Archive for the 'Zenni' Category

Eyeglasses — A response to “Stephanie”, an Optometrist

November 10, 2006

Thanks for swinging by. This post, the conversation, and research have shifted to GlassyEyes.com. Join us for in-depth recommendations and horror stories. It seems that quite a few people are looking for alternatives to over-priced eyewear.

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Regarding the post: Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers, I got a nice message from “Stephanie”, an optician with some concerns.

You stated that you are an informed shopper; however, perhaps not informed enough. You were originally interested in Silhouette frames. As an optician, I can assure you that you get what you pay for. In our store, we will only carry Silhouette rimless frames because they are FAR superior to any other rimless system that is currently produced.

That may be true. I would have loved a pair of Silhouettes, but they’re not realistic for most people.

They are made of hyperflex titanium (5X stronger than beta titanium). In addition, they have no screws, require very little adjustment and weigh less than 1 ounce.

Not sure what you’re saying here, but these weigh in at .4 oz (with the lenses) — half the weight of all of the other eyeglasses of the people in my office. So weight is certainly not a big check mark on the Silhouette ledger over these.

They are also the leader in rimless frames and are the first to come out with new technology. Our mark up on frames is no where near 1000% as you stated.

That’s all fine and good, but my face is not going to be pressed into service for NASA. I’m going to wear my glasses during the day, and take them off at night. The additional flexibility and strength of these likely “beta titanium” (a new term for me — thanks!) frames should be just fine, and I’ll be able to afford Christmas presents for the kids this year, and maybe buy the firewood for the winter.

You may be able to find a silhouette frame a little cheaper online but you are also forfeiting correct measurements and the service provided (future repairs and adjustments, complimentary ultrasonic cleanings, etc).

I wonder how many people you sell on ultrasonic cleanings. In theory it sounds like a good idea, but I think $320 is a bit much for an extended service plan.

Stores also have more overhead (salaries for qualified and experienced opticians, ulitity bills, etc) so you are paying for more than just the frame…you are paying for the overall service.

I can appreciate that. That’s the reason I’ve gone to the same opthalmologist for the past 25 years. I want a qualified person checking my eyes — after that it’s numbers on a card and money-grubbing.

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Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers

November 10, 2006

WE’VE MOVED! This post, the conversation, and research have shifted to GlassyEyes.com. Join us for in-depth recommendations and horror stories. It seems that quite a few people are looking for alternatives to over-priced eyewear.

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I’ve stepped into my last eyeglasses store. I’ve been wearing glasses since junior high, and the prices have gotten outrageous. The last pair I bought at LensCrafters, in 2004, set me back about $300 and never fit properly — even after multiple trips back. They broke the last week of October. Snap!

I’ve had my eye on, and nearly purchased a pair of Silhouettes a few months back. They were the titanium hingeless variety. I priced them out at a couple of stores and with AR (anti-reflective) lenses with scratch-resistant coating, I was looking at about $500. I don’t claim to be the smartest guy in the room very often, but no way in hell was I going to buy into that.

The best deal I could find in a store for a pair (in a non-welfare frame) approached $270 — without AR lenses. That would not do either. There had to be a better alternative. I decided I was going to find the Silhouettes online. I already knew what I wanted and they’d have to be much less online. I googled — and found them — for $410ish. Not good enough. I went back to my search results. You know how google has the ads on the right side (of course you do)? I ignore them almost all the time. For some reason (my empty wallet?) I decided to click a link to Zenni Optical (a.k.a., and I kid you not — 19dollareyeglasses.com).

Zenni had a couple of titanium, hingeless frames. I priced them out. I decked them out with AR coating ($4.95 compared to $50+ in the stores), a clip-on sunshade ($3.95 versus $70 in the store) and went to the optional higher-index (thinner) lenses. Total?

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