Eyeglasses don't have to be an expensive purchase. You can reduce what you pay if you look beyond specialty stores, designer brands and particular eyeglass features. The Federal Trade Commission rules state that your eye care provider must give you your prescription, whether or not you ask for it. Once you have a current prescription, you can search for inexpensive eyeglasses.
Look Beyond Brands
Off-brand glasses have the same quality as most name brand glasses and work just as well. Name brand glasses are not actually a product of the associated companies but are from manufacturers licensed to use the names. These companies also produce eye wear that isn't branded but comparable to the designer versions.
Shop at Discount Stores
Specialized eyeglasses stores and optometrist offices often sell their eyewear at high prices. You can avoid the high markup if you shop at retail stores such as Walmart, Target and Costco that also have an optical department. You might also find coupons you can apply to your purchase in their weekly ad fliers, websites, mailers or in your local newspapers.
Visit Online Retailers
Many online eyeglasses retailers offer their products at prices that are significantly lower than what you could pay at a local store. This is possible because many of the sellers make their products at low costs in other countries and reduce other expenses by selling mostly or exclusively online. Some offer additional benefits that are not available elsewhere. For instance, one seller will ship up to five eyeglasses for a customer to try for a few days before making a final decision. Others offer coupons and discounts on multiple purchases. Ensure that the seller has customer-friendly policies, especially for returns and exchanges. Talk with people you know that have purchased glasses online to find a reliable seller. Also, read reviews on sites like BBB.org, from the Better Business Bureau.
Stick with Basic Features
Eyeglass manufacturers can add special coatings to the lenses to combat various problems and improve your comfort. These special treatments include anti-reflective coating, scratch resistance, UV protection, smudge resistance and anti-static. The treatments may be helpful but they could increase the cost of your eyeglasses considerably. Unless these treatments are necessary for your vision or the seller includes them at significant discounts or at no charge, decline them to keep your payment low. If you must have some of these extra features, look for coupons or purchase from sellers that offer them at lower prices.
Vision insurance provides a specific amount for purchasing eyeglasses. Depending on the cost of the pair you want to buy, it might cover the full cost of it or a significant portion. If you are not sure what yours provides, call your provider to find out. Check with the seller if the store accepts your insurance.
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Tina Amo has been writing business-related content since 2006. Her articles appear on various well-known websites. Amo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.