Some “designer” frames are actually knockoffs
Although most designer brands do a fairly good job of policing websites to make sure ‘Brand X’ is truly Brand X, some cheap knockoffs do sneak through, so it pays to know how to judge the frames’ quality. The hallmark of high-caliber specs is found in the least likely of places: a frame’s hinge. “The hinge is what takes the most stress when you wear a pair of glasses and when you take them on and off,” says licensed optician Pete Hanlin, a technical marketing director for Essilor of America. “A good-quality hinge, which you’ll find in most designer labels, is going to be durable, and it’s going to last.” Another reason to dare to go designer? A top-notch hinge is almost guaranteed to extend the life of your glasses.
You could pay less—especially if you buy multiple pairs
If you buy eyeglasses online, one of the major perks is the cost cut. While FramesDirect.com and Glasses.com sell designer brands at a discount, Zenni Optical sells their specs for as low as $6.95, including lenses. How do these retailers get away with it? Most of them ditch the middleman, so they avoid the extra licensing fees and overhead costs that brick-and-mortar stores face. Customer Isaac Filat bought his pair of glasses from Warby Parker, a company that offers hip frames designed in-house, for $95. For him, the price alone was enough to justify his purchase. “The real reason I purchased from Warby Parker: I saved hundreds of dollars,” he says. Check out these other ways to save money shopping online.