Buying Glasses Online

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by barr08, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. barr08 macrumors 65816

    barr08

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Hey all,

    I broke my glasses last night, and need to order a replacement pair. I'm thinking that the prices online are probably better than buying in-store, so I am wondering if anyone has had a good experience with one of the several options out there.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for online prescription glasses stores? Preferably something based in the US to keep shipping time quick.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ericcc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Montreal
    #2
    The major one in Canada is Clearly Contacts; I believe in US, they're called Costal Contacts. Great customer service with no hassle returns, and ships within the week. In the last 3-4 years, I've ordered 4 pairs of glasses from them (returned one), and I'm very satisfied with the experience. Their selection in terms of big designer brands has worsened in recent years though.

    I suggest you measure the width of your old glasses and compare it with the dimensions of the models displayed online to get a good fit.
     
  3. AutoUnion39, Aug 31, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013

    AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #3
    Another person from Boston!

    My last two pairs of Oakley prescription glasses have been off the web. I don't have eye insurance, so I tried to find a way to save some cash and get the most durable frames I could find.

    Lencrafters quoted me $490 for my latest frame and another $500+ for the lenses. The lenses were just polycarbonate, high-index, with AR and transitions. I bought my latest pair off Glasses.com for $340.XX TOTAL. Exact same frame, same lenses. I paid almost $700 less! They came in a week and were perfect.

    My previous pair (lasted me almost 6 years, still perfect) I got off framesdirect.com a few years ago. Again Lenscrafters quoted almost $900 for the pair and I paid under $400.

    Even if I had eye insurance, my co-pay would have been higher than what I paid online.

    My dad just got a pair of rimless progressive bifocals last week. He was quoted over $1,200 at Lenscrafters. $790 for the lenses! He paid only $350.XX at glasses.com for his glasses also.

    I highly recommend two sites. ONLY these twos. I've done so much research on this. They have the best reputation and are 100% legit. Glasses.com and framesdirect.com. You don't have to settle for the crappy frames they sell in-stores or LC.

    Good luck, any other questions, feel free to ask!

    EDIT:

    Couple tips

    - make sure you have your prescription from your doctor and it lists PD (pupil distance). You NEED this. You can't order glasses anywhere without it. Upside is that your doc can measure it in like 30 seconds

    - best way to buy online is to go to your local Lenscrafters. Once you find what you like, write down the model and size of it. Some frames come in multiple sizes.

    - I was told my doctor that the frames that last the longest and are the most durable are: Oakley, Maui-Jim, Silhoutte (sp?), Ray-Ban, Nike, and Burberry. They are worth the extra cost in the long-rim.

    - Then search for it on framesdirect or glasses.com. Glasses.com has been running tons of promotions recently because they're trying to get recognized. (They're owned by 1800 contacts)

    http://www.retailmenot.com/view/glasses.com -> 50% off lenses and $20 off $150. You can stack both coupons

    - After you get the glasses and need to get them adjusted, Lenscrafters does it for free, so you don't have to worry. I've been to the Brookline one to get my frames adjusted many times.

    - best part is that, if you don't like them, they'll take them back. No fees at all.
     
  4. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #4
    How can someone value a pair of FRAMES for $500 retail? I can buy a washing machine for that amount of money and would guess it's more complicated to make.
     
  5. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #5
    Yeah, I was shocked at the amount of profit that they make off these things. What's even more ridiculous is that the parent company of Lenscrafters and all these glasses makers is the same. Luxxotica. It probably costs them nothing to make and sell themselves. All pure profit.

    They have a huge monopoly. There was an interesting 60 minutes segment on this. Another reason why I refuse to buy in-store and prefer to buy online.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #6

    Markups on frames are outrageous. Used to have a friend who sold frames to retail stores. I'd buy frames from his sample case for $10 that sold in stores for about $100. This was in the late 80s. Seems like the prices are worse today.
     
  7. barr08 thread starter macrumors 65816

    barr08

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    Thanks for the info and the detailed responses. I ended up going to Warby Parker, and am waiting to receive my lenses from them. It seems like a pretty cool new company, and I ended up spending only $130.

    I will report back when I get my new glasses! Thanks again guys.
     
  8. JulesNYC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #8
    Cool, I've read about them and how they send sample pairs for you to choose from. Yes, please tell us how it goes. Thanks!
     
  9. determined09 macrumors 65816

    determined09

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    North America
    #9
    Here's a piece on Luxxotica that was on 60 Minutes.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voUiWOGv8ec
     
  10. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #10
    Yup, that's it. Thanks for the link!

    ----------

    Very cool. They recently opened a Warby Parker here in Boston. Prices aren't bad at all.
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #11
    Yes, the mark-up on frames, (and CDs, and anything we want to buy - as opposed to need to buy) is sometimes outrageous........but, but, but,

    .......for those of us who actually wear glasses, the appearance of the frames actually matter.

    Here is something to consider: I may use my washing machine once or twice a week; even the most expensive pair of shoes I own rarely are worn more than once a week, the same with clothing, or listening to my iPod (usually reserved these days, for when I am travelling, which is frequently, but, again, it is by no means daily)........now, when I reach out and fumble for my spectacle frames, in the morning as I groggily come to terms with the dawning of a fresh and whole new day, this is a movement I make at least daily as I wear them all the time, all day every day.

    So, when considering paying for something that you need to wear all of the time, I would consider it foolish not to invest in something where quality is the main criterion, and price is of lesser importance.

    Actually, I consider a good pair of frames an investment, rather than a waste of money, or a subtle piece of theft - as, given that I must wear corrective lenses, I might as well wear stuff that looks good on me and feels good to wear. Indeed, my view is that wearing frames that suit you, sit well on you, fit your face, and look well cannot but enhance your quality of life.
     
  12. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #12
    I submit there is no quality difference between a $100 frame and a $500 frame. It isn't rocket science to bend some wire into shape.
     
  13. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #13
    I agree with all of this. I have to wear my glasses for everything. Hell, I'd say it's more important than my smartphone or laptop. Most of us already pay a premium for Apple products, why not for the most important thing you wear 24/7?

    I honestly don't think it's a place to cheap out and settle for a lower priced frame. Especially if you want it to last.

    Most of the cheap frames look terrible, fit terrible, and just feel low-end. Compare that to the higher-end brands, etc, it's night and day. My last frame lasted 6 years. I doubt some $100 frame would last that long.

    ----------

    While I agree that the markup is ridiculous, there IS a huge difference between a $100 and $500 frame. Build quality, how it fits, style, etc are significantly better.

    I doubt I could find a cheaper frame out there that looks as slick or is built as strongly (carbon fiber and titanium) as my current frame. (Oakley Carbon Plate)

    That's why it's awesome to buy frames online. For the price of those ****** frames at LC, you can pick up a high-end one at glasses.com or framesdirect for the same price. :D
     
  14. steve knight Suspended

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #14
    I always go for titanium frames now. super light and they stay adjusted. my last pat lasted for 7 or 8 years and two or three lens changes. I only got new frames because they were on the large size.
     
  15. mushroomtip macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #15
    I purchased my Prada frames from Framesdirect and my Daughters Ray Ban Frames from Optics Planet . ordered lenses for both Frames from sams club for a grand total of 452.94. sterling optical wanted around that much for my frames alone.
     
  16. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #16
    I've only bought autoflex titanium since the mid 90s. Still going with my second frame!
     
  17. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #17
    Are those the ones with the middle piece that bend?

    I had a pair of Nike Flexons almost 10 years ago. Paint starting chipping off in under a year and the metal would start to soften in the heat and deform on your face. Never again.
     
  18. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #18
    Could be a bad design, but it looks like the same stuff:

    http://www.marchon.com/HTML/flexon.asp


    The stuff I've used is the whole frame: temples, rims, bridge. Every part is made from flexing material that went bent, (usually) pops back into place. The classic example is wrapping the temple arms around your finger and watching them spring back into straight when released. If it can't do that, its not what I'm describing.
     
  19. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    in a Shaw Brothers wu xia
    #19
    very true

    Yeah, the markup is awful.

    I wait on Lens Crafters 50% off sale and discovered something about thinner lenses for those of us who have deep end prescriptions. The thickness of the thin lenses will add hundreds of dollars to the cost, so my next pair I will definitely go with the 1.67 thickness (mid range thinness) rather than 1.74 (the thinnest.), that way I hope to pay less than $300 for my next pair in 2014.

    As far as online, since my prescription is where it is, I can't deal coke bottle thick lenses so I wait for in store sales.

    If you have a low prescription, online might be great for you.
     
  20. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #20
    They all offer high index online. Frames direct has both 1.67 and 1.74.

    Glasses.com says they use whichever one is better for your prescription (if you pay the high index price)
     
  21. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #21
    Yup. Those are it. They were Nike Flexons by Marchon.

    Maybe it was just the model I had, but it was terrible. They were like $250 for the frame back then. Quality wasn't up to par for the price. Paint came off too early and the metal deformed around your face.

    Crazy how prices have gone down.
    I've even seen flexons at Sam's Club now for $59 (just for the frame).
     
  22. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #22
    The set I wear now has a Nike logo. Only been about 4 years, but so far, so good. To bad yours were so bad, when they're good they are really good. First pair ($500) took all kinds of abuse. These have only been hit hard, once or twice.
     
  23. kazmac, Sep 11, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

    kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    in a Shaw Brothers wu xia
    #23
    thank you

    Thanks for that info AutoUnion 39. I will bookmark both, if I can pay under $300 for a pair that will be very helpful. Happy to be proven wrong on this one.
     
  24. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #24
    If you don't want to buy online, you can often find good deals at Costco. I bought glasses+sunglasses at Costco for under $250 with a buy one, get one 50% offer a while ago.

    IIRC, frames at Costco run anywhere from $40-$200+, and the lenses are around $100, at least the ones I bought. I've bought glasses from Costco twice and been very pleased both times. The only reason my first pair had to get replaced was because I snapped the frame in half by rolling over on them in my sleep. They lasted two years and were in fine condition until I broke them by accident. My second Costco pair has lasted me 18 months, and barring a prescription change or an urge to change styles, I anticipate getting at least another few years out of them.

    Last time I bought Converse frames for my main glasses, I think the frames were in the $50 range w/o lenses. The 50% off sunglasses I just grabbed the generic Kirkland brand, I only use them in the car so style wasn't as important to me.
     
  25. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #25
    It gets even better, Eyemed (a pretty large vision insurance company) is also owned by Luxxotica. So if you have their insurance and shop at Lenscrafters they're doing the entire thing in-house.

    What I found amusing though was that the Lenscrafters stores I've visited didn't carry the Luxxotica brands I was interested in, nor did they have the kind of rimless glasses I could use. Funny. XD
     

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