There is no question you'll get more personal attention when shopping for glasses in a brick and mortar store than you will online.
But a survey of Consumer Reports readers in 2019 brings into sharp focus the big drawback at traditional retailers, which is the price.
Consumer Reports readers who bought their glasses at a store and paid out of pocket spent a median of $234 per pair.
Online, though, the median price was just $91.
Even so, the vast majority of those surveyed, 93-percent bought their eyeglasses in a store.
"Our readers valued things like the skilled fitting and follow-up service you get with a real salesperson," says Karen Jaffe.
Costco's eyeglass store, where you can get personal service and a reasonable price, was among the top retailers in the most recent Consumer Reports ratings.
The frame selection, however, was deemed more limited than at independent retailers or the top online stores.
Three online stores, Warby Parker, Zenni Optical and EyebuyDirect, joined Costco at the top of the survey with good prices, but Zenni and EyebuyDirect did not do as well on quality.
"A tip for getting the best of both worlds is shop around for the frames you like," Jaffe said. "And then go to a discount store like Costco or Walmart for the lenses."
The technicians at these discount stores often can put the lenses you've purchased there in the frames you've brought in for an additional service charge of under $40.
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