- Lower end of the discount spectrum with many glasses available for under $20 shipped (1.56 index lenses).
- AR coating slightly high end at $10.
- Website theme reminiscent of a 60's drive-in/diner (worth checking out for that reason alone). Store is actually very well integrated with the theme, and ease of use is high.
- No checkout as guest.
- BBB accredited with an A rating.
GreatEyeglasses is located in the US (California). Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision and bi-focal/progressive lenses. They give a toll-free phone number, mailing address, and contact form for contact methods. Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover. They are BBB-accredited with an A rating.
Browsing through the Great Eyeglasses website has a simple, guided feeling to it. As you get started in "Step 1", you're immediately thrown into "Step 2 – narrow your search" which begins by displaying the selection, automatically sorted with the lowest price ($19.99) frames shown first. From there, everything remains well organized and stays in tune with the guided theme.
While going through, it never gives the impression that upgrades are being "pushed" on you or that you're being swayed into the higher-priced options. It's something of a feel good browsing experience.
Frame selection is quite good, with a healthy selection at the $19.99 price point.
Single-vision lenses (1.56 index) come free with the frames. Bi-focals add $20.99 to the price, while Progressives add $49.99, all maintaining the same 1.56 index. Polycarbonate, Photochromic, Polarized, Tinted, and High-Index (up to 1.74) are available options. One note is that some of the lens options appear very similar to those offered by Choice Eyewear – it's possible they're related somehow or order from the same supplier.
Website and Ordering:
I have to say, it's hard to find fault with the site. Simple and guided works, and the fact that none of the more expensive options are "pushed" is a nice treat.
While browsing frames, the layout is somewhat simple, but provides the key details (S/M/L frame size, and bi-focal/progressive compatibility). Narrowing down the options works well also, and is the quickest way to push into the above-$19.99 selection.
Ordering is pretty simple too, with all options on the same page, and "help" sections along the left. The biggest downside here is that some information is provided via the little ? popups, and other information via the help sections on the left which makes some things (like PD info) a little split up and inconsistent. Trying to scroll the mouse while the pointer is over the Opti-fit Tryon doesn't work either (it seems the tool itself must interfere). There are a few little oversights, but overall nothing too major. One nice thing to see is a pop-up confirmation for the prescription, mentioning that it's one of the most common mistakes made. Unfortunately, there's no option to checkout as a guest – you're forced to register to place your order.
Pricing and Value:
Glasses start at $19.99 with free 1.56 index lenses. Shipping is $8 within the US, and $16 internationally.
For value, $30 for glasses shipped within the US is quite reasonable and but puts them in the midrange. Adding an AR coating does push it up closer to $40 though. International shipping is a bit on the high end, and international customers may want to look elsewhere if looking for a cheap total-cost pair.
Lens offerings (based on $19.99 frames):
|1.59 Index Polycarbonate||+$13.99||+$59.99||+$69.99|
|1.60 Index Water Repellent / Anti Fog||+$19.99|
|Photochromic (grey/brown)||+$51.99 for 1.56 index (+$63.99 otherwise)||+$62.99 for 1.56 index (+$87.99 polycarbonate)||+$49.99 for 1.56 index (+$67.99 otherwise)|
|Tint (solid – red/brown/yellow/purple/grey/blue/pink/green)||+$6.99||+$6.99||+$6.99|
|Tint (gradient – red/brown/yellow/purple/grey/blue/pink/green)||+$11.99||+$11.99||+$11.99|
|AR coating with anti-radiation||+$21.95||+$21.95||+$21.95|
|AR coating (premium) plus Tuff Coat||+$39.99||+$39.99||+$39.99|
Shipping hits about $8 in the US and $16 internationally.
The price charts are created by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.
Pricing is quite reasonable on the lower end, and aside from the AR pricing being slightly high, nothing really stands out as being out of whack. An A rating with the BBB inspires some confidence as well. If you're looking for a different shopping experience, Great Eyeglasses could certainly be worth a browse.
Great Eyeglasses Reader Review #1
Sent in by: Doris
On Feb. 22/13 I placed an order for six pairs of glasses for my husband and myself through GreatEyeglasses.com for a total of $212.43. I received them about 2 1/2 weeks later (we are in Canada) and I am very happy with all of them.
I had a customer service question, which was answered immediately and professionally, and I would highly recommend them. The order includes a pair of bifocals in a metal frame and prescription sunglasses in a plastic one for my husband, as well as a computer pair, readers, and two pairs of sunglasses one reading (I like to read when passenger in our car) and one distance for driving, all in plastic frames.
Now, I have to admit that I have learned a bit about ordering glasses through previous mistakes – I had previously ordered through Zenni Optical (December 14, 2011) and found that not only had I made mistakes (my fault) in sizing the frames and lenses properly, also the frames felt very cheap, and the bottoms of the lenses in the semi-rimless style were not polished and looked unfinished. I returned the order. I then tried out Eyebuydirect.com, but when I had some questions, I found their Chinese customer service unacceptable and gave up on them.
In January of 2012 I gave GreatEyeglasses a try for the first time ($149.69). There was a minor shipping issue as well as a problem with one pair of glasses, and I contacted customer service. I immediately received a response and had my concerns resolved to my satisfaction.
(Note that Doris included copies of the invoices from both GreatEyeglasses & Zenni for verification when submitting the review.
Great Eyeglasses topics from the "Other Retailers" section of the old forums...