Lensabl is one of those rare companies that has a unique pitch. How you feel about that pitch will sell you or lose you within seconds. It doesn’t sell glasses; it sells new lenses for your old glasses. It makes our list of the best eyeglasses online. However, if you're looking for new frames, opt for one of the other services on the list such as Felix and Iris or FramesDirect.
To us, the joy of a new pair of glasses is the new look you give to your face. It almost feels brave, a new look, a new you. Changing to new lenses feels like the retail equivalent of paying your taxes. Important, expensive and really, really boring.
But if you’ve forked out for a designer pair or special frames for sport, it might be wise to protect your investment by keeping your lenses current and sharp. The site is simple but effective, and some of the lenses are available at a decent discount.
The story of Lensabl is the story of every other start-up in the last 10 years. Two generically named guys thought: “Hey, isn’t there a better way to sell people X? A way that cuts out the middleman and pays for my holidays in the Caribbean?” Michael and Andy are so committed to replacement lenses that they bought the factory. Just for you.
Lensabl review: How it works
- Box sent to ship back
- Two weeks turnaround
Start date: 2016
Pricing starts: $77
Delivery time: 4-7 business days
Lensabl’s proposition is to take your old frames and fit brand, shiny new lenses into them. It sends you a box to ship your old glasses back. You order your lenses and two weeks later your glasses boomerang their way back to you.
There are a few frames available on the site, but the range is so basic it’s clear they’re an afterthought. You could buy your frames from the retailer of your choice (Amazon’s range runs the gamut from $10 imports to designer lovelies) but you’re doubling up on your effort.
Lensabl review: Wide range
- UV, scratch and shatter resistant as standard
- From $77
As you’d expect for a company specializing in lenses, Lensabl’s range is more extensive than general eyewear retailers, and they offer options we haven’t seen elsewhere.
Their basic lenses are plastic, come with UV, scratch and shatter resistance, and without adding any other whistles and bells come in at $77 shipped and fitted into your frames of choice.
If you’re in the market for progressives (we think we might be, as we type this with our glasses pushed up onto our head) the top-of-the-range lens costs around $400, a significant premium, but there are a couple of cheaper options along the way.
It’s not especially clear what the benefit of paying top dollar is, but it may be your eyes need ‘wider range, intermediate and reading corridors’.
Lensabl review: Site build and quality
- Minimal site
- Decent packaging
The packaging you send and receive your ‘new’ glasses in is nicely made and smart looking. The website’s similar - slick looking and solid, but kind of basic. It looks like it was nicely designed from a commercial template at a long weekend by someone’s clever niece. Their service is the main event here and they’re cutting back on the costs, possibly to pass on to you.
Should I choose Lensabl?
Lensabl is an oddity amongst the other online eyewear sellers. It isn’t competing with its rival to sell you frames, or even a whole pair of glasses.
If you’ve got very specific lens requirements, or already own your dream frames it’s well worth checking out Lensabl’s site. If you’re after the whole package, or you’re in a rush, better to look elsewhere.