Feb 2, 2009 - An order was placed for a set of glasses during the "2-4-1" sale that EyeBuyDirect.com was having, although I only ordered a single pair of glasses. Browsing through frames and sorting by price, I selected regular metal frames ($17.95) with basic free lenses, and added an AR ($6.95) and UV ($4.95) coating. After using a coupon code for reduced shipping, the total came to $33.85 shipped to Canada.
Feb 23, 2009 - The glasses arrived in the mail. I had actually expected them to take a little longer (since they were ordered during a sale), but to my surprise they made it in exactly 2 weeks which is what I generally expect from most items I order from the US. I was certainly pleased with the amount of time it took.
To my surprise, I was charged duty/tax on the glasses. Normally, prescription glasses are exempt from duty/tax. However, the customs form submitted listed the item as "Sunglasses" (even though they had no tint), with no mention of them being prescription. To add insult to injury, the value was listed as $77.50 – much more than the $33.85 I had paid. Therefore, duty/tax came to just under $20 including Canada Post's $8 handling fee. While the Canada Border Services Agency will probably refund me my $20 once I fill out a few forms and send my actual invoice showing the actual amount paid and showing that they're prescription glasses, this would have been a non-issue had EyeBuyDirect listed the actual price I paid and/or listed them as prescription glasses. Obviously, the customs issue applies to non-US orders only, and this may vary by each country's customs regulations.
Inside the larger shipping box was a smaller one, branded quite nicely. A clear/transparant case was fit snug inside, with the glasses wrapped in what appears to be a microfibre cloth. The case itself was actually pretty impressive. It's magnetically closed, and has a foam strip to keep the glasses from moving around. Inside was a slip with a couple coupon-cards for discounts on future orders.
(click on any of the thumbnails to open the image full-size in a new window)
Basic packaging. you can see the customs info in the first image (although identifying information has been removed). The transparant case in the 2nd photo closes/latches magnetically and has a foam strip to keep the glasses secure.
Altogether the presentation was quite nice and professional.
The nosepads looked like they might need adjusting, but they didn't. The glasses fit perfectly. The lenses had a slight bit of fluff/debris on them (possibly
from the cloth) which rinsed off easily with water. The AR coating has a greenish tint when light is reflected off of it.
Very clear lenses – in fact the digital camera generally focused on an item on the other side of the lens – both frames and lenses appear to be of good quality.
The frames are straight and sturdy. The lenses fit perfectly in the frames, and looking around the edges, they seemed to be cut precisely – really just as
good as any other pair I've owned, and I couldn't find any flaws in this area.
Wearing the glasses, they seem to be optically correct throughout.
One minor concern is the AR/UV coating. I smudged up the glasses, and then cleaned them with a bit of dish soap and some hot water. Now, you're not supposed to use hot water when cleaning glasses (warm is okay) because it's known to cause coatings to crack. That said, I generally use hot water since it works so well and leaves 0 potential for minute scratches. Most AR coatings survive without a hitch. On this pair, hot water does indeed "crack" the coatings, and rather quickly at that. While this won't be an issue for most people (who generally use either a microfiber cloth or a warm-water/dish-soap combo), the relative ease at which the cracking occurred indicates that either the AR or UV coating isn't quite as durable as others. Again, won't be an issue for most, but something worth mentioning.
Do NOT use hot water to clean the lenses, or this will result (only visible in specific light conditions which were created for the photos – glasses are still completely useable unless the light catches it the right way which causes a blur). Don't use hot water, and this won't happen.
Overall I was quite pleased with the glasses themselves. I received them in a very reasonable timeframe, and they seem to be a good-quality pair overall. The packaging was quite good and I have no concerns about any potential for damage during shipping. The customs issue and coatings issue were the only things that I found to be negative.
Would I buy from EyeBuyDirect again?
Would I recommend EyeBuyDirect to others?
Probably. I'd certainly recommend them to US customers since they won't have duty/tax issues. I'd recommend them to international customers as well, providing they were aware of the possible duty/tax they may end up paying. Either way, I'd let them know that they'd be receiving a good, solid pair of glasses, providing they're kept away from hot water.
(Optical4less - purchase #1)