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Guide to Buying Cheap Rimless Glasses Online

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Eyeglasses are one of the only “accessories” that society allows a guy to wear. I’ve always admired how they showed my intellect. Every time I see a friend with a pair of nifty glasses, I want to try them on to see how they would look on me. In the past, I’ve often wanted a fake pair. Maybe they would come in handy at a job interview to make me look smarter, more skilled, and more mature in the eyes of my potential future employer. Little did I know that I would actually need these medical devices!

Aging Eyes

It all started out when I had trouble seeing the signs on the road. At first, I thought, “DPS should make bigger signs!” Then, my sister pointed out that it was not hard at all for her to see the letters. We compared what signs we could and could not see and I realized that my years of long computer use finally caught up to me. I tried on a pair of my friend’s glasses (who had the same vision as me) and I exclaimed, “I was blind but now I see!” It was an epiphany-like experience like I was living in a whole new world.

Rim-less Eyewear

glasses_marchon.jpgRight then and there, I decided that I needed eyeglasses. But not just any glasses! No, no! Fashionable glasses! I bought framed glasses at Eyemasters … and returned them in two weeks. I wanted the rimless variety, not that cheap semi-rimless knockoff. Rimless glasses are one of the hottest styles in the market. Too bad that they are also one of the most expensive types to make. To obtain a decent pair, the optician must drill very precise holes into the lens. The lens also has to be made of polycarbonate plastic or it will very likely shatter and/or scratch. These two requirements coupled with their popularity of rimless eye wear set prices back at least $300 retail price!

Online Eyeglass Retail

glasses_computer.jpgWhen I learned this from Eyemasters, I thought, “I don’t think so.” There has got to be a better way! So, I turned to that mass body of knowledge called the Internet. I discovered a couple of articles written by people who bought their eye wear over the Internet. I thought, “That’s as crazy as buying a jacket online!” The truth is, I’ve done that as well. In my search, I discovered a site called My Optical Shop based in Taipei, Taiwan/China. They have a wide selection of frames, including the rimless variety. Like many online eye wear retailers, they also offer a “Works Treatment” for free or low cost. “The Works Treatment” is what I call the combo of anti-reflective coating, anti-scratch coating, anti-UV-rays coating, and polycarbonate material lens. With each rimless frame, you can choose between a wide plethora of lens shapes, 30 to be exact.

Just choose your frame/lens and fax/email the prescription to My Optical Shop. In fact, a prescription is not even required since Taipei is not within the jurisdiction of the United States. Just tell them the refraction on each lens. You can even send them your current glasses and they’ll duplicate the specifics. Expect your pair in about two weeks unless you pay for rush processing and shipment.

Things to Keep in Mind

In my experience, I’ve learned a couple of things to remember before buying glasses online.

Lens Measurements

When buying glasses online, you need to have an idea of the basic shape and size of the lens you want. I actually went to a couple of brick and mortar retailers like Lens Crafters and tried dozens of demos. I wrote down the dimensions of the lens, the basic shape, and the make/model so that I could reference it online.

Pupil Distance

Believe it or not, opticians have a very important task that many optometrists fail to do. Opticians measure the distance between your pupils so that they know where to put the best focus on the lens. This is why it is not a wise idea to shop for reading glasses at the dollar store. Those glasses are not tailored to your pupil distance, let alone different refraction requirements for each eye. The online eyeglass retailers need you to specify your pupillary distance before buying the glasses. You can measure it yourself in the mirror or have a friend do it for you. Or when your optometrist writes the prescription, ask him or her to include the pupillary distance as well. Most people will oblige. For me, I was lucky because the optician who sold me my first pair (that I returned) wrote the millimeter distance on the prescription.

Payment Processing

Many people are wary of sending their credit card information online. I usually am not worried but look at the website! I certainly would not give that information to an overseas merchant in Taipei with a website looking like that and many discount online eyeglass retails do look like that! To overcome this fear, obtain a virtual credit card number. Many credit card companies give you “disposable” one-time-use numbers for online purchases like these. If you need any ideas, get a citi card. Or, just buy a VISA/Mastercard gift card at the convenience store.

If you subscribe to vision insurance, many companies reimburse for out-of-network claims if you just send them the invoice. My insurance with Spectara reimburses me up to 100 dollars. Contact your vision provider for details.


When you actually receive your pair in the mail, don’t expect the glasses to look perfect the first time you put them on! I had to adjust the nose piece a bit to conform to my face.

Other Articles and Websites

Like I said above, I found out about this by reading articles about other individuals’ experiences on purchasing eyeglasses online. I suggest you read them as well. Try Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers, Find cheap glasses online, and Glassy Eyes | Shattering the Eyeglass Scam. Do not purchase anything before reading these articles. They will save you a lot of trouble!

My Eyeglass Specifications

glasses_me.jpgThat’s me, on the right, happy with my new glasses. For my friends visiting this article (Robyn and Phyllis), here are the specifics for my pair of rimless glasses.
Retailer: My Optical Shop
Frame: Rimless Hingeless Frame – Light Brown #16
Frame SKU: SKU2187
Pupil Distance: 64 mm
Lens Type: Premium feather hi-index 1.56 lens
Lens Shape: L18
Lens Dimensions: 48 mm x 28 mm
Lens Treatments: Premium anti-reflective / anti-glare coating, premium anti-scratch coating, UV400 protection coating, and gleaming polishing of rimless lens edge polishing
Dream Glasses: Marchon Airlock Rimless 720/17 48-21-28 Graphite
Cost of Dream Glasses: Upwards of $300.00
Cost of My Glasses Online: $52.10
Other Notes: I would opt for the high-index (thinner) lenses, which add about $10. I would keep the dimensions of my lens put change it to a different shape. Mine tend to get wider towards the hinge ends and form a butterfly-like shape. But, you can barely tell since the entire lens is transparent.

Truthfully, I can see better with my overseas pair than with my pair from Eyemasters. Online discount eyewear websites are worth a shot! Ask any questions or share your experiences below in the comment box!

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Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

25 Responses to “Guide to Buying Cheap Rimless Glasses Online”

  1. Robyn Says:

    You are the best!!!

  2. Fred Says:

    Great info. I also have purchesed glasses online. I spent hundreds in the mall store on my last pair. I couldnt afford to do it again when that pair broke. I started looking at the online options. my freind had bought her glasses online at and sent me the link. I was looking for the flex titanium frames as I am very hard on my glasses and they had alot of choices. Anyway I got them with the transitions option and they were perfect. Ive had them a few months now and they are still in great shape. Id recomend everyone to try the online option. ITs a great way to save money and i found many of these sites warrantee the frames for a year. Thats longer than some regular stores will cover.

  3. dR03 Says:

    I just bought a pair from

    I will remark with my experience when they come in! Thanks for the great information.

    I actually have the Marchon 720/17’s, but the nosepiece is made from two pieces and it finally broke off. I loved the airlock design and hopefully my new ones coming will compare equally.

  4. dR03 Says:

    OK, got my glasses in from and the process could not have gone smoother. I ordered them on 10/28/08 and got them today on 11/03/08. Lightning fast shipping from Taiwan to Texas!

    I ordered these:

    L12 Lens
    Hi-Index 1.61 super thin lens (+10 bucks)

    I put my glasses on and asked my wife, what do you think of these? She said, what the hell are you talking about? I said my new glasses, she said, \

  5. dR03 Says:

    the thing cut off my review, but to summarize, great job on the howto, thank you.

    lady at walmart verified my glasses against my prescription and said everything was perfect!

  6. Clara Says:

    Great write up. I bought a pair from from the link fred posted. They just got here. It took only 7 days from the date ordered. I will be buying my glasses online from now on.

    Clara wilcox

  7. Deborah Christopherson Says:

    I have purchased 4 pairs of prescription eyeglasses/sunglasses from and have been extremely pleased. I only wish they had a wider variety of sunglass frames as I am very active outside and the rimless are a little to light. If you wear progressives, you can\\\’t find a better deal!

  8. Mungo Says:

    I just bought my first pair of rimless glasses and I am very disappointed. Adjusting for a good fit requires drilling new holes into the lenses. Then the temples were off. he fixed that & then the lenses weren’t even on my eyebrows.

    These were expensive frames, Fred, and the optician has been in business for many years.

    From now on, I will stick to full frames.

  9. Ana Says:

    I bought my last pair of glasses online. I think it is much better and convenient, no need to queue or go to the busy shopping centers. Sometimes there are better deals online too.

  10. george Says:

    These guys WERE once very good and I was very satisfied. But in my last order they really messed up. They sent me sunglasses with spectacle lenses instead of the bigger lenses I’d ordered. Can you believe it!! I think their technician needed a pair of good glasses himself! LOL I tried to come into contact with them countless times to rectify the problem but I’m still waiting for a response 3 months since!! Conclusion? Money down the drain, since I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the sunglasses they sent me.

  11. Charley Says:

    I tried buying rimless eyeglasses online based on the review of my optical shop in Taiwan. They charged my credit card but I never got the glasses. When I tried to resolve the issue, they stopped responding to my emails.

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