Shopping for prescription glasses is a little different than other items. Depending on your eyesight, going without glasses can be a minor inconvenience, or it can be completely debilitating. Either way, you’re probably eager to get your new glasses–not to mention show off those fancy new frames–as soon as possible. The question at the front of many customers’ minds may be: how long should my glasses take to come in?
Prescription glasses typically take 7-14 business days from the time they are ordered to delivery. Delivery time may vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the order, shipping distance, and the optical company’s estimated schedule padding.
Whether you’re waiting for your glasses to be shipped to your doorstep or you’re going to pick them up from the retailer, it’s helpful to understand what factors influence the delivery time of your glasses. Read on for more information about how glasses orders are processed and what dictates the shipping time.
Online Sellers vs. Optical Stores: Which Takes Longer?
There are a few factors to consider if you’re trying to decide between ordering your glasses from an online retailer and a brick-and-mortar optical store.
While online sellers may take a little longer to process and ship a prescription order, the convenience of online shopping and doorstep delivery saves the customer time, trouble, and gas money.
While some online retailers have physical pick-up locations, most will ship your glasses right to your house.
As seen in the table below, optical store retailers such as LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, and America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses have an average delivery time of 3-14 days. Online retailers, such as Zenni Optical, Liingo Eyewear, and FramesDirect.com, have an average delivery time of 7-23 business days.
|LensCrafters||3-14 business days|
|Pearle Vision||7-14 business days|
|America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses||7-10 business days|
|Zenni Optical||7-14 business days|
|Liingo Eyewear||14 business days|
|FramesDirect.com||13-23 business days|
This table uses data from All About Vision.
Complicated Prescriptions and Orders Take Longer
If you’re shopping at an optical retail store, the frames you choose are the ones you keep. Due to the high cost of frames, it’s rare for independent optical stores to keep a backstock of inventory, according the Alpine Eyecare Center. If you request custom or out-of-stock frames, the retailer may have to order and wait for arrival before they can process your order.
This is one advantage of shopping for glasses from online retailers. The lower overhead cost of running an online business instead of a physical store with a showroom and sales reps allows online retailers to offer a wider range of frame options without tacking any additional time onto the delivery schedule.
Other luxury features, such as UV blocking coats, scratch resistance, and anti-reflective coats, may also add time on to the projected delivery timetable.
Most Optical Retailers Pad Their Delivery Estimates
As a rule, customers would prefer for heir glasses arrive a little early rather than a little late. In order to keep up customer satisfaction, most companies will pad their delivery schedule by a few days in order to allow for any logistical hiccups along the way.
Padding, or adding a few extra days onto the projected delivery schedule, is one way that optical companies avoid late delivery. It’s difficult to predict when a company pads their delivery schedule, as the exact shipping time may vary delivery-to-delivery.
This means that early delivery may be a pleasant surprise, but it can’t be expected every time. This business practice does, however, mean that your glasses are more likely to arrive early than late.
Shipping Distance Has An Effect On Delivery Time
Many customers may be enticed, either by unique designs or unbeatable prices, to purchase glasses or frames from overseas suppliers. As with any kind of delivery, the distance between the seller and buyer will have an effect on the shipping time.
Eyeglass Direct offers their customers both domestic and international shipping. Their estimated delivery time for domestic shipping is between 1-6 business days, depending on the priority level the customers opts to pay for. International shipping, comparatively, is estimated at 5-10 days.
Based on those estimates, it can be generally stated that international shipping takes almost twice as long on average than domestic , unless customers pay a high premium for express shipping.
If you’re buying glasses by necessity, and need them as soon as possible, shop local. Purchasing glasses from the nearest retailer may mean paying higher prices or choosing from a smaller selection. However, it will reduce the delivery time, and allow you to interact with customer service representatives more directly if needed.
Same-Day Delivery For Glasses
In theory, it’s possible to get a new pair of glasses the same day you get your new prescription. The disadvantage of a rapid turn-around for eyeglasses, however, is that the customer is forced to choose from the limited selection of frames that the optical store or doctor’s office has on hand.
According to All About Vision, however, it’s advisable to wait a few days for the right set of frames. Unless you need the glasses urgently, patience is rewarded with stylishness.
Are Sunglasses Delivered Faster Than Prescription Glasses?
If you’re waiting on a pair of sunglasses to be delivered, you probably won’t have to wait as long. Because sunglasses are less specific to an individual and can be purchased and stored in larger bulk, they are delivered faster than prescription glasses.
According to LensCrafters, sunglasses take an average of 3-7 days from ordering to delivery. This delivery schedule may fluxuate depending on any special finishes the customer requires or if the sunglasses are prescription.
Glasses take an average of 7-14 business days from the time of the order to arrival. Ordering from an optical store near to where you live may shorten the wait time, however many customers prefer to shop the expansive selections of online storefronts. The additional days added to the delivery time of online ordering can be weighed against the broad selection of stylization option and the convience of door step delivery.