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You should know that LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut and optical branches of Target and Sears are owned by the same company, Italy-based Luxottica, which also controls 80 percent of major frame brands. No doubt that online vendors have some great prices. But studies suggest that many consumers received eyeglasses that don't meet prescription specifications or safety standards. One budget-friendly suggestion, especially if you require multifocals: See if you can purchase frames online but have lenses handled by a local practitioner or optical chain. Member Discounts! Save on eye exams, prescription drugs, hearing aids and more.
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Share with facebook. Share with twitter. Share with linkedin. Share using email. Getty Images Understand your options and the costs before buying your next pair of eyeglasses. Size Matters If, after an eye exam, you decide to get a new pair of glasses, don't let fashion trump function. Lens Materials While specs are called "glasses," glass lenses have largely been replaced by high-tech plastics — lighter, thinner and less likely to break if dropped.
Most plastics require no additional UV treatments. Mid-index : Slimmer and lighter than basic, these are more compatible with anti-reflective and photochromic treatments. Again - you do NOT need to be a member to get an eye exam. You DO need to be a member or be with a member to purchase the eyeglasses or contacts. As far as quality goes, I am a big fan of Costco optical.
I found the quality of my glasses to be top notch, with nice frames, nice lenses, and a high quality anti-reflective coating. Consumer Reports had similar findings as reported in their December issue.
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Costco received their highest rating. Costco received the highest marks on customer satisfaction of any eyeglass chains and they also beat most of them on price. Costco also did the best in their review when it came to not having problems such as loose lenses, blurred vision, or damaged frames within the first few weeks after purchase. My Costco eyeglasses performed well. They remain my first choice for quality glasses with excellent customer support at a much lower cost than what you will pay at other retail chains or a prviate optometrist.
For my annual exam and glasses this year, I'm going to Costco and plan to try their new progressive lenses. Look for a new post on that topic soon. If you have any comments or opinions on Costco's vision department, I'd be interested to hear it by posting in this forum. I would think someone in private practice would probably be better than someone working for a big corporation. Also, can you then take your prescription and buy your glasses somewhere online to save money? What do you think the quality difference is between Costco, a private optician, and online stores like Zenni for the lenses and frames are?
When you go to a place like Costco or Lenscrafters, you'll see an optometrist to test your eyes. All places that I'm aware of use licensed optometrists, which means that whether you go to a place like Costco or Lenscrafters, you'll see someone with the same level of training and licensing as someone in private practice. Some people believe that you get a more personal experience when you go to a private practicioner.
Other people feel that there is a conflict of interest in that private practice optometrists almost always make money off of the glasses and frames that they sell. At a place like Costco, the optometrist doesn't make any extra money whether you buy your glasses there or not, so if they make a recommendation for a specific type of lens, they probably aren't just trying to sell you the product with which they make the most profit.
Having said that, though, I do have to say that when I went to Lenscrafters last year, the optometrist was strongly recommending the anti-reflective lenses - saying that some of my blurry vision could have been from eye fatigue. While there does seem to be some basis for her recommendation, it did seem like she was maybe trying to get me to buy something that may not make much of a difference. I'm still not convinced I benefit from anti-reflective lenses as I don't have a strong enough prescription to create much glare. That's a separate issue though. At Costco, they seem to have a decent quality lens with most of the options you'll want, including a decent quality anti-reflective coating for a good price.
If you want one of the top of the line lens treatments like Crizal Avance or Zeiss Purecoat , I think you'd have to go to one of the private optometrists and check to see if they actually offer the desired lens treatments before you go. The superior features of these lenses seem to be increased coatings that will resist oils and and dirt with lenses that clean more easily, while also being very durable and scratch resistant. From what I can tell, the lenses at Costco are going to be very good quality but I haven't been able to find anything specific.
Going to a private practitioner would give you an option for one of these extra high quality lens treatments, but it will also likely cost you significantly more than the very good lenses at Costco. There was a nice discussion on this topic last year with someone who wound up buying the Crizal Avance. I'm actually going to be due for my annual eye exam in August and I'm trying to decide which way to go myself.
I got super cheap glasses online from Zenni Optical last year and they have served me very well. However, my insurance will pay for a new pair of glasses this year so I'm actually deciding between Costco and getting something like Crizal Avance. I'm leaning towards going the Costco route as I don't know that I'll appreciate the difference. If I ever need a spare pair for which insurance won't pay, I'll wind up ordering through Zenni again, unless another place comes along that seems as good. If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I'll post a full review of the eyeglasses once I receive them.
I called Costco to set up an eye exam. There is one optometrist who has an office within the Costco, but she is considered as independent from Costco. There were no appointments available the same day, so I made the appointment for later in the week. This was in contrast to Lenscrafters where I've always been able to get an eye exam the same day I've called. I showed up to Costco a few minutes before my appointment and I noticed there is a sign saying they accept walk-ins if the time is available.
I don't know if they are able to "squeeze" people in if they show up and want an appointment. My appointment did go fairly fast, so I can see it as possible. I had checked in advance about my insurance through EyeMed and Costco. Costco does NOT accept insurance. What they do is give you a receipt that you can then submit to your own insurance. More on that later. The optometrist had an assistant who handled the scheduling, payments, and the initial eye exam. The assistant was very nice and she initially had me start by looking at a standard eye chart across the room - first with both eyes, then covering each eye one at a time.
She then had me read a card she held close up - again first with both eyes, then covering one eye at a time. She had me repeat both the wall chart and the close up chart without my eyeglasses - with both eyes and each eye separately. After finishing that, she had me put on 3D glasses and she showed me pictures in a book where I had to say what 3D shape I saw. After taking off the 3D glasses, she showed me a book with circles filled with different colored dots that make up various numbers. After finishing that, she had me sit down at the machines.
I looked into the first machine where there is a picture of a little house on a grassy lawn. The picture then goes in and out of focus. The same test was done when I was at Lenscrafters - I believe it is to try to estimate your eyeglass prescription. Next there was the machine that blows air into your eye - putting one eye in front of the light at a time, to get a puff of air. The air puff test is to test for glaucoma. Once I finished those tests, I went in to see the eye doctor.
Since I had never had an eye exam with her before, she first took my glasses and used a machine to measure the prescription. She said my glasses looked like they were still in very good shape these were the glasses I had purchased at Zenni Optical almost exactly a year ago.
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She asked a few questions and if I had any particular problems. Shen then asked a few times to compare different settings "which is better - one or two? All of the options she chose looked almost the same to me. She didn't suggest dilation or peripheral field testing. She said that my prescription hasn't changed at all and that I don't need to get new eyeglasses at this time. She did say I am almost to the point of needing bifocals, but not yet. She said she would guess I will need them in a few years, but that was just her guess.
I told her my insurance will cover a new pair and she recommended I get a pair of prescription sunglasses, but I told her that I don't wear sunglasses. She said they don't get as dark as dedicated sunglasses but will be better for me as I don't wear sunglasses at all even though I have the clip-on sunglasses from Zenni - I just don't ever use them. As I wanted to check out the quality of Costco's eyeglasses and since my insurance will cover a pair, I figured I would get a pair and I can always keep them as a spare. The eyeglasses and lenses are sold by Costco - not a separate entity like the optometrist.
They had two sections of men's frames - one section which was for narrower glasses and one section for wider glasses. The narrower glasses are what fit me. While there were many different frames in the one section, many of them are similar styles by different companies. It wasn't a huge selection by any means. I then took the frames I liked to the counter and she had me sit down and she measured my pupillary distance.
She used a little machine that looks kind of like binoculars. The pupil distance she measured was 1mm smaller than the number I came up with when I measured my own last year. I'd say I was pretty darn close measuring it myself last year for my Zenni order. She then said that they had a few options of lenses, with plastic being cheapest, then polycarbonate, then high index lenses.
As I have a weak prescription, I don't need high index lenses. She mentioned the polycarbonate lenses are stronger than the plastic and lighter.
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I'm familiar with the differences and while I liked my original plastic lenses from Lenscrafters, I wanted to get the polycarbonate with anti-reflective coating so that I can see how scratch resistant they are and how good the anti-reflective coating is. I especially wanted to compare them to my Zenni Optical glasses. Unlike when I get my exam at Lenscrafters and glasses , I will have to submit the receipts to my insurance.
I probably could have gotten plastic lenses without anti-reflective coatings for about the same price. They said it will take days to get the glasses and they will call me when they arrive. I'll post an update at that time. In the future, I will probably just get my eye exams at Lenscrafters, or find a local optometrist who is "in network" as it will save me the hassle of having to submit paperwork for reimbursement from insurance.
Also, unless the Costco eyeglasses are significantly better than the ones from Zenni, I will probably just order from Zenni in the future. I went and picked them up. The person at the Costco Optical counter had me try them on as he adjusted the ear pieces and the nose pads until they fit properly. Overall, the glasses seem very nice so far, but it will obviously take more time to see how durable the anti-scratch coating is. There was a little note card with the cleaning cloth saying that the anti-reflective coating is the most technologically advanced coating currently available - or something like that.
In casual use, I can't really say that I notice much difference compared to my previous glasses, but I'll have a better sense as I have worn them longer.
I'm going to take some pictures side by side with previous glasses and I'll try to see if there are more noticeable differences. An important part of the lenses will be how easy they are to clean and keep clean, as well as how durable the anti-scratch coatings are. I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to do some side-by-side comparisons. Overall, though, they are very nice glasses and lenses. As my Zenni lenses have held up very well over the past year, I'm not sure I can say there is a noticeable difference.
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Nonetheless, I'm guessing the quality from Costco is superior and more importantly, Costco offers excellent customer service if there is ever a problem, while Zenni's is practically non-existent from what I've heard. Let me begin by stating that the exams are for my children who are under 18, so their basic eye exam is covered by Alberta Health Care.
Costco is free. My older child has glaucoma which apparently for my local optometrist is difficult to fit, thus the cost. Regardless, Costco does not charge a fitting fee. They told me they will re-fit him until he is happy - at no extra charge at all. Another example of excellent customer service and another reason I'm a Costco member. My co-workers purchase their glasses at Costco as well and are very satisfied and repeat customers. Thanks for your time! For the glasses and lenses, though, they only accepted American Express or debit card like the rest of the store.
My mom has a Costco card. Would that cover me or only her? We're in the same household. To buy the glasses, you need to be a member, or have a member go into the store with you and probably be with you when you make the actual purchase as they scan the membership card when you actually purchase stuff at Costco. You could always call your local Costco and confirm their policies. The eye doctors at Costco are independent, as they are at most big chains, but still if you have a doctor you like, get the exam there and take the Rx to Costco to get filled.
Consumer Reports rated them higher than Lenscrafters and the like for accuracy when filling the Rx. My last glasses were no line progressive bifocals, hi index lenses, polycarbonate or whatever it's called , anti-glare coating, darken in the sun By comparison, I recently tried a new doctor and got my glasses from their showroom. Go to Costco You do need to be a member to use the service, but it is worth it to join just for this benefit. You'll save far more than you will spend on a membership. The best price anywhere maybe except online.
They miss stuff. It helped me a lot because I lost my only pair of glasses and I have no insurance so I have to pay for everything out of pocket but with your reviews I found the cheapest place for an eye exam and I can try to order a pair online. Again thank you so much for all the information you provided through your posts. I find this strange for a consumer oriented retailer, and a waste of a good pair frames that I have already purchased last year and that are very adequate.
I will not get my new prescription filled at Costco. Does anyone know if I can go elsewhere to purchase my lenses and frames? And if so, where can I go? I didn't particularly like their selection. Thanks in advance for any help! If you are very particular about the style, then you may not want to order online unless you have seen the specific frame in advance in person. The online options are the cheapest, but the frames may not be to your liking.
You could check out places like Walmart or Target if you want to stick to low price frames and lenses. You could also choose to buy just the frames at a more typical retail store like Lenscrafters which is likely to have a much larger selection and then have Costco put in the lenses as you'll get good quality lenses at Costco for a lot less money than what Lenscrafters would charge for similar types of lenses. Extremely bad experience All they care is to get your money.
I've found the Costco near me to be very customer service oriented, so clearly it really depends on the store in your area. If I were dissatisfied, I'd send feedback to Costco headquarters. I think Brampton is in Canada, so I think the way to send comments directly to Costco Canada headquarters would be through this link. Hopefully at least you found the glasses to be good quality.
Recently, I lost my sun glasses on a trip to North Africa and needed to replace them when I returned to Tampa. My old glasses were tinted bi-focals in Maui Jim frames. Retain high end shops priced my glasses at approx. The quality of the lenses is terrible and the frames are coming apart in just a few months of careful wearing. The screws keep loosening up and the frame springs apart when the screw pups out.
I am planning a trip out of the country for a few months and I need reliable glasses. Will not happen again. They took exactly one week from ordering to pick up. The first was scratched and the second were not fit properly. The staff at Costco was professional and helpful. I did not have my eyes examined at Costco, so can't comment on the doctor. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with the quality and the price and will definitely be returning for my next pair. The eye exam was quite good and one of the techs in the Optical Department was extremely helpful but the others were not. One was so bad she actually made me angry which rarely happens.
I learned what they call progressives are really no-line trifocals and they either don't know, or won't admit to knowing the difference between the two. The no-line trifocals had such a narrow focal point on the intermediate lenses, only a character or two would be in focus on either side of the focal point. The reading lens was not much better. A word or less would be in focus on either side of that focal point. Because the focal point was so narrow, the distance I was required to hold what I was reading had to be exact in order for both eyes to be in focal point.
The same was also true for the long distance lenses, although not as noticeable. Because of the distortion beyond the focal point, the glasses would literally make me feel nausea in my gut and lightheaded if I was doing anything outside including walking and driving. I talked to them three times about returning the glasses before they took them on return the fourth time.
To their credit they stated, and may have sincerely believed, I was having difficulty adjusting to, "progressives" as they called them. This occurred over six weeks of time. When they did take the glasses back I opted for lined tri-focals. I believed what they had said about my difficulting in adjusting to these glasses. The new glasses have varying focal points and distortions in different parts of the lenses.
For example on both the right and left distances lenses, the point most in focus is at the very top inside of the lens. As my eyes move away from this point objects become more or less blurry across the lens. It's different from the left eye to the right. The intermediate right lens is more clear closer to the top and bottom of the lens and it is the opposite with the left lens.
The reading lenses are similar to the distance lenses. My eyes hurt while wearing them and I believe they contribute to my headaches. Because it is very obvious to me it is the glasses and not me, I will attempt to return these glasses for a cash refund it is Costco after all. Many have stated they have no problem using Costco and I believe that to be the case, although I do have one friend that has had the anti-reflective coating peel off three times within three years yes he cares for them properly.
In my case I have never been able to wear cheap glasses, even before I needed corrective lenses. I have never been able to tolerate distortions in lenses. In my opinion, these Costco lenses are poorly made. If not, I would recommend avoiding any high-volume or warehouse optical departments. Interestingly, that is the same price as when I started this thread almost 3 years ago.
I just came from Kaiser Permanente where I have limited optical insurance under my "High" option. Here's the quote I got for lenses only, since my titanium "rimless" Sillouette frames are perfect: Polycarbonate single vision; anti-reflective; transition lenses Based on the comment on Sept 11, , they may not create the lenses for me. Thankfully, I do have other old frames that I like. Of course some insurance companies may not have Costco in their network but all you have to do is ask the optical clerk and they will let you know if they are contracted with your vision insurance.
My Costco lenses 3 pairs over 12 months! I have really never had an issue with durability on my optician purchased lenses. Two of the Costco pairs are slightly scratched. I am completely over Costco lenses. Costco doesn't offer a scratch resistant lens. Enough said I'm surprised to hear you had so much trouble with the lenses scratching and getting stained from drywall dust, and that you didn't have problems with lenses you got from a private eye doctor.
The Costco lenses do include an anti-scratch coating. My own glasses from Costco never scratched, and I wore them daily for over a year before replacing them. Complete pair purchase required frame and lenses. Watch Kaitlins thoughts a… https: If you are present prior to use or disclosure of your health information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosures. You can receive care and shop at:. All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations and exclusions set forth in the federal brochure.
Winter can cause dry eyes so for those days you don't want to wear contact lenses - rock glasses! Skip to main content. If you view this Notice on our website or by email, you are entitled to receive this Notice in written form. Very unprofessional people working in the front. The Eye Place Optometry jobs Filter results by:.