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.
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.
Also, let’s not forget that by patronizing local stores, you are helping the local economy. I would gladly pay just a little extra to support my community.
Don’t start with the shop locally argument. I shop locally as often as I can. I’m a huge fan of the disappearing mom and pop shops of all kinds and will patronize them over a big-box store whenever possible. I support my community with volunteering AND my dollars. I’m not going to be screwed for it however.
Most stores will also price match online offers when possible to keep their customers happy and coming back.
Realistically, if this is truly the case, I’d have maybe been able to get out with a pair of Silhouettes for $350 — if I could have found such a generous optician.
Now for the issue of your ‘cheap’ lenses, I can assure you that the lenses that you received are ‘cheap’ as well. There are lenses that can be purchased from manufacturers for as little as $2-$3 per lens but are distorted and very poor quality.
I’m sure you could put this lens under to OptoTron3000 and tell me all sorts of ways this is inferior, but from a practical standpoint, it’s tack sharp, they seem to have the proper optical center (my measurements seem to be correct), and again the price means I could get five pairs for the price of one.
Opticians are trained to know the differences between these substandard lenses and the good stuff.
Too bad my eyes can’t tell the difference. Trust me, if a year down the road, I find a problem with these, I’ll post it. If I’m getting headaches in a week, I’ll post it.
Let me use this example: there are wide ranges of prices for diamonds. You can pay as little as $50–and in return you get poor cut, clarity and color so is that really a bargain??
Depends if you need it to cut something or sit in a ring for people to ooh and ahh over. Diamonds are a sham also. I’d consider dropping this from your arguments moving forward.
Again, you get what you pay for. I would recommend that you take your glasses (which probably cost the seller a total of $10-$11) to a qualified optician. They can put your lenses in a strain-o-scope to show you the extent of the distortion in your lenses and may be able to point out all of the defects and incorrect measurements as well.
And you get what you overpay for. Eyeglasses aren’t diamonds. They don’t last forever (unless you’re 70 years old and your idea of activity is turning the pages of the Wall Street Journal — I think my grandfather had the same glasses for the last 30 years of his life). I. like most people need (or even want) a new pair every few years. At $400 – $500, that’s not going to happen, and the lenses are going to get scratched with 3 young kids. Eyeglasses aren’t forever and I shouldn’t have to pay like they are.
I also want to state that not all opticians are created equal…..find a reputable optician (not likely to find this in a chain) and they will truly be able to get you the most value for your money.
You said a mouthful there. The people in LensCrafters have no idea what they are doing. They’re generally (I’m sure there are exceptions) not qualified to be within 6 feet of my eyes.
I appreciate your response, and I’m sure much of what you say is true. You do have much to gain from this, while I don’t. These glasses don’t compare in a number of ways to frames and lenses from your store, but they compare very favorably in one very important way. A way that I think you’ll see from the comments, is not being addressed and is in fact being manipulated by the brick and mortar stores. Someone is getting rich, to be sure.
UPDATE: Thanks for all of the kind words and thoughtful responses (on both sides of the issue)! I can’t believe the nerve this has touched. Want to share your experiences? I’ve started an aggregator site (http://www.glassyeyes.com), that will hopefully evolve into both a place to rate the shoppes and discuss this topic further. I really feel like the can of worms may be open now. Let me know what you think!