Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hello, Firmoo! Nice to See You.

 Should I buy glasses online?

A blog post concerning ordering glasses online VS brick-and-mortar. (Read further for details on how YOU can get a FREE pair of Firmoo eyeglasses from being a reader of this blog! No joke!) 

Glasses c/o Firmoo.
I've been wearing glasses for a very long time - I'm a veteran of eyewear, if you must. And I am somewhat of a glasses snob - a title which I wear proudly. I'm a fashion designer, so I must have unique frames too!

In 5th grade, my grandmother noticed I couldn't read the time on the microwave even though it was about 10 feet away, I asked her what time it was while I was doing my homework. She promptly told me I "needed" my "eyes checked" and off I went a week later where sure enough I was near-sighted and I got my 1st pair of glasses: a pair that can be referred to as the (legendary music producer) "Steve Albini glasses". It was 1996 and I was 10 years old.

Here is poor me by 8th grade, not wearing the Steve Albini pair, but another not-so-hip pair. Yikes!
By 12 (and somewhat scarred by fashion eyewear choices of the time period) I graduated to contacts and didn't wear glasses outside of my house unless I was sick basically until 2009 - when I was 23. 

Well, times have changed and now you can get fashionable eyewear on the internet!


Firmoo contacted me about testing a pair of their frames very recently and I have been interested in trying out a pair of frames from an online company for some time now yet skeptical of the results.

Like most people, I have stood to ask the questions - Should I buy glasses online? How will they work? Will they fit my face? Will the prescription be correct? What kind of quality are the frames exactly? What's the benefit of buying online vs brick and mortar? Well, I'm about to answer all of those questions for you!

Firmoo is the "World's Most Popular Online Eyeglass Store" according to their website and their vision is about prescription eyewear that is inexpensive yet high quality. Essentially, fashion for everyone! This is something I always appreciate.

During the Firmoo ordering process, Antonio was my go-to guy so I asked him a few questions here and there via email as he was very helpful. I got to choose my pair of frames - I had been wanting a tortoise shell print for a bit, so I chose the ones seen here.

Like most online glasses places, they have a section where you can "try on" pairs of glasses in the corner of the site and you can upload your own photo. I totally winged it, having bought a vintage pair online from Etsy not trying them on before and they worked out great. (See pair below.)


 I was able to throw in my prescription - it was all pretty easy.  I had a prescription from last year as my eyes have not changed since 2009 so I figured that was fine.

Upon getting the order from me, Antonio checked to see if I had entered my prescription correctly - and seemingly I had missed a number. I was really appreciative he asked me and took the time to look at it rather than just assuming I was correct. I have a CYL/axis number tacked on to the left eye only but I assumed that's because I had an astigmatism in one eye, not the other.

My eye doctor, Chad, told me that the numbers I had on my old prescription were still correct and that yes, the extra numbers for the CYL and axis numbers were due to the slight astigmatism in one eye "which isn't all that unusual", he commented. I'm still glad Antonio from Firmoo checked.

I must say - I love my brick-and-mortar eye place I go to, Urban Eyecare in Wicker Park. This is where I fell in love with these beautiful white Sashee Schuster frames - the first pair of cool glasses I had ever had!

 (I did spend a pretty penny on these, but it was well worth it - 4 years later, they're still in near perfect condition.)

 Upon my arrival at Urban Eyecare, a woman who works there handed me a bag of extra contact solution as a free gift for "being a long-time customer" (almost 5 years) as well as sending people over there to look at/buy glasses from them. Sweet! An obvious perk to brick-and-mortar as people know you and you occasionally get freebies.

While getting my prescription all figured out, I fell in love with an orange marble-esque pair there which my insurance helped cover this year. I put in an order for those too!

I ordered both my Firmoo and my Urban Eyecare glasses on the same exact day - February 21st.
It was a race against time to see which glasses I would get first - orange marble or cute/nerdy tortoise shell?

11:14am on February 28th: I see a missed call from Urban Eyecare on my phone. Could it be?! Orange glasses were already back from the lab with my prescription!

I'm absolutely obsessed with this pair.

 And they came with this snazzy orange leather case too!

I had those glasses for about a week before my Firmoo frames finally arrived (which I had been tracking online) on March 8. Here is where online ordering is NOT speedier! Nonetheless, I was excited for my 5th awesome pair of glasses.


They arrived in a nondescript package with a really durable hard shell case which is a must for me since I most definitely would break my glasses without a case like that. It also came with a cool keychain screwdriver and extra screws for tightening and if I lost any screws.

Overall, this glasses snob is pretty impressed with the frame quality. It seemed durable and well-crafted. And they're cute!


My only minor complaint is that I have a small head. Without the help of an experienced optometrist, I can't have these glasses fit super-well to my head like my glasses from Urban Eyecare however they do fit quite well and seem to take in consideration multiple head sizes in the construction of the frames.

In summation, Firmoo has great customer service and no one should ever be afraid of ordering for them! Anything you are confused about, they will help you via email and almost any time of the day. I highly recommend seeing an optometrist beforehand and having them spec out your prescription and explain it to you like I did as it will help make ordering online easier.

Firmoo is a great option for people who wear glasses but either
1.) don't have a ton of expendable income to buy "spendy" eyeglasses like I save for and
2.) still want quality, function, and a little bit of fashion.

There are hundreds of pair to choose from on their site, so you're bound to find something you like. See this link for more FAQ with Firmoo, their ordering policies, all that good stuff.

I am pretty picky when it comes to frames as you can see. The orange ones cost about 10 times more out of pocket than my Firmoo glasses would have cost me at about $30. I think Firmoo is great for options if that's what you like, but I do know from experience that my "spendy" frames will hold up nearly forever and I can run to them whenever I have an issue with them. (I once had a problem with lenses cracking very finely in my white glasses and Urban Eyecare only charged a very small fee to replace them even 2 years after I bought them!)

So that being said, Urban Eyecare has nothing to worry about as I will continue to come to them for super unique, quality frames alongside great customer service. They always patiently answer my million questions and are completely willing to help me try on frames, suggest me others, and make sure I don't buy the wrong pair for my face! I really like the one-on-one interaction when buying glasses but that's a personal preference.

However... my boyfriend who is a full-time student, part-time employee who hasn't had a new pair of glasses in about 6 years. I want him to have a "back up" more fashion forward pair. I'll buy them as a gift for him but we really can't afford to spend as much as I did on myself.

We should have tons of fun uploading his face to Firmoo and trying on frames! Thanks, Firmoo for introducing yourself!




As a reader of this blog, you are invited to try out a Firmoo pair for yourself! Just sign up as a new customer after clicking here. You will need a valid prescription and note that the free glasses are single-vision only. 

Happy shopping!







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