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Go get yerself some cheap eyeglasses

Update: From the comments: Patrick Mueller suggests reviewing potential retailers here: http://www.eyeglassretailerreviews.com/index.htm. He also notes that he picked up some prescription shades at EyeBuyDirect.com. For those of you in the U.K., David A. recommends Glasses Direct.

About three months ago, my then one-year old snapped my $300 glasses in two. One month later he broke the stem off my previous pair of glasses that I still had lying around. I’ve been wearing an even older pair since then. (Fortunately I don’t throw away old glasses and my prescription hasn’t changed in years.)

Let me tell you about those $300 glasses. I got them at the optometrist in town. It took two weeks for them to have them ready, though they promised me one week. When I picked them up, the lenses didn’t fit the frames - there were gaps big enough to put a kitchen-match through. A week later they had a new pair for me, but within days the screws near the stem came loose. A day later I had a pair of glasses I could wear. Even so, I paid for scratch-resistant lenses, but the glasses were showing scratches in no time. What on earth was I paying for?

After number-two son broke the second pair of glasses, I recalled a site I stumbled upon months earlier, Glassy Eyes, created by some guy who went through something similar to the above, bought some eyeglasses online, and was immensely happy. So I went downtown and got my prescription, clicked over to eyeglassdirect.com, and bought four pair of eyeglasses for — get this — $160! It could have been cheaper, but I opted for the polycarbonate lenses instead of plain plastic.

They arrived yesterday. They look as good as any other pair of glasses I’ve ever owned, the lenses fit the frames, I can see out of all of them, and, for all intents and purposes, they’re disposable.

Was everything perfect? No. One pair of glasses doesn’t fit very well. It’s not the fault of eyeglassdirect.com, but rather it’s the frames I chose. Had I been in a store, this wouldn’t have happened. But then, of course, I still would have ended up spending $300 on a single pair of glasses. Also, eyeglassdirect is experiencing some growing pains; it took three weeks for my glasses to arrive. Of course, that’s the same amount of time it took the local optometrist, and those glasses lasted six months.

So, if you wear glasses and you’re tired of being fleeced, go online for your next pair, and avoid the 1,000% mark up.

{ 13 } Comments

  1. Patrick Mueller | April 20, 2007 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Just bought my first ever pair of prescription sunglasses through EyeBuyDirect. $50, $20 of which was getting higher index lenses. So far, so good.

    Check out this site: http://www.eyeglassretailerreviews.com/index.htm

    and this one: http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/

    My eye care shop made me feel like a dirty bastard when I asked for my “PD”, and in fact point blank asked me if I was going to buy glasses through them. I am, but I want to get extra stuff from the tubes.

  2. Pete | April 20, 2007 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Patrick: The Glassy Eyes link is in my post, that’s the site that made me aware this was even possible. But the eyeglass-retail-reviews site is new to me, and looks pretty useful. Thanks. I advise other readers to peruse that site before purchasing.

  3. Corey G. | April 20, 2007 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    thanks for tip!
    I’m gonna order a pair.. looks like a deal and it’s good to have an extra pair to beat on.
    Too bad they don’t sell prescription sunglasses (besides clips).

  4. Corey G. | April 20, 2007 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    doh. first comment mentions where to get sunglasses :)

  5. David A. | April 23, 2007 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    In the UK, try http://www.glassesdirect.co.uk - their basic range starts at around £17.50 (about a quarter of the shop price). I’ve had a pair for a couple of years and they’re every bit as good as the overproced shop ones.

  6. Jamie Murray Wells | April 24, 2007 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks guys… Here’s 10% off for readers of this blog: use discount code blog887 on the payment page. Thanks. Jamie Murray Wells/ Glasses Direct

  7. Jockey | May 17, 2007 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Save an extra 5% off of your entire purchase price from http://www.Goggles4U.com when you use the promo code “arcaro” at the checkout.

  8. filbo | June 7, 2007 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    http://www.goggles4u.com is very good. I’ve just bought a pair of single vision eyeglasses for less than USD$25 and that included free tints, lens coating and shipping. Only reason i uses them initially was because I got sent a discount code ( lookgreat45 ) but I’ll use them again ( repeat orders get another 15% discount! )

  9. lihaohao | September 1, 2011 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I’ve just bought a pair of single vision eyeglasses for less than USD$25 and that included free tints, lens coating and shipping

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  1. Bert Lamb » links for 2007-05-04 | May 4, 2007 at 4:22 am | Permalink

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