- Glasses available in sub-$20 range. Very large selection of frames at the $4.95 & under price mark (add $6.94 for basic single-vision lenses)
- BBB-accredited with an A- rating
- Allow Paypal checkout.
- Offerings are AR-heavy when you go beyond the basic lenses. If you're looking for an AR coating, this will probably please you. If you specifically do not want an AR-coating, you might have a little trouble *not* getting it.
- Advertise a "re-lensing" service for those who have frames they like but simply need new lenses
- Not new-user friendly during the prescription/order process – no mouse-over popups to explain options.
Goggles4u is now based in the US, although I believe they still manufacture (and probably ship to some degree) from Pakistan. Pricing in USD & CAD via localized sites. They sell both single-vision and bi-focal/varifocal (regular and progressive) lenses. Methods of contact include a toll-free 24-hour number, live chat, a callback feature (available in "over 20 countries"), a website form, and fax (US, UK, and Germany numbers). Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AmEx, Diner's Club, JCB, and Paypal. Goggles4u is listed by the BBB with an "A-" rating.
In the past, Goggles4u was well-known for flexibility in their customer service, being quick to send replacement parts without hassle if somebody had a problem. I haven't had enough recent reader-input to ascertain whether or not this still holds true, but complaint levels have remained extremely low regardless, and maintaining their BBB status leads me to believe that customer service is still strong.
Goggles4u has abandoned their previous model where near every pair of standard single-vision glasses came out to $30 with free coatings and shipping. Instead, frames are now offered at various price-points (primarily at $4.95), with lenses starting at $6.94, and shipping being extra.
Personally, I preferred the "old" pricing method, as a standard $30-gets-you-everything was not only something that made Goggles4u unique, but was also very simple and straightforward for customers. There's something to be said for knowing *exactly* how much glasses will cost right from the get-go. That said, the new effective prices come out even cheaper than before. I understand where Goggles4u may have been coming from when they made the change. Different price-points offer them more flexibility in terms of frame selection, and advertising frames for "$4.95" looks more attractive than advertising complete glasses for $29.99, particularly when most of the competition is advertising for under $10 (despite generally coming out to much more than that once lenses, coatings & shipping are added).
That said, Goggles4u still offers free coatings with most lenses, and their shipping is a very reasonable $4.95 within the US. They're also very clear and up-front with a chart in their "Pricing" page, giving all the checkout-prices you would expect for every lens based on a $4.95 frame.
Just about all of their discount frames are the same price at $4.95, though periodically the prices are discounted even further.
Lenses start at $6.94. They have a quick price chart on their site that may help people to compare the cost based on the lens type they're after (click on the "Help Center" section on their site and visit the "Lowest Prices Online" area). Last I checked, there were a few small inconsistencies, but it's generally close and gives you a good baseline idea as to what price you're in for. Single-vision lenses are offered in indexes from 1.57 to 1.71 with plastic, glass, or polycarbonate lenses depending on the index. Bifocals and progressives are offered as well, also starting at 1.57 and capping at 1.67. All-in-all, there's a very adequate lens selection offered.
Website and Ordering:
The Goggles4u website is clean and quite easy to navigate, although a "chat" window tends to pop up which annoyingly floats across the screen (you must mouse-over it to stop the floating and then close it if you're not interested in chatting with them).
As mentioned earlier, there aren't mouseover pop-ups during the order process. So if somebody is not sure how to read their prescription, how to take a PD measurement, etc., this is the point where they'll probably start to feel a little anxious (and by now they've probably managed to close the floating chat window!). Info is provided in their "Help Center", but unless the shopper had the forethought to read it beforehand, I question how many people will be willing to browse away from the frames they finally liked/chose to head over to that section. This won't be an issue for veteran buyers, mind you.
One excellent decision they've made is to put the coupon code entry & shipping estimator in the cart *before* the checkout. I wish every retailer would do this – as a customer I hate it when I have to start entering my billing information before I know for certain how much shipping will be or whether my coupon code will be accepted. Goggles4u has this all up-front, the way it should be.
Pricing and Value:
In short, for a basic pair of frames shipped within the US, you're looking at $4.95 frames, $6.94 basic lenses, and $4.95 shipping for a total of about $16.84. This is extremely competitive, particularly since it applies to the vast majority of their frames.
Lens offerings (based on a $4.95 set of frames):
|1.56 index (bi-focal/progressive)||+$25.00||+$33.95|
|1.57 index premium with EMI||+$20|
|1.59 index polycarbonate||+$15.95 (free AR)|
|1.61 high index||+$26.95 (free AR)||+$100.00|
|1.67 high index||+$41.95 (free AR)||+$135.00|
|1.71 high index (mineral glass)||+$41.95 (free AR)|
|Photochromic 1.56 (grey or brown)||+$25.95 (free AR)||+$60.95|
|Photochromic 1.56 (blue or yellow)||+$77.00|
|UV protection & Anti-scratch||free||+$4.95||free|
|UV protection & Anti-scratch & Hydrophobic coating||+$9.99|
|Anti-reflective (AR) – (if not included above)||+$4.95||+$4.95|
|Anti-reflective (AR) – (if not included above) & Hydrophobic||+$14.99|
|Tint (black, brown, blue, green, grey, yellow, rose)||+$9.99||+$9.99|
|Gradient Tint (black, brown, blue, green, grey, yellow, rose)||+$14.99 (price not listed on order page?)||+$14.99 (price not listed on order page?)|
US/Canada Shipping adds about $5. Other locations world-wide tend to hit about $10.
The price charts are created by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.
To sum it up, Goggles4u is inexpensive all-around. Where some other retailers sell the frames for cheap and make up for it by gouging when it comes to coatings & lens upgrades, Goggles4u throws free coatings in most of the lenses, has competitive lens upgrade prices, and has competitive shipping. For the very price-conscious who are looking to get AR/AS/UV coatings with their pair, Goggles4u is certainly worth a look.