- Low-mid price point in discount range with a number of glasses coming to $24 shipped worldwide (1.56 index single-vision with free AR).
- Very International-Friendly – The default currency displayed is auto-detected based on your location.
- Offer a "reglaze" service – Effectively a service for those who wish to keep their existing frames and just have new lenses put in.
- If unsure about your PD, they allow you to send your old glasses in and they'll take the measurement from those (free if you don't want the old glasses back, otherwise 5 pounds).
- Number of name-brand frames offered at higher price points.
- Can not check out as guest.
- F rating with the BBB.
SelectSpecs is based in the UK, although they also appear to have an office in the USA (New York). Base pricing in brittish pounds, but currency selection defaults to your local currency based on your location – available in GBP, EUR, USD, YEN, AUS, CAN. They sell single-vision and bi-focal/progressive lenses, as well as a re-glaze service. Methods of contact include both a UK and US address, UK and US phone numbers (unmanned), UK and International fax numbers, and an online form. Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Diner's Club, Maestro, NoChex, Paypal and Cheques (UK customers). The BBB has a SelectSpecs listed with an F rating.
Note that in the following sections, I'm using US dollar amounts since it's the easiest to help compare between other retailers mentioned on the site. However, these prices are based on the exchange rate shown at the time of this writing.
SelectSpecs has done an incredible job of making their website work seamlessly for international customers in various currencies. The website is somewhat unique in design (in particular, the ordering process) and overall is clean and straightforward, but the ordering pages are not as fluid as some other retailers.
Frame selection at the budget price-point is pretty decent, with a number of frames at the $13-14 price point including free 1.56 index single-vision lenses. While their site appears to support selecting a frame and then selecting a color, each color is listed as it's own frame. Name-brand offerings (Calvin Klein, Oakley, Ralph Laruen, etc) tend to fluctuate around the $150 mark (&/- $30 or so depending on the frame.)
Single-vision lenses (either 1.49 or 1.56 index) come free with the frames. Bifocals add about $32 and Progressives add about $40 to the price tag though they start at 1.5 index. All lenses come with free AR, anti-scratch, and UV coatings (though you can un-select them if you don't want them for whatever reason). It's worth noting they have a lens/price list on their site with the full breakdown.
Website and Ordering:
All in all, the website is very well done in the majority of aspects, and the experience is pleasant. It does lack a few options that most other retailers contain (a feature that lets you see how glasses might look on you for example).
Ordering is quite easy and step-by-step. They've gone the route of breaking everything into pages however, so it can be more annoying if you're deciding between a couple lens types (bifocal vs progressive for example), though they do have a full lens-price list which can aid there. Because being broken into pages can make things more challenging for somebody looking for say... polarized-capable lens indexes, they mention the types of lens options you'll be able to choose with each selection up-front. While I don't prefer this style of presentation, that doesn't make it wrong – it's just different. And if nothing else, I do appreciate the unique feel that it gives to their site – they've gone their own way.
Pricing and Value:
The pricing for frames really varies, and picking between $14 and $20 as a starting price point for the discount range was a little tough. I've gone with the $14 point for now but bear in mind that the selection on the site is distributed fairly evenly among a number of price points (all the way up to the name-brand prices).
As you'll see below, lens pricing varies quite a bit as well. It's safe to say that if you're looking for cheap glasses you'll be very limited in the lens offerings, as some of the offerings (tint for example) have a tendency to bring up the price drastically with certain lenses.
Values are essentially pulled from their lens price list, rounded to the nearest US dollar, and reformatted to keep it from being insanely long. Based on a standard pair of frames (add the price of $14 frames to the value listed below).
Lens offerings (based on $14 frames):
|Clear Lenses||Tinted||Polarized||Photochromic||Transitions (photochromic)|
|Single-vision 1.50 index||free||+$16||+$56||+$95|
|Single-vision 1.53 index Trivex||+$81||+$127 (Sun Lens NXT)||+$193 (Sun Lens NXT)||+$193|
|Single-vision 1.56 index||free||+$81||+$40|
|Single-vision 1.56 index – High Impact||+$24|
|Single vision 1.59 index – Polycarbonate||+$16||+$111||+$111|
|Single-vision 1.61 index||+$24||+$89||+$209||+$72||+$153|
|Single-vision 1.67 index||+$48||+$113||+$225||+$209|
|Single-vision 1.67 index Double-Concave||+$143|
|Single-vision 1.74 index||+$81||+$209|
|Single-vision 1.74 index Double-Aspheric||+$192|
|Bifocal R28 1.50 index Round Segment||+$32||+$48|
|Bifocal D28 1.50 index Flat Top||+$32||+$48||+$97||+$153|
|Bifocal D35 1.50 index Flat Top||+$40||+$56|
|Bifocal R28 1.56 index Round Segment||+$81|
|Bifocal D28 1.56 index Flat Top||+$111||+$81|
|Bifocal D28 1.56 index Flat Top – High Impact||+$81|
|Bifocal D28 1.59 index Flat Top – Polycarbonate||+$81|
|Bifocal D28 1.60 index Flat Top||+$129||+$159|
|Bifocal D35 1.60 index Flat Top||+$129|
|Varifocal 1.50 index||+$40||+$56||+$113||+$201|
|Varifocal 1.53 index Trivex||+$113||+$272|
|Varifocal 1.56 index||+$81|
|Varifocal 1.56 index – High Impact||+$72|
|Varifocal 1.59 index – Polycarbonate||+$72|
|Varifocal 1.60 index||+$129||+$177||+$274|
|Varifocal 1.67 index||+$145||+$177|
|Varifocal 1.74 index||+$225||+$258|
|Freeform Varifocal 1.50 index||+$64||+$81||+$129||+$217|
|Freeform Varifocal 1.53 index Trivex||+$217||+$233 (Sun Lens NXT)||+$290|
|Freeform Varifocal 1.56 index||+$201|
|Freeform Varifocal 1.56 index – High Impact||+$105|
|Freeform Varifocal 1.59 index – Polycarbonate||+$121||+$209||+$225|
|Freeform Varifocal 1.60 index||+$153||+$193||+$320||+$288|
|Freeform Varifocal 1.67 index||+$177||+$209||+$322|
|Freeform Varifocal 1.74 index||+$282||+$322|
|UV, Anti-reflective, Anti-scratch (all lenses)||free||free||free||free||free|
Shipping appear to be a standard $10 worldwide. Customers in the UK are subject to VAT.
The price charts are created by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.
If looking for low-cost frames/lenses, SelectSpecs has the potential to fit the bill, but you have to be rather careful as to which lens options you choose if you want to keep the price down. If looking for name-brand frames, one of the larger strengths SelectSpecs has going for it is flexibility in lens indexes offered – more than a number of other name-brand retailers.
Topics from the SelectSpecs section of the old forums...