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Quick notes:

  • 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).

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.

Note that charts are created manually – if you notice any errors (or believe that it is out of date), 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.

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




SelectSpecs is based in the UK. Both single-vision and bi-focal lenses are available. One of the features of their site is the ability to select from multiple languages and currencies. Currencies to choose from are GBP, EUR, USD, YEN, AUS$, and CAN$. Language can be changed to English, German, Spanish, or French. They accept Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Delta, Diner’s Club, JCB, Maestro, Paypal, and NoChex. UK residents may also pay by cheque. Credit Card payments are processed by NetBanx.


SelectSpecs offers a wide variety of frames, including quite a few designer frames. Budget frames & lenses start at $24.79, which gets you a budget frame, and either Standard (1.49) or Thin&Light (1.56) lenses. SelectSpecs has stated that they are able to supply tints to high index lens materials at the customers request, despite the fact that it is not available on the website. So while an option may be grayed out on the order page, it may still be available upon request. Lenses come with free AR, scratch, and UV coatings.

With a solid website, good pricing, the ability to select your language and currency when browsing, a free AR coating, and low shipping, this site is definitely worth checking out.



The base price is in £, and other currencies are calculated based on the current exchange rate. As exchange rates change, these prices will undoubtedly become inaccurate, however they should still serve to give an approximation. Current pricing can of course be found on the SelectSpecs website.

pricing taken from website on May 9, 2006

GBP (£) USD CAN$ EUR (€) YEN (¥) AUS$
Basic Frames (Budget) + Lenses (1.49 or 1.56) 12.95 24.79 27.57 19.50 2768 32.25
Super Thin Lenses (1.60) +19.95 +38.18 +42.47 +30.05 +4264 +49.68
Ultra Super Thin Lenses (1.67) +54.95 +105.17 +116.99 +82.76 +11744 +136.84
UltraX Super Thin Lenses (1.74) +69.95 +133.88 +148.93 +105.35 +14949 +174.20
Bifocals +20.00 +38.28 +42.58 +30.12 +4274 +49.81
Transitions®NG Lenses (only available on 1.49 index) (Grey or Brown) +35.00 +66.99 +74.52 +52.71 +7480 +87.16
Tint (only available on 1.49 index) (Blue, Brown, G15, Grey, Pink, Yellow) +3.00 +5.74 +6.39 +4.52 +641 +7.47
Tint (only available on 1.49 index) (Graduated Brown or Pink) +5.00 +9.57 +10.65 +7.53 +1069 +12.45
Polarised (only available on 1.49 index) (Brown, Grey, Green) +35.00 +66.99 +74.52 +52.71 +7480 +87.16
Shipping (United Kingdom) +1.00 +1.91 +2.13 +1.51 +214 +2.49
Shipping (International) +2.80 +5.36 +5.96 +4.22 +598 +6.97

A pair of single vision lenses, shipped with free AR is $30.15USD Internationally (only $26.70USD in the UK). Quite the deal. Bifocals come to $68.43USD shipped Internationally.

SelectSpecs is also offering a “Re-Glaze” service into customers own frames. While not yet available on the website, it is available upon request, and I have been provided with the following information with pricing in USD (current as of January 23, 2006).

Standard 1.5 or 1.56 index – Sph +6.00 to -8.00 Cyl ±2.00, inclusive of anti-reflection and Scratch resistance coatings. Super Thin 1.6 index – Sph +6.00 to -8.00 Cyl ±2.00, inclusive of anti-reflection and Scratch Super Thin 1.6 index (Extra) – Sph +8.00 to -8.00 Cyl ±4.00, inclusive of anti-reflection and Scratch resistance coatings. Ultra Super Thin 1.67 index – Sph +9.00 to -12.00 Cyl ±4.00, inclusive of anti-reflection and Scratch resistance coatings. UltraX Super Thin 1.74 index – Sph +10.00 to -15.00 Cyl ±4.00, inclusive of anti-reflection and Scratch resistance coatings.
Full Rim Metal $36.31

Full Rim Plastic $36.31

Semi-Rimless $45.41

Rimless mount $54.51

Full Rim Metal $36.31

Full Rim Plastic $36.31

Semi-Rimless $63.61

Rimless mount $72.71

Full Rim Metal $81.81

Full Rim Plastic $81.81

Semi-Rimless $90.91

Rimless mount $100.00

Full Rim Metal $118.21

Full Rim Plastic $118.21

Semi-Rimless $127.31

Rimless mount $136.41

Full Rim Metal $136.41

Full Rim Plastic $136.41

Semi-Rimless $155.51

Rimless mount $154.61

Website Ratings

Category Rating Details
Website Excellent The website is easy to use. When ordering there are question-marks beside each option, where you can get additional information. The biggest thing the site has going for it though (in my opinion) is the ability to change the displayed currency. This should be very appealing to international buyers.
Selection Great The budget section ($23.83-$36.81) has a fair selection of frames. They also have a wide selection of Premier and Designer frames (which do cost more).
Frame Info Good Dimensions, Color, and material all given.
Lens Options Good A variety of indexes are offered. Transitions, Polarised, and Tinted lenses are available, although unfortunately only on the lowest-indexed lens.
Value Great A pair of frames/lenses with free AR for under $30 shipped is nothing to scoff at. Adding any options (except Tint), will more than double the price, however I would expect that they plan to sell the options mainly on the higher priced Premier and Designer frames anyway. If you just need a cheap pair with all of the coatings but none of the other goodies, this could be the place for you.


Click here to go to the SelectSpecs purchase review



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