COCO LENI (formerly Global Eyeglasses)
- Higher end of the discount price scale.
- Cheapest glasses essentially start at $38 ($29 frames + $9 lenses).
- Cheapest bi-focals essentially start at $65 ($29 frames + $36 lenses).
- Cheapest progressives essentially start at $88 ($29 frames + $59 lenses)
- All lens coatings included free (AR, anti-scratch, hydrophobic)
- Most lens upgrades are branded (Kodak, essilor, Varilux, ZEISS, etc) and add a considerable step in price.
COCO LENI (formerly Global Eyeglasses) is based in the US (New Jersey) but head-quartered in Germany. Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision, bi-focal, and progressive lenses. Methods of contact include a mailing address, toll-free phone number, and email. Accepted methods of payment are Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, and Paypal. While COCO LENI is not currently listed with the BBB, the former Global Eyeglasses listing varied over time (dropping to F at one point) but ended on an A+ rating.
In mid-2018, Global Eyeglasses rebranded themselves as COCO LENI, though there are a few elements that lead me to believe this may have been an acquisition or merger of sorts. Global Eyeglasses had been around for a number of years and seemed to focus on competing with brick-and-mortar stores, at one point mentioning how much cheaper they were (in percentage) than Walmart/Costco. The overall focus at the time was on discount frames. With the rebrand to COCO LENI, the focus seems to be more on the Designed in Germany frames and the name-brand lenses available. The new emphasis is certainly on quality and they seem to be avoiding any whiff of being a seller for the low-end market - in fact, the word "discount" is nowhere to be found on the site and can only be found when referencing a sale/coupon. All lenses appear to include all coatings which is a change from the Global Eyeglasses offerings where coatings were $5+$5+$10. Thus, despite the base price for glasses increasing from $19 to $38 ($29+9), if you were the type to opt for all coatings previously ($19+5+5+10 = $39), the price is effectively unchanged at just under $40 before shipping.
While a number of retailers will re-lens your existing frames, the option is a little more prominent with COCO LENI. The cost is effectively the same as buying a full set of the cheapest glasses ($29 fitting + $9 minimum lenses) though prepaid postage appears to be included for US orders.
A few additional things to note: First is that COCO LENI mentions a 7-12 business day turnaround time which is longer than many other retailers and is thus something to keep in mind if you're in a rush for glasses. They do acknowledge this though and claim it is "worth the wait". Next, they do offer a 90-day return policy, but one requirement is that the glasses are "unworn" which minimizes the value of this policy (though they appear to have a second "one time exchange" policy without this limitation). In addition, for the standard policy you can either choose between a 100% store credit or a 75% refund. If they re-lensed your existing frames, there is no refund option, though half of the lens cost can be put towards a replacement pair of lenses.
Mens and Womens offerings sit around the 500-frame mark each, with a number offered in multiple colors. There is a heavy supply at the $29 mark, another heavy supply at the $39 mark, and a variety of heavily priced items (I saw anything up to $249).
Basic single-vision lenses (1.56 index) add $9. Bi-focal lenses (1.50 index) add $56, whereas progressives (1.50 index) add $59. A "workplace" variant exists which appears to be an offering for intermediate distances for the office and looking at screens/displays.
Lens selection is quite large with index offerings from 1.50 to 1.74 in the single/progressive categories. Most of those indexes additonally offer a selection between 2-3 brands. Photochromic and Tinted offerings are available as well, again with an ample selection of indexes and brands.
As mentioned previously, anti-reflective, anti-glare, anti-scratch and hydrophobic coatings seem to be included with virtually all lenses.
Website and Ordering:
The website has a clean fluid layout to it, and is easy to navigate. There is an emphasis on simplicity: Choose "Mens" or "Womens" and shop from there. Alternately choose from Color/Fit/Shape/Material tabs and some simple clean options present themselves. The emphasis on simplicity with a nice presentation is evident. Note however that while the default views do show a heavy selection of the cheaper lenses, there is no way to sort by price. While this is undoubtedly intentional, I won't give them too much flak for it, as they have weighted the lower priced options to be on the initial pages anyway. Even if they hadn't, their lack of advertising "glasses starting from X" means that it wouldn't be a bait and switch. They're somewhat in the clear here.
When it comes time to order, the default layout has an emphasis on simplicity. It is clear that COCO LENI realized that newcomers are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and went to lengths to minimize that stress. Choose the type of lens (single/progressive/workspace/plano), enter your prescription in the next panel, and then 1 clear and 1 photochromic option show up - generally the cheapest in each category. That's it. Then on to the shipping/payment. However, for those who are more particular and do want to see all the available options, an "Expert Mode" button sits at the bottom and opens up the page with every index, option, and lens brand available.
To sum it up, COCO LENI seems to focus on keeping everything clean & simple. Things are well laid out, and information is provided in such a way that new customers are unlikely to be overwhelmed.
One note of interest: COCO LENI is one of the few retailers that do not appear to have a virtual try-on feature. There are references to it across the site but I did not come across it naturally while browsing. It's possible it is slated for future release.
Pricing and Value:
When pitted against the discount retailers, basic single-vision frames and lenses are at the higher end of the spectrum, but still in the ball park. Stepping up to anything else lens-wise puts COCO LENI into a considerably more expensive category, though you are looking at a solid selection of name-brand lenses most of the time.
For a company that goes to lengths to avoid being considered to be in the discount arena in any fashion, overall the pricing is better than expected.
The price chart will be a little more simple here, reflecting the simplicity of the pricing model Global Eyeglasses offers.
Lens offerings (based on $29 frames):
|1.598-index (Poly) Kodak||+$46|
|1.598-index (Poly) essilor||+$74|
|1.598-index (Poly) Eyezen||+$166|
|Photochromic 1.50-index Kodak||+$69|
|Photochromic 1.50-index ZEISS||+$81|
|Photochromic 1.50-index essilor||+$125|
|Photochromic 1.56-index essilor||+$78|
|Photochromic 1.60-index Kodak||+$187|
|Photochromic 1.67-index essilor||+$399|
|Polarized 1.50-index BRILLARO||+$75|
|Polarized 1.50-index Kodak||+$162|
|Polarized 1.50-index essilor||+$162|
|Polarized 1.598-index (Poly) essilor||=$251|
|Polarized 1.60-index Kodak||+$255|
|Polarized 1.60-index DriveWear||+$346|
|Polarized 1.67-index Kodak||+$319|
|Tinted 1.50-index Kodak||+$59|
|Tinted 1.50-index e-mirror||+$73|
|Tinted 1.56-index SWISS||+$39|
|Tinted 1.598-index (Poly) e-mirror||+$122|
|Tinted 1.60-index Kodak||+$126|
|Tinted 1.67-index Kodak||+$156|
|Tinted 1.67-index e-mirror||+$173|
|Bi-focal (flat-top and round-top):|
|1.598-index (Poly) essilor||+$133|
|Photochromic 1.50-index BRILLARO||+$56|
|Photochromic 1.50-index essilor||+$138|
|Photochromic 1.50-index Kodak||+$147|
|Photochromic 1.56-index essilor||+$85|
|Tinted 1.50-index BRILLARO||+$40|
|Tinted 1.50-index Kodak||+$59|
|1.598-index (Poly) Varilux||+$273|
|Photochromic 1.50-index ZEISS||+$167|
|Photochromic 1.50-index essilor||+$199|
|Photochromic 1.50-index Varilux||+$375|
|Photochromic 1.50-index ZEISS||+$443|
|Photochromic 1.598-index (Poly) Varilux||+$458|
|Photochromic 1.60-index ZEISS||+$199|
|Photochromic 1.60-index Kodak||+$233|
|Photochromic 1.60-index essilor||+$260|
|Photochromic 1.60-index DriveWear||+$346|
|Photochromic 1.60-index ZEISS||+$568|
|Photochromic 1.67-index ZEISS||+$229|
|Photochromic 1.67-index Kodak||+$299|
|Photochromic 1.67-index Varilux||+$589|
|Photochromic 1.67-index ZEISS||+$599|
|Polarized 1.50-index SWISS||+$99|
|Polarized 1.50-index Kodak||+$202|
|Polarized 1.50-index Varilux||+$328|
|Polarized 1.598-index (Poly) Varilux||+$370|
|Polarized 1.60-index Kodak||+$303|
|Polarized 1.67-index Kodak||+$359|
|Tinted 1.50-index Kodak||+$95|
|Tinted 1.50-index Varilux||+$207|
|Tinted 1.50-index e-mirror||+$210|
|Tinted 1.56-index Varilux||+$238|
|Tinted 1.598-index (Poly) e-mirror||+$258|
|Tinted 1.60-index Kodak||+$137|
|Tinted 1.60-index Varilux||+$273|
|Tinted 1.67-index Kodak||+$182|
|Tinted 1.67-index Varilux||+$355|
Note that the "Computer" and "Workplace" are available but I didn't add them to the list above as it was already becoming crazy long. In addition, a number of the brand-name lenses have additional sub-options (ZEISS has LotuTec, Duravision Silver, Duravision Platinum, etc in some categories).
Shipping in the US is $5.95. Within Canada is a whopping $29. Other international locations such as Australia and the UK are $9.95.
The price charts are created by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.
Feb 20, 2013 - I placed an order for glasses from Global Eyeglasses. I ordered a cheap pair of semi-rimless frames with the basic CR39 lenses ($19) although those became free after using a "first pair free" promotional code. An AR coating added $10, and a UV coating added $5. Shipping to Canada was $9.95. It's worth noting that after you've entered your prescription, it does not show up anywhere (during the rest of the order process or in the final invoice). Thus, to verify that I had indeed entered the correct information, I had to log into the Global Eyeglasses website and look at the "prescription" page.
Feb 23, 2013 - I received an email stating the order had been shipped. They'd actually shipped it via DHL which I wasn't overly thrilled about (it meant a guaranteed drive to pick it up, since DHL does not deliver to my location). I was also a little apprehensive that I might be charged the exhorborant customs-clearing fees that DHL/UPS/FedEx are all known for charging.
Feb 28, 2013 - Glasses were received. DHL had phoned the previous day indicating they won't deliver to me, and I had to set up an alternate location to pick it up.
Order Review - May 11, 2013 - Pictures
(click on any of the thumbnails to open the image full-size in a new window)
#1 is the packaging along with an overhead view. #2 and #3 are other shots of the glasses themselves.
Order Review - May 11, 2013 - (continued)
Part of the reason for delaying the review a ways past February was that DHL in particular is known for sending an "invoice" a few months after
you've received your item for customs/duty fees and I wanted to see if one would show up. It never did, so at this point, I'm assuming I'm in the clear.
The glasses were packaged quite well, inside both a box and a fairly durable case. Lenses looked good, prescription appeared to be correct, and the tracks for the semi-rimless "wires" were well cut in each lens. Lenses passed the hot water test, and I didn't run into any issues or concerns. A very acceptable pair for something in the mid-range of the discount price arena.
Total time between ordering and delivery: 8 days
Time to ship: 3 days
Time in transit: 5 days
Would I buy from Global Eyeglasses again? I'm not a fan of extra fees for UV protection (most retailers include it for free), and DHL shipping really turns me off. Sure, I got the glasses incredibly fast, but personally I'd rather have the peace-of-mind of having it go through the national postal carrier (and not have to worry about picking up the glasses or the risk of unnecessarily large duty fees) even if it means slightly slower shipping times. Just the option would be nice. That said, the glasses were good, overall pricing was reasonable, it passed the hot water test, and I didn't have any complaints with the workmanship.
Would I recommend Global Eyeglasses to others based on this purchase? Sure, with a few notes. Anyone in a rural area (or in a country where the major couriers are notorious for gouging for customs clearance) should keep in mind that DHL might present them with some issues. In addition, be ABSOLUTELY SURE you've entered your prescription information correctly, as you're not presented with opportunities to notice a mistake later. The glasses themselves didn't present any cause for concern in my case, though should you have an issue, be mindful of Global's "F" rating with the BBB.
Global Eyeglasses Video Review
Global Eyeglasses topic from the "Other Retailers" section of the old forums...
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