39 Dollar Glasses (purchase #2)
Aug 11, 2009 - An order was placed for glasses. I went with the cheapest frames ($39.00) which came with free polycarbonate lenses, and added an AR coating ($24.95). I used the coupon link from the website (15% off) which reduced the price by $9.59. The glasses included free anti-scratch and UV coatings. Shipping was $12.95 to Canada, bringing the total to $67.31.
Aug 12, 2009 - A day later, I received an email stating that the glasses had shipped, which included a tracking number.
Aug 20, 2009 - The glasses arrived. The envelope stated they were shipped from New York. Overall, a very reasonable shipping time from the US to Canada.
Inside the envelope was a clamshell case, which contained the glasses as well as a micro-fibre cloth. The case was noticably durable as soon as I held it. I resisted the urge to grab a sledge hammer and see how much of a beating it would take, but needless to say, I'm confident in it's ability to protect the glasses during transit.
First impressions & Quality
The frames were very solid, which was noticible right away. They're also hinged and overall they have a good sturdy, quality feel to them. The lenses were cut precisely to fit the frames, and seemed to be optically correct throughout. Neither the nosepads nor the frames needed any adjusting.
The AR coating reflects light sources as a light purple (green/purple tend to be the common colors), and no defects were present. The lenses were quite clean and didn't need any rinsing.
I put the lenses through the "hot water test", and they passed without any cracking.
I was pretty pleased with the glasses overall. $39 does get to be at the higher end of the "discount glasses" spectrum, but they do include polycarbonate lenses as standard which makes it very competitive with other polycarbonate offerings. The down side is the price of the AR coating – at $25, it easily adds over 50% to the total cost of a basic pair of glasses. It did pass the hot water test (and had it failed I would have reamed on it hard), so it's likely to be at least a quality coating. To be perfectly fair, most other retailers charge a lot more for polycarbonate to begin with (even when they include free AR), so it probably isn't as big a deal as I've made it out to be – the grand total for poly + AR is still very competitive with others.
Would I buy from 39DollarGlasses again?
I probably would. I tend to like the properties of polycarbonate, and both the frames and lenses met my expectations and were great for the price.
Would I recommend 39DollarGlasses to others?
It depends on the person. The website's very new-user-friendly, the quality is great, and the price is very competitive as well. They're also one of very few to have resolved 100% of their BBB complaints.
For someone looking for a quality pair of frames with polycarbonate lenses, 39DollarGlasses would probably be one of my first recommendations. For polycarbonate, it's really the way to go if someone's looking for quality at a good price.
That said, for someone who's looking for a simple cheap back-up pair, they'd probably be best served to get a standard CR-39 lens elsewhere.
(Zenni Optical - purchase #1)