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How to get the best deals on glasses - Part Two

Posted 14 February 2016

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Want to know how to bag yourself the best deals on glasses? This blog is for you.

Yesterday, in part one, we advised you on what you should buy. Today, in part two, we’re going to advise you where to buy.  

Where to buy?

Now you know what lenses you need and whether you’re after a designer pair or not, all that’s left is to go shopping for styles! There are a number of places you can buy your glasses from, each with its own set of pros and cons. We’ll go through them one-by-one, starting with:

Online – this is by far the cheapest way to get hold of a complete pair of glasses. Online retailers are able to offer really low prices. And these low prices are possible because they have much smaller overheads than those who have shops and staff to pay for. There are lots of places to buy from and many have a huge amount of choice, with prices starting at just £6! Which seems unbelievable, but it’s true.

However, you have to bear in mind that, whilst the price may be low, you’ll not get any ‘personal’ service from an online provider, like you would if you were to go into a shop. You can, of course, call up the online retailer and ask for advice, but it’s not quite the same. You’ll also need to have a copy of your prescription and you may need to upload it to the website too. However, you can do this easily by taking a photograph of the document and uploading it that way.    

You can, of course, be a little bit cheeky and visit a high street retailer to try on a number of different styles and sizes to see what suits, and then try to find them online for a bargain price. You can find the model number, the name if there is one, and the size of the frame on the arm. It’ll be something like 52/18.135 – the first number is the lens width, the second is the nose bridge and the last is the temple size. Make a note, take a picture, and then search online to see what you can find. If you need a bit more explanation of this, here’s Specsavers Frames Size Guide, to help you out. 

If you do decide to go to the shop to try on some frames, they’ll be assistants in the shop to help you find the perfect pair of specs for you. So, you could ask for their professional opinion as to what the best style of frame is for your prescription and face shape.

Or you could use one of the online retailers, like Glassesdirect, that allows you to trial your frames at home for 7 days! Yes, that’s right, you can order four frames you think you might like, have them delivered to your home and try them out for 7 whole days free of charge. This is a pretty neat idea, as it allows you to ask your friends and family what they think of the frames, whether they suit you or not, and lets you try them on for comfort and fit too. The ones you don’t want, you simply return, again free of charge, in the post.  

You can find the online retailers by putting ‘cheap glasses online’ into Google, but because we like to be as helpful as possible, here are some links to online retailers, to get you started:



Direct sight


Do please be very careful when you enter your order, especially any lens information. Mistakes when you’re inputting the prescription could prove costly, especially if you have vari- or bifocals. Most retailers are under no obligation to refund or replace the glasses if you hit the wrong digit when you’re entering your order. But some, like Spex4less will replace or refund if you’re unhappy, no matter whose fault it is. So, if there’s something on the prescription that you’re not sure about, just give the company a call, they should be able to help you.    

And one final thing to take into account – you have to add on the cost of postage. To be honest though, most online retailers will still end up being much, much cheaper even with postage added on.

High street opticians – these have some great offers, but can’t compare with the prices offered by online retailers, simply because they have overheads to cover. However, you do have all the benefits of seeing a real person. When you visit a store you’ll deal with someone who can help you find a pair of glasses that suit your face shape, fit your face size, and take measurements to be sure that the functional part of the lens sits in the correct position over your eye.

They’ll also fit the glasses for you when they arrive, making sure that the arms fit snugly around your ears and the nose grips hold well on the bridge of your nose too. You also have the bonus of being able to pop back in to have readjustments to the fit done, as well as having little things like the screws in the arms tightened.

Supermarket opticians – the likes of Asda and Tesco have opticians in their stores. These are usually on a par with high street opticians on price, and have all the same benefits of visiting a high street optician i.e. personal service. They might have some great deals on too, like Asda’s ongoing £40 for varifocals with basic frames, an anti-reflection coating, a tint and, if needed, thinner lenses all included in the price. You can find out the current offers by visiting the opticians’ concession in-store or checking on the company website.    

Independent opticians – these will tend to compete more on providing you with a great personal service than on price. They lack the tremendous buying power of organisations like Tesco and the large high street optician chains who can purchase thousands of frames in one go, bringing the price right down. And you’re not likely to get the same range of frames available as you would in a larger store either. However, you are likely to get a much more personal service, as your custom is more important to a smaller business, who rely more on word of mouth and reputation to keep them going. So, if you prefer that kind of personal service, an independent retailer may the best option for you.

Okay, we think that’s about it. We’ve covered everything we think you’ll need to grab yourself a bargain – from getting your eye test for free to bagging a great pair of specs at a brilliant price. All that's left now is for you to decide which pair you're wearing today! 

by Shelley Bowers

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