We've looked at the options from 39DollarGlasses and Optical4Less. For the record, Goggles4U never got back to me using their standard "leave a message" interface. I've narrowed down the options to a couple of frames from each based as much on temple length as anything else.
There are lots of "moving pieces" here. Lenses, frames, lens material, coatings, prism correction and even shipping. Weighing all of these is a difficult task, but we'll see what we come up with here. "Best" option in RED.
Lots of options here.
- $98 for standard progressive lenses
- $187-198 for progressive photochromic lenses
- $3 per degree, per lens of prism correction
- $0 for AR coating
- $0 for UV coating
- $0 for anti-scratch coating
Edge: Slight edge to 39DollarGlasses.
- $50 for polycarb progressive lenses
- $110 to $149 for CR-39 progressive Transitions® photochromic
- $149 to $188 for polycarb progressive Transitions® photochromic
- $19.99 for prism correction
- $24.95 for AR coating
- $0 for UV coating
- $0 for anti-scratch coating
39DollarGlasses with a High Index pair of CR-39 Photochromic Progressives with all coatings coming in at about $195. They use genuine Transitions® lenses which in a tie-breaker gives a slight edge.
Optical4Less runs at about $193 for standard Photochromic Progressives. Add $11 to get to a more premium product (or if you need them to darken to brown).
It's more difficult to judge this one as there isn't really an "apples to apples" comparison. What was apparent from the websites is that 39DollarGlasses has frames designed for bigger heads, where Optical4Less says they do, but the longest (non-Aviator) temple length I could find was the very slightly-above-average 140mm. Additionally, the limited color options for the frames from both retailers was a bummer.
- $29 for an Aviator (145mm temples)
- $34 for the MA080 in three color options (140mm temple)
- $49 for a titanium T047 in GOLD (140mm temple)
Edge: Slight edge to 39DollarGlasses, based on color and temple length, but this is a bit of a hollow win as neither services this audience very well.
- $39 for The Moscow in gold or gunmetal (145mm temples)
- $89 for Bendable Titanium 8 in antique gold or bronze (145mm temples)
What's left? Well, a number of things that may tip the scales in either direction. What is it going to cost to ship? How quickly do we need them? What is my past history with either of these places?
I've had great luck with both of these places. The only concern I've personally had was the shipping method of my latest Shuron lensing. Not only did I not get a hard case but they shipped them back in a Priority Mail Envelope in the soft case I sent them in. Regardless, they came through unscathed, and the prescription is perfect. I've dealt personally with both of them as well on behalf of others who have had problems and both have rectified things nicely each and every time.
Shipping cost is $8.00 for 5-9 day delivery from Hong Kong for Optical4Less. With this undoubtedly being a $100+ order, standard shipping is free from 39DollarGlasses.
I really think 39DollarGlasses pulls ahead here. Not only are they in the States, but if you need them quickly, they have a $17 shipping option for 2-3 day DHL.
This may be somewhat anti-climactic, but $200+ is still a lot of money. My suggestion in this case, is that the photochromic option is, well, optional. With the complexity of the prescription, and my little experience with ordering progressives, I'd suggest that Dean try this out with a pair of standard progressives. But, like I would do in my business, I don't want to decide how much someone else is willing to spend (or what features they can live without).
Bendable Titanium 8
Here are my top four options from most to least expensive:
1) The Bendable Titanium 8 with the Hi-Index CR-39 progressive Transitions®, with the prism correction, and AR coating: $282.94 - 10% (GlassyEyes discount) = $254.65.
2) The Moscow with the Hi-Index CR-39 progressive Transitions®, with the prism correction, and AR coating: $232.94 - 10% (GlassyEyes discount) = $209.65.
3) The Bendable Titanium 8 with the Standard polycarb progressive (NON-photochromic), with the prism correction, and AR coating: $183.94 - 10% (GlassyEyes discount) = $165.55.
4) The Moscow with the Standard polycarb progressive (NON-photochromic), with the prism correction, and AR coating: $133.94 - 10% (GlassyEyes discount) = $120.55.
We'll see what he chooses and make the order. More to come...
- At May 6, 2008 at 4:00 AM Anonymous said...
If they're shipping by Priority Mail, it's crazy not to use a box, since there are at least two boxes suitable for shipping a single pair of glasses. (They're usually used for shipping things about the size of a VHS tape.) Maybe they were in a hurry and only had the envelopes handy.
- At May 6, 2008 at 7:36 AM Ira said...
It was not the "typical" situation. All of the other glasses I've goten from them were very well packaged.
- At May 6, 2008 at 11:36 AM Marko said...
Some people are sensitive to Polycarb lenses - they give me a headache. If he hasn't worn them before, you might not want to go that way.
Also, note that the prices are starting to approach Costco levels! Progressives can be hard to fit, so I went with Costco for my replacements. I have sent them back twice already, and it is nice to know they will offer a refund at this price. I got all my other reading and computer glasses online though.