We got a couple of reader requests to try out Lensabl, so here it is: our Lensabl review for 2021 based on my experiences and research so far.
First off… what is Lensabl?
Lensabl is an online prescription lens replacement service first founded in 2015 by Andrew Bilinsky and Michael Rahimzadeh, based in Los Angeles and currently with less than 50 employees. It works like this:
- There comes a day when you want to replace your prescription lens (either they are damaged, dirty or for whatever other reason). You order new lens on the Lensabl website and enter all the characteristics of your current lens and what you want the lens you order to have. You’ll select things like whether they’re prescription or reading lenses, the prescription type (if any), the lens type (clear, blue light blocking, sunglasses etc), the lens options (if you want CR39 lens, polycarbonate lens, trivex lens and so on), any upgrades, your prescription and any comments.
- Once you order, Lensabl will ship you a pre-paid box for you to put your old lens in and ship to them (there are no postage fees you pay).
- Once Lensabl’s office receives your old lens, they’ll get to work replacing your lens and after a few days they’ll be done. They’ll then ship them to you, and you can expect to receive your new glasses within 2 weeks of placing an order.
If you would like frames to go along with your lenses, frames are also available to buy at Lensabl, otherwise you can buy frames anywhere else and send them in to Lensabl with an order just for new lens. Then Lensabl will fit your new replacement lens they make for you into your existing frames.
Should I go with Lensabl to replace my lens?
Let’s take a look at some of the claims made by Lensabl and the facts behind the product and company…
First, the main selling point of Lensabl is that its price is claimed to be much cheaper than buying retail and going to the store (image from lensabl.com/why-lensabl):
There are a couple of things to note here. First, Lensabl’s price of $77 they use as an example here is the bare-bones price for a new lens, and you’ll very easily go over that depending on the options you pick. In fact, you could easily spend several times $77 and up to (or even more than) $299 with Lensabl. Some examples of different prices that Lensabl charges (as of March 2020):
- “Standard progressive lens” (Essilor lenses) will cost you $177
- “Premium progressive lens” (Shamir Autograph II lenses) will cost $327
- Bifocal lens cost $127
- Transition lenses cost $147
Also, I’m not entirely sure where Lensabl gets the $299 figure from here. The cost for replacement lens will vary a ton depending on the area you live in, the store you go to and of course the options you’re getting.
If you’re sensitive to price like most people, I do recommend taking a look at your local glasses store and comparing the price there with what Lensabl will charge you, or taking a look at some other online lens-replacement services that work the same way as Lensabl (see the list I put together of Lensable alternatives below). Despite Lensabl claiming that they can offer lower prices by cutting out retail, they do still have significant costs (postage, raw materials, labor costs, a lab in Los Angeles etc) and it’s not guaranteed they’ll be the cheapest replacement lens provider out of all the options out there.
But beyond the price, hows the actual service and product quality of Lensabl?
You’ll get a lot of conflicting viewpoints on Lensabl’s service. Some say it’s terrible, complaining that there’s no phone number (only email and chat – personally I don’t mind that as that’s my preferred method of contact), and that Lensabl’s customer service agents are rude and incompetent. The majority of Lensabl reviews, however, speak positively of its customer service. My own experience is that Lensabl provides good customer service, based on my (admittedly limited) interaction with them.
How are the quality of the lens you get from Lensabl? Are these good lenses?
Like with Lensabl’s service, there are conflicting views on the quality of their product. Personally, I can confirm their single vision lenses are of great quality: the quality of these is definitely at least as good as my local eyewear store. However, I can’t comment on all the other lenses they offer, nor on the consistency of their products.
The skew of ratings for Lensabl on SiteJabber gives an indication of how the feedback is on Lensabl — most people love it, but there are some people that hate it:
Complaints against Lensabl include the following (I did not experience any of these myself, but am just reciting what I have read from others):
- Poor quality of frames and lenses
- Orders never arriving
- Getting orders wrong
- Bad customer service, as mentioned earlier
However, don’t let these scare you too much — the fact remains that most people have a positive experience.
Lensabl is certainly not the only online-based lens replacement service where you can order the lens you want on their website, you post them your existing lens and then they get to work making your new lens and ship them to you. Here are a few others, which you can take a look over if you’re interested in shopping around. I may try ordering from some of these companies in the future and do a writeup on them, if I have the time:
- lensesrx.com (starting at just $25)
- eyeglasses.com (see eyeglasses.com/replacement-lenses.html) (starting at $49)
- replacealens.com (starting at $39)
- replacementlensexpress.com (starting at $25)
- lensfactory.com (starting at $59)
What about Lensabl coupon and promo codes?
These are the coupon codes we found for Lensabl. You can try out any of these (we do not guarantee all or any of them will work at the time you try them):
- HAPPY30 (30% off 3 pairs of lenses)
- BUNDLE25 (25% off when you order both frames and lenses)
- LENS15 (15% off your first order)
- DEALSPOT20 (20% off your first order)
To use these coupon codes, go to this page on the Lensabl website and you’ll have the option to enter a coupon code when you order.
My overall verdict on Lensabl
Lensabl is well worth trying! Sure, some people have had a bad experience, but overall, it’s clearly a reputable company that most people are satisfied with.