I first heard about Warby Parker last year and was impressed when I checked out the site (I understand that they have a store in NYC). They’ve got a large selection of nice looking frames at a reasonable price and a good story:
A collaboration between four close friends, Warby Parker was conceived as an alternative to the overpriced and bland eyewear available today. Prescription eyewear simply should not cost $300+. The industry is controlled by a few large companies that have kept prices artificially high, reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options. By circumventing traditional channels and engaging with our customers directly through our website, Warby Parker is able to provide higher-quality, better looking prescription eyewear for under $100.
Warby Parker has a home try-on option (which I didn’t use) and gives a pair of glasses to charity for every pair they sell. Customer friendly, inexpensive, socially conscious, hipster eyewear. What’s not to like?
When it was time for new glasses I ordered two pair of Huxleys. Yes, two pair…the price was low enough for a backup pair. There was some confusion in the ordering process but it was my fault, I couldn’t read my doctor’s handwriting and had to fax the doc permission to give the ‘script to Warby Parker. After that it was a matter of days before they shipped.
According to UPS the glasses spent a few days in Secaucus, NJ before shipping to Houston, but they did arrive at the promised time, although I only received a single pair, not the two that I paid for and were on the manifest. My next disappointment was that they were not the progressive bifocal lenses that I thought I’d ordered, but that was, again, my fault, I had not ordered the correct lenses. But the deal killer was the hinges, they’re not the spring hinges that even my cheap-ass truck stop sunglasses have, they’re just simple hinges and the arms don’t spread out to fit my gros tête, so they’re very uncomfortable.
They look good though, and the prescription is correct, but I’m still returning them. There’s a blurry line between inexpensive and cheap, and Warby Parker glasses are right on the cheap side. There is a lot to like about them, but they are denied Evil Ray’s Eldritch Seal of Dark Approval.
"My Grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle." – Henny Youngman