7 July 2018

Buying New Glasses: Bloobloom



I hate glasses shopping, but thankfully Instagram came to my rescue.

I have never really enjoyed the glasses shopping experience. I have worn glasses since I was about eleven or twelve, and because I am short sighted, they are the first thing I put on when I get up in the morning, and the last thing I take off when I go to sleep at night. I make sure to go for my eye test every two years, and invariably the optician tells me that I should buy new frames each time because my prescription has changed just enough that it would make a noticeable difference. They walk me over reverentially to the glasses display like it was a jewellery vault and they are selling me a diamond tiara. Of course the reality is that they simply walk me back to the front of the shop to shelves packed, row after row, with glasses that manage to look at once identical and yet increasingly hideous as your eyes move along. They then encourage me to try a pair on, which means taking off my glasses, along with which goes my gift of sight. So I try on a random pair, and then have to squint at my face a few inches from a mirror, under what I must assume is lighting designed to make you look as ugly as possible. The false lenses in the display pair are ridiculously reflective, and because they do not contain my prescription, they make my eyes look weirdly proportioned, and way too close together. The optician hovers over my shoulder like a crazed salesman telling me how brilliant I look, despite the fact that the frames are clearly designed for any face shape but my own, and I have a sneaking suspicion the other shoppers are giving me the confused Nick Young meme face. And so, either I get too anxious to speak up and end up buying a pair of glasses I know I will never wear, or hastily make an excuse and get out of there as quickly as I possibly can.

Thankfully the Internet came along, and for the past few years I have been buying glasses online. It has made my life easier because I get to try on several pairs from the comfort of my own home, take a few photographs, and see what feels right without the pressure of a sales floor. You can get opinions from other people, look at your face under normal lighting conditions, and generally have a more relaxed experience. Then again, I usually get a box with a few pairs in them, and can dismiss most the second I put them on, which means you end up with a lot of back and forth with various home trials. That was my experience with my previous pair of glasses from Cubitts, where I went through about four home trials to find the pair that I liked, and in the colour that I liked. And so I immediately went to Cubitts this time around to try and find a new pair of glasses, but unfortunately it appears as if it is only the one style of theirs that suits my face and head shape (the Herbrand for those curious). While they do come in multiple colours, some of which I liked, I wanted a slightly different shape, and so decided that I would have to look elsewhere. I was not really sure where to look, and so ended up on Google trying to find any and every shop based in the UK that offered a free home trial. There are a ton of options out there for those buying glasses online, but obviously the quality and pricing varies wildly, so it can be rather hit and miss.

I spent a few weeks going through various home trials, but could not seem to find anything that worked for me. Then one day I was scrolling through Instagram and a targeted advert came up for a glasses brand I had never heard of - Bloobloom. Just to be clear, I am the type of person who runs an adblocker on their web browser, and tries to block just about every ad I come across in mobile settings as well, because they are usually entirely irrelevant. But whatever user profiling and character analysis Instagram happens to use, worked its magic, and I saw a sponsored post in my feed that I was happy to click on to learn more. I saw a company based in the UK, who donate a pair of glasses to charity for each pair they sell, and offered free home trials. So I selected a few pairs that caught my eye, and they arrived promptly the next day. I tried on the various pairs and actually found two different styles that I liked, as opposed to a box full of duds, like I had been getting up to that point, which took me by surprise. That evening I settled on the style above, took a photograph of my prescription, and bought them. I posted the home trail back for free the next day. I ordered the glasses on a Thursday evening, and they arrived with my prescription that Saturday morning. Never in my life have I seen that quick a turnaround for a pair of prescription glasses, and so for that alone I have to recommend them. I have been wearing them for some weeks now, and have to say that the quality is great for the price. Both the frame and the prescription were comfortable right out of the box, and thankfully they come with anti-scratch and anti-reflection lenses, which they will replace for free within a year if you do happen to scratch them somehow.

Full disclosure: I bought these with my own money, had never heard of Bloobloom before, have had no contact with them outside of email confirmation of my order, and they had no idea that I was going to write this. Overall I would have to say it was the quickest and easiest glasses buying experience I ever had, and the fact that they also list a full breakdown of their pricing, as well as donate a pair to charity for each pair sold, means that I would be happy to go back and buy another pair from them in the future. So yeah, if you are UK-based and looking for a new pair of glasses, I would definitely recommend giving them a look.

xxxx

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