Quick notes:

  • In the lower price bracket of the discount arena, offers glasses starting at about $20 shipped, including 1.56 index single-vision lenses.
  • Formerly known as LBW Eyewear.
  • Site is in need of some serious visual polish.
  • B+ rating with the BBB.

 

Introduction:

Choice Eyewear (formerly LBW Eyewear) is located in the US (California). Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision and bi-focal/progressive lenses. Methods of contact include phone, fax, mail, and e-mail addresses. Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, and PayPal. The BBB has Choice Eyewear listed with a “B+” rating.

 

Impressions:

Choice Eyewear’s glasses start below $20 and include free anti-scratch and UV coatings. The site has made quite a few recent improvements from a usability and design perspective, but parts of the overall theme don’t have a unified feel to it.

Worth noting that Choice Eyewear used to be known as LBW Eyewear until about 2011 when they had a name change. I’m not sure as to the reasoning behind it, but the old site currently goes to a parked domain. The current site still has some references to LBW Eyewear (in one of the mouseover pop-ups for example).

While frame selection in the under-$20-after-shipping range isn’t strong, frame selection in the under-$20-before-shipping range is very strong with almost 300 frames.

Single-vision lenses (1.56 index) come free with the frames and include free UV and scratch-resistant coatings. Indexes are available up to 1.74. Polycarbonate, Photochromic, Polarized, and Tinted lenses are also available. An AR coating adds $5 to the price.

 

Website and Ordering:

Much of the website gives me the distinct impression that they’re using some generic shopping cart software and cramming a glasses store into it. Recent changes have certainly improved the visual appearance and usability drastically, but some parts still seem old while others seem new.

That said, good information is provided throughout – everything from frame sizes to mouse-over popups (though no try-on functionality).  Instant warning text when you enter a prescription that is probably-wrong, or a prescription high enough to add an additional charge is presented instantly which is a plus.

Ordering is relatively basic but straightforward. A drop-down containing lens types is a little bloated. For example, the various photochromic options in each color should probably be moved with the tints/polarized – I get that they’re only offered for certain indexes and that showing them up-front might be easier for people looking for photochromic, but there’s got to be a better way… In short, the order form wouldn’t win any awards, but for a shopper who knows what they’re after, it would likely suffice.

It’s not the type of site I’d send a new user to, but for somebody who’s ordered glasses online before, while some aspects may seem a little odd, they should be able to work their way through.

 

Pricing and Value:

Price-wise, they’re very reasonable at the low end. Most of their frames are covered in the under-$20 range (within the $20-30 range after shipping). AR is reasonable at $4.95.

As far as value goes, value is actually quite good. Just about anything can be found in the $9-$40 range, AR is reasonable at $5, and shipping is a fair price at $6.50 ($11.95 internationally). The jump to progressives is a fair bit higher than other retailers competing in the same area.  A very basic pair can be had for under $20 altogether.

Since most offerings have remained the same over the years, I’ve used the old chart and simply updated with offerings and a few price changes.

FRAMESbased on $19.98 frame (prices anywhere from $9-40)
Single-Vision Lenses
1.56FREE
1.58 High-impact+9.98
1.59 Polycarbonate+19.98
“O Plus” Water-Repellant/Anti-Fog+19.98
1.61+19.98
1.67+39.98
1.74+109.98
Photochromic 1.56 (brown, grey, blue, purple, pink)+39.98
Photochromic 1.59 Polycarbonate (brown, grey)+49.98
Photochromic 1.61 (brown, grey)+69.95
Photochromic 1.67 (brown, grey)+149.95
Bifocals
Flat Top+19.98
Rounded Top+29.98
Line Blended Out+59.98
Executive+99.98
1.58 Flat Top + impact lens+49.98
Ultra-Thin 1.61 Flat Top+59.98
Photochromic (grey or brown)+59.98
Progressives
1.56 (no-line multifocal)+59.98
1.56 (no-line multifocal) + impact lens+89.98
1.61 (no-line multifocal)+89.98
1.67 (no-line multifocal)+119.98
Free Form 1.56+109.98
Free Form Polycarbonate (1.59)+139.98
Free Form 1.61+129.98
Free Form 1.67+219.98
Free Form 1.74+249.98
Photochromic Free Form 1.56 (grey/brown)+129.98
Photochromic Free Form polycarbonate 1.59 (grey/brown)+169.98
Photochromic Free Form 1.61 (grey/brown)+249.98
OPTIONS
Anti-Reflective (AR) coating+4.98
Anti-Reflective (AR) plus Anti-Radiation coating+19.95
Tint Solid (grey/brown/pink/yellow/purple/red/green/blue/orange)+4.98
Tint Gradient (grey/brown/pink/yellow/purple/red/green/blue/orange)+9.98
Polarized (brown/grey/G15)+59.98
SHIPPING
US – USPS First Class+6.50
US – USPS Priority+12.99
Canada – USPS Air Mail+6.95
International Air Mail+12.98

Charts are updated by hand – contact me if you notice any errors. 

Offerings are reasonable. The site could use a few continued improvements though.

 

 

 

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