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Thread: Need eyeglasses: Where is the best value?

  1. #1

    Default Need eyeglasses: Where is the best value?

    I updated my prescription and am looking for new eyeglasses.

    I tried a few of the major places (Pearle Vision, Lenscrafters, Superstore) but they seem very expensive for progressives, Thin lenses titanium etc.

    Online seems the way to go, but I don't know of any place I trust.

    Any local or online places recommended is appreciated.

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    My wife who at the time wasn't covered by Alberta Health (she was a visitor to Canada from USA) bought her's from Zenni, good quality, inexpensive, shipped very quickly. This was a single prescription per eye (not bifocal, not progressive). You will need to measure your pupil distance though (center of left eye pupil to center of right eye pupil)
    http://www.zennioptical.com/

  3. #3

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    zenni is cheapest but from our experience you do get what you pay for. They're fine for a back-up pair but they won't be great.
    We've also used clearly.ca, they're better but still not great. I still use them because with several boys in this house they're bound to get destroyed in a year whether I pay $20 at zenni, $60 at clearly or $200+++ at a store.
    There can only be one.

  4. #4

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    I checked. Zenni and Clearly.ca are a lot cheaper than any local shop. As you have said, you get what you pay for and buying locally at least gives you continued service and you get to actually try the fit and see the frames. Maybe buying backups online is ok? Haven't checked Costco as I have no membership. Walmart doesn't have a great variety. My prescription is rather strong so I need thin lens Hi Index, progressives so that ups the price a lot. BTW, I did get my PD number so I have all the info to buy online now.

  5. #5

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    I got a pair a while back on sale at Superstore's optical section. I can't remember how much it was, but it was on a sale. I think the different Superstore's have their sales at different times, so you may want to call around. You can also book an eye exam there, though that can be done on certain day's in the week depending on the store.

  6. #6

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    If you have a Costco card they do progressive prescriptions. The prices are pretty reasonable although they don't have a huge selection.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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    instead of purchasing your frames and lenses in the typical manner, you might want to find someone who will do your lenses locally in frames you provide.

    you can then shop for your frames and have the lenses added (just remember that frames also need to be bought properly in regard to width, length of stems and the width of the lens that can be installed in them.

    if you can manage that, you'll also have a wider selection of potential frames to choose from including one avenue that few people consider - "sunglass frames", even with sunglass lenses in them, are often much less expensive than "eyeglass frames" and they can be just as current from a style perspective and can be easier and cheaper to order on-line.

    if you really want to get the lowest pricing for the highest quality however, you may want to have someone fill your prescription in tai-pei or hong kong or even singapore. for whatever reason, some things like computers are actually less expensive here but some things - and prescription eyeglasses are one of them - are much less expensive over there.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  8. #8

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    I have high prescription, high density progressive lenses as well. I haven't been at all impressed with the most recent pair as the progressive aspect is really limited. It hardly helps at all with reading. I find I read just as I normally would and the bottom part of lense is not helpful.

    Anyway, these types of lenses are so expensive that to me anyway I would feel uncomfortable buying them online without the same degree of service. For instance I've had to have mine resurfaced a couple of times and with heavier lenses there are repairs to the frames or adjustments as well.

    What I know is you don't mess with your eyes or eyewear. Getting a cheaper set of lenses can be counterproductive. Its the one thing I take pretty seriously as I don't have a lot of leeway in my sight to screw up. My lenses have to be pretty much perfect or as close to that as possible.

    What I did do last time is buy a frame that is top of the line and expected to last along while. So I will have these refitted with new lenses the next time I need a new prescription. Whatever you do with high density lenses make sure you have a frame that is suitable for them. One that limits how thick the lenses are on the edges. So that small elliptical or round frames are the best. You really are limited usually in what type of frame you can buy with a higher prescription.
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    i’m certainly not an optometrist or an opthalmologist but... my understanding is the opposite of what you posted - small elliptical or round frames are not the best for progressive lenses, they are the worst as there is little to no distance or lens surface in/on which the transitions can be made and ground. this leaves little to no margin both on the manufacturing and on how the glasses sit over the course of a day to be effective. If you’re having more trouble reading than you think you should, next time ask about a “computer/reading” prescription for the nearsighted component. you might find it more effective and they can set the sight testing lenses to simulate the difference for you. i didn’t pick the option last time but probably will next time.

    ps. if my memory is correct, if they’re “short” on lens “length”, they’ll cut off some of the reading portion so as not to compromise or cut off distance. I wonder if that might be part of what you experienced as well?
    Last edited by kcantor; 21-11-2017 at 07:02 AM.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  10. #10

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    Yeah I never liked smaller glasses. As for small round or elliptical, it should matter if you have met some standard of minimal surface area. Then beyond that you have it if you need it, but it won’t be optimal.

    I got computer lens in a past position due to the nature of the work (lots of critical or very large numbers and an allowance for error in the low single digit basis points) and they worked well - but were a nuisance in terms of forever switching between glasses throughout the day.) I sure wouldn’t bother with them for non-numerical tasks like writing reports or just regular accounting or office admin work.

    At home, I love my iMac but it has the screen sitting above a silver band and so the screen can’t be lowered enough to deal with my progressive lenses. So it’s tough working where you have to look a the top of the screen a lot. I was getting a very sore neck when working with spreadsheets and data. (I now use a PC/HP monitor for most of that work and the HP monitor can be lowered so the bottom of the screen sits on the desk giving me a straight forward view of the to of the screen.)

  11. #11

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    I am going through the process right now.

    Be aware that if you are shopping around, if you get competitive quotes from Lenscrafters and Pearle Vision, you are not. They are the same company owned by Luxottica Group from Italy who own: LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Apex by Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Eyemed vision care plan, and Glasses.com.

    Furthermore, most frames are made in China and other overseas places that make them for $10 to $20 and the rest is all markup and built in sales costs. Lens costs have similarly huge markups. A few years ago, my coworker was in Mexico with her new $750 Cdn designer glasses. A local optician offered her the exact same name brand frames and exact Seiko lenses for $75 US. She thought, what the heck and bought them and they had them ready in two days. She found that she even saw better with the cheap pair and he actually fitted her first pair so they fit better.

    Even if they were a knock off, it gives you an idea how much we get hosed on eyewear. Heck look at the price range of non-perscription sunglasses, even if quality is different, much of the same manufacturing processes are employed so you get another inkling to the real cost.

    When I was in Mexico City recently I did not have time to buy new glasses but two friendly ladies in an optical store did measure my wife's and my pupil distances with a computerized machine, for free and gave us the computer printout. This is important to order the correct glasses and your pupil distance remains constant during your adult years. I gave the ladies 50 pesos and had a hard time getting them to accept.

    I am wearing my older pair because the glasses that I got two years ago, I never got used to. I found out that my older pair were a 'panoramic' premium progressive that had much better vision characteristics and I don't have to adjust my head to see through the 'right' area of the prescription. As I am shopping for new glasses right now, the difference in progressive lenses is not talked about much and people should understand the difference in they need quality progressive lenses.

    I am going to try an online supplier and am following this thread but I hope that you find the added info about progressives, helpful and an important part of your purchase. Buyer beware!





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  12. #12
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    Another thing the eyeglass industry tries to keep people in the dark about is lens materials. They push polycarbonate as if it is some sort of huge improvement over CR39 ("plastic"), when in fact its optical quality is far worse. If you like to be able to see out of more than just the center of your lens and would rather not see red and blue fringes around anything off-axis, avoid polycarbonate.

  13. #13

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    Costco do have reasonably priced glasses but a friend of mine who bought from them said the lens quality was not the best. They scratch faster etc. She said it's almost as if the lens material is too soft, for want of a better word. She has progressives.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    i’m certainly not an optometrist or an opthalmologist but... my understanding is the opposite of what you posted - small elliptical or round frames are not the best for progressive lenses, they are the worst as there is little to no distance or lens surface in/on which the transitions can be made and ground. this leaves little to no margin both on the manufacturing and on how the glasses sit over the course of a day to be effective. If you’re having more trouble reading than you think you should, next time ask about a “computer/reading” prescription for the nearsighted component. you might find it more effective and they can set the sight testing lenses to simulate the difference for you. i didn’t pick the option last time but probably will next time.

    ps. if my memory is correct, if they’re “short” on lens “length”, they’ll cut off some of the reading portion so as not to compromise or cut off distance. I wonder if that might be part of what you experienced as well?
    You could be correct. But I have really poor eyes, strong prescription and even with high density lenses the key thing is to avoid the side concaves being something like half an inch thick. nobody wants that, and thus the roundish lenses.

    As far as the progressive aspect I feel like its been an absolute waste I don't use it all. I read better with the normal part of the lense. The progressive portion is actually quite unhelpful and if anything if I use that I tend to see two images on the page. The Opthalmologist tested me 3 times to verify that its the right prescription.

    I'll never go with progressive lenses next time. Complete waste of money having that alleged feature. The other problem with progressives is my lenses were only available in a material that was more susceptible to scratches and imperfections. you pay more and you get junk. I have more scratches and marks on these lenses than I've had on any since I was a kid. Only had them a few years.
    Last edited by Replacement; 21-11-2017 at 02:54 PM.
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  15. #15

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    I have progressives and they have been great for me. Some people cannot wear them or it takes them a while to get used to. I have heard of people feeling dizzy or sick when they first wear them and have to adjust. When I got my first ever pair of glasses I felt like I was on a ship at high sea or like the floor was coming up to hit me.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    I have progressives and they have been great for me. Some people cannot wear them or it takes them a while to get used to. I have heard of people feeling dizzy or sick when they first wear them and have to adjust. When I got my first ever pair of glasses I felt like I was on a ship at high sea or like the floor was coming up to hit me.
    |I had that weird vision for maybe a few days. Got used to that. They just aren't good for reading. I do everything the way I'm supposed to, look down, and frankly I have an easier time reading with any of the old glasses I have. The only reason I got progressive is for ability to see print a bit better (is there any other reason) They don't do that for me. What I've been told though is a large part of whether lenses work for a person or not is how the brain filters the information. Theres a lot of processing that goes on between the vision input and how the brain processes it. That works for me in that the glasses now are completely normal, just that now I can't tell a segment of lens that is better for reading or not. I could put them upside down on my nose and read better. Its odd.

    I almost think they should give people at least some elemental instruction on how to view or use these things. Start doing it wrong and it just seems like the progressives don't work. I feel like a person that doesn't see 3D in 3D glasses whining about it..

    What PRT linked before wasn't made known to me either. I was not aware there were several types of progressive lenses and wideview and what not. I won't be back to the place I got the glasses at even though I've gone there all my life.
    Finally, one example. I read better using these lenses if I move them farther down on my nose. But then I note I'm not actually using the progressive part to read, I'm using the main lense. But that works better than positioning the lense closer and trying to look down. Everything in print is in double if I do that. Then I have to read with one eye which is headache inducing. I've brought the glasses back twice and they have not solved the problem. Just kind of tell me the prescription is right, I'm not....
    Last edited by Replacement; 21-11-2017 at 04:44 PM.
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    ^

    my guess is that "if the prescription is right" there's something wrong with how you were measured (frame or lenses) or how the lenses were manufactured/ground. i believe swmbo had one lens on her last pair (also progressive) that had to be remanufactured because it simply wasn't right even though the prescription was correct - i'm not sure if was the curvature(s) or whether it was ground too high or too low or to the right or to the left of where it should have been centred.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  18. #18

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    I checked out clearly.ca and though the prices are good, they did not have an exact fit for me. I waned Titanium or stainless steel , hi index 54-18 mm 1.67. The selection is small The metal frame selection is much better except I sweat a lot so I can't have those as they may discolour.

    Zenni seems ok, but I don't want to deal with a USA company so far away.

    Costco is ok, but i have to buy a membership and they don;t offer any free fomr or digital lens. No idea about the quality.

    Search continues. May I need to go to Mexico or Hong Kong, but I would need good references.

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    Like I said I've dealt with Zenni, and they turned out fine, a former co-worker did as well and it was fine for her too.

    Umm isn't a USA company closer then Mexico or Hong Kong?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    zenni is cheapest but from our experience you do get what you pay for. They're fine for a back-up pair but they won't be great.
    We've also used clearly.ca, they're better but still not great. I still use them because with several boys in this house they're bound to get destroyed in a year whether I pay $20 at zenni, $60 at clearly or $200+++ at a store.
    Why specifically (Zenni and Clearly) aren't they the best? What are the differences? Is it in the fit or material?

  21. #21

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    Fit and quality. I've had lenses from Zenni that weren't quite right and gave me a headache, and most of them have had poor quality materials, floppy hinges, that kind of thing.
    There can only be one.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    Fit and quality. I've had lenses from Zenni that weren't quite right and gave me a headache, and most of them have had poor quality materials, floppy hinges, that kind of thing.
    Oh my! Maybe I should buy from them as a backup and get good ones locally then? Some people said they are ok though.

    Locally it seems Cosco is the cheapest, but as one person said the quality my not be great.

    I could hold off and go to Mexico on a vacation I suppose lol. Hong Kong is a bit more expensive.
    Last edited by Eminent; 22-11-2017 at 04:21 PM.

  23. #23

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    Costco is fairly reasonable but quality wise not so much. Frames, lenses seem lower quality. You may look like a million bucks in those specs (like me) but they might not last as long.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  24. #24

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    2nd Specs seems like a good place Not as cheap as online and not as expensive as other stores.
    es.

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    I tried perle vision, too pricy, horrible CS.
    I will go back to Lenscrafters. I have gone back four years after, and their CS is great! I'm a strong believer in- you get what you pay for, and my sight is very precious to me,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Costco do have reasonably priced glasses but a friend of mine who bought from them said the lens quality was not the best. They scratch faster etc. She said it's almost as if the lens material is too soft, for want of a better word. She has progressives.
    My husband said the very same thing....

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by H.L. View Post
    I tried perle vision, too pricy, horrible CS.
    I will go back to Lenscrafters. I have gone back four years after, and their CS is great! I'm a strong believer in- you get what you pay for, and my sight is very precious to me,
    Repost

    Just note that Lens Crafters and Pearle Vision are owned by the same company.

    Be aware that if you are shopping around, if you get competitive quotes from Lenscrafters and Pearle Vision, you are not. They are the same company owned by Luxottica Group from Italy who own: LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Apex by Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Eyemed vision care plan, and Glasses.com.

    They win wherever you shop
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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by H.L. View Post
    I tried perle vision, too pricy, horrible CS.
    I will go back to Lenscrafters. I have gone back four years after, and their CS is great! I'm a strong believer in- you get what you pay for, and my sight is very precious to me,
    Repost

    Just note that Lens Crafters and Pearle Vision are owned by the same company.

    Be aware that if you are shopping around, if you get competitive quotes from Lenscrafters and Pearle Vision, you are not. They are the same company owned by Luxottica Group from Italy who own: LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Apex by Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Eyemed vision care plan, and Glasses.com.

    They win wherever you shop
    Thanks I kind of know that.

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