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Buying prescription eyeglasses online. Anyone ever pulled the trigger?


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#1 of 15 Cassy_w

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Posted January 01 2013 - 01:33 AM

Glasses are expensive and in this economy... well... I need new ones but don't really have the 100 plus clams needed. I am wondering if anyone here has ever purchased online and what the experience was like? Prices seem loonytunes crazy cheaper so what's the catch?
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#2 of 15 Richard Travale

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Posted January 01 2013 - 04:32 AM

I have bought my current specs, and a pair of prescription sunglasses online. No hassles, no problem, no catch. The big thing is have a current prescription and make sure your pupil distance number is bang on accurate, otherwise you will have issues.

The reason they are cheaper is that your optometrist does have a lot more overhead costs and the mark up, like most retail stores, is ridiculous.

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#3 of 15 Paul D G

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Posted January 01 2013 - 07:32 PM

I bought my current pair of glasses online. Out of 10 I'd give the experience an 8. I went online because I couldn't find the type of frames I wanted anywhere and every place I went to said they only sold what they had in stock; I couldn't flip through a catalog and order what I liked. Since I was at it I decided to order the lenses thru the online retailer as well. I figured if my optometrist was going to order lenses with the numbers they gave me I could order with the same numbers anywhere.


I only had two real issues - the arms were too short on the glasses, but they were exchanged with no problems. The other issue was more problematic - the focal point of my right eye's lens was off; it was too low on the lens. I don't know where the problem in this lay - was it the fault of the lab, or were my optometrists numbers wrong, or did I enter something wrong in the form? It was only a problem occasionally so I didn't persue it.


A year later my opt. told me my insurance covers a new pair of lenses free so I went with them and made a point of making sure my focal point was correct. I had to pay for upgrades (scratch resistance, UV blocking, etc) so they only cost about $100 but I'm satisfied now. What's more is they completely adjusted my frames. They weren't perfect but they were good enough. For example, one of the arms wasn't aligned perfectly and swung open too wide. Nothing that affected wearing them. When I got them back it was like getting a new pair of glasses.


In the future I'd probably order my frames online and have my lenses done by my Dr.



#4 of 15 SaulKipper

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Posted January 02 2013 - 04:56 AM

The reason "online eyeglasses" are so much cheaper is because the 400% markup is removed. When you get rid of brick and mortar stores you get rid of A LOT of overhead. But BUYER BEWARE! The really cheap eyeglasses companies get ALL of their eyeglasses made in China. If you are looking for a super cheap pair that will last only a few weeks then they are a good choice. Keep in mind the wait for the glasses is several weeks since they come from overseas. Look at some of the American companies like 39DollarGlasses.com. Yup more expensive but ALL of their glasses are made in New York, not some other country. And their time to get you your product will just be a few days. I know a little more than you asked but I figured I'd give you all the facts! :D

#5 of 15 Cassy_w

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Posted January 02 2013 - 07:36 AM

Thank you all. Good food for thought.
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#6 of 15 Stan

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Posted January 02 2013 - 12:18 PM

I've only owned two pair of prescription eyeglasses. One pair of bifocals, which I've worn for probably 30 minutes in the past four years (they drove me crazy, having to constantly adjust my vision, couldn't even read my speedometer on my car) and a pair from Coscto. Never bought online, but I love the Costco glasses. The bifocal thing drove me insane, so went instead with only the (far/near) portion of the prescription. I'm still a newbie with glasses, but they are the style that puts everything in focus that is far away. I use cheapy reading glasses for close up stuff, "middle vision" is fine. My only worry is that I received a lot of customer service at Costco you wouldn't get online. You can physically try on the glasses, see how they look on you and try hundreds of styles, not just look at pictures on a web page. They also did the "upsell" on UV blocking, scratch resistance, etc. but when they came in, the glasses were wonderful. They adjusted them, made them feel comfortable and I will always go back if I need a replacement. I'm not pumping Costco, but buying online, I think you're on your own. Good luck.
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#7 of 15 justinv

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Posted January 03 2013 - 04:40 AM

Hey there! ** First off, full disclaimer. I work for Coastal.com as a social media coordinator. I'm also a big fan of these forums, so I couldn't help but see this pop up. ** Now, I don't want to sound like a cheap advertisement for our company.. but I feel like it would be unfair to see this question and not give some insight and opinion. Buying glasses online can be an awesome experience all around, depending on where you go. As I'm obviously a bit biased to our company, it's for good reason. Let me explain why. To start off, your first pair is free. That's right! You can order prescription glasses straight to your door without worrying about the cost. Why do we offer this? Well, this gives you a firsthand experience of what shopping with Coastal.com is like. We're confident you'll love the selection, speed and service so much.. we're willing to let you try it for free. There are certain limitations (not all frames are eligible) and if your prescription is moderate-to-high, you may need to upgrade your lenses. Don't worry though, the cost to upgrade your lenses is a fraction of the cost you would pay in store. Also, you'll have to cover the shipping (under $20).. but if you aren't completely satisfied with the glasses, you can send them back (on us) for a 100% refund. I'd love to answer any questions you may have. While the choice of where you order from is completely up to you, I can personally vouch that your experience won't be anything less than stellar if you give us a shot. Happy New Years! :)

#8 of 15 Sam Posten

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Posted January 07 2013 - 02:42 AM

I got new glasses mid 2012, and was amazed at the difference they make for driving and home theater. I'd actually like to get two cheaper pairs than the expensive transition lenses I bought, to keep around the house and keep the good ones in the car. Can I just get my prescription data from the place I got the first pair and take em to Costco for a similar but less expensive option?

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#9 of 15 Patrick Sun

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Posted January 07 2013 - 02:57 AM

Sure, I always get a paper copy of my prescription from where I get my eye exam. You never know when you won't be "home" and need to deal with replacing glasses "on the road".
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#10 of 15 Stan

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Posted January 07 2013 - 02:31 PM

I got new glasses mid 2012, and was amazed at the difference they make for driving and home theater. I'd actually like to get two cheaper pairs than the expensive transition lenses I bought, to keep around the house and keep the good ones in the car. Can I just get my prescription data from the place I got the first pair and take em to Costco for a similar but less expensive option?

If the they won't provide the prescription, your eye doctor that did it originally should still be able to give you a copy with no problem. That's what I did. Just had the written prescription from my doctor and went to Costco, but told them I only wanted the "distance" part, not bifocals. Really good product and much more affordable than other places.
Stan

#11 of 15 Sam Posten

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Posted January 08 2013 - 01:20 AM

I was in a rush (I had just been told that my eyes would not pass the drivers certification and had 2 hours to get glasses and get back to DMV or have to take another half day off work and ride 45 miles round trip again) so I had my eye exam done in the Pearle Vision by the doctor in residence there. Will call em today and see if they can email me my rx. Thanks! EDIT: Pearl is snail mailing me my Rx today.

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#12 of 15 Sam Posten

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Posted January 22 2013 - 02:48 AM

2 pairs of plastic lens glasses and frames for about $110 at Costco and now I have a set for my HT and one to spare. They flare pretty good when looking at overhead lights but not an issue with the big screen.

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#13 of 15 Patrick Sun

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Posted January 22 2013 - 03:27 AM

My online order ran about $60 after I opted for the thin (high-index lenses, not the highest offered, though, more $$$), some clip-on sunglasses, and some coatings, and flexible titanium frames. The same pair at Costco would have been in the $130-$180 range.
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#14 of 15 Sam Posten

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Posted January 22 2013 - 09:11 AM

From......?

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#15 of 15 Patrick Sun

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Posted January 22 2013 - 09:17 AM

Oh, I gave Zenni Optical a shot. I was going to try Coastal due to their free first pair, but they didn't offer the titanium frames, so I looked elsewhere.
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