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Thread: Vision and glasses

  1. #11
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Costco has reasonable prices and frequent sales. i mostly go without, but require glasses to drive, so I'll get tested eventually--then look for a reliable mail order source.

  2. #12
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Cellaneous View Post
    I have no idea why a scrap of metal can cost $300 or more for frames, and lenses can cost nearly $800. Maybe back in the day when they were hand-grinding the lenses, but they are all mass produced these days.
    In the case of the frames, it's a market with incredibly high markup. The company Luxottica has a stranglehold on consumer optical (do a Web search on the name and you'll see how pervasive they are and their 800-pound-gorilla effect on the business). It's also very fashion-based with lots of "designer" names and fast-fashion "what's-in-now". All of that spells $$$.

    As for the lenses, part of the $800 covers the cost of labor in fitting them and the cost of redoing them if the optical company messes up. The materials, in many cases, are pretty high-tech, too. No idea what the yield is on good grinds versus bad ones; that may be a factor, too. And since they can easily charge $300 or so for frames, why can't they "upcharge" the lenses to match?

    Companies like Zenni and Warby Parker are starting to disrupt the Luxottica empire. I still have been going to an independent optician because I've got a very strong prescription for progressive lenses and I want to make sure they get it right. Next time, though, assuming I have the luxury of time, I'm planning to go to the Warby Parker store in town (they're doing that now) to check them out. At that much of a lower price, it may be worth placing the bet that they can get it right even if it takes them a whack or two.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #13
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Dang. After reading this I think I'll stick with contacts. The last few years my prescription has been changing (very nearsighted and astigmatism) after almost twenty years of staying the same. So once a year I spend $160 at Costco for a new pair of rigid progressive lenses. Hopefully at some point my reading will stabilize and I can go back to only buying lenses every three or four years.

  4. #14
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    I had cataract surgery three months ago and went from being very nearsighted to being farsighted. I can see plenty well enough at distance to drive and do most daily activities, but still need reading glasses. I've been using drugstore glasses, but I'm having a hard time getting used to the constant on and off and needing to carry them around all the time or have multiple pairs everywhere. So I may go back to wearing progressive lenses, even though the distance correction will be very slight.

    If I do get regular glasses, I'll definitely get them online. Steve is right that the traditional market is a racket, a near-monopoly that the online market is finally starting to crack. My sister started going online a few years ago and has been very happy with the results.

    Overall, it is nice that I'm no longer helpless without my glasses and knowing that if I lose my reading glasses I can just walk into a drugstore and get another pair for 20 bucks. But after 50 years of wearing glasses all the time, I think I'd like to go back to just putting them on in the morning and forgetting about it for the rest of the day. That would be worth $150 to me.

  5. #15
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    When I don't need my reading glasses I push them up on top of my head like you would a pair of sunglasses when you are ducking indoors. This wears them out over time, but since I buy them at Dollar Tree it is not a large expense.

    So my contacts correct for distance/driving, my reading glasses for nearby items. I also have a pair of glasses as a backup. The frames were $8 at Walmart and the lenses maybe a couple hundred dollars as they are progressives. I have used them for years when I get up during the night and my lenses are out.

    In my opinion vision insurance is worthless. You pay less going someplace that doesn't take insurance than you pay out of pocket someplace that does. Then again I have zero vanity when it comes to wearing nondesigner glasses or perching them on my head.

  6. #16
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    HappyHiker.......May I ask you what online company your DH got his glasses from?

  7. #17
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    I'm still hesitant to order progressive lenses via online sources. This last time, I got clear and sunglass prescriptions done. The clear makes me dizzy! They aren't situated to my field of vision properly, and I get woozy when wearing them. The sunglasses are perfect.

    The provider is going to remake the clears for me.

  8. #18
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    Cathy, my husband used Zennis and says there is no difference between the 450 dollar pair made by the optician at his optometrist and the Zenni pair that was around 60.

  9. #19
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks Tybee!

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