We all want to save money, but are we cutting corners where it matters the most to save a few dollars? I know many of you have heard of those online optical retailers, but I’m here to tell you buyer beware. I may have a slightly biased opinion on the subject, but I have tried to take a neutral stance during my research to come up with the conclusion—you cannot beat trying on the perfect pair of glasses and feeling the quality of the material in your hands. In most cases, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
When I first decided to open my private optometry practice and eyewear boutique, it was with every intention to support Independent companies, especially local, regional, and American businesses. I found this to be a hard feat, but I am happy to say I have nearly reached my goal of having 75% of our inventory produced by independent frame makers. When looking at frame manufacturers to offer in my shop, I found that many have started outsourcing their manufacturing to China in order to cut costs. Now, I don’t know about you, but I would like as much of my hard earned money as possible to benefit smaller businesses in communities similar to where I work and live. I am pleased to say that a majority of the frames I offer do just that.
When you come and check out our selection, you will see lots of brands you may have never heard of, which to me is good thing. I say this because the ones you have heard of are likely the ones that have outsourced their manufacturing to the lowest bidder.
You can tell the difference by the way a frame feels in your hands and on your face if it is made from quality materials and inspected by hand to ensure all the frames leaving their warehouse deserve the name the are representing. If you think about it, if a frame can be sold for only $10, do you really think they put in the time to make sure it is built to last and has no defects? I doubt it. They are all pushed through machines and a human probably never touches them until you pull them out of their box to put them on your face.
I know it is hard to pick out frames and make sure you get ones that will look good on your face and meet your lifestyle needs. That is where a trained optical associate can be of great value to you. If you have a hard time seeing the frames on your face, there are multiple ways we can make sure you know what you are ordering. Also, a trained optical stylist may even find a frame that you may have never thought to try, which you might ultimately love. I know it’s convenient to sit on your computer while watching the latest episode of The Bachelor or Sportscenter while trying on frames through their virtual stylist. I get it. I do however value the expertise of trained professionals, plus by physically shopping for glasses, you can feel more a part of the process and you might even find it fun and enjoyable. Give it a chance!
So we have touched on the frame aspect with online purchasing, now let’s discuss the lenses. You likely think there are too many options with frames, but have you even compared different lenses or do even know what the comparison actually means? Again, this is where a trained optical associate can help you. Believe me, we are here to get you to see and feel your best. By not knowing anything that you are choosing, how do you know you are even going to be able to see out of the glasses when they arrive? What if you hit a wrong button or select A instead of B? This means glasses may be delivered to you and you are not even able to use them. This means a phone call. This means an automated system until you are directed to someone who may or may not be able to help you. This means more time with your order than you had anticipated. And we all know TIME MEANS MONEY.
By going to your local, independent optometrist's office to get your glasses, your optical associate will present you with the best lens options to fit your lifestyle needs. And get this-all the lenses are made directly for you and only you. This means all the measurements are taken by a trained professional and you don’t have to worry if you will be able to see out of them because we're here to make sure you can!
So, now your frames have arrived about a week after you ordered them. How do you know they got the prescription correct? How are you going to get them adjusted if they don’t fit? What if you have a question? Who are you going to ask? If there is a problem with your glasses you might start to experience headaches, eye strain or just decide to not wear them all together. You might go back to your optometrist for a re-check on the prescription just to find out it was the poorly made glasses that were causing the problems. Again this means more time. Wouldn't you rather spend that time enjoying life? We make sure to test and inspect every pair of glasses that we receive from the lab before we give them to our customers. This additional inspection is important, because it allows us to be sure you are receiving exactly what you paid for and deserve.
So the next time you are in the market for a new pair of specs, check out one of your local eyewear boutiques or Optometrist. See what they have to offer. I am sure you will find something you love and will want to recommend to your friends! What are you waiting for? Start shopping local!