Buying Eyewear Online vs a Brick and Mortar store

At Respectacle Company, we pride ourselves on the level of customer service we offer to our customers. We do a pretty good job of looking after your eye health and eyewear needs. We spend a lot of time sourcing the best solutions to ensure selected frames fit correctly and look stylish. But it is not always about making a statement with your spectacles. We dispense safety spectacles and sports eyewear and even do respiratory mask inserts. Whatever your requirements, we go the extra mile to ensure we can offer options to fit peoples’ lifestyles and specific task requirements.

Chris assisting a customer

We take great pride in the products and services we offer. But we sometimes hear stories from customers who have brought their eyewear solutions online thanks to impressive media campaigns. We can’t compete with online prices as we have many more overheads to cover with having a brick-and-mortar store rather than working from a warehouse or non-high street address. So we can see how tempting it is to save money and buy online through a website. But we are often surprised by how much money people will pay to purchase glasses online only to find they can’t wear them.

For example, we recently had a gentleman visit the practice. He had paid over £450 for a pair of varifocal spectacles. A bit cheaper than our premium lenses but still not a cheap purchase. He had come to us for an eye examination and complained that the glasses he’d bought online had never been any good, and he’d struggled to wear them for the past year. He had put up with the issues because of the cost. But for a little extra money, we dispensed a new pair of varifocal lenses and a correctly fitting frame, which he was delighted with. The glasses fitted him perfectly, and they didn’t slip or pinch. Whilst we all want to save money – especially during a cost of living crisis – in the end, the gentleman realised that the cheaper option ended up costing him more money in the long run.

Caroline Abram eyewear

These are issues that can occur when buying through an online site. We decided to do some research to find out how these websites work. A quick Google search took us to quite a few we were aware of and some we had never heard of. There was lots of information on the websites we visited, which sounds great. But if you don’t know the terminology, it can be a minefield. On some sites where you can purchase spectacles online, you can order some frames to try on at home.

Now, that all sounds great and convenient. But we have found at Respectacle that many of our customers try on frames, but it’s not until we point out some aspects don’t fit correctly or the sizing isn’t quite right they don’t realise. In our research, we also found a lot of options for different lens materials and indices. Again, until we explain the implications of the different materials to customers, many people wouldn’t be aware of the differences. The websites also ask for some measurements. We take these measurements when dispensing a progressive lens. They are vital for good vision. But without the correct and precise measurements, the spectacle wearer won’t benefit from a comfortable fit and natural vision at all distances.

Alison helping a customer choose new glasses

We also had another customer who bought two pairs of reading spectacles online, but he gave the incorrect prescription, and the glasses were not fit for purpose. He spent £150 on his new reading glasses only to find out he couldn’t use them. Sometimes when we think we are saving money, in the end, we spend more.

All our staff have spent a lot of time training to achieve high levels of knowledge and expertise in optical dispensing. We have invested in the latest equipment to enhance our services to our customers. Because of these investments and the overheads of our store on Manor Walk, we are a little more expensive than buying online.

Visit Respectacle to view our luxury eyewear collections

As attractive as purchasing eyewear online may initially seem, why take a risk with your eyesight when it is paramount that we have the best vision possible to complete our daily tasks? What we can do here at Respectacle is offer customers professional advice, the best service, and honest opinions, and all our work is guaranteed. We like to think that you’re in good hands. But don’t just take our word for it. Look at our Google reviews from happy and satisfied customers.

LGR eyewear

If you wish to visit our bricks and mortar shop, you’ll find us in Manor Walk, Market Harborough. We stock an extensive collection of frames from luxury eyewear brands, including L.G.R, Theo, Caroline Abram, Vinylize, Silhouette and Starck. We are open between 9 am to 5 pm Tuesdays to Fridays and 9 am to 4 pm on Saturdays.

Respectacle Company

Further reading:

The true cost of spectacles

What we offer our customers as an independent optician

Be cautious when buying online contact lenses