Aug 11, 2009 - An order was placed for a set of glasses. I went with the cheapest frames ($8) with free lenses, and added an AR ($4.95). The glasses included free anti-scratch and UV coatings. Shipping was $4.95 to Canada, bringing the total to $17.90.
Aug 15, 2009 - I received an email stating that the glasses were finished and would be shipped ASAP.
Aug 25, 2009 - The glasses arrived in the mail. The bag had a shipping stamp from China Post. The enclosed invoice stated that the glasses were sent from "Danyang Foreign Trade Corp" and that the glasses were Made in China. 14 days seems quite reasonable coming from China, although there isn't really any mention on the website that the glasses were coming from there. Those who live in the US may assume the glasses are coming from the states, in which case 14 days may seem a bit long. That said, to be fair, GlassesShop doesn't state/promise an estimated delivery date – only that the glasses will be shipped within 4 days for regular orders.
Inside the bag was a box containing the glasses. The box is fairly standard, and while it should be sufficient for normal mail handling, it could possibly get crushed in a minor mail mishap. However, the clamshell case inside is extremely tough. After writing up the video review, I tried standing on it. 150-160 pounds of weight slowly started bending the imprint of my heel on the clam case. Needless to say, it's made of a a pretty strong material and unless a heavy mailman was standing on the case for a good long while, I can't see the glasses being damaged during shipping – they're definitely well protected.
First impressions & Quality
The frames themselves seemed reasonable, but nothing spectacular. It's about what you'd expect for $8 frames – basic and functional. The frames aren't hinged, although the arms do flex. The nosepads need some adjusting as you can see in the pictures below. The lenses looked to be of a high quality, and the AR coating reflects a green color. There was a little bit of lint on the lenses, which washed off easily.
The lenses were subjected to the "hot water test", and the coatings passed. Wearing the glasses, the prescription seems to be accurate throughout.
lenses are clear and seem to be of a good quality. the AR coating has a green color to it. the reflection you see is of a window & blinds.
For an $8 pair (under $20 after the AR coating + shipping), I was quite pleased. I would probably recommend stepping up to a more sturdy frame for a daily pair, but all-in-all the glasses are great for the money. I was particularly impressed with the AR coating. I had pretty much expected the $5 coating to crack during the hot water test, but it surprised me by passing the test unscathed.
Would I buy from GlassesShop again? Yes. The value is great for a budget pair, and the lenses seem to be of a high enough quality that I wouldn't mind throwing more expensive frames at them if I were looking for new daily-wear specs.
Would I recommend GlassesShop to others? It's very likely. As has been mentioned in the information write-up page, they seem to have been around a while, but still seem a bit new to the scene and there's not much information available on them. I tend to hesitate recommending a company that hasn't established themselves over time. That said, based soley on my purchase experience, they seem to have it together well enough that I wouldn't have any concerns if someone mentioned they were purchasing from GlassesShop. One thing in particular that stands out is the little insert about caring for your glasses. It's incredibly simple, but is something that I think might really appeal to (and help out) first time buyers.
(SelectSpecs - purchase #1)