My Confession

I am so nearsighted that when I awake, the first thing I do is search (blindly) for my glasses. I know I can’t function without glasses; yet somehow, getting a really good deal on my glasses mattered more to me than getting quality. I did what many other people do, I shouldn’t feel guilty. This is a confession. My name is Heather and I bought discounted glasses online. Here’s my story.

I fell in love with all the beautiful frames

I have been a long-time patient at Alpine Vision Center in Moscow. Every year while waiting for my routine eye exams, I would try on dozens of gorgeous frames from their impressive collection. I fell in love with their Tiffany and Coach frames, I was amazed by the lightness of their Silhouette collection, and I fantasized about the Ray-Ban Collection. Alas, I was on a budget, and I didn’t think I could afford such nice glasses. I had seen ads elsewhere reminding me that I could get glasses for only $100–maybe even less!



I knew I could find cheaper glasses online

Throughout the years of routine annual eye-exams, Dr. Polito would slightly adjust my prescription while making me laugh in her exam room. After each eye exam, I would feel a bit guilty wandering away from the displays of beautiful glasses without filling my prescription. I thought, no…rather, I KNEW I could find a cheaper option elsewhere.



I was right. I got TWO pairs of glasses mailed to me for only $99. Granted, when the glasses arrived in the mail, the first pair was crooked, but I figured I could just wear those at night. The other pair was pretty cute despite the constant slipping off my face. I just kept sliding them back onto the bridge of my nose every few minutes knowing I had just scored a screaming deal.

It didn’t take long for me to change my tune

Fast forward three weeks. The crooked pair was officially annoying. I stopped wearing them even at night. They began living their new lonely life at the bottom of a junk drawer. The cute pair was no longer cute since they refused to stay on my face so they joined their crooked friend. I just wasted $99 on disposable glasses. One quick call later to Alpine Vision Center, my contact lens prescription was filled and I was back to buying contacts.

Fast forward 11 months to my next annual eye exam. Dr. Polito made me laugh some more (of course) and she adjusted my contacts just a smidgen. She gave me a new prescription for glasses and I was ready to try a better route.

“This time,” I thought smartly to myself, “it’ll be the fancy try-on-at-home online glasses.”

I had my PD measured by one of Alpine’s friendly opticians and I raced home, away from the store filled with hundreds of frames, so I could login to the flashy website promising they would ship me 5 pairs of glasses to try.

Why shop from a huge selection when I could just try five?

As advised by the website, I took glasses-selfies to share with my friends.  We guessed which pair would work best. I picked a plastic tortoise shell frame I was hoping I would love for a very long time. Finally my new glasses arrived and cost me only $100.

“Amazing deal!” I thought to myself.

I immediately began wearing my new glasses but I was faced with the same issue as before. They wouldn’t stay on. This time, they were really heavy on my face as well. Feeling sheepish, I visited the opticians at Alpine Vision Center and begged them to adjust my glasses so they would at least stop falling off my face. Graciously, they tried for me. They tightened them, cleaned them, and adjusted them a little more. They didn’t even charge me. This is when the guilt set in.

My online glasses were a bit better with the help of the opticians. Good enough, at least, for me to wear at night.

I cleaned them every day with the lens cleaning solution and cleaning cloth that Alpine Vision had gifted me. Despite taking good care of them, within six months of wearing my fancy online try at home glasses, the lenses developed strange bubbles. The generic anti-reflective lens coating was coming off.

This marked the official moment of regret.

The generic Anti-Reflective Coating came off the lenses within the first six months of wear

Within about 12 months, I had already wasted $200 on totally useless, uncomfortable glasses. That’s $200 I could have put toward one a quality pair of glass that would have held up.

I learned (the hard way) that buying quality glasses you love will ultimately save you money in the long run. Glasses should fit properly and opticians are trained to help you find a pair that work with your individual facial features. If you are sensitive to weight on your face, a good optician will know which glasses and brands will be most comfortable for you to wear each day. The online “try on” glasses simply can’t provide you with that service. What feels good on your face for five minutes might not fit well if they aren’t adjusted correctly for you.

Working with an Optician matters

They say hindsight is 20-20, and I certainly do wish I had worked with an optician to find my perfect glasses earlier in my glasses-buying-career. Almost three years ago, I finally sat down with Cindy in the Alpine Vision Optical Center and she helped me find the perfect everyday pair of Ted Baker glasses. They were ready in an hour, and the opticians took their time to adjust them perfectly. Not only do I still love them, they actually fit and stay on my face. If they ever begin slipping, I can just stop by either Moscow or Lewiston offices, and the opticians adjust them for me for at no charge.


These are my favorite Ted Baker glasses that are almost 3 years old!

There are affordable options when you buy locally and customer care is included

While I was too busy obsessing about the great deal I was going to find elsewhere, I completely overlooked the display of the Alpine Advantage line that offers single vision glasses for only $99. These frames and lenses are better quality than you can buy online and Alpine’s opticians adjust them to ensure a proper fit. They also come with the excellent care and service we have all come to appreciate from Alpine Vision’s team.

It turns out that buying quality glasses from your local optometrist isn’t a splurge.  Finding frames you love that are well made will serve you much longer than a discounted online purchase. The additional patient care and service you receive from the friendly staff at Alpine is an additional bonus that cannot be bought online.