Good / Zenni Optical is one the cheapest–if not cheapest ever, online glasses retailer around. However, quality is excellent, shipping is fast, and the overall experience feels very polished.
Bad / If you want brand name frames, look elsewhere. Every frame is “Zennis.”
Verdict / If you need affordable glasses and are looking to buy glasses online for the first time, Zenni Optical is a low-cost option that won’t break your wallet to take a jump away from expensive in-person retail frames that are way overpriced.
Zenni Optical Review
When you are buying glasses from an in-person retail, the actual examination is pretty cheap. But it’s the glasses that get you. It’s not unusual to pay upwards of $300 for a decent pair of glasses from an in person retailer with all of the lens coatings that you need. The reason is that these glasses are brand names–whereas with Zennis, they are all created by their own brand. So each pair you buy is directly from them–not a third party reseller like an eye doctor.
These glasses usually last you 3-4 years or less, and a lot of the time insurance covers these fees, so it’s not that big of a deal. But what If I told you that you could buy glasses online for only $30 a pair?
Zenni Optical, in a lot of ways, is the pinnacle of online eyeglass buying in that you can get quality lenses for a low price. It’s sort of like Lens Crafters, but cheaper.
In this Zenni Optical review, I’ll go over my experience with the store as well as what the brand can offer you as a customer. Are $30 glasses too good to be true? Are the frames and lenses $30 quality or just as good as $300 glasses you have to buy in person?
Zenni Optical has a range of low prices, from glass frames that only cost $6.95, to glasses that are more around $30-45. $45 is the ceiling, however, which is funny since some retailers don’t even get this low to start with.
Of course, even if you do get a frame that only costs $6.95, there are some extra fees. When I purchased a frame for $9.95, I had a $29.95 Lens fee that included “Beyond UV 1.61 High-Index Single vision, ” but I did get the AR Anti-Reflection Coating for free.
I got a 10% discount somewhere along the line (first pair discount?), so my order came out to be $40.86. So, that is a far stretch from $9.95, but STILL, $40 for a pair of glasses?
Well if they feel like “$40” it’s not a good deal, but if they feel like a pair of $300-400 glasses–it’s a fantastic deal. I’ll go over what the products can feel like and if they are worth the cost in the product features section.
Perhaps the most important part about ordering cheap glasses online is that you are getting a bargain. Make no mistake, since Zenni Optical delivers on that promise. The frames I got felt sturdy, durable, and incredibly comfortable to wear. I would wager that they are one of the best glasses I’ve ever known.
The frames come in a very small package, with a glasses case and a neat colorful Zenni themed cloth wipe. Shipping time was also very good, as the glasses were made and shipped to delivery in only eight days time. I was surprised on how little packaging there was–as the box was very small, and the internal packaging only a case in a plastic bag–but it let me get into the frames and try them on very quickly.
Lens quality is very good, and the tint they added on is very subtle but works well in bright sunlight. My favorite part about the frame I got is how tight they are and how they feel well constructed. So many frames feel too plasticky, even if they look good, but these feel like all the screws are in the right place and like they won’t fall apart.
Of course, depending on the frame you pick, you’ll get some variation in how they feel–but Zenni makes quality frames that go well beyond the small price point that they ask for.
Zenni Optical’s website at first glance almost looks like a blog–with huge tiled images and “learn more” buttons. At the bottom of the home page are some sample glasses which show some more of the expensive frames.
Once you start navigating, you’ll find what is mostly a traditional shopping experience that lets you view frames and filter them by price, gender, color, rim and some other specifications like frame shape and material. An annoying thing about the top menu is that if you click on buy “Men’s Glasses” it only shows you a limited slideshow view of some available frames–however, if you click on something like “newest frames” you’ll see many more options available–so make sure to click in the right place!
One nice touch is that you can quickly try on the glasses by uploading your picture. It’s incredibly easy to view what you can look like with each frame just by hovering over each one.
Besides a few menu items that let you see some collections, there isn’t much more to the site when you are shopping around. When you finally get around to picking a pair, the prescription fill out section is very easy to understand and the site lets you save your prescription for easy reorders.
I like the simplicity of Zenni’s site since it is lite, easy to use, and actually, delivers on low price points without too many curveballs or add-on prices along the way.
Zenni Optical is by far the cheapest online glasses provider–but this doesn’t mean you get worse frame quality, shipping time, or shopping experience. In fact, its one of the best glasses company around, and if you need a cheap pair of glasses that doesn’t feel cheap, I’d recommend using Zenni Optical without a fraction of doubt.