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An Experience of Ordering Prescription Glasses Online



The practical experience in this article is mainly based on the article from "少数派" (a tech media outlet):

Practical Experience of Online Glasses Ordering - Using Zeiss Lenses as an Example

Recently, I bought a new pair of glasses frames, so lens ordering became the main issue. However, after searching through major e-commerce platforms, I found that the prices of lenses were generally higher than my budget, especially the lenses from Rodenstock, which had fewer options and were more expensive.

Out of curiosity, I did some research at physical stores while getting my eyes examined. I found that the prices at the stores were even higher than online prices (generally 30% to 50% higher). The eyewear industry is truly profitable.


Later, by chance, while chatting in a group, a friend told me about a cost-effective method for ordering glasses, which was similar to the approach mentioned in the aforementioned article from "少数派". This greatly increased my confidence, so I decided to try ordering lenses on 1688.

Lens Ordering Goals#

  1. High-quality lenses
  2. Cost-effective
  3. Ensuring authenticity
  4. Completely tailored to my eye data

Considering the first two points, I ultimately chose Zeiss i.Scription lenses. At first, I was torn between Zeiss and Rodenstock, but then I discovered several drawbacks of Rodenstock lenses:

  • Compared to Zeiss, Rodenstock lenses are more expensive, and the positioning of the P series lenses has a small increment in each level, with prices not proportional to the parameter upgrades.
  • Rodenstock lenses haven't been updated with new technology for a long time, while Zeiss i.Scription is a new product in recent years.
  • Verifying authenticity is more complicated with Rodenstock, lacking the precision and convenience of Zeiss.

After finalizing the brand and model, and considering my own needs, I added blue light protection parameters and ultimately chose the customized i.Scription Asian version.

Eye Examination#

Mini Program Appointment#

I searched for nearby stores on the WeChat mini program "Zeiss Vision", made an appointment, and went there.

Since it was an authorized Zeiss store, it was usually located in relatively large eyewear stores, without long queues, and with qualified optometrists who were professional enough.

Types of Eye Examinations and Costs#

There are two types of eye examinations: basic eye examination priced at 60, and a comprehensive eye examination called "Vision 6+6" priced at 100. Considering the small price difference, I opted for the comprehensive eye examination. After the examination, I realized that the difference between the two was not that significant.

However, if you need customized lenses, it is still recommended to go for the comprehensive eye examination to ensure a tailored fit and avoid any waste.


The eye examination lasted for about half an hour, and the optometrist provided the examination report on the spot. One advantage of the comprehensive eye examination is that it measures parameters while wearing the glasses frame (such as tilt angle), but unfortunately, the measured data can only be saved on Zeiss' server, and there is no physical report. I could only take photos with my phone to save the information.




Customized Lenses#

  1. Select a store on 1688 and place an order for the desired lens type.
  2. Provide the examination report to the seller and inform them if customized lenses are needed.
  3. Send the glasses frame to the seller and wait for the processing to be completed.
  4. The seller will send back the glasses with the lenses installed, and the process is complete.

Two Points to Note#

  1. If customized lenses are needed, it is important to communicate with the seller in advance, as some sellers may overlook the parameters you provide due to the hassle.
  2. Confirm whether the original factory processing is included as a gift. If the seller does not provide original factory processing, additional processing fees will be required.


Here, I specifically confirmed the verification process with the seller to ensure peace of mind. Fortunately, this seller was very responsible, and the entire process was pleasant from start to finish.

After receiving the glasses frame, the seller confirmed the parameters of the glasses with me once again. After confirming, they assured me that everything was fine, and all that was left was to wait for the processing.



The seller received the glasses frame on December 7th and messaged me on December 23rd, saying that the processing was completed and the glasses had been shipped via express delivery.


The processing time is usually guaranteed to be around 7-15 days.

Authenticity Verification#

There are three ways to verify the authenticity, and if all three can be confirmed to be identical, there is generally a 95% guarantee that there are no issues.

Processing Order#

Using the original factory processing order number provided by the seller, I contacted the customer service of "Zeiss Vision" and requested to check the processing order number. The result should match my own order.


Anti-Counterfeit QR Code#

Similarly, using the "Zeiss Vision" mini program, I scanned the anti-counterfeit QR code in the health record section and entered the data. I compared the parameters, and if they matched and there was an authentication mark, I could rest assured.


UV Anti-Counterfeit of the Lenses#




From September to the end of December, after nearly four months of waiting, all the glasses were finally configured.

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