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Lady Smarts 'I bought super-cheap prescription glasses online—here's what happened'

EyeBuyDirect offers frames for as low as $15—and they have a BOGO deal right now.

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Glasses from Eye Buy Direct play

Glasses from Eye Buy Direct

(Photograph courtesy of Aline Peres Martins)

Like most people, I've bought tons of random things online—swim caps, fitness watches, combination locks, lots of food, and even a new mattress. But one thing I've never been able to order and have shipped to my door is prescription glasses.

My friends rave about how easy it is to buy stylish and inexpensive eyewear from Warby Parker. Problem is, Warby Parker doesn't offer progressive lenses, which correct for both nearsightedness and farsightedness. When I found out two years ago, at age 21, that I needed progressive lenses, my eye doctor triple-checked my vision because apparently my combination of interesting genetics and eye strain is pretty rare.

With the most popular online eyeglass retailer out of the question for me, I bought my first few frames at my optometrist's office, shelling out hundreds per pair, even after insurance. Last month, I found out I'd need to update my prescription again, and I really did not want to take such a big hit to my bank account. After some research into other places to buy cheap glasses online, I decided to try EyeBuyDirect, which offers frames for as low as $15 and more lens options than many other online stores.

At first, I was skeptical—how could a pair of glasses that cheap possibly be any good? But, they offered total glasses packages, progressive lenses and all, for around $63, and my vision insurance would reimburse me for the cost. With the cost so low—and with a 14-day, no-questions-asked return policy—I figured it couldn't hurt to try a pair.

It took me three hours of deliberation before I finally picked frames I liked. Unlike Warby Parker, which has an excellent home-try-on program, EyeBuyDirect instead has a cool feature where you can upload a picture of yourself and try glasses on virtually. My face is a bit round, so usually round glasses don’t work for me. But, the slightly rounded, leopard-patterned Instant Crush style somehow looked the best on my Facebook picture.

Ordering proved to be a little tricky. I had to measure my pupillary distance while looking at a faraway object and while looking close by, since my prescription varies for near and farsightedness. But, they provide a nifty video, and my brother helped me out.

My new glasses arrived in the mail two weeks later in a nice box with a small screwdriver to tighten or loosen them. I loved them as soon as I slipped them on. They’re sturdier, cuter, and even fit better than the more expensive pairs I bought at the doctor's office. I didn’t have to use the screwdriver at all. The lenses rarely get smudged—even when I made Korean barbecue beef from scratch for dinner and after I walked through rain on my way to work one morning.

These glasses are ultra-cheap, the frames are sturdy and stylish, and the lenses perfectly correct my vision and remain clean. My only regret is that I didn’t wait a little longer to buy, because now EyeBuyDirect.com is running a Buy-One-Get-One-Free promotion through August 18. I could’ve had two awesome pairs or a pair of prescription sunglasses.

But, I love my Instant Crush progressive frames, friends have already complimented me on how attractive they are, my wallet is happy, and I will never buy glasses in-person again.

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