’re concerned with. And if you are, you probably wear contacts anyway.