I recently had a much needed eye exam at Costco. This is the first time the doctor (or health professional) that cares for me is (seemingly) younger than I am; I must indeed be getting old. I resisted asking him about what he thought of the upcoming G.I. Joe movie for fear he would poke my eyes. Anyways, he was great and the exam was neither unusual nor unpleasant.
The latter particularly because I did not expect to go to a one stop shop this time (the ones where they both give you an eye exam and sell you glasses). I am a little ashamed to share but this is the one reason I do not get glasses as often as I should; I always feel ripped off after leaving the store many hundred of dollars poorer. This is most often the case anyways for me; feel free to disagree.
Whatever, after much online research, it is apparent I am not alone. If you have found yourself in a similar predicament, a good starting point on the web is the GlassyEyes Blog. I discovered this blog from Lifehacker a long time ago but had forgotten about it (I remembered this when I was quoted a new pair of glasses). Here I found how many disgruntled people are out there with the price of prescription glasses. Also, I discovered a whole online industry, albeit small, catering to these cheapskates :p.
I read all of the store reviews and browsed their online selections. Seeing the prices so reasonable, I gave LBWEyewear a shot and ordering a pair of glasses with the prescription I just got. Be aware that it is important to obtain the pupillary distance for you (PD); this is not part of the eye exam. Just do as I did: get exam done at Costco ($55.00) and ask the guy at glass store to measure your PD, he wont mind.
The ordering process is very simple and similar across all online stores I checked out and only one of them requires you to fax them your prescription, I do not remember which one. After adding all the bells and whistles, I placed my order and immediately received a confirmation email for it. Worth noting that they have a crappy ‘Shopping Cart’ bought from a kid at a flea mart or something. The email had my order but my prescription was incomplete. Go ahead, try it… odds are your order will look wrong before you finish placing it. I immediately called them and talked to a ‘Peter’ who corrected the order on the spot and sent me on my way.
Two weeks have passed and I just received my glasses. I saved me more than a hundred dollars (from the Costco price, lots more I am sure from other stores) and couldn’t be happier. I am so happy I may try another store shortly ordering a pair of prescription sunglasses this time to see how it goes.
I thought I would share; most of the people I know wear glasses and since they are way less frugal than I am this may benefit a whole bunch.