Designer Prescription frames for a fraction of the cost - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Designer Prescription frames for a fraction of the cost

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A recent survey found Americans enjoy buying their glasses from brick and mortar stores, but there is a new growing trend of online shopping for eyewear. 

Candice Langston has been a fixture in Charlotte business for years.  Langston is now Director of Development for the College of Art and Architecture at UNC Charlotte.  It's her job to go out and raise money for the school.  She's also a busy mom of two.  "I don't have a lot of time to shop it's very convenient.  It's very easy for my lifestyle to shop online," she said.  And that's what Langston did with her latest purchase of prescription glasses. 

Langston turned to WarbyParker.com , of Superman fame.  Clark Kent wears their glasses in the latest installment of the superhero series on the big screen.  For Langston, the Geek Chic style, is exactly what she wanted for her "back-up" pair.  She purchased her glasses with non-reflective lens for 95 dollars.

Holding the glasses she described them as "… really heavy they feel like very expensive frames and I'm sure if they had Gucci printed on the side no one would ever know the difference, I just really love them," Langston said.

WarbyParker.com  is part of a expanding industry.  A recent survey found most American spend just under 250 dollars for prescription glasses, but online you can get them for as little as 12.95 from sites like ZenniOptical.com., it's probably one of the most popular and least expensive.   These sites all have interesting ways for you to choose what pair you want.

Warby Parker lets you pick five pairs you want to try on and ships them to you in the US free of charge.  You get a chance to pick which ones you want, then send them back and fill your order.  Langston raved about the customer service. 

WBTV photojournalist Seth Bowman has several pairs he purchased from ZenniOptical.com.  He said the prescriptions were right on and the price perfect, he got prescription sunglasses for 16 dollars.

Most of these online eyewear stores have software that allows you to upload a picture of yourself and see how the glasses will look on your face before you order.  But Warby Parker has added an extra incentive to shoppers.  For every pair they sell, they donate another pair to organizations that provide glasses to people in need worldwide.

"It's sort of the Toms Shoes model and that's sort of how I came to find out about them, you buy a pair and they give a pair to a child across the word that otherwise wouldn't have a pair of glasses.  It is so great knowing I have a pair of glasses and someone else does too!" Langston said.

You always need to make sure your prescription is up to date.  One downside Langston pointed out, was if your glasses need adjustment to your face, it's not really something  the online sites can do.

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