Eye-deology Vision Care: Edmonton Optometrists, Opticians and Eyewear

5 Reasons Why Eyeglasses Purchased Online Disappoint

Online eyewear merchants use convenient browsing, large digital catalogs, along with advertising unbelievably low prices as a way to entice customers to choose them over local, professionally crafted options. This approach can appeal to customers wanting the utmost convenience and/or fixating on finding the lowest possible price. Unfortunately, one reason for their effectiveness is because they never divulge, or demonstrate, how they can produce a product that requires precision personalization, without ever interacting with the customer, often in very short time frames. Moreover, they never share how they are able to craft prescription eyewear at too good to be true prices. Read on to learn why eyeglasses purchased online frequently disappoint and underdeliver.

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Believe it or not, a large number of online eyeglass and/or eyeglass frame retailers sell counterfeit products. Counterfeit products are fakes, or unauthorized replicas, of the real product, which are sold with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product.

Purchasing counterfeit product not only funds illegal activity, it also often results in disappointment without recourse. Some of the world's largest eyeglass frame manufacturers are entangled in lengthy legal battles to stop the sale of unauthorized replicas of their products. Merchants selling counterfeit products knowingly defy domestic and international laws. Don't expect them to respond to a complaint or offer customer service.

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Counterfeit Eyewear Products Are Commonly Sold Online

The expression ‘measure twice, cut once’, that has origins in the trades, means that one should always double-check measurements for accuracy before making a cut; otherwise, inaccuracies may result along with time, materials, and money wasted.

Contrary to what online merchants would have you believe, several precision measurements are required to properly craft prescription eyewear. The higher and/or more complex a prescription is, the greater number of measurements and the greater precision needed. For example, multifocal lenses require considerably more personal measurements than single vision lenses. Online merchants cannot craft accurate, properly functioning eyewear when they never perform the measurements required to do so.

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Prescription Eyewear Purchased Online Is Never Measured

Purchased prescription eyewear online previously and thought they were fine? According to safety and compliance studies, fine is the absolute best that they could have been. A 2011 U.S. study found that 44.8% of eyeglass lenses purchased online failed at least 1 parameter of optical or impact testing. Similarly, a 2018 Montreal study (Frenette, 2018) found that 94% of online orders had prescription strength, pupillary distance, frame height, and/or lens centration errors. This means the majority of the time customers are not receiving what they ordered, what they need, and what they paid for.

In essence, online merchants are simply selling the concept of convenience, rather than an accurate, well-performing product that addresses prescriptive needs. When it comes to prescription eyewear something is not better than nothing and close enough is simply not good enough. An investment in your vision is an investment in your quality of life. Invest wisely.

Study: Evaluations of prescriptions and frames purchased from online eyewear vendors. Dr. Benoit Frenette

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Inaccurate Eyewear From Online Merchants

Online stores mainly sell prescription eyewear using polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate lenses, which have a refractive index value of 1.56-1.59 and the primary material used in safety eyewear, provide individuals with the worst optical performance of any plastic lens. In other words, online retailers elect to sell customers product with the worst optical performance available first and most often.

Often, online and bix bog store retailers alike, promote the chip resistance and the lighweight features of polycarbonate lenses. However, Trivex lenses (1.53) offer the same chip resistance and lightweight characteristics along with superior optical performance for a small additional cost. Why do they continue to sell inferior polycarbonate lenses when better options, at the same price point, exist?

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Chromatic Abberation Affects Vision Quality

One of the little known secrets of how online vendors can offer low priced frames and lenses is that they sell older models that are discontinued. This should be concerning, even for consumers that don’t want the latest style, colour, or shape. Why? First, discontinued products are likely to have been discarded by one or more entities (e.g., manufacturer and resellers) previously and are now items of little to no intrinsic value. In other words, online retailers are attempting to sell you someone else’s trash. Second, in the case of discontinued frames, this means there are no others of the same make, model, and colour to fulfill a warranty replacement. Likewise, there are no spare parts available to fix a frame in need of repair. Third, in the case of discontinued prescription lenses, this means you are being sold lenses with older, inferior designs with poorer optical performance.

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Discontinued Products Sold Online

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Doctor Jennifer Ash, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Jennifer Ash is the Resident Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. Ash provides patient care 5 days a week. Read more about Dr. Ash.

Doctor Ruhee Kurji, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Ruhee Kurji is an Associate Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. Kurji provides patient care Tuesdays & Fridays. Read more about Dr. Kurji.

Doctor Jade McLachlin, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Jade McLachlin is an Associate Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. McLachlin provides patient care 5 days a week. Read more about Dr. McLachlin.

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