Product review: Sunglasses from online retailer Firmoo
Disclaimer: Several weeks ago, I received an e-mail inviting me to test out some glasses from Firmoo, an online retailer that sells regular glasses and sunglasses (prescription or non-prescription). I agreed to take part in their blogger deal, which offered me a free set of glasses in return for a blog post about the product. The following is an honest review of the glasses and service I received.
I’ve worn glasses since I was younger, probably in the range of fifth or sixth grade. My first set of glasses were awful. It was the normal pair that many kids had back then — thicker plastic and too big for one’s face.
Over time, I started to realize that glasses could be sleeker, thinner and be a little more stylish.
Though not a beacon of fashion by any means, I think I’ve always found glasses that fit me decently well.
However, over time, one thing that always bugged me was the lack of being able to have sunglasses. I disliked the lenses that switched automatically and I wouldn’t wear the flip covers.
So, I did the next best thing — I got contacts.
The problem with contacts, at least with me, is my eyes often got irritated if they were in too long. Having them in “too long” is subjective to an individual, however. There were times where four hours was too much for me. So, being in the middle of travels somewhere, if my eyes started going nuts, I needed to get the contacts out.
Still, contacts allowed me to wear sunglasses and I always dealt with the dry or irritated eyes. I had a sweet pair of Oakley sunglasses, too. Many of you likely know how expensive a pair of sunglasses like that cost. I had them for more than 10 years until I stupidly left them on the console between the seats in the front of my car. I got in one day, elbowed them and, basically, destroyed them.
And I wasn’t about to pay for a new set of those — at least at this point.
I realized, at some point, if I was going to wear sunglasses again, I had two choices — get a new pair and new contacts, or get Lasik surgery.
Then came along this interesting e-mail from Firmoo, offering the chance to get a set of glasses. After perusing the website to see if I wanted to participate, I noticed they had prescription sunglasses. My contact told me that I could go in that direction for the sample if I wanted. At that point, I figured it was a worthy risk in regard to testing these glasses.
Let’s take a peek at several things in regard to Firmoo.
Firmoo’s website calls itself a global online optical store. It’s an easy site to navigate and there are numerous options. One can search men’s and women’s designs, by shape, by top frames etc.
You can also search by price.
One thing that’s a big selling point about Firmoo is its prices. There are glasses as low as $8 — which includes frames and lenses. Now, don’t expect to get top-line designers at that price. And many of the cheaper ones are just that — cheaper frames that would be good in a pinch or, maybe as non-prescription glasses/sunglasses.
Many of the more “fashionable” frames are a bit pricier, but still not high enough to break the bank. Some were in the $40-$60 range, but that includes everything. Not many traditional places could come close to offering that.
As for the selection, there’s a wide selection for most tastes. I’m not one who is into fashionable frames and I tend to be a little more conservative when selecting frames — especially normal glasses. But even I found a couple of frames I could live with.
Finally, there’s a spot on the site where you can see the glasses on certain shape faces. You can even upload your own photo to see what the frames might look like on your face.
With that out of the way, it’s time for a bit of a review.
My glasses — before getting them
All correspondence I had with the company for this whole process was excellent. I got answers as needed and was told exactly how it should run. Things seemed to take a little longer with me than with other bloggers, at least ones who I had seen review the company. Possibly that’s because I got prescription sunglasses, but in the end it still wasn’t bad.
I had to get my prescription from my eye doctor to be able to send in to the company, as well as other items I didn’t even know were on an actual prescription. That was easy enough.
Then I had to choose the frame.
Of course, as I did this, I had questions. One thing that I think is important to note is the lenses are plastic, not glass. I don’t know if that bothers anybody, but I hadn’t had plastic lenses since my first set of glasses. I like glass lenses and I was skeptical about plastic. I’m still not sure I’d get regular glasses with plastic lenses, but I figured for sunglasses and for free … what the heck.
I finally settled on the frame and everything else I needed to do and sent the paperwork in to the company.
Note: I can’t comment on the customer service through the regular site as I dealt with the people doing the blogger part. In reading Firmoo’s Facebook page, it seems overwhelmingly supportive of their service, despite a few negative views. In all, the company appears like it does a solid job.
It took a while for me to get my glasses, however. I was told prescription sunglasses take a bit longer. I will say that if I had paid for my glasses and they took this long, I might be a little upset. After all, I’ve seen people get prescription sunglasses at a normal eye place in a week or so. I sent my paperwork in on Aug. 31 and finally received my glasses Sept. 21. That’s a big gap.
One thing to note — my glasses came from China. While it’s true that many glasses you get even at a traditional eye store will come from overseas, I feel this is extremely important to point out. The glasses shipped from Nanjing and arrived in the U.S. a few days later. They arrived via EMS global delivery. The packing was decent and everything was in good shape when I opened the package.
Now about the glasses…
I’ll admit I was worried when I went through with this. I expected the glasses to be cheap and put together bad. In the end, I got a solid pair of sunglasses that matched my prescription. The lenses are solid and really work well. My lenses are slightly a blue, so colors seem to burst a bit more, which I like.
Once I got the glasses to fit comfortably (see below), I’ve found I have no issue with them.
The lenses are pretty solid for being plastic. Everything is clear and crisp. I wouldn’t have any problems wearing these in most situations and I am hoping to test them out in different scenarios — such as playing disc golf — soon.
Outside of my Oakleys, these are probably the best pair of sunglasses I’ve owned. And I like that they are prescription. No more contacts needed to wear a good pair of shades.
One thing about ordering online is not having somebody actually fit the glasses to you. Therefore, I needed to figure out how to stretch the arm (sides) of the glasses a little as they were tight to my temple. For those of you who know what that does — ouch! I had a bit of a headache. I did figure that out eventually, though, and they now fit better.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve never worn prescription sunglasses, but it took a day or two for my eyes to adjust to these glasses. Looking ahead was fine, but as I peeked to the sides, it was odd. My eyes seem to fight with the prescription to focus well enough. I was worried it would never fix and this would be a waste. Alas, after a day of fully wearing them on a hike, it seemed to work out decently well and I’ve gotten used to them.
This may be nit-picking, too, but I’ve noticed that a few of the screws on each side of the glasses are opposite from each other. In other words, on one side, the screw is head’s up and on the other side, the head is on the bottom. Kind of odd, but noteworthy.
Finally, and this is just something I’ve noticed — it’s really annoying to switch from glasses to sunglasses. If you have prescription sunglasses and are going to be out and about and have to go in and out of places, you’ll likely have to change back and forth. That can be annoying, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll just leave my sunglasses in the car and if I need to switch out, my glasses are there.
Despite a few negatives (nothing major), I’ve really enjoyed this experience. I received a solid pair of prescription sunglasses and will definitely consider Firmoo if I need any sort of eye wear in the future.
Another note — for those of you interested, Firmoo offers first-time buyers a free pair of glasses. (Though the system is down until Oct. 7, according to the website). The only catch is having the pay shipping.
I’ll be interested to see how Firmoo continues down the road. For people who like to have several different styles of glasses, or glasses stashed in different places, the prices are hard to beat. Though many people will stick to the traditional route, if you’re looking for extra specs, Firmoo may be the way to go.
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