Purchasing prescription or non-prescription eyewear online has become an up-and-coming trend. While some vision professionals may frown upon this and recommend getting glasses and contacts the conventional way, many people are favoring online retailers mainly for the sake of convenience and lowered costs. It has also become popular due to the impact of the pandemic, specifically on how people are functioning more remotely and having their needs met virtually, including health services.
When it comes to accessing quality products for vision, how reliable are online vision stores and how can you tell a legitimate one from a rip-off? Fortunately, there are some noticeable differences between the two. Here are ways to verify whether an online vision marketplace is worth shopping from.
Quality Versus Price
If you’re looking for high quality, durable, and affordable, you want to shop from a reputable seller. Even though people are starting to prefer online shopping to find good quality and reasonable prices, they don’t question whether the source they’re buying from is valid.
When you’re in the market for new glasses and you’ve had your share of experience wearing and replacing glasses, you generally have an idea of what good quality can cost you. If you wear prescription glass or have particularly sensitive vision needs, it’s best to be extra selective about the source you buy from.
On the other hand, if you’re shopping for bargains and don’t need costly prescription lenses, consider browsing more affordable retailers. Novelty glasses that you could find browsing in a Chinatown glasses store are also available online at low, reasonable prices and stocked with plenty of inventory. Just make sure that the website you shop from is safe and reliable.
Criteria And Signs Of Legitimacy
A legitimate online vision store can offer a wide range of products, from practical frames to designer sunglasses, and still maintain a level of retail professionalism and quality of merchandise. The following are strong indicators that the online stores you’re browsing and buying from can deliver high-quality products and customer service.
If you’re buying prescription glasses from a website, check if they accept vision health insurance. Many vision companies take insurance for non-cosmetic products to cover some of the costs. Make sure that you enter your prescription correctly and that the catalog price has been adjusted to include insurance coverage.
Compared to services and products sold in stores, some companies will go a step further by not only indicating which insurance plans they accept but also the benefits that can be applied to online purchases.
Warranty And Return Policies
Carefully scrutinize the warranty and return policies that the website shows. Every online vision store should have at least one, but preferably both.
Purchasing glasses and contacts online will pose some risk to you, especially since you don’t know whether the product will meet your expectations and needs in its physical form. Thankfully, a fair warranty policy can protect your purchase for a certain amount of time after you’ve started using it.
Most websites will typically offer their customers an option to return products under certain circumstances or get reimbursed for damaged items. Also, look for a customer service number and try calling it to confirm that there are representatives to provide assistance and service when it’s needed.
Caveats regarding guaranteed satisfaction should be taken with a grain of salt. Still, it can indicate that a store is in good standing and can be trusted. Most satisfaction guarantees will offer 100% refunds on orders that are inaccurate or if the product wasn’t satisfactory upon arrival. If this is the case, store credit will be issued.
To make sure that there aren’t any odd or suspicious loopholes in the clause, be sure to read the content and context carefully. A company that sells inferior products will probably not follow through with a meaningful guarantee policy.
Product And Customer Service Reviews
Reading reviews on products and services by other customers can supplement an online company’s validity, provided that they were actually written by real customers. A website with no reviews or a limited number of them that seem suspiciously too full of praise may be a red flag–indicating that it’s somewhat of a scam.
While there are some, especially optometrists and opticians, that remain skeptical of buying lenses and frames online, it continues to grow in appeal to many consumers of all types, from low-end to high-end and everywhere in between. It pays to be curious and to do some due diligence on the websites that sell vision products and accessories. This is because some are less reputable than others. Being a cautious and savvy consumer can save you frustration and wasted investments down the road.