Discount glasses online

(Saving with 6abc - Amy Buckman)

June 20, 2013 2:31:33 PM PDT
According to VSP -- an optical insurance provider -- the average cost for a pair of glasses is $196. More if you have a complicated prescription or you want fancy designer frames.

That may explain why websites offering discount eyeglasses are growing in popularity. But are these online sites a good money-saving choice?

Max Levitte of says, "I think it is a great option for a lot of people and I think that the worst that can happen is that you lost $50 at the most." compared prices and service for four popular discount eyeglass websites.

They found three sites with prices starting as low as $7 a pair: Zenni Optical, Goggles 4 U, and EyeBuyDirect.

"That's for the very basic set-up," Levitte says. "And then if you have a more complicated prescription or bifocals, then the prices go up. But again, they remain under $40."

The fourth site, 39$, was pricier, but received excellent customer reviews.

To order glasses online, you'll need your prescription and -- something not usually written on the prescription -- your PD, or pupillary distance, number.

Doctors may be reluctant to release that information, but Levitte says, "The Federal Trade Commission requires doctors to give you that information and they must give it to you."

It's also helpful to know what size and shape frames look good on your face. You can go to a bricks-and-mortar glasses store, try on some frames, and take photos, or use the virtual try-on tool that several of the sites offer.

It can take two to four weeks to get your glasses from an online site and it's also good to know the site's return policy.

To read's research on online glasses discounters, click here.