Good Question: Having trouble buying glasses online?

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — It’s time to answer a good question about shopping. This isn’t about buying stuff you want but something that 165 million adults need just to get through each day: Glasses.

Claudia says:

  • “Why can’t New Yorkers get prescription-strength reading glasses from places like HSN, QVC, and Amazon? It really irks me! Why should I have to pay high prices for a prescription readers at the eye doctors? Not only do we pay the highest taxes in the country but we can’t even get a good deal on readers!”

Claudia can’t be the only person asking the same good question buying glasses isn’t cheap.

The Vision Council, a non-profit focused on eyewear and eyecare, says the average customer spends $126 dollars on frames, with nearly half spending somewhere between 100 to 150 bucks for glasses.

Why can’t you take advantage of any deals online and have them shipped to your house?

New York State law is why. The exact rules are posted here. The Vision Council told me:

  • "Regulations for readers vary state by state and New York prohibits the over-the-counter sale of readers if they exceed 2.75 diopters (how we measure the power of a lens).” They added, “most optical retailers have product offerings at multiple price points."

New York is in the minority when it comes to this. Most states don’t have any restrictions on buying over-the-counter glasses.

But here under the current law, if you need more powerful readers, you have to go the more traditional prescription route which yes, in turn, could cost you more.