Glasses Buying Cost Cutting Plan Article Discussion Area

Former_MSE_Archna Posts: 1,903 Forumite
edited 16 June 2010 at 9:46AM in Shop but don't drop
This thread is to specifically discuss the content of the Glasses Buying Cost Cutting Plan article.

To read the article: Click here.

To discuss or ask a question about the article click reply.


  • cheekymole
    cheekymole Posts: 3,416
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have a voucher for a free eye test at D&A if anyone wants it. PM me.

    I did put it on the Discounts Board to didn't get any response.
    I hope you don't mind me putting it here
    I haven't got one!
  • koru
    koru Posts: 1,465
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    Buying on line is a good option, but I think Martin goes a bit too far in dismissing any alternatives.

    Sure, you can pay £99 at Dollond & Aitchison for basic frames, if you are really stupid or rich, but to use this as the only comparison is to exaggerate the cost benefit of buying online. There are plenty of cheaper options and special offers at most opticians. A realistic price for a basic frame on the high street would be more like £40. Still more expensive than the real cheapies online, but not that much extra, and at least you do get to see the frames and try them before you buy and get them fitted to your exact face, and take them back easily if they are faulty.

    And if you want designer frames, which many of us do, then again the difference in price is less marked. Indeed, if you are a Costco member (or know someone who is), they sell designer frames for as little as £40, including frames, so online is no cheaper at all.

    I'm not an optician and I'm not saying don't buy them online, but I think the choice is not as clear as Martin suggests.
  • I am in agreement with koru here, some very essential items are missing from the article.

    I just visited, to get an understanding of what is offered, and I think, the "discount" is not worth the potential risks:
    • Whilst I definately see there being a target audience for this product, something needs to be taken into account, most people wear their glasses every day, for most part of that day. They need to be comfortable, they need to suit you, they do not need to be to wide, they do not need to be too small, the lense needs to be centred, the weight of the glassess is important, and so on, and so on. Especially considering you can't try before you buy or return them, buying online seems risky. Although the latter is not possible in stores either, I do find that trying on your glasses, even for 5 seconds, gives a very good impression of how they will fit.
    • Which brings me to the second point, I don't know anyowe who has bought a pair of glasses and didn't need adjustments made to the nose bridge or the arm lenth. Sure you can do that yourself, but with the delicate materials used these days, I'd rather let the professionals do it.
    • There is another reason why this made to fit is so important. If the lenses aren't properly alligned with your eyes, this could potentially give headaches or tiredness due to stressed eyes. Again, here I'd rather have a professional looking at this.
    • My glasses costed me over £300, mainly because of the lenses required. What I can get from the site is that the frames might be cheaper, the lenses don't seem to be that much cheaper. Knowing that I am keeping my glasses for at least a year, and that I am in a position to talk to someone personally when I have a problem with them, is less then a pound a day not a very good deal then?
    • Frame colour, how on earth do you display that on a website? Often there is such fine detail in a frame, or its colour, that it can not be made visible by image, example: click here.
    • I could go on for a while, but feel like a right moan ;)

    All in all, I think these sites could be a good idea for people wearing glasses part time, but I'd really love to read some experiences from people who actually used a service like this and are wearing their glasses all the time.
  • I work for the NHS and since I work with computers we get our eye tests paid for so most people should check with their employer about similar schemes. We also get £30 knocked off the price of any glasses we buy - however, our employers have sneakily said that they will only pay the £30 if the optician admits we ONLY need the glasses for using display equiment. So if you need glasses for driving, TV, reading AND using computers you won't get £30! Sneaky.
  • Lady_S
    Lady_S Posts: 1,156 Forumite
    For anyone interested who lives in the west midlands there is a factory shop which does specs. They are really really cheap, I have some FCUK ones on at the moment and they were only £79.99 including thin and lights ( ask for the polycarb they are only a £10 add on extra)

    Its called Parmalee and they used to produce all the glasses for Specsavers until they ended the contract, so now they do it on a small scale themselves, they are on the industrial estate in Aldridge. If anyone wants any more details PM me.
  • I work for a large High Street optician. While I agree totally with Martin and the savings that can be had online, I feel that I must voice some concerns with using such services.

    Firstly, “Pupiliary Distance” or PD. Using a mirror to take this measurement is a good idea. The problem arises when you have a mid to high prescription.

    When you Sphere, or sph for short, is greater than 2.50 then having this measurement out by more than 1.0 of a millimeter can create something called prism. This can cause dizziness, headaches and sickness, as well as poor vision.

    With the PD the higher the prescription the more accurate it needs to be.

    Secondly, when you have a prescription of 4.00 or more you also need to know your pupil height. This is the distance from the lowest point of the frame to the center of the pupil. This measurement can only be taken when the person is wearing the frame.

    If this measurement is out you might have similar problems to above.

    For these reasons I would be very careful when using such services if you have a high prescription. A small amount of prism can greatly affect your vision.

    Thirdly, on the subject of Varifocals and Bifocals. I would have to say stick to your optician. These lenses need a lot of measurements. These measurements require the customer to ware the frame that they have chosen so that the exact position of the pupil can be taken in relation to the lowest point on the frame.

    Feel free to contact me with your questions or opinions to anything I have posted here.

    Lastly, the frame it’s self. Yes it looks good on the screen. But how do you know it fits?? What with bridge do you need so that the lenses sit ether side of your nose not in front of it? How wide is your head? How far back are your ears? These are all things that your High Street optician will be asking and looking at.
  • pistjordy wrote:
    We also get £30 knocked off the price of any glasses we buy - however, our employers have sneakily said that they will only pay the £30 if the optician admits we ONLY need the glasses for using display equiment. So if you need glasses for driving, TV, reading AND using computers you won't get £30! Sneaky.

    Sorry got to add my 2 pennys worth. This is due to there obligations under health and safety laws regarding the use of a display screen. By law they only have to pay for glasses when they are purely for computer use.
  • Davidboy
    Davidboy Posts: 922 Forumite
    All I can say is I bought a pair of basic glasses from glassesdirect, I supplied the perscription I had done from Specsavers and they are just fine. I could wear them all day no problems, as it happens they are reading glasses for £15 + £2.50p&p. I am not complaining. Very happy with them.

    I did buy a new pair from Specsavers are the time, photochromic, so could not have a second pair free, they cost me £125 so I think next time will try Glassessdirect again.

    Where I work you can only get help with glasses if you need them for computer work only.
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always recieve lots
  • I completely agree with you coensel and loudcloud! At least someones thinking about this with the head rather than the wallet! Ok we all like to save money but at what long term cost? does no-one value their eye sight anymore? and you can save money and buy specs of the high street you just have to look a bit harder. As an experienced eyecare professional myself and others at work always have a great giggle at the fact that people by specs over the internet-i've seen some great examples of their hand work! a pupil distance measurement MUST be taken accurately! this is taken to ensure that the clearest part of your lenses (where the most accurate part of your prescription is) is directly in front of your pupil and to avoid inducing any prism as mentioned by loudcloud we don't take the measurement for the pure pleasure of it! As for varifocals/bifocals there is no way that would work unless by pure luck! Also the fit is very important and as for going to the high street to get a PROFESSIONAL to sort out your cheap specs thats just taking the P! at least with a proper opticians you get the professional service and the comeback if there is any problems.
    sorry to moan but by people buying over the internet will only sway people away from training in optics due to feeling 'its a waste of time' and it will cost you in the long run replacing useless specs and the cost of eyetests will eventually increase in order to bring the cost of specs down
  • I just want to say that I bought some specs from - they arrived Saturday from Hong Kong and I am delighted with them! They are varifocal, rimless and have thin lenses with anti glare and scratch resist coating - absolutely amazing. I shall be buying another pair once the Xmas rush on my pocket is over. This was the only co. I found doing varifocals on rimless, and I must say I expected them to be terrible cheap varifocals (I had sillhouette before) but I was really surprised by the quality. Oh - cost was £70 delivered, compared to over £300 for same anywhere else, including specsavers, where my second pair would be from a range I don't even like.
    hope this is useful to someone
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