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Quick notes:

  • Higher end of the discount price scale.
  • Discount frames effectively start at $48 with free 1.5 index single-vision lenses.
  • Name brand designer frames available (RayBan, CK, Nike, Converse, Guess, etc), typically in $100-200 price range.
  • “Sales and Coupons” section on their site with a number of discounts that primarily revolve around free shipping and/or free credit towards future purchases. Overall, site is focused on coupons for savings rather than lower base prices.
  • UV protection is not included – comes in an add-on package with AR at a minimum of $29 extra.
  • 100% cash refund guarantee within 30 days if glasses have not ben worn.
  • BBB is not a fan. F rating.

 

Introduction:

GlassesUSA is located in the US (New Jersey). Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision and bi-focal/progressive lenses. Methods of contact include a 1-800 number, mailing address, and a contact form on their site. Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, PayPal, and Amazon Checkout. The BBB has GlassesUSA listed with an F rating.

 

Impressions:

Where GlassesUSA used to offer frames and lenses starting in the $18 area, prices have gone up drastically. At this point I question whether they’re even competing in the discount-arena, and wonder if perhaps they’re focused on the name-brand offerings where customers aren’t as sensitive to price.

You’re essentially looking at $57 after shipping (before any coupons) for a basic pair of frames and the bottom-end 1.50 index single-vision lenses. That’s steep for 1.50, and it doesn’t even include UV protection. You have to add $29 to the price to get UV (though you get AR for that as well). I really don’t know what to say… unless there’s a compelling reason I’ve missed to go with them – something that makes their frames/lenses worth that price, they’ve pretty much priced themselves out of the discount market.

Frame selection at the $38 price point is paltry (12 frames) and thus I’ve gone with a $48 base price for the discount range, which comes with free single-vision lenses. As mentioned, a number of designer brands are available and tend to sit in the $100-200 price area.

Basic single-vision lenses (1.5 index) come free with the frames and include anti-scratch. Lens upgrades are provided via “packages”. For $29 you get UV and AR. For $59 you add the coatings plus 1.61 index lenses. The Premium package (at $98) brings you up to 1.67 index, “premium” coatings, and a card for 15% off your next purchase. Transitions and Polarized lenses are available as well. Tint is available at $29.

Bifocals and progressives add $89 and $99 respectively. Upgrade packages tend to be $10-20 more than their single-vision counterparts, though the lens offerings are different.

 

Website and Ordering:

The website is clean. The ordering page is well designed, though there is no guidance for taking your own PD measurement (and an odd suggestion to leave it at the default values if you don’t have it). The taller help pop-ups that do exist have a tendency to float off the page without scrollbars.

The lens options themselves are well laid out, and making a lens selection automatically greys-out any options that aren’t available for that particular lens (and vice-versa).

All-in-all the website and ordering experience is very well done.

 

Pricing and Value:

GlassesUSA doesn’t really appear to compete with other retailers on the discount end any longer. They may however be worth a look for those seeking name-brand frames.

Pricing based on $48 frames

 Single vision Bifocal Progressive
Value Package (1.5 index) free +$89 +$99 (V-Pro digital free form)
Standard Package with AR + UV +$29 (1.5 index) +$99 (1.5 index) +$139 (1.6 index V-Pro digital free form)
Super Package with AR + UV +$59 (1.61 index) +$109 (1.6 index) +$179 (1.67 index V-Pro digital free form)
Premium Package with AR + UV + 15% coupon off future purchase +$98 (1.67 index) +$119 (1.6 index) +$219 (1.6 index HOYA brand)
Anti-Scratch free free free
Tint (grey/brown) +$29 +$29 +$29
Polarized Lenses (grey) +$79 +$79
Photochromic (grey) +$59
Transitions VI photochromic (grey) +$109 +$109
Note: some packages are listed with “premium” AR and UV. Tint/Polarized/Photochromic availability varies by package.

US Shipping is $8.95 though they have a number of coupons available that can mitigate this. UK & Canada shipping weighs in at $21.95 but mentions that it’s via courier (3 business days). Other international shipping weights in at $24.95 (courier).

Charts are created by hand. If you notice any errors, please contact me.

 

 

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