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the history behind this site
This site is basically a result of my searching for the 'perfect' discount online eyeglass retailer. Of course, I don't think you can ever find a 'perfect' one, as there are always trade-offs. However, you can look at what is most important to you in an online retailer, and hopefully determine which retailer is 'perfect' for you.
This all started at the beginning of January, 2006. It had been about 8 years for me since last buying glasses, and it was time for a new pair. I didn't know what the going price of a new frame and lens was, but I did know that I didn't want to spend much. Upon browsing through the local shops, I found that I was probably going to have to spend between $150-200 CDN for a relatively basic pair. This seemed a bit much to me for a basic pair, so I took my search to the internet. After all, you can buy prescription drugs on the internet, so prescription glasses must be available too, right?
It actually took me quite awhile to find a few decent online retailers. The few that I found were just as pricey as the local stores, and it wasn't until I started browsing different forums and Usenet that I began to really have much success. Once that happened, I started to find a lot of discount retailers, so many in fact that I was having trouble keeping track of the prices, options, shipping costs, etc of each one. That's when I decided to put together this site. Not only could I store the information I found in one place, but hopefully others who were in the same boat as me might be able to get some use out of it also.
Very shortly after beginning to collect information, I realized 2 things. First, there were a lot of vastly varying opinions on different retailers. Some people seemed to have a fantastic experience, and some a horrible experience with the same retailer. Second, many of the online retailers offer glasses in the $20-35 range, which is about 1/6 of the cost of a basic pair from most of the local stores. Since I was saving quite a bit of money by buying online, I decided it would be feasible to start buying from a few of these retailers and then put my own experiences with them in the reviews as well.
This site is still in it's infancy and is still being worked on. There are undoubtedly mistakes, and many changes to be made. My goal is to eventually have a review of every online discount eyeglass retailer listed here. Right now, most of the reviews are basically information taken from the respective retailer's sites, combined with what I've heard from others on Usenet and in various forums. While not necessarily the most ideal way to get accurate information, hopefully it's enough to aid others in their search for glasses online. During the next few months, I hope to order eyeglasses from most of these online stores, and once received, I will integrate my findings into the reviews in an attempt to get an honest, accurate comparison between them.