How exactly does Warby Parker work? A step by step guide

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If you're a glasses wearer, you've probably heard of affordable designer eyewear company Warby Parker. If you haven't tried their glasses yet and you're still choosing from the small selection at your optometrist's office, you're probably overpaying and missing out on some really cool frames.

Warby Parker was founded in 2010 by students at the Wharton School who realized that most "designer" eyewear is simply licensed to a few giant eyewear companies and sold wholesale to opticians. They realized that if they cut out the middlemen by designing their own glasses and selling them online, they could pass on huge savings to the customer.

That was nearly a decade ago, and Warby Parker continues to deliver on its promise to provide high-quality, affordable eyewear to its customers. The glasses start at $95 (including frame and lenses) and if the lenses are scratched within a year, Warby Parker replaces them free. You can even try on up to five pairs at home before you buy so you can experience trying them on and seeing how they fit.

Warby Parker is also strongly committed to social good, joining the ranks of other socially conscious brands such as TOMS, Thrive Market and Bombas socks. With every pair of Warby Parker glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. Warby Parker also works with non-profit organizations that train volunteers to perform eye exams in disadvantaged communities. As one of the only carbon neutral eyewear companies on the planet, they also care about the environment.

First step: choose your frames

Take a look at Warby Parker's selection of frames in men's and women's styles to get an idea of ​​their aesthetic. There's a nice mix of simple classics and more modern pieces. If you feel overwhelmed, you can take a quiz to get a recommended pair of glasses based on your preferences. If you find a pair that you know you want, skip ahead to ordering it in the third step. If not, you will have the opportunity to try your favorites.

Second step – Test at home

This is the fun part. Choose five frames that interest you and Warby Parker will send them to you for free. I highly recommend the Laurel in Tea Rose Fade (pictured below left). Seriously, these glasses look good on everyone. Once you receive your frames, you can try them out for five days to find out which ones are right for you. Once you've found the frames you like, just send the trial box home with the included prepaid label.

Third step: order the frames

As soon as you know what glasses you want, you can go ahead and order them at Warby Parker. Frames start at $95 for standard single vision lenses. Of course, you will have to pay more if you want progressive or transition lenses.

Step Three and a Half: Fill the Prescription

When going through the checkout, you will have to fill in the prescription for your glasses. If you already have a prescription, the easiest way to do this is to upload a photo of your prescription. If you don't have your prescription on hand, Warby Parker can call your eye doctor, but it may take longer to get your frames. If you don't have a prescription or your current prescription is expired, you can go get a quick exam with an eye doctor (available at Warby Parker stores in some major cities), or download this app that ostensibly checks your eyes for you ($40 if you get an updated prescription.)

Step Four: Dealing with Insurance

Warby Parker is in-network with UnitedHealthcare, but is an out-of-network provider for most insurance companies, so you will need to present your receipt for reimbursement if you want to use your insurance to pay for your frames. Warby Parker has instructions and forms for reimbursement from most companies on its website. If you have a flexible spending account or a health spending account, you're in luck—you can use it for your Warby Parker frames, too. Just enter your FSA/HSA card number at checkout.

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