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Quick notes:

  • Very high end of the discount price range with glasses coming to about $40 shipped with single-vision CR39 (1.5 index assumed) lenses.
  • One of the most expensive AR coatings at $39.50 (more than the basic glasses/lenses). UV coating adds $5.
  • Website is clean, fluid, and trendy.
  • A- rating with the BBB.

 

Introduction:

Eyeglass Factory Outlet is located in the US (Florida). Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision and bi-focal/tri-focal/progressive lenses. They have a mailing address, fax, toll-free phone number, and contact form on the website. Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, and PayPal. The BBB has them listed with an “A-” rating.

 

Impressions:

I’d been notified some time ago that ownership had changed and the website had been redesigned. In the past, the emphasis appeared to be on an eBay store. Since the change in ownership the website certainly has been redesigned and it feels very clean and professional.

Short version of my impressions is that ~$35 is a high base price to charge for what I assume to be 1.5 index lenses, and isn’t really competitive with other online retailers. Normally I’d suspect it’s simply an online store-front for a retail location, but the only address they list is a PO box. So I have no idea what market they’re trying to reach. They do offer 5 different AR coatings including Crizal-branded (in the $80-120 range), so maybe they’re targeting the market who’s very picky about AR…? At this point I’m stretching a little to try and figure out what it is about them that stands out.

Frame selection at the $34.50 price point is quite good, with many frames offered in multiple colors.

Single-vision lenses come free with the frames which are typically $34.50. Bifocals add $15, Progressives add $45, and Trifocals add $65. An AR coating adds a whopping $39.50 to the price – more than the cost of a single-vision pair of glasses, while a UV coating adds $5. Tints (and gradient tints) are available at $5, and Transitions or Polarized lenses can be added for varying prices depending on the lens selected.

 

Website and Ordering:

Browsing is a clean and easy experience, though sorting options are limited (no way to see frames sizes in the listings for example), and there are no virutal try-on features. In addition, Bifocal and Progressive wearers may come out a little frustrated, as there doesn’t appear to be a way to see which frames are compatible with bifocal/progressive lenses.

The ordering process decent, and good lens information is provided (I actually love the way they’ve explained the differences between CR39/Polycarbonate/Glass/etc in a manner that’s easy to understand), but information on taking your own PD isn’t there and there’s nothing that tells me what the benefit of stepping up to the Crizal AR coatings might be. Also, while “thin and light” 1.56 index lenses are mentioned in the pop-up page, no offerings appear to exist.

All in all, the site has improved a lot but still lacks some of the basic features that most other retailers offer.

When it comes towards the end of the order, just before checkout they have a selection for entering a coupon code or estimating shipping – this is very fluid and well done. Guest checkout is available too – really, getting to the checkout process is an area I’d score them perfectly in.

 

Pricing and Value:

While Eyeglass Factory Outlet is technically in the discount spectrum, it’s not a strong presence. There’s a lot I love about the site, but basic CR39 (what I assume to be 1.5 index) lenses is a hard sell at $34.50 unless you’re focusing on the name-brand market too or can provide some indication as to why your glasses are worth more than everyone else’s.

I’ve tried to translate the pricing into a chart (ranges were required for some options to keep this simple). Pricing based upon $34.50 frames.

Single-visionBifocal FT28 (+$15)Bifocal FT35 (+$45)Progressive (+$45)Trifocal (+$65)
CR-39 (1.5 index assumed)freeincludedincludedincludedincluded
1.59 index Polycarbonate+$45+$55+$20+$10+$70
High index+$95 (1.67 index)+$175 (1.67 index)+$85 (1.60 index)+$100 (1.60 index)+$160 (1.67 index)
Glass (no index mentioned)+$40+$50+$50+$40+$120
Transitions (grey/brown)varies from +$70-145+$100 (CR39 only)+$150 (CR39 only)varies from +$150-$210varies from +$100-$120
Polarized (grey/brown/green)varies from +$70-$170varies from +$100-$125+$120 (CR39 only)+$180 (CR39 only)varies from +$90-$260
Photochromic XtraGlass (glass lenses)+$40 brown, +$35 grey+$70 brown, +$50 grey+$140 brown, +$120 grey+$190 brown, +$160 grey+$70 brown, +$40 grey
Tint or Gradient Tint (blue/brown/grey/green/purple)+$5+$5+$5+$5+$5
AR coating (standard)+$39.50+$39.50+$39.50+$39.50+$39.50
AR coating (premium)+$69.50+$69.50+$69.50+$69.50+$69.50
AR coating (Crizal)+$80+$80+$80+$80+$80
AR coating (Crizal Alize)+$100+$100+$100+$100+$100
AR coating (Crizal Avance)+$120+$120+$120+$120+$120
UV protection+$5+$5+$5+$5+$5

Shipping hits $4.95 in the US, and $9.95 to most international destinations.

Note that the chart is created by hand – if you notice errors, please contact me.

 

For those seeking a Crizal-branded AR coating or glass lenses (of an unknown index), Eyeglass Factory Outlet is definitely worth a look. If you’re content at the higher end of the discount spectrum, upgrades to Bi/Trifocal and Progressives are somewhat reasonable too (though still at the low index). Other online shoppers who are looking to upgrade beyond the base pair of lenses would probably stand to save a fair bit of money by looking elsewhere though.

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Curious as to how things have changed since 2006?
Here is the original writeup from many years ago…


Eyeglass Factory Outlet

 

Introduction

Eyeglass Factory Outlet is located in Florida (USA). Pricing in USD. They display a 1-877 number, fax number, physical address, and online contact form on their Contact page. They accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Paypal.

 

Impressions

Eyeglass Factory Outlet doesn’t seem to be overly popular on the net. To be honest, I’ve seen very little mention of them anywhere. Most of the frames/lenses (pretty much all but rimless) on their site are $34.50. Their lenses come with a free anti-scratch coating. Tint and UV coatings are an additional $5 each. An upgrade to bifocals adds $15 which isn’t bad all things considered. An AR coating however is a whopping $39.50 extra, which is more than the glasses!

A strange thing about the site is that at the bottom of each page, they state “Orders Are Not Valid In The State Of Florida”. I would guess that this is due to legal/regulatory issues regarding the sale of prescription lenses in the state of Florida, but I really have no idea (it could also be the additional complexity of adding tax to the checkout of the website, or something else entirely). Regardless of the reason, it seems that if you live inĀ Florida, you’re out of luck.

I had a little trouble trying to get accurate information about the company from the search.bbb.org website. The most accurate result seems to be for Dr. Barry Meyer (Eyeglass Factory Outlet), which is held on the BBB of Southeast Florida’s website. The address for Eyeglass Factory Outlet does not match the one shown on the website, but if you choose Eyeglass Factory Outlet’s “About Us” link, you are brought to a message/statement from Dr. Barry Meyer, so it seemingly is in fact the correct site. The bottom of Dr. Barry Meyer’s message/statement says “P.S. We’re also members of the Better Business Bureau of Broward County in the State of Florida“. I was unable to confirm this, as I could not find an online source of the BBB in Broward County. The BBB of Southeast Florida’s information on Dr. Barry Meyer (Eyeglass Factory Outlet) does not show them as a BBB member, and says that the record is ‘unsatisfactory’, with 3 resolved, and 4 ‘no response’ complaints. It would be nice to get more clarification on this, but for now this is all I was able to find.

 

Pricing (base price of $34.50)

Single VisionBifocalsProgressiveTrifocals
Lenses (plastic)included+$15.00 (Ft 28)+$90.00 (Sola Vip)+$64.00 (7/28)
+$32.00 (Ft 35 or Executive)+$141.00 (Varilux Comfort)+$80.50 (8/35)
+$45.00 (Super No Line)
.
High Index+$74.00+$125.00 (Ft 28)+$194.00
.
Polycarbonate+$44.00 (average)+$125.00 (Ft 28)+$194.00
+$65.00 (thinnest)
.
Polarized+$85.50+$130.50 (Ft 28)+$220.50
.
Photochromatic+$44.00+$84.00 (Ft 28)+$151.00
.
Transition+$95.00+$125.40 (Ft 28)+$195.00
.
Tint (Grey Brown Blue Yellow Rose) (Gradient or Solid) (Light Medium Dark)+$5.00
Glass Lens+$20.00
Anti Reflective Coating+$39.50
UV Protection+$5.00
.
Shipping (US)+$5.00
Shipping (International)+$9.95
Shipping (order over $50)free

A pair of single vision frames/lenses shipped is $39.50 in the US, and $44.45 Internationally.
Bifocals (shipped) go for $54.50 in the US, and $59.45 Internationally

 

Website Ratings

CategoryRatingDetails
WebsiteGoodWebsite is easy to navigate. Nothing is really outstanding, and for the most part there are only minor inconsistencies. For example, if you choose Polycarbonate lenses, it will still allow you to upgrade to Glass and UV Protection. A novice could potentially end up ordering either conflicting or redundant options. While this should obviously be caught when the glasses are being made, it’s still extra headache and hassle that could be avoided by automatically ‘graying out’ options while ordering (the same way many other sites do).
SelectionGreatJust about all the frames/lenses on the site are $34.50. Most categories have quite a few frames as well, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something you like. Rimless frames are the exception. There are only 5 rimless frames, which are all $79.50 and up.
Frame InfoAcceptableMaterial, color, dimensions, and a short description are given. It would be nice if the pictures were a little larger and in some cases clearer.
Lens OptionsGreatDespite a somewhat sloppy layout, there really are quite a few lens options. Single Vision, Bifocal, and Progressive lenses are all offered in Polarized, Polycarbonate, Photochromatic, Transitional, and High-Index lenses. Trifocals are available too. Glass, tint, AR, and UV coatings are additional options with additional cost.
ValueAcceptableIt would be nice if the basic pair was either slightly cheaper, or came with free AR & UV. Shipping cost is reasonable, and will probably be free if you get anything other than the basic Single Vision or Bifocal lenses.

 

 

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