The first in a series of reviews I’ll be doing is for the online retailer EyeBuyDirect.com. ’s website is very easy to navigate and, for the most part, a pleasure to use. Their product offering is strong, with well over 100 frames to choose from–in fact, five new frames are added each Monday. Perhaps my favorite feature on the website is the “virtual try-on” (I talk about and try that service in this earlier posting) service. Using this service, you can upload a self-portrait and then place images of some available frames over your face. While the service isn’t perfect, it will give you a good idea of whether or not a particular frame works with your face shape. Like most retailers, EyeBuyDirect offers Plastic, Metal, Titanium, and Rimless Frames. They also have several unique offerings, such as prescription sport goggles (“RecSpecs”) and “Grandma and Grandpa” glasses. is also one of a few online retailers offering discount designer frames. First, the plastic frames. These range in price from $14.95 – $29.95, including a basic prescription and an anti-scratch lens coating. The least expensive plastic frame is the “Patch” model while the“Trader” model is one of several at the $29.95 price point. With a total of 33 frames, the retailer’s selection in this category is admirable.
Next are the metal frames. This basically means stainless steel. There are only a few offerings in this category and they are basic, if a little bland. The price range in this category is narrow, from $14.95-$17.95. The “Scent” frame is an example of a frame at the lower price point and the “Sting” is an example of a frame at the higher price. Third, and this is the category from which I suspect most will order, are the titanium frames. Twenty frames are offered within the $34.95-$39.95 price range. Oval, rectangle, squarish, and half-rimmed versions are available in gold, silver, black, and even pink! I’m a fan of the “Shore” frame, which looks just like the glasses I am wearing right now.
EyeBuyDirect.com also has a separate “rimless” category. Honestly, these probably belong in the titanium category because each frame has titanium bows (the part from the lens to the ear). Each of the thirteen rimless frames are $49.95. The black “Hyde” frame is your basic rimless. It is a distinguished look and similar to what Stephen Colbert wears. For those looking for more fashion-forward frames, EyeBuyDirect offers 80 fashion frames priced at $39.95 or $49.95 and 40 designer frames, which are priced at $79.95 or $99.95. In the fashion category, I really like the “Kitsch” frame. I’m not crazy about any of their designer looks, but this Christian Dior Frame would look really great on the ladies. Other designer names to choose from are Morgan, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Gant, and Dolce and Gabana.
Another available product category I’ll touch on briefly are the Flexlite Frames. There isn’t much to say, really. The styling is similar to the metal or titanium frames. The price point is in-between the two at $29.95. Flexlite is a combination metal made of stainless steel and titanium. The most unique offering are the sport eyewear. These specs are great prescription goggles or glasses for skiing, cycling, and, well, sports. They also work great as outdoor safety goggles. The look is rather stylish and the pricing great at just under $50. Finally, let’s talk pricing. The prices I mention above are for frames and a basic lens with an anti-scratch coating. The standard laundry-list of options are available, including anti-reflective coating (+ $4.95), UV protective coating (+ $4.95), Brown/Green/Gray color tint (+ $4.95), and photo-chromatic “transition” lenses (+ $35.95). Other available lens upgrades include thin and light ($25) or super-thin lenses($42). Bifocals ($19) and progressive, line-free, bifocals ($39) are also available.
So how much will you spend? Of course, it depends. If you are looking for a daily-wearer, you’ll probably want titanium or a lightweight plastic. You’ll want all the coatings and probably the medium-thickness lens. That combination is what I wear every day. So we’re looking at $37 in upgrades. Therefore, if you go for an average titanium frame, your out the door price is about $75. Of course, if you are on a tight budget, you can bring your out-the-door price to as low as $15 for a basic metal or plastic frame with no lens upgrades (use the coupon below for Free Shipping). In fact, I went this route for my prescription sunglasses. I chose a basic aviator frame with no lens upgrades other than the free anti-scratch coating and an 80% gray tint. Out-the-door, a nice pair of prescription aviator sunglasses for right around $25. Overall, EyeBuyDirect has a very competitive product offering. They aren’t part of a race-to-the-bottom in terms of pricing, but instead offer a good product at a very good price and many value-added services, such as the virtual try-on application.
Coupons: Available coupons for EyeBuyDirect are as follows: 5% Off: “EyeBuyPromo” Free Shipping: “EyeBuyFreeShipping” Free Gift: “EyeBuyGift” (As always, don’t include the “) Direct Link to the EyeBuyDirect.com [Technorati Tags: Reviews, Glasses]