This site was created for those looking to buy glasses online, with a focus on cheap glasses (discount retailers). It was basically created over a decade ago (back in 2006) to help save some money, and has been updated periodically since then.
I put together a list of all the online retailers I could find, dug up whatever information I could about them, and packed it all into information pages. In a number of cases, I also bought glasses from retailers, documented the experiences, took some pictures, and put up reviews. A number of readers have submitted reviews over the years too, and they can be found on the site as well.
I'll keep this pretty short: This site used to be broken down into information, review, and reader-submitted review sections for each retailer. Unfortunately as the site grew, it made for an awful lot of pages to browse through (and a really massive menu). Thus, to make browsing a little more manageable, all the little sections about "Retailer X" have been merged into a single "Retailer X" page. If you're interested in a certain retailer you now only have to find their page from the menu and you'll get everything about them all in one place.
If interested in a particular retailer, select them from the menu. Otherwise, you can use the Prev and Next links below (and on each page) to browse through 1-by-1.
Note: It is important to keep in mind that the table below is not a good apples-to-apples comparison. It's been added due to requests, but here are a few reasons why you should not rely on it:
- The total price is a little "ballpark". It uses a price point where a healthy number of frames exist. But you might find frames for less money, or might have to spend more to find something you like.
- Retailers all carry multiple lens "indexes" (thicknesses) at various price points. I have only listed the "bottom end" (thickest, and cheapest) indexes that each offers.
- Shipping is based on the US-shipping. Some retailers charge the same for international shipping, and some charge more.
- These do not take into account the ease-of-use of the site, retailer's reputation, the quality of the lenses/coatings, etc. You'll have to read reviews for those, though I have provided links to the reviews on the site on the right-hand columns to make it a little easier.
- The table doesn’t list varifocal/progressives. Or total frame offerings. Or a number of other lens options. I didn't want the table to get too massive just yet, and just wanted to provide ballpark at-a-glance figures.
Again, I urge you not to rely solely on the chart to make your purchase decisions! Read up on the retailers, check a few out, and make a well-informed decision!
If people are finding the chart helpful, I may eventually expand on it. If not, it might disappear at some point in the future, as some retailers change their offerings/prices frequently and it's really tough for me to keep on top of things. Send me a message if you have strong feelings one way or the other.
|retailer||BBB rating||Total (incl shipping) for cheapest single-vision glasses||Total (incl shipping) for cheapest bi-focal glasses||UV & AR coatings||Notes:||Info & Reviews||Retailer Site|
|39 Dollar Glasses||A+||$44 (1.59 index)||$94 (1.59 index)||free / $25||Base lenses are polycarbonate (virtually shatterproof). Most new-user friendly eyeglass retailer on the web.||see details||visit retailer|
|Goggles4u||A+||$17 (1.57 index)||$35 (1.56 index)||free / $5||Carries over 3000 frames. A few designer brands available. Historically known for interesting "cloth bag" envelopes which were always a conversation starter.||see details||visit retailer|
|GlassesUSA||F||$48 (1.50 index)||$137 (1.50 index)||$29 (UV & AR)||Carries medium selection of designer brands||see details||visit retailer|
|EyeBuyDirect||F||$13 (1.50 index)||$32 (1.50 index)||$5 / $7||Runs frequent 2-for-1 sales (appears to have pioneered the concept).||see details||visit retailer|
|Zenni Optical||A+||$12 (1.57 index)||$29 (1.50 index)||free / $5||Most popular discount eyeglass retailer on the web.||see details||visit retailer|
|GlassesShop||unavailable||$20 (1.50 index)||$40 (1.50 index)||$5 / $5||Runs frequent 2-for-1 sales.||see details||visit retailer|
|Frames Direct||A-||approx $195||approx $225||$15 / $45||Only carries high end name brand designer frames (largest selection of any retailer). Most popular name-brand retailer on the web. Since all designer frames vary in price, the listed total is based upon $150 frames.||see details||visit retailer|
|Optical4less||unavailable||$37 (1.56 index)||$100 (1.56 index)||free / free||Carries indexes up to 1.9. Was previously known for excellent lens craftsmanship especially with complex prescriptions, though there are rumours that may have changed.||see details||visit retailer|
|Coastal||B+||$62 (1.59 index)||$113 (1.58 index)||free / free||Price includes 7% handling fee. Carries a selection of name-brand designer wear as well. Has ongoing "first pair free" promotion (appears to have pionnered the concept).||see details||visit retailer|
|Global Eyeglasses||F||$25 (1.50 index)||$44 (1.50 index)||$5 / $10||Growing somewhat in popularity over time.||see details||visit retailer|
|SelectSpecs||F||$24 (1.56 index)||$51 (1.50 index)||free / free||Based in UK, has US/Can/Germany offices. Quite popular.||see details||visit retailer|
|Eyeglass Direct||B+||$33 (1.50 index)||$74 (1.50 index)||free / $28||Has local storefront in Brooklyn NY and offers "pickup" as shipping option.||see details||visit retailer|
|Great Eyeglasses||A||$18 (1.56 index)||$39 (1.56 index)||free / $10||Site has a retro "60's" theme (bit of a must-see in my opinion).||see details||visit retailer|
|Choice Eyewear||F||$20 (1.56 index)||$40 (1.56 index)||free / $5||Formerly known as LBW Eyewear.||see details||visit retailer|
|MyGlasses||unavailable||$34 (1.50 index)||$46 (1.50 index)||free / $22||see details||visit retailer|
|Eyeglass Factory Outlet||F||$40 (1.50 index)||$55 (1.50 index)||free / $40||Used to run an eBay storefront as well.||see details||visit retailer|
|SpecsOnTheNet||unavailable||$41 (1.50 index)||$79 (1.50 index)||free / $16||Based in UK, only 17 frames available.||see details||---|
If you notice errors, please send me a quick email via the "Contacting Me" page.
FAQ (For Readers)
I've received a large number of questions from readers over the years, so here is a page dedicated to (hopefully) answering your questions:
1. Who are you? And tell me a little about the site.
I started the site back in January of 2006. I was a regular guy looking for glasses, and wasn't willing to pay the $160 that Wal-Mart (the cheapest place locally) wanted for their cheapest frames and cheapest lenses at the time. I took my search online, but retailers were hard to find and finding information about them was even tougher. I couldn't tell whether they were legitimate or whether they were scams. After many hours of research, I had a lot of compiled information so I decided to put a few pages online with the information I'd gathered. As the only resource of it's kind, the pages immediately started getting a lot of traffic, so I decided to expand on them. Before long, Eyeglass Retailer Reviews was born.
One of the strengths of the site (in my opinion) is that I've managed to keep things pretty unbiased. Unlike most of the large review sites out there, a retailer can't hire a marketing company to fill EGRR with fake reviews. This site actually used to have forums, but someone started attempting to post some fake positive reviews there so I scrapped the whole concept rather than risk exposing people to tainted information. Of course, the down side to "insulating" EGRR the way I have since then is that most of the information here comes from me – and who's to say I can be trusted? That said, I do try to keep a balanced approach and always aim to look at retailers from a typical customer point of view... usually as the guy from 2006 who was looking to buy glasses online and was having trouble.
2. I like my frames but need new lenses because I broke my lenses, got a new prescription, or <insert other reason here>. Where can I get this done?
This surprised me as being one of the most common questions. I've had input from a number of readers who had a lot of success with an online outfit called ReplaceALens.com . They're BBB-accreddited with an A+ rating. Note that I have not used them myself so can't vouch for them personally, but they’ve been around for quite some time and I've yet to hear a complaint. Their site used to be very simple with a mail-order form, but it's really improved over the years.
If that doesn't tickle your fancy, SelectSpecs.com was one of the first retailers to contact me years back mentioning that they added a "reglazing" (re-lensing) service. They are located in the UK though. For someone looking for something in the US, 39DollarGlasses.com is another possibility.
That said, quite a few retailers do offer that service now. If you've ordered from a retailer that you were really happy with in the past, it might be worth sending them an email and asking them if they'll re-lens your old frame. Even if they don't advertise it, quite a few will.
Do keep in mind that because your frames are going to make TWO trips through the mail this way, there's a fair bit of added risk. Stuff does get lost/damaged in the mail. Asking about additional postal insurance might be a good idea. If your current frames are extremely valuable, this is a situation where you may want to eat the extra cost and have it done locally. Otherwise, be sure to package them incredibly well and take every precaution you can.
3. Which retailer should I buy from?
This is also quite frequent. I really avoid making specific recommendations when possible because I'd feel pretty bad if I said "oh, this retailer is perfect for you!" and then you ended up having a bad experience.
The truth is, you should usually pick whoever you're most comfortable ordering from. If you're not sure, do more research. Google/Bing the retailers you're interested in to find input from others, try posting on forums (slickdeals, redflagdeals, etc), if the retailer has a contact form make use of it to ask questions, and just keep going until you're sure.
If by the end you don't feel comfortable with any retailers, I strongly suggest you just skip the online stuff until next time. There's no shame in buying in a local store – sure it's more expensive (though online prices have driven local prices significantly since 2006), but sometimes you can't put a price on peace-of-mind.
4. I've never bought glasses before and just got my first prescription. Suggestions..?
If you've never worn glasses (or contact lenses) before, I really suggest getting your first pair locally. The big reason is that if something is horribly wrong with your prescription... you might not know. In a local store, they usually handhold you, show you how to clean your glasses, adjust them for you, make sure everything seems correct, and all that wonderful stuff. You just can't get that level of hands-on service online.
That said, I do realize that many people are on a budget, and their only choice is online. Triple-check that you entered your prescription in that case, and if you have any issues, be sure to contact the retailer. If something doesn't "look" right in terms of vision, make sure you visit your optometrist with the new glasses in hand.
5. I had a really bad experience with a retailer. What should I do?
Start by shooting me a quick email (email@example.com) if possible and let me know what happened.
Next, contact the retailer – give them an opportunity to resolve it. Make multiple attempts to contact them if necessary, and document all your attempts to contact them (date, time, method of communication).
If that fails, try contacting the BBB – you can use their online complaint form if you'd like. Be sure to pass them as much information as possible, including the stuff you documented above. Note that not every retailer responds to BBB complaints, but many retailers do. If they don't, it's usually a knock against their BBB rating and I do list that here.
If all else fails, you can try contacting your credit card company and inquiring about the possibility of a "charge back". This should usually be a last resort, and should only be used if you're 100% sure the retailer was in-the-wrong and when you have exhausted all other possible options. I strongly suggest that you ask the credit card company about possible ramifications of going this route. Legally, you probably have to (or morally, should) return any items if you go this route, and there could be other legal ramifications. Again, last resort.
Send me a follow-up email later if possible, letting me how things turned out in the end.
6. What is the "hot water test"?
When EGRR was in it's infancy, I received some really weird complaints about coatings "cracking". This wasn't a frequent complaint, but it led me to do some further investigation as it seemed to revolve around certain retailers which had me wondering if their coatings were somehow different. What I found was that the cracking was correlated to higher temperatures – glasses that had been left in a hot car, were exposed to steam, were placed in hot water, etc.
I personally had become accustomed to cleaning my lenses in warm water with a little bit of dish soap, and had avoided using hot water because temperature extremes are rarely good for anything.
However since EGRR had become something of a public service, I figured I may as well start testing with hot water. Beyond the aspect of it being beneficial information for readers, I also wanted to avoid the situation where retailers start using poorer coatings to cut costs. After all, why would a retailer use a more expensive coating if nobody notices it?
So the test is essentially running the glasses under hot water (roughly in the 60-70C range) for a few seconds, and then carefully examining the lenses for signs of the coating cracking. It's a painfully simple test, but it's the only real obvious indicator I have when it comes to durability which I tend to correlate with quality. Note that just because a coating doesn't crack, it doesn't meant that it's the highest-caliber coating out there! It just means it didn't crack under hot water. Maybe it's poor in other areas – but I don't have access to a lab and neither does Joe Consumer, so the hot water test is the test.
As a reminder, you should not try this test at home. If the lenses fail the test, they are unusable. And it's within the realm of possibility that even though my glasses from Retailer_A passed, your glasses from Retailer_A somehow came out differently. It's not the end of the world when they crack for me because most of the glasses I buy are for the sole purpose of reviewing, and their destiny is to sit on a shelf when I'm finished with them. Chances are you probably wanted to actually wear your glasses for months/years, so don't go running them through tests that might wreck them.
7. I contacted you but you didn’t reply!
It's not uncommon for me to get over 100 email messages some days. You can be pretty certain I read the email, but I may not have had time to respond, and it probably just got pushed down.
If you requested a response and didn't hear back from me, send me a reminder email in a couple days.
8. How does the site pay for itself or make money?
There are ads throughout the site!
9. I'm writing a paper/article, and was wondering if you could answer <insert questions here>.
Sure! I'm usually pretty open to these types of requests. Because responses for these tend to be a little more lengthy, it tends to take me a few days to get back to people on these. If you haven't heard back with a week though, be sure to send me a reminder email.
10. What happened to ContactLensRetailerReviews?
Not long after starting it, I realized it's value as a review site was somewhat low. The retailers all sell the same products and primarily compete on price, so purchase reviews would be pretty pointless aside from shipping and customer service stuff. The biggest value I saw it having was that it mentioned when multiple retailers all appeared to be owned by the same parent company, and it exposed what I consider to be a shady practice of tacking on an arbitrary "handling" fee during checkout.
Anyway, if you're really interested in seeing it again, I merged all the pages of that site into one massive long page at eyeglassretailerreviews.com/contact-lens/. Aside from a few tweaks to the layout, all the info is pretty much the same as it was when I took the site down.
11. I have another question!
Please send along an email to firstname.lastname@example.org !
FAQ (For Retailers)
A number of retailers have contacted me over the years. On the other hand, I've noticed that some have read the site (often making changes based on my criticism), but in many cases haven't responded, possibly because I come off as rather aggressive/vicious at times. But here we go anyway!
1. I'd like to advertise site-wide on EGRR.
I'll list this first because it's the most common.
I don't do site-wide advertisements, as I try to keep the site as unbiased as possible. Putting your banner site-wide might make some readers believe I am endorsing you. Beyond that, if I allowed it for you, I'd have to allow it for everyone else. And some of the retailers have massive buying power so unless you're one of those 3-4, chances are you'd be permanently outbid rather quickly (in other words, if you somehow convinced me, it would almost certainly come back to bite you!).
I do have Adsense running on most pages, and you're free (as is everyone) to target a site-wide campaign that way.
2. You have inaccurate info about our site, we've made updates, we don't believe you were fair, etc.
Outdated info happens pretty often, particularly with retailers who make frequent changes. If you update your site, especially if it was in response to criticism I listed, please let me know. Pricing changes, BBB rating changes, etc do happen over time as well and I update these infrequently since they're very time consuming to check for each retailer, so if you notice something wrong, toss me a quick email, ideally with the correct information attached when possible (i.e. "you listed basic lenses as $19 but they’re now $15 – all frame prices went up by $3 – other prices are unchanged").
If your site offers certain features I didn't mention that you believe are unique/compelling, especially if it's something you think is really positive that other retailers do not offer, it's very possible that I simply missed it. That said, it has to be something that I think would be valuable to customers – something like "if someone refers 10 friends they get a free pair" will not impress me. Something like "our virtual try-on now calculates someone’s PD automatically through some crazy algorithm" probably will.
In terms of being unfair, I'm the first to admit that sometimes I'll go a little over the top with criticism (on numerous occasions I've gone back and edited some of the rants I've gone into when something about a site set me off). Contact me and I'll take another look. This goes double if you notice that another retailer had the same flaw and that I didn't mention it (or if I gave another retailer credit for something and didn't mention it for your site).
Do keep in mind that I try to approach most sites from the perspective of a regular consumer. In particular, anything that might cause somebody to make a mistake when attempting to order or cause a large amount of frustration is probably going to be picked on severely. Certain things drive me up the wall too – bait-and-switch style items, or anything consumer-unfriendly in particular. When it comes to positives, standard features are often hit-and-miss with me – mentioning how to take a PD, virtual try-ons, and other things that most retailers now have don't always get mentioned, unless there's something compelling about the way you've implemented a particular feature.
Finally, my observations are largely based on my opinion, so take them with a grain of salt. If I said your theme is tacky but you love it (and your customers love it too), don't go changing it just to appease me. I'll usually find at least something negative about each site regardless, so don't fixate too heavily on anything I've said unless it's something you feel I'm correct about.
3. What determines the order that retailers are listed in?
The order is determined based on a variety of factors. First, I generally try to list the most reputable, established retailers towards the upper half, and others towards the lower half. The notion here is that I want to send the guy who clicks on the first retailer he sees to one of the lowest-risk retailers possible. On the other hand, the viewers who read all the pages can probably make an informed decision.
As for the order within the first half or so, generally retailers with a high BBB rating, low complaint rate (particularly through this site), and higher volume (as well as I can gauge it, anyway) are listed first. These tend to be the most popular retailers and are usually "safe" bets for the type of visitor who jumps on the first retailer they see that looks like it might fit their needs. Affiliate programs are weighted in here as well.
There are some exceptions. I try to maintain a relative mix of retailers in the upper bunch – something for people looking for the lowest price, something for newcomers, something for those looking for cheaper designer frames, etc., so some retailers end up being a little inflated/deflated in the list to meet the desired mix. And sometimes I'll put a retailer higher/lower than normal to see what affect it has on site traffic, etc.
4. I'd like you to review our glasses. Can I send you a free sample / coupon code / etc?
Unfortunately, I can't go this route. There's no way to guarantee that the glasses I'd get wouldn't receive special treatment. I need to place the orders myself, somewhat anonymously. If you're getting a little frustrated that it's been years and I haven't ordered from you yet, you can send me reminder emails every once in a while and I might get to yours sooner rather than later.
5. I have a coupon code or special for your readers. Will you list it?
If you can provide a perpetual coupon code (no expiry), or one with a very long expiry, send it along. Beyond that, sometimes I'll list codes that last at least a month, but even those are getting more infrequent because they're a hassle to maintain. It's rare that I'll list specials anymore unless they're an incredibly good deal for consumers.
If you go the coupon route, generic site-wide coupons are fine (20% off all frames, $10 off purchases over $50, etc). Don't send coupons/specials that are insanely specific ("20% off a selection of our plastic frames"), as they only apply to a limited audience.
6. How do I get a banner for my site listed on my info/review page instead of an Adsense ad?
It used to be that I'd run affiliate banners on each retailer's page, but I've dropped the affiliate ads for the time being and don't know if/when they'll be returning. You can try targeting an adsense ad at specific pages.
7. I just started a new online glasses store. Will you list my site?
If you send it along, I'll take a quick look at it and list it on the "Other Retailers" page in the short-medium term. If you want feedback, just ask and I'll provide that too. Generally, it won't get it's own page for a year or so, simply because new sites tend to be more risky. Becoming BBB accredited, joining affiliate programs, etc will often get you listed a little more quickly (both those examples have a vetting process that not every new site will pass), but don't do either simply for the sake of getting a dedicated page more quickly on EGRR.
8. I'm planning to start my own glasses shop. Any tips?
First of all, keep in mind that it's an incredibly competitive market, and that the market is still very saturated. There was a massive boom from 2006 until around 2008-2010, and the current climate is very hard to survive in. If you already have a successful local glasses business to fall back on and are simply expanding to the online area, you might be able to survive. If you're starting from scratch, you probably won't survive the year without a lot of capital.
Here's part of an email I sent to a writer when discussing the industry a couple years ago, which still largely holds true today:
You'd have to be crazy (or incredibly passionate) to start up a new online retail today without a fully-featured easy-to-use site, rock-bottom prices, fast customer service, BBB-accreditation, and an affiliate program through one of the major programs to get others advertising for you. And that's a lot of money to put out before you've even sold a single pair. And even then, you might fail.
Assuming you're still planning to go ahead, you're going to have to determine your target market – it's been my observation that the retailers that try to target multiple areas (every price point for example) tend to fail quickly, and even the well established retailers tend to stick to a certain part of the market. Ideally, you should find something that makes you unique – something that you can bring to the table that nobody else does. After all, if there's nothing unique about you, why would anyone buy from you instead of from a more established retailer?
Your website can be one of the more challenging and expensive aspects. Bolting a shopping cart onto WordPress isn't going to cut it. You usually need to hire both a developer and a designer. To be clear, a developer handles the "programming" end of things. They make sure your buttons, option boxes, fancy mouseover effects, try-on feature, etc work. They also ensure that your shopping cart connects correctly to the rest of your site, that your security certificate works, that your site is quick and responsive, etc. A "designer" is essentially an artist. They design the look of everything on your site, and work with the developer to make sure it's implemented perfectly, and that the whole site is visually cohesive and attractive. It is rare to find someone who excels at both, but both are crucial.
Keeping customers happy is going to be critical. Angry customers are quick to post negative reviews. Happy customers are largely silent unless you've gone so above-and-beyond that you've made their day. And you'll probably have to budget for the "irrational" customer who might not be appeased until you've refunded their money, paid for return shipping, and sent them a free credit, all because they made a mistake when entering their prescription.
All that said, if you're intent on setting up shop, I wish you the best of luck and you're best not to let my comments discourage you. Definitely let me know about your new site so that you at least get the listing on the "Other Retailers" page (which will hopefully get you some traffic) and so that I have you in mind for your own page in the future.
9. I contacted you but you didn't get back to me!
You guys have always been a balancing act for me. On one hand, I try to keep retailers at arms-length to an extent. It's nothing personal, but I try to stay unbiased and approach things from a consumer point of view and that's a little tougher if we get too chummy.
On the other hand, feedback from you guys is often helpful. You're the quickest to notice mistakes I've made regarding your site, and it's always helpful when there's been an issue I’ve mentioned and you've contacted me mentioning that you're working on resolving it.
If you don't receive a reply, usually it's just that I've been busy (some days I see over 100 emails, and anything I can't respond to immediately tends to get buried). Sending a reminder every few days can help.
There are times when I’m just doing the arms-length thing. If you mentioned an error and notice it's been corrected within a few days but didn't hear back, that's probably the situation. Unless you really need a follow-up, it's probably best to just leave things be until you need to contact me again with something.
I tend to keep marketing agencies in particular at a distance. Many of them are used to publishers who are willing to do any extra promotion (site-wide banners, front-page mentions, etc) for incentives, or will aggressively "push" your site, neither of which I can do for obvious reasons. There have been enough frustrating conversations here (for both sides) that I'll often only reply to emails that don't mention promotion and instead are asking about expired codes/banners, issues with a write-up, casual questions, etc.
10. The BBB rating isn't fair. They're a bunch of crooks!
I know that there have been some alleged shenanigans there in the past and that it seems to be extremely challenging to maintain a high rating for those who haven't paid the fees to be accredited. But it's also much harder to astroturf than the online alternatives, and it does give customers an outlet to help get matters resolved. In short, it's the best option I have for consumers right now.
Your best bet is to make sure the BBB always has your current contact info, and to ensure that you reply to any complaints swiftly. If logistically possible, I'd strongly recommend that you send follow-up customer satisfaction emails to customers after purchases so that if they have an issue, they'll be more likely to bring it to your attention and hopefully you can resolve it without the need for escalation. Done well, you can get customers to mention even minor issues that they would have normally ignored, and you can often address those for future customers.
In the end though, if you feel that your BBB rating is unfair, feel free to contact me with the details (minus any personally identifiable customer info) – if I find indications that the BBB is behaving maliciously, I'm willing to look at other possible alternatives.
There's something else I wanted to know!
I can be contacted at email@example.com.
Questions? Comments? Bought glasses recently? Send me a message! I'm always interested in hearing about ways to improve the site (what's helped you, what hasn't, etc). Letting me know how your own experience went helps me to identify retailer trends, and helps me to see if my own reviews are reflecting the experiences others are having in addition to indicating whether there are aspects I should be paying more attention to in the reviews for the site.
If you want to get a hold of me, you can send me an email at:
Submitting a review:
Have you purchased from a retailer and would like to have your review shared on this site to help others? Simply send me an email with the details & pictures!
A few notes about your review:
- Just send it as a regular email with pictures attached – you can use whatever format you like (I'll adapt it to fit the site).
- Please include the dates when possible. Knowing whether glasses took a couple days to arrive or a couple weeks can help other readers who might have time constraints. The dates also help me see whether shipping times are improving over time, are slow to certain areas of the world, etc.
- Be as truthful and unbiased as possible. If you had a bad experience with a retailer, write about it, but don't exaggerate or make false claims. The same applies if you had a good experience. Be truthful, but don't speak more highly of the retailer than they deserve. Remember that others may buy from a retailer based on what you've written. If you've spoken too highly of a retailer, another buyer may have higher expectations than they should, and will be disappointed after they've made their purchase.
- By default I'll usually use your first name in the heading so that it becomes: "_____ review by Firstname". I know that a number of people are concerned about their online privacy, so if there is a different name/nickname/handle you would prefer I use (fake names are fine), or if you'd like to be listed as "anonymous", let me know.
I can't promise that I'll put up all reviews, but I do approve the vast majority. Note that I reserve the right to make minor edits (usually spelling, formatting, etc).
Thanks! Again, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll keep as much of this in plain english as possible. Here's the gist:
Generally speaking, you shouldn't have to enter any personal information to use this site. An exception is if you want to send in a review, technically you're sending me your email address, write-up, and pictures in that case. Unless specifically asked to delete your email, I usually try to keep everything because it makes it easier if I need to go back and see all the input I've received on "Retailer X". If you've sent a review to be placed on the site, obviously that information is made public. While I make every attempt to remove personal information from any pictures you include, if you have the expertise to do so, I would ask that you try to remove/cover it from the pictures beforehand rather than relying on me to always get this right. Beyond the aforementioned reviews, personal information isn't sold, distributed, or otherwise passed on. To cover myself legally here though, I reserve the right to do whatever I want with that information.
On Server Logs:
Like most servers, the servers that Eyeglass Retailer Reviews run on log the standard stuff – IP addresses, pages that are visited, which website or search engine "referred" each visitor to this site, the time and date, whether the page was served successfully or whether there were any errors, etc. Normally that data isn't generally used except when I'm troubleshooting problems with the site or trying to fend off hackers, but I reserve the right to use it for other purposes. As an example, if I were to decide that I'd like to know how many people from North America visit the site on friday afternoons based on the log data, I'm leaving that option open for myself.
On other tracking:
Google Analytics is currently used for tracking. This allows me to see an insane amount of information – the most beneficial including (but not limited to): how many visitors there are, what pages are visited, the average time spent on each pages, etc. This helps me identify which pages suck (that people don't spend time on, presumably because they aren't as helpful), and which are good. A whole slew of other data is being added to Google Analytics on a regular basis which may allow me to see demographics (age, interests, gender, etc) and many other creepy things Google knows about you.
If all that just creeped you out, you can opt out of Google Analytics tracking stuff on Google's website here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/.
On Tracking and Advertisements:
Google will allow you to customize some degree of ad settings here: https://www.google.com/settings/ads.
On the NSA and other intelligence agencies worldwide
I have no reason to suspect that the NSA is collecting data on my visitors. However, in all likeliness that's what they'd want me to think. So I make no guarantees or promises here.
Assume that by visiting this site, your data may be collected by myself, Google, the NSA, Jack Bauer, or pretty much anyone. While it will probably be used simply to advertise to you more effectively, it could also be sold, used for positive purposes, or used for nefarious purposes.