Glasses Direct: Buying Glasses Online

Ordering glasses online can be quite a daunting prospect if you’ve not done it before. Part of the experience of getting your eyes tested and then buying glasses is the trying on the specs in the shop, figuring out what works best on your face, checking it fits, what colours complement your skjn and which frames complement your purse. And although almost every other transaction translates to the online world, does this?

I wouldn’t call myself an expert by any stretch but I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 10 or 11. I’ve had quite a few pairs of them in that time. And I’ve been ordering glasses online for almost a decade. Man that makes me feel old. Anyway, the particular company I use is Glasses Direct. Mainly because it has a great selection of glasses, great deals on almost all the time and a home trial service.

So the process is pretty simple. Go to the website, browse some frames you like and order up to 4 at a time to be delivered to your door to try on in the comfort of your own home. I can’t say how many glasses I’ve tried in this way over the years but it’s a lot. This time round, I just wanted some glasses quick. My day-to-day spectacles where falling apart. Every time I looked down, my glasses looked down too, at the floor, from the floor. Not conducive for someone who literally cannot see beyond the end of their nose without them. It was time to get new prescription glasses. I also wanted to get some new prescription sunnies. Prescription sunglasses I don’t buy very often. I usually suffer through summer with my normal glasses or contacts and cheap frames from Asda or Primark.

The main thing I love about GD, let’s call them GD because we’re so well acquainted, is the home trial. I usually order several home trials but I’ve done this enough times to have a pretty good idea of what I needed. I liked my current frames, I wanted something similar, something not too bright, something that would go with everything. And obviously look good on my moon face too.

GD only allow you to order 4 glasses on home trial at a time. And it makes perfect sense as they take your card details in case the home trial doesn’t make it back to them. Not all their glasses are available for the trial, like the Jimmy Choos and D&G’s, basically the super expensive ones, £150+. But it’s still quite a hit if you were to lose the most expensive glasses you are able to trial, you’d be almost £500 out of pocket.  I ordered just 4 pairs this go round but have in the past to quickly try on loads of pairs at once, ordered using different email addresses (some previous styles I ordered are in this post). The same way people sign up to Tidal with various emails to get repeat free trials. It’s risky and I don’t think I’ll be needing to do it again, I know what I like and have a fairly good idea of what looks good on me.

So you’ve ordered your 4 pairs (or 4×4 if you’re feeling fancy) and they will arrive super quick. I ordered mine on 23rd of the month and they arrived on the 26th. Then tried on the glasses in the house and got some great natural light in the garden. There was even some prancing around the house a bit and made my decision. I placed my order straight away which came to the exorbitant cost of just under £60. Really, what more do they want from me, my first-born! I was actually surprised how cheap my order was and extremely grateful too.

A great positive for GD is the home trial but they also almost always have promotional codes which make the orders really reasonably priced. For example, 2 pairs for £19, how cheap is that?! And with the extensive range they have, it’s so easy to find a pair that you’d like. If you’re not lucky enough to catch that kind of offer, you can find 50% off codes, 2 for £49, 40% off frames etc. It’s one of those places where it’s actually quite hard to buy things full price, like DFS where there is always a sale on.

So once you’ve picked your frames, found your prescription, if like me it’s at the bottom of a handbag all scrunched up, you can start to customise your lenses. Do you want them clear, light adaptive, turn them into sunglasses or even have digital protection(which is a new one on me)?

A good thing to know, as much as the prices are very low, there are a lot of potential extras so although still cheaper than the high street and usually with the option of an offer on two pairs, it isn’t as cheap as you think unless you only want the frames.

There are different lens packages, bronze gives you a standard lens and are scratch resistant. This adds £10 to your order. Or you can go for the platinum package which gets you all singing and dancing lenses. They are scratch resistant, extra thin, anti-refection and anti UV for an extra £59. I tend to go for the silver package. This adds anti-reflection to the bronze package.Also as I was getting sunglasses, I went for one pair with a dark grey tint.

Now it goes without saying that you have to give them your prescription so they know what glasses to make for you. This step really is easy just copying the numbers the optician gives you and adding it to an online form. They do say that may need to query your prescription but in all my long years of ordering from them I’ve never had that happen. Perhaps because I have a fairly standard prescription  but I don’t know if that’s a regular occurrence or not.

I returned the trial via Royal Mail delivery with the enclosed return free-post label. In years past, I’ve been paranoid and nervous about them not getting back to GD and paid for recorded delivery. I guess I’m getting a little more trusting in my old age and I just send it back as is, although I make sure to get proof of posting from the Post Office, I’m not completely crazy.

My glasses with prescription arrived on the 3rd. My home trial was confirmed as received back at their offices the same day. That means the whole process was complete in 10 days (home trial ordered, received, glasses ordered and received, home trial confirmed back with them). I recently got some glasses for my son. They took a week to arrive in store so this is actually quicker from order placed to purchase received.

My Sunnies!
Feeling like a 1950s FBI agent…

Just a quick mention is the virtual try on feature, which I haven’t used yet but it involves your webcam and frames being superimposed on your face, saves time on the home trial and would allow you to try some of the fancier frames. Snapchat for glasses!

You’ve been seduced by the range, the home trial, the price. There aren’t many negatives when shopping this way. Like I say, I recommend this to pretty much everyone I speak to about glasses. And have done so for almost a decade but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. When you buy glasses from the opticians they will adjust them for you. You don’t get that this way. In my experience High Street opticians don’t really want to help you with glasses you didn’t buy from them. Boots Opticians flat-out refused, I guess my loyal custom since I was a child means nothing to them. Btw, I am not normally loyal when it comes to buying things. I usually go for cheap and good value for money. Bye Boots Opticians, buh bye!

And here’s my be-spectacled little house mate!

Another negative and it’s only a recent negative for me, is that they don’t do kids frames. My son has been wearing specs since last year and recently just got a new pair. However, here in the UK , you can usually get free glasses for under 16s so it may not be worth GD’s while to offer that. But my son has broken his glasses twice so there may be a little market for it. If anyone from GD does read this, I’d buy your kids glasses *hint, hint.*

So order your glasses online. When it comes to buying things, as a family we always shop around. I must admit I haven’t done this with online glasses until recently but I have struggled to find a company that could beat out Glasses Direct. I love my new glasses and the fact that I finally have a decent pair of sunnies. Plus they sent a leaflet with money off codes that lasts until April next year, so guess who’s getting new glasses for Easter?! Any excuse really!


As an extra little recommendation, they also have a charitable initiative where you buy a pair and they give a pair to someone in need. Great value for me, potentially life changing for someone else!

Let’s keep growing together!

x Lee x

Comments welcome below. Would you buy glasses online? Have you tried Glasses Direct or any other similar companies? If so, who? Just asking for a friend….

PLEASE NOTE: I was not paid or sponsored for this post, I just like ordering from Glasses Direct!


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