In 2021, you can buy anything online, but there are still many reasons to buy from you local eye doctor's eyewear shop. When you buy online, you are sacrificing fit and expertise for price. Like jeans, eyewear should be tried on.
You are unlikely to match the level of customer service from a brick and mortar small business when compared to national or international chains or online business models. Small businesses deeply care about their customers and communities, and they thrive on their reputations.
Local Community Support
Each dollar you put into a locally-owned business, puts dollars back into your community. Amazon and Walmart don't need your money, but small business do especially in a year of COVID-19. Small businesses use your dollars to pay their employees, support other local restaurants and businesses, and put money back into the community. In the US, small business are responsible for 50% of the GDP. Their success makes your community a place worth visiting and living. Small businesses are responsible for the diversity, creativity, and unique character of the area.
Expertise and Styling
As with many other goods and services, you are paying for the business' expertise. Eye care professionals undergo years of training and licensing to perform their jobs. Opticians are licensed to ensue they not only understand fit of glasses, but they understand the optics of spectacle glasses lenses. Eyeglasses are not just a fashion item, but a medical device. Proper fit and frame selection are key to purchasing a pair of glasses you love!
I recently purchased running shoes at an independent running store. I was met at the door with kind and informative staff who educated me on each shoe, and helped determine the best shoe for my running stride. Though I spent more money than I would have online, I paid for the skill of the employees, the time saved by not having to shoe hunt, and I ended up with the best running shoes I've worn to date.
Much like any other product you would purchase, there are differences in both eyeglass lens and frame quality. At Autarchic Spec Shop in Charlotte, NC, we purchase only eye glasses frames and eyeglass lenses that we would use ourselves. When our doctor performs your exam, she will match you with the best eyeglass product and progressive lens type for your prescription, vision needs, and occupation. An RX for glasses is not just numbers, but includes recommendations brought forth in your exam.
Most patients do not know about all the different types of lenses on the market. Knowing you as a patient, will ensure you are matched with the best lens for your lifestyle.
Frames are also made of many types of materials. More durable materials will last longer, fit better, and will not warp over time. A discussion with a doctor or optician on materials will determine the best for your needs and lifestyle.