GlassesUSA vs. EyeBuyDirect


Looking for a new pair of affordable glasses but aren’t sure if GlassesUSA or EyeBuyDirect is better? Here’s how they compare on everything from price and selection to shipping and returns.

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Retailer
  •    Home Try-On
  •    Virtual Try-On
  •    Prescription
  •    Shipping
  •    Payment Methods
  •    Return Policy
  •    Warranty
  •    Accepts Vision
       Insurance
  • In Select Markets
  • Single, Bifocal, Progressive, Reading
  • Free Standard Shipping/$9.95-$12.95 Expedited
  • Credit/Debit, PayPal, Amazon Pay
  • 14 days
  • 365 days (50% store credit)
  • Yes (Select Providers)
  • Single, Bifocal, Progressive, Reading
  • Free over $119, otherwise $5.95-$19
  • Credit/Debit, PayPal, Amazon Pay
  • 14 days
  • 1-year defect replacement
  • No

Online Ordering Experience

Winner: Tie

Both GlassesUSA and EyeBuyDirect have easy-to-use websites with thousands of frames to choose from. Start by selecting men’s or women’s frames, and filter by size, shape, material, or brand to narrow down the choices.

glassesusa browsing
GlassesUSA Browsing
eyebuydirect browsing
EyeBuyDirect Browsing

Once you’ve picked a pair you like, adding your prescription is straightforward, though with EyeBuyDirect you have to enter your prescription in yourself. GlassesUSA gives you the option to fill in your Rx into the form or upload a copy of it.

And if you run into trouble or need help? Both sites have 24/7 phone assistance, as well as Live Chat online (EyeBuyDirect’s LiveChat doesn’t seem to be 24/7, however).

Virtual Try-On

Winner: Tie

eyebuydirect virtual try on
EyeBuyDirect Virtual Try-On

These days, practically every online eyewear company offers some sort of virtual try-on feature. Both GlassesUSA and EyeBuyDirect are no exception. EyeBuyDirect’s virtual try-on is easier to use with it’s live camera technology.

For GlassesUSA, you have to upload a picture of yourself (or use one from Facebook), OR you can take a picture using your webcam. However, that’s not the end of it. You also have to drag markers over each eye in order for the try-on to layer the image correctly over your face.

With EyeBuyDirect, you just turn your webcam on – it works on both desktop and mobile – and voila! They superimpose the glasses on your face. It even moves with you as you turn your head. If you prefer not to use your webcam, you can also upload a picture instead.

GlassesUSA saves you time by letting you browse their entire selection using the online try-on, which is nice:

glassesusa virtual try on
GlassesUSA Virtual Try-On

Besides their Virtual Mirror, GlassesUSA.com is currently testing out a Home Try-On option where you can try up to two pairs of glasses with single-vision prescription lenses for 14 days before paying anything. This is currently only available in select markets, but if it goes well, it may roll out nationwide.

GlassesUSA Review

Frame Selections

Winner: GlassesUSA

There are literally thousands of eyeglasses and sunglasses available at both sites in all shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, with or without prescription lenses.

Both companies also have kids glasses too.

Looking for a sultry cat eye frame? Easy peasy. Want a pair of Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses or a pair of Oakleys? They’ve got you covered.

So where’s the difference? Besides Ray-Ban and Oakley, GlassesUSA carries a bunch of other designer brands like Prada, Versace, Michael Kors, and Coach. They also have many in-house designs too, including a collection of frames designed in collaboration with Hilary Duff.

GlassesUSA even carries sport glasses and goggles, many customizable with Rx lenses too.

EyeBuyDirect mainly sells their own economical frames plus select models from Ray-Ban and Oakley.

When it comes to sheer number and selection, GlassesUSA takes the cake, with more brands and more frame choices from Ray-Ban and Oakley than EyeBuyDirect.

Lens Options

Winner: Tie

eyebuydirect lens options
EyeBuyDirect Lens Options

When it comes to lens options, both retailers offer free standard 1.5 index Rx lenses (without coatings) included in the cost of your frame.

They also have thinner, higher-index lenses for those with stronger prescriptions at an additional cost. In all, both GlassesUSA and EyeBuyDirect offer 1.59 polycarbonate, 1.6, 1.67, and 1.74 high index lenses for those with especially strong prescriptions.

Polycarbonate vs. Plastic Lenses

If you’re not sure which lens is appropriate for you, both sites only present available or recommended lens options for your specific prescription once you’ve entered it in.

glassesusa lens options
GlassesUSA Lens Options

With low powers, you’ll have the option to select the free 1.5-index lens or choose from higher-index lenses if you prefer thinner lenses.

If you’ve got an especially high prescription (pretty much anything over +/-8.00), you’ll only be presented with the 1.67 or 1.74 index options, though with GlassesUSA, you’ll need to call customer service to upgrade to the 1.74 index.

High Index vs. Polycarbonate Lenses

Additionally, multifocal glasses are available with either bifocal or progressive lenses. Anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings are usually included in upgraded lenses.

You can also get Rx sunglasses at both sites, and add a tint to make sunglasses out of any pair of eyeglasses!

eyebuydirect sunglass lens options
EyeBuyDirect Sunglass Lens Options

EyeBuyDirect offers a wide variety of tints from the usual gray, green, and brown to brighter colors including pink, orange, and yellow. (GlassesUSA only offers gray, green, and brown tints.)

There are also options to make your sunglasses polarized, mirrored, with a gradient, or light-transitioning with Transitions® or in-house photochromic lenses.

glassesusa sunglass lens options
GlassesUSA Sunglass Lens Options

EyeBuyDirect Review

Cost

Winner: EyeBuyDirect

eyebuydirect $6 glasses
EyeBuyDirect $6 Frames

Overall, EyeBuyDirect has the edge on price with their in-house frames, which start at $6 (yes really). GlassesUSA’s cheapest pairs start at $19 – and that’s only for clearance sale items.

They have the same or similar pricing for Ray-Ban and Oakley frames though.

When it comes to Rx lens options, EyeBuyDirect also beats GlassesUSA by a fair margin. For example, comparing a pair of Ray-Ban Clubmaster 5154 glasses with single-vision prescription lenses:

On EyeBuyDirect, you’ll get impact-resistant polycarbonate (1.59-index) lenses including UV-protection, anti-scratch and anti-glare coatings included in the cost of the $189 frame.

Over on GlassesUSA, the same pair of Ray-Ban Clubmasters (frame: $189) with single vision prescription lenses will run you a total of $208.50 for the standard 1.5-index plastic lens and the same coatings. The 1.59 polycarbonate lens isn’t even an option to upgrade to – the next available upgrade would be to the 1.61-index for a total of $233.50:

glassesusa ray-ban 5154 1.5 lens
GlassesUSA Ray-Ban 5154 Clubmaster with 1.5 index Lenses
glassesusa ray-ban 5154 1.61 lens
GlassesUSA Ray-Ban 5154 Clubmaster with 1.61 index Lens

Having said that, GlassesUSA offers a Price Match Guarantee, so you could technically get them to match EyeBuyDirect’s (or any other authorized retailer’s) price.

If cost is your main concern, you’ll want to head on over to EyeBuyDirect, which also offers frequent sales and discounts.

Shipping

Winner: Tie

eyebuydirect 2-day delivery

When it comes to shipping, each retailer wins out over the other but in different respects. So depending on whether you need glasses in a hurry or want to save on shipping, your choice depends on your priorities.

EyeBuyDirect is better if you need glasses fast, while GlassesUSA beats EyeBuyDirect with free standard shipping for all orders.

Generally speaking, you can expect to receive a pair of new prescription glasses from either store in about 7-14 business days. This accounts for both production time and shipping to your door.

GlassesUSA offers free standard shipping in the U.S. and Canada on all orders regardless of your total purchase amount. EyeBuyDirect only offers free standard shipping over $119 (otherwise shipping costs $5.95).

glassesusa homepage

If you need glasses sooner, both companies do offer expedited shipping. EyeBuyDirect even has a 2-day delivery service on select frames for only $19. The 2 days are business days, and count from when you complete your purchase including providing your prescription details.

GlassesUSA offers expedited shipping for $9.95 that delivers in 5-7 business days vs. the 7-10 day free shipping option. Keep in mind that this only expedites the delivery time – they still require 3-6 business days production time depending on your prescription.

Returns/Exchanges

Winner: Tie (Slight Edge to EyeBuyDirect)

Both companies offer returns or exchanges within 14 days of purchase. If you’re not happy with your glasses for any reason, you can either return them for a full refund or exchange your pair of glasses for another pair.

Additionally, both retailers have a 365-day warranty against manufacturer’s defects on any of their glasses. EyeBuyDirect offers a one-time replacement if they determine that there was a manufacturing error, though you may be responsible for shipping costs.

GlassesUSA’s policy is less generous – according to their terms, while they offer a 365-day warranty, instead of providing a replacement, they will give you a 50% store credit for the amount you paid towards another pair.

Try 5 Frames Before You Buy

Bottom Line

Both EyeBuyDirect and GlassesUSA provide affordable, fashionable eyewear to thousands of customers every year. They’ve both been around for years and are pretty comparable in both price and selection.

If price is priority, EyeBuyDirect edges out GlassesUSA with their in-house, ultra low-cost glasses that start as cheap as $6. EyeBuyDirect also gets the trophy for faster delivery with select frames being available for delivery as quickly as 2 days from when you purchase.

GlassesUSA has the upper hand on selection with many more designer brands to choose from, as well as their own line of Hilary Duff frames. They also sell contact lenses too. If you’re shopping for both, GlassesUSA is a great a one-stop shop for contacts and backup glasses.