Eye test without being forced to buy glasses

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
53 replies 16K views
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  • It's like anything else, really, isn't it. If people keep going for the cheapo online outlets, sooner or later there's going to be no small, quality, independents left. Look what's happened to bookshops and record shops. I often wonder why people don't think of this when they've got £ signs in their eyes.
    Signature Removed by Forum Team ..thanks to somebody reporting a witty and decades-old Kenny Everett quote as 'offensive'!!
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    It's like anything else, really, isn't it. If people keep going for the cheapo online outlets, sooner or later there's going to be no small, quality, independents left. Look what's happened to bookshops and record shops. I often wonder why people don't think of this when they've got £ signs in their eyes.

    I agree to an extent, but in my experience even those who express that view and have the best of intentions don't actually do it anything like enough to make a significant difference.

    To retain support a "quality" independent in pretty much any field has to have a unique selling point. Being just average, particularly if they have above average prices, just won't cut it. The high street is really struggling in many areas of the country and has pretty much had it altogether in other areas if we are honest.

    Getting back to opticians, why do they need to be in the high street anyway? Doctors and dentists generally aren't. You have to go in person to get your eyes tested but if parking is difficult and expensive that is another reason to buy online rather than going back a week later to collect.

    Your example of a local independent that really does produce the glasses in house may be just such a unique selling point as to maintain a loyal client base. A warm fuzzy feeling of good personal attention and care still has value.

    Clearly just ordering in and heavily marking up, particularly if coupled with a chip on the shoulder attitude of "the business ain't what it used to be" has the opposite effect!
  • pmdukpmduk Forumite
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    Perhaps opticians could be renting space in Health Centres and the like?
  • kirtondmkirtondm Forumite
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    some optomertist do work out of health centres
  • C_MababejiveC_Mababejive Forumite
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    Luxottica the Italian company, is the biggest maker of spectacle frames in the world i believe ?

    Most if not all of your "designer" specs are made there as are the unbranded and cheaper ones.

    Designer specs have provided a good and new income stream for optoms in order to support their businesses and lots of people are happy to pay the premium for them.

    Meanwhile Essilor are the big name in lenses.

    Luxottica and Essilor recently forged plans to merge their businesses to form a single business with a market capitalization of around Euro 46 Billion.

    Being able to see has moved from being a basic human right to being a luxury for many.

    Maybe the merger will bring further economies of scale that will trickle down to the end consumer or maybe, as i suspect, we will end up with a near monopoly which will retain the mega savings brought about by the merger as profit.
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • tidustidus Forumite
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    Don't deal with Lux/Essilor at all if I can help it.... they do offer some economies of scale but only if you commit to dealing pretty much exclusively with them (Boots Opticians do this I believe) which further increases their dominance.

    They are also slowly (and pretty much under the radar) acquiring high street chains and internet outlets - not much in the UK yet but it's only a matter of time...
  • richardwrichardw Forumite
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    Luxottica the Italian company, is the biggest maker of spectacle frames in the world i believe ?....

    A little mention of their retail interests http://www.luxottica.com/en/retail-brands

    I would be happy to pay a NHS Optometrist for an eye test and eye check and then get spectacles from a walk in non eye test supplier.

    Free eye tests, vouchers and two for one promotions all mean we are paying too much for spectacles.

    There really is too much profit to be had. Specsavers spend a lot of money on all kinds of advertising, TV etc. Vision Express are spending a lot of money with Julie Walters on TV advertising.

    I'm an experienced and sophisticated spectacles buyer. I've lost count of the number of times some have tried to sell me wrong sized frames, mainly because they can not get the right size and just want a sale.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • roddydogsroddydogs Forumite
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    Wonder how much SS spent sponsoring the cricket?
  • Lynno77Lynno77 Forumite
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    At Vision Express you are required to pay extra if you require a PD measurement. However, most opticians will be reluctant to measure this and release the info if you are not buying specs from them. This is because if you do not tolerate your new specs, the onus is on the optician who took the measurement to re-make them.
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    Lynno77 wrote: »
    At Vision Express you are required to pay extra if you require a PD measurement. However, most opticians will be reluctant to measure this and release the info if you are not buying specs from them. This is because if you do not tolerate your new specs, the onus is on the optician who took the measurement to re-make them.

    Sadly they are allowed to do that!

    However, once you are an adult it is not really going to change, unlike your prescription, so you only need to find out once.

    Your PD can be measured from a previous pair of glasses (assuming they were made correctly) so most of the online firms will let you post an old pair to them for that purpose.

    Also, some of the online providers have software which works quite well, using the webcam on your computer. I know my PD but I tried a couple of websites and found it quite accurate.
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