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Review: EyeBuyDirect.com gives gamers great glasses for less

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Eyebuydirect Blue Cut computer and gaming glasses

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Gunnar 'gaming' (or 'digital lifestyle') glasses aren't the only game in town for gamer glasses. With their new ‘blue cut’ computer lenses, EyeBuyDirect.com offers a lot of great ‘gamer friendly’ lens features and quality eyewear. In addition, EyeBuyDirect.com provides a huge range of lens and frame types and enables you customize virtually every aspect of your glasses. And they do it all at a killer price.

Read on for a review of my experience with EyeBuyDirect ‘blue cut’ lens glasses—and more importantly, the EyebuyDirect experience as a whole—during which Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head at nearly every conceivable corner.

Despite Murphy’s unwanted entry into my experience, EyeBuyDirect handled all the curve balls well, and cemented themselves solidly in my list as a recommended purveyor of eyewear in general and ‘gamer wear’ as well.

EyeBuyDirect and Blue Cut lenses

EyeBuyDirect’s ‘gaming’ or computer glasses are based upon their ‘blue cut’ lenses, which are designed to reduce Blue Light. According to the Review of Optometry Web site, Blue Light is a type of short wavelength Ultraviolet light found in numerous light sources, such as computer screens, LCDs, CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and LED light bulbs.

In addition, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, “Recent studies suggest that the blue end of the light spectrum may also contribute to retinal damage and possibly lead to AMD (Advanced Macular Degeneration.” Constant exposure to Blue Light from backlit screens (computers, tablets, cellphones, and televisions) and countless other sources is potentially dangerous to your eyes.

So the short of it is: Blue Light is generally kind of bad and it's probably in your face a lot. It can potentially wreak havoc on your eyes and contribute to numerous problems and discomfort.

So when EyeBuyDirect asked me to take some new glasses for a spin, I couldn’t refuse. And even though Murphy’s Law came into effect for virtually every stage of buying my glasses, EyeBuyDirect came through and delivered an excellent pair of glasses—at a cost significantly below what I paid at my (insurance-covered) local Optometrist’s office.

Confessions of an eyewear snob

Those of us in Washington State typically enjoy (at best) an intermittent affair with that glowy yellow orb in the sky. Thus we’re prone to buying cheap, inexpensive sunglasses because we know we’re likely to lose them in between our sunny excursions.

But on a fateful vacation to Maui one year, I managed to forget to pack a pair of sunglasses, and fell in love with a $300 pair of Maui Jim sunglasses—my first experience with high-quality lenses and eyewear that didn’t come from the rack at a drugstore or a carnival booth.

It was not a frivolous purchase. I fretted over it for a day or two before taking the plunge. But in the end, it opened my eyes (sorry) to the joys of high-quality eyewear: superior resolution and protection that provides a vastly superior experience to cheap sunglasses, many of which do little more than just stick dark glass (or plastic) in front of your eyes.

Eventually there came a day when I needed prescription glasses....

Enter the Gunnar(s)

In 2010 I purchased my first pair of glasses from Gunnar Optics at PAX Prime. I was skeptical of the idea of ‘gaming glasses’, but I was due for a new pair of prescription lenses, so I bought a pair of Rx Gunnars to try out. And I was quickly sold on the merits of Gunnar glasses. I wear yellow-tinted lenses almost exclusively; they truly make working (and playing) in front of screens for extended periods much easier on my eyes (especially in dark environments).

I’ve worn nothing but ‘Gunnar Style’ glasses since. But I haven’t worn actual Gunnar glasses for several years now. I never much cared for their frames and their frame selection is relatively limited. And most eyewear manufacturers can create custom lenses (complete with yellow tint) with the same essential features for about the same price as you’d pay for a pair of Gunnars.

Unfortunately, yellow-tinting is one of the few features EyeBuyDirect.com does not currently offer (although they offer other tints), but their ‘blue cut’ lenses and other options provide glasses that, at least form a functional perspective, are as good as anything you can get from Gunnar or anyone else.

EyeBuyDirect.com meets Murphy's Law

My experience with EyeBuyDirect was not as smooth as I'm sure it normally is, but if nothing else it serves to highlight their strengths in the face of adversity. Here is my tale...

I configure and order a pair of glasses
This was harder than it needed to be. I had to repeatedly step through the ‘configuration’ phase of ordering the glasses because not every frame and lens style is available with Blue Cut as an option. EyeBuyDirect has an enormous frame and lens selection, so shopping is actually kind of fun, but after I while I started to lament more robust filtering options to make searching easier.

During the process, I created an account and carefully entered and saved my prescription with my profile. You can also upload a picture of yourself if you want to virtually try on selected frames.

My saved Rx didn’t behave
Where I ran into problems is that my saved prescription wouldn’t automatically default when I repeatedly stepped through the process (probably because of using browser back and forward buttons, which reset selections). I frequently had to re-enter some numbers when I stepped back and forth through selecting frames, lenses, etc. looking for the magic combination. Eventually, I got it right—or so I thought—and ordered my first pair of glasses.

My glasses arrived with the wrong Rx
Glasses arrived complete with a (cheap) plastic hard case and lens cleaning cloth. I eagerly tried the glasses on, only to find my world strangely blurry. The Rx was incorrect. Somehow during the selection process (likely when I had to manually re-enter numbers that I had saved with the Rx as part of my EyeBuyDirect profile), one number got entered incorrectly and made the glasses unusable.

I contact EyeBuyDirect
I immediately contacted EyeBuyDirect via email (the same day that glasses arrived).

EyeBuyDirect responds like a boss
EyeBuyDirect quickly responds on the same day. Really? Who gets an email answer from customer service on the same day?! Well played, EyebuyDirect.

I send the glasses back
Before the day was done, I had sent the glasses back via FedEx and provided a copy of my Rx to EyeBuyDirect again so they could make new ones for me. I had to pay $5.95 to EyeBuyDirect for shipping on the new glasses, which you can pay via credit card, Paypal, etc.

My payment is lost
I paid through Paypal, but EyeBuyDirect couldn’t find the Paypal transaction. I provided them the Transaction number twice (via email), and they still couldn’t find it, even though PayPal confirmed the transaction. Eventually, after a day or two, EyeBuyDirect calls me, tells me about the problem, and I make a new transaction while still on the phone with them. The transaction is processed correctly and immediately (while I'm still on the phone with them).

New glasses arrive. Again.
About 2 weeks later, my new—and now correct—glasses arrive, and they are perfect. The frames are excellent and fit extremely well (as luck would have it, a little better than the glasses from my Optometrist actually). I've worn them ever since. I still wear my Gunnar style glasses as my primary pair (for the yellow tinting), but I love the EyeBuyDirect lenses too.

Perhaps more importantly, the overall cost on the glasses was about $60 (+ the extra $5.95 for shipping the replacement pair).

My regular glasses cost more than $140 out of pocket, even after insurance (Vision Service Plan) paid their part. Granted, the custom yellow tinting on my main glasses from my Optometrist's office costs about $75 of that $140; however, the EyeBuyDirect purchase cost was 100% ‘out of pocket’ and not covered by any insurance.

Overall

I’ve been wearing the Blue Cut lenses all week. I love the frames, and although they lack the yellow tint that I prefer, they are still a perfect pair of glasses—and perfect for times when I need a purer look at the colors on a screen (where my usual yellow tinted-lenses might interfere a bit).

If EyeBuyDirect ever offers yellow-tinting, I can just about guarantee all my future purchases for glasses would go through them. Regardless, they offer just about every other option you could want: Anti-Glare, Anti-UV, Anti-Reflective Coating, Polarized Lenses, Progressive Lenses, Transition Lenses, and more.

And I’m already waiting on and eagerly looking forward to a new pair of Transition style Rx sunglasses from them. If you like quality custom eyewear, you owe it to yourself to check them out.

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