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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you who wear prescription eyeglasses, what do you typically pay for a new pair of glasses?

I'm extremely nearsighted and my lenses have always run on the expensive side, but I bought a new pair of glasses recently and had sticker shock. I'm curious to see what other people typically pay for a new pair these days?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Over $700 for lightweight progressives, 3 years ago.
Okay, I don't feel so bad then. I paid a little over $700 for my glasses a few weeks ago, which is almost three times what I remember paying when I lived in the States...but that was over 10 years ago.
 

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A little over $300 for single vision, with transition lenses for my driving glasses; same price for reading glasses with anti-glare. I can't wear bifocals, as they make me dizzy, so if my prescription changes, I have to buy two pair.
 

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I bought by last pair for ~ $100 online. If you know the specs you need, get them online. The website I use starts at $8 per pair... then you just add on all the upgrades you need. It's not a designer brand but I don't care. The quality is just fine.
 

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Depends on your prescription, etc. Two pairs including one with designer frames $510 end of 2007. Paid for with my health spending account...
 

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I paid $70 CAD for my current pair of glasses this past January while I was in Asia. I brought the prescription along, chose my frame and picked up the pair within 1 or 2 business days. It has all the features that you'd normally expect in a typical pair of glasses i.e. anti-glare, anti-scratch coating and thin lenses.

I also bought a pair of glasses from an online shop last year but I wasn't too pleased with the product. Sure the price was attractive but the frames didn't fit me the way I like it (even though I specifically targeted certain frames based on the dimensions from my previous pair). I find glasses are like shoes or other personal stuff, it's better when you try them out in person.

You can try Wal-Mart or Zellers or Sears instead of the dedicated eyeglasses shops like Lenscrafters or Laurier Optical.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, now I feel bad again ;)

$250 is the most I ever paid for glasses in the past, and I figured there must be better deals out there. I bought glasses online once, but getting an optometrist to give me my pupilary distance was a bit of a challenge (they typically don't want to give it to you, because they know they're not going to get your business), and I think he intentionally gave me a misreading because the glasses I ordered online always felt a bit "off" in the prescription.

One problem I have is that my eyes are so bad that I can't choose new frames myself because I only see myself clearly if I stand three inches from the mirror, so I have to rely on the judgement of others. In this case the "others" thought I looked great in a pair of designer frames, but in future I'll try to avoid places that sell those.

(I know some eyeglass shops will take digital photos of you wearing different frames to help you choose, but for some reason that has never worked well for me either.)

My supplemental health insurance knocks $150 off the price of eyeglasses so my real cost was about $550, but that still seems like an awful lot of money.
 

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My mom used to work for an eye doctor, who told her that the real cost of a contact lens was about 25 cents. That was kind of hard to swallow when I pay over $150 for a set of five contact lenses.

The next time I need them I am going to try ordering them at visiondirect.com
 

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One problem I have is that my eyes are so bad that I can't choose new frames myself because I only see myself clearly if I stand three inches from the mirror, so I have to rely on the judgement of others.
My husband has the same issue. I've always had to pick out his glasses for him because he can't see himself try on a new pair and he doesn't wear contacts. Before I came into his life, his glasses were kind of nerdy. :eek:

My advice would be

a) It's worth spending money on a good pair of glasses. You wear them every day and they are a part of who you are and how you present yourself.

b) It's worth getting glasses at a 'real' store. They need to be fitted correctly. It sounds like your prescription is really strong. You need to wear them daily. It's worth spending the money to get a good pair .. ones that look nice and work!

c) You need to take your three closest stylish friends with you. If you don't have friends who are good at this type of thing, find someone at the office who wears nice things / looks great in their glasses and ask if they'll come with you to help choose a new pair. I would love to do this for others! Take them out for a coffee to thank them if you need to.

If you were wearing contacts or had a simple prescription, then yes, I'd consider ordering online. But in your case, I'd spend the money to get the right pair. Just be sure to bring someone you trust to help choose the frames.

His last pair was $650.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
If you were wearing contacts or had a simple prescription, then yes, I'd consider ordering online. But in your case, I'd spend the money to get the right pair. Just be sure to bring someone you trust to help choose the frames.

His last pair was $650.
Thanks for that advice, Kathryn. In fact my new glasses are very stylish (they're Georgio Armani frames, so they'd better be!) and that's part of the reason I'm not very happy with them: I am an anti-stylish person. I find they make me look like a Manhattan advertising executive or some trying-to-be-hip-but-over-the-hill urban radio announcer (in fact they make me look like a very specific urban radio announcer here in my city, and a couple of people have stopped me on the street, thinking I was that guy). The problem is that I am not a hip urban kind of person, so it's an image that I have a hard time reconciling with myself.

The two people who helped me pick them out were the woman at the eyeglass shop and my girlfriend, and they were unanimous that these glasses looked great on me, so I trusted them. I am starting to get used to these new specs, but when I first got them with the prescription lenses and saw what I looked like with them on, my reaction was "what were they thinking?" Of course the woman at the eyeglass center was thinking, "I'm going to sell this gullible fellow some really expensive frames and I'll get a nice commission," but I was surprised that my girlfriend also thought they were right for me. In the end, though, the women in my life have usually turned out to be right about these kinds of things and I may very well grow to like them.

My main worry is that these glasses will lead me down a slippery slope toward becoming more stylish, because right now most of the clothes in my wardrobe are between 10 and 20 years old and not very snappy. Will I have to buy a new suit to go with my new glasses? Maybe a cool black and grey striped shirt? Expensive shoes? Brooks Brothers socks? It all horrifies me a little ;) I've succesfully avoided paying any attention to style for all my adult life...I'm 50 years old and I don't really want to start now.

But I'll keep the glasses.
 

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All I can suggest is that you shop around. Bifocals or transition lenses seem to be about 3x the price of monofocal lenses. Frames are getting to be a "fashion statement", with similar mark-ups to fahion clothes. But a place like Lenscrafters will offer a wide range of frame prices (or at leat they used to.) The latest trend in lenses seems to be to keep making slightly new "improved" versions every year for which they feel justifed in asking higher prices, but try pinning your optometrist down on prices for last year's technology instead. (Does anyone actually believe the ads for so-called "Hi-Def" lenses currently going around? I'm sorry, no matter how good the lens is, they can't put anymore pixels into your retina without installing an artificial eyeball.)
 

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Your eye has a resolution of about 0.0030mm. That's enough pixel density that quality lenses are indeed noticeable. The recent development in lens technology to my recollection are increases in the refractive index, so lenses can be made thinner & lighter, while having the same corrective effect. I'd rather have the fancy new lenses that "coke bottles" every time, even at greater expense.
 

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2 years ago I paid $125 .... wait a minute ..... for: 2 prescription glasses and a prescription sunglass, not cheap fake frame either, it's original Oakley and Kipling frames.

You just gotta love shopping in asia eh ... especially those places where u need to bargain for, in fact, I am gonna get new glasses again in the next month or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You just gotta love shopping in asia eh ... especially those places where u need to bargain for, in fact, I am gonna get new glasses again in the next month or so.
Somehow the idea of spending $2,000 roundtrip to fly to Asia in order to buy cheap eyeglasses doesn't seem very frugal to me. ;) (I'm assuming you travel to Asia for other reasons and take the opportunity to get great deals on glasses and other things while you're there. I unfortunately have no plans to go to Asia for vacation and my work never takes me there.)
 

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Somehow the idea of spending $2,000 roundtrip to fly to Asia in order to buy cheap eyeglasses doesn't seem very frugal to me. ;) (I'm assuming you travel to Asia for other reasons and take the opportunity to get great deals on glasses and other things while you're there. I unfortunately have no plans to go to Asia for vacation and my work never takes me there.)
Of course I was in Asia for other reasons, but also always maximize the trip to get my shopping done there, just about everything is a lot cheaper without sacrificing quality.

Although thinking about it, 3 prescription glasses which could easily add up to more than $2,000 (considering the brand frames and prescripiton sunglasses are not usually that cheap), and only for $125 in asia, it might just worth the round trip flight cost :)
 

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I think I paid $200 about four years ago for decent frames and lenses. I paid about $250 last year for contacts that deal with my new issue of astigmatism.

Not frugal on either count but I've seen people with cheap frames and consider paying a bit more to be worth it -- if only aesthetically.
 

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What about going to laser eye surgery. Recent add on the radio stated they start at 490 an eye. I'm starting to think about that, when I finally graduate and have benefits.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What about going to laser eye surgery. Recent add on the radio stated they start at 490 an eye. I'm starting to think about that, when I finally graduate and have benefits.
That can work for people whose vision doesn't have to be corrected too much. My opthalmologist warned me that someone like me would be almost guaranteed to go blind with laser surgery (and most laser surgeons would refuse to work with someone like me anyway because the risk is too high). If you're extremely nearsighted, laser surgery is more likely to cause permanent damage. The doctor explained to me why this was but I've forgotten the details...something about the shape of my lens or cornea, I can't remember exactly.

I know plenty of people have had laser surgery and were happy with it, but my girlfriend works for a lawfirm that handles (among other things) lawsuits by people whose vision was permanently damaged by laser surgery, and there are enough of those lawsuits to make me think this is a pretty risky operation in general.
 
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