The risks of purchasing glasses online

The Eyewear Stylist asks  How do you know what glasses to choose?

Should you buy glasses online?

It's so easy to shop online isn't it? I think for that reason the option of purchasing glasses online has become increasingly popular. Although, glasses aren't like shoes... there's not one size that will universally fit you..

 You may be able to find some cheap glasses online, of course, due to the lower overheads the suppliers have in not having to provide sight tests or any level of customer service in helping you select your option.

However there are several drawbacks that need to be considered before making a purchase. Here are five reasons why you should think twice before buying glasses online.

1. Fit and Comfort

Glasses are a highly personalised accessory, and the fit and feel of a pair of glasses can vary significantly from person to person. In-store, a trained optician can measure and fit glasses to your face, ensuring that they are comfortable and properly positioned. With online purchases, you are left to rely on generic measurements and online size guides, which may not take into account the nuances of your individual facial structure. This can lead to glasses that are uncomfortable to wear and may even cause headaches or vision problems.

2. Expert Advice

Opticians are trained to assess your vision needs and recommend appropriate lens types and coatings based on your individual requirements. Online retailers may not have the same level of expertise, and their recommendations may not be tailored to your specific needs. Opticians like The Eyewear Stylist in Manchester can also offer advice on frames that suit your face shape and personal style, which is difficult to replicate in an online shopping environment.

3. Quality Control

One of the biggest risks associated with purchasing glasses online is the quality of the product itself. Cheaply-made glasses that are not properly fitted or tested can be a significant risk to your eye health and can potentially worsen existing vision problems. While some online retailers may offer cheaper prices, they may also cut corners in quality control, leading to subpar products that can ultimately do more harm than good.

4. Returns and Exchanges

Returning or exchanging a pair of glasses can be a complicated and time-consuming process when purchasing online. (I know that pain from buying clothes this way in the past. I hated the effort I had to go through to print off return slips, pack things back up and take them to the post office, when it could all have been avoided by simply trying them on in-store.) It may require shipping the glasses back to the retailer, which can be costly and time-consuming. In-store, opticians can make adjustments to glasses on the spot and can often offer same-day exchanges or returns.

5. Risk to Eye Health

Ultimately, the biggest concern with purchasing glasses online is the potential risk to your eye health. Poorly fitted glasses or low-quality lenses can cause eye strain, headaches, and even long-term damage to your eyesight. The peace of mind that comes with an in-store purchase, with the assurance of expert advice and quality control, is worth the extra cost and effort.


In conclusion, while purchasing glasses online may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option, it is important to weigh up the potential risks and drawbacks. The personalised service and expertise of a trained optician cannot be replicated by an online retailer, and the potential for ill-fitting or poorly-made glasses can pose significant risks to your eye health. Before making a purchase, consider the value of in-store expertise and the peace of mind that comes with ensuring the best possible vision care.