Eyeglass Factory Outlet
- Very high end of the discount price range with glasses coming to about $40 shipped with single-vision CR39 (1.5 index assumed) lenses.
- One of the most expensive AR coatings at $39.50 (more than the basic glasses/lenses). UV coating adds $5.
- Website is clean, fluid, and trendy.
- A- rating with the BBB.
Eyeglass Factory Outlet is located in the US (Florida). Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision and bi-focal/tri-focal/progressive lenses. They have a mailing address, fax, toll-free phone number, and contact form on the website. Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, and PayPal. The BBB has them listed with an "A-" rating.
I'd been notified some time ago that ownership had changed and the website had been redesigned. In the past, the emphasis appeared to be on an eBay store. Since the change in ownership the website certainly has been redesigned and it feels very clean and professional.
Short version of my impressions is that ~$35 is a high base price to charge for what I assume to be 1.5 index lenses, and isn't really competitive with other online retailers. Normally I'd suspect it's simply an online store-front for a retail location, but the only address they list is a PO box. So I have no idea what market they're trying to reach. They do offer 5 different AR coatings including Crizal-branded (in the $80-120 range), so maybe they're targeting the market who's very picky about AR..? At this point I'm stretching a little to try and figure out what it is about them that stands out.
Frame selection at the $34.50 price point is quite good, with many frames offered in multiple colors.
Single-vision lenses come free with the frames which are typically $34.50. Bifocals add $15, Progressives add $45, and Trifocals add $65. An AR coating adds a whopping $39.50 to the price – more than the cost of a single-vision pair of glasses, while a UV coating adds $5. Tints (and gradient tints) are available at $5, and Transitions or Polarized lenses can be added for varying prices depending on the lens selected.
Website and Ordering:
Browsing is a clean and easy experience, though sorting options are limited (no way to see frames sizes in the listings for example), and there are no virutal try-on features. In addition, Bifocal and Progressive wearers may come out a little frustrated, as there doesn't appear to be a way to see which frames are compatible with bifocal/progressive lenses.
The ordering process decent, and good lens information is provided (I actually love the way they've explained the differences between CR39/Polycarbonate/Glass/etc in a manner that's easy to understand), but information on taking your own PD isn't there and there's nothing that tells me what the benefit of stepping up to the Crizal AR coatings might be. Also, while "thin and light" 1.56 index lenses are mentioned in the pop-up page, no offerings appear to exist.
All in all, the site has improved a lot but still lacks some of the basic features that most other retailers offer.
When it comes towards the end of the order, just before checkout they have a selection for entering a coupon code or estimating shipping – this is very fluid and well done. Guest checkout is available too – really, getting to the checkout process is an area I'd score them perfectly in.
Pricing and Value:
While Eyeglass Factory Outlet is technically in the discount spectrum, it's not a strong presence. There's a lot I love about the site, but basic CR39 (what I assume to be 1.5 index) lenses is a hard sell at $34.50 unless you're focusing on the name-brand market too or can provide some indication as to why your glasses are worth more than everyone else's.
I've tried to translate the pricing into a chart (ranges were required for some options to keep this simple). Pricing based upon $34.50 frames.
Lens offerings (based on $34.50 frames):
|Single-vision||Bifocal FT28 (+$15)||Bifocal FT35 (+$45)||Progressive (+$45)||Trifocal (+$65)|
|CR-39 (1.5 index assumed)||free||included||included||included||included|
|1.59 index Polycarbonate||+$45||+$55||+$20||+$10||+$70|
|High index||+$95 (1.67 index)||+$175 (1.67 index)||+$85 (1.60 index)||+$100 (1.60 index)||+$160 (1.67 index)|
|Glass (no index mentioned)||+$40||+$50||+$50||+$40||+$120|
|Transitions (grey/brown)||varies from +$70-145||+$100 (CR39 only)||+$150 (CR39 only)||varies from +$150-$210||varies from +$100-$120|
|Polarized (grey/brown/green)||varies from +$70-$170||varies from +$100-$125||+$120 (CR39 only)||+$180 (CR39 only)||varies from +$90-$260|
|Photochromic XtraGlass (glass lenses)||+$40 brown, +$35 grey||+$70 brown, +$50 grey||+$140 brown, +$120 grey||+$190 brown, +$160 grey||+$70 brown, +$40 grey|
|Tint or Gradient Tint (blue/brown/grey/green/purple)||+$5||+$5||+$5||+$5||+$5|
|AR coating (standard)||+$39.50||+$39.50||+$39.50||+$39.50||+$39.50|
|AR coating (premium)||+$69.50||+$69.50||+$69.50||+$69.50||+$69.50|
|AR coating (Crizal)||+$80||+$80||+$80||+$80||+$80|
|AR coating (Crizal Alize)||+$100||+$100||+$100||+$100||+$100|
|AR coating (Crizal Avance)||+$120||+$120||+$120||+$120||+$120|
Shipping hits $4.95 in the US, and $9.95 to most international destinations.
The price charts are created by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.
For those seeking a Crizal-branded AR coating or glass lenses (of an unknown index), Eyeglass Factory Outlet is definitely worth a look. If you're content at the higher end of the discount spectrum, upgrades to Bi/Trifocal and Progressives are somewhat reasonable too (though still at the low index). Other online shoppers who are looking to upgrade beyond the base pair of lenses would probably stand to save a fair bit of money by looking elsewhere though.