I've been in need of new glasses for a while now. What kept me from getting them was the knowledge of how expensive the glasses would be given my coke-bottle prescription. Even our local Wal-Mart quoted me a minimum price of over $200 for the frames and lenses.
Serendipitously, I found WarbyParker.com online and then their incredibly social Facebook presence. They've developed a business model that will make them hard to beat either by other online or bricks and mortar competitors:
First, they have a FREE home try-on program where you order five pairs of glasses, they're sent to you via UPS 2-day delivery, then you have five days to try the glasses before you send them back again via UPS and again via free shipping. And if you don't find any you like in the first batch, no problem, you can order another five to try on at home. Which, of course, I did....and then ordered a pair from the first batch, in true Suzanne fashion.
2) You're encouraged to post your try-on pictures to their Facebook page to have other Warby Parker fans help you to choose the best looking pair. Very fun! I keep going back to offer my opinion to everyone who posts a picture. And to see if anyone else chose the frames I have...so far, not so much. I must be special.
3) Price: All of their glasses are a flat $95 with the prescription lenses!!! (Add another $30 if your coke bottles need to be compressed, as mine do). They also have sunglasses that can be ordered with prescription lenses. (Guess what I'm getting for my birthday this March?)
4) If you're wondering what you get for such a low price...a wide selection of super cool retro styles for all face types (including my chubby cheeks), as well as more conservative fare, for the office. They even have a virtual try-on feature where you can upload a picture of yourself and try-on glasses to the picture. If you have questions, you can call and actually speak to a knowledgable person. This means: great customer service and ease of ordering equals convenience: my glasses were delivered within a week of placing my order online.
5) Best of all: they give back. For every pair of glasses purchased, Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses via charities around the world. The business model of the future: doing good is good business.
For the record, this post was completely unsolicited, just an expression of my appreciation of a great product and great service.
Oh, and yes my eye exam was way overdue...my left eye went from +4.25 to +5.00.....the right eye stayed the same, which means I should soon be wearing a monocle.