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I was running errands last weekend -- and lunch time rolled around. I had about 5 bucks in my pocket and I'm a vegetarian, so my lunch choices were limited. I passed a Wal*mart. I hate the place, but they had a Subway inside and I don't hate sandwiches (especially since I removed choice from the equation like 20 years ago -- 12-6-inch-wheat-veggie-delight-lettuce-tomatoes-pickles-lots-of-jalapenos-vinegar-salt-and-pepper-no-toast).

Anyway, I was eating my sandwich and reading a copy of "The Onion" and a youngish-looking eyedoc came in (lab coat and all) for her sandwich and sat down to eat and stare off into space.

I'm not a social butterfly, but she did sit at the table adjacent to me and when is this going to happen again? So, I said "Hi." I explained who I was and handed her one of my last wrinkled GlassyEyes business cards out of my wallet (NOTE TO SELF -- order more). She'd seen one already! Truth be told, I leave them all over the place. I had a few questions for her about eyeglasses quality -- and she had a few questions for me about my experiences.

She didn't care much at all about eyelasses frames. Functionally, she more or less agreed they were there as a tool to hold the important parts in place. As long as the frames fit reasonably well, where they were made, and what name was stamped on the bow was of little consequence. She did have concerns about eyeglasses lenses, but she qualified this by explaining that the way lenses are dispensed now takes a lot of the risk out of the equation -- for single-vision lenses. As long as the PD is good and astigmatism is factored in properly, they should be fine. She thought online bi-focals were a bad idea -- I told her to search for "Dean" on my site when she had a chance.

I asked her about business, and she mentioned that anecdotally there seemed to be a growing percentage of her patients who were taking the prescription off-site to be filled -- online or otherwise. She also mentioned that the people she had checked that were wearing online glasses seemed thrilled to tell her all about them. She also said that people are probably more likely to get their eyes checked in her environment and take the prescription elsewhere than have to deal with disapproving comments from a doctor who has significant financial interest in the dispensary.

She finished her sandwich and said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "if people keep up to date on their prescriptions, she doesn't care where they get their glasses filled -- and business has been good."

Apparently, people are getting their eyes checked. Exposure to the idea that for significantly less than $100 you can get peace of mind that your eyes are healthy, get an up to date prescription, AND get a pair of glasses online seems to be driving traffic into (at least a subset of) the eyedocs.



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2 comments:

At August 22, 2008 at 11:43 PM Anonymous said...

Three weeks ago, I went to Costco in Bellingham, WA. Paid $65 for the eye exam, got my prescription, measured my PD at home. Ordered the cheapest eyeglasses at Zenni Optical, paid $17 plus $4.95 shipping. Exactly 12 days later the glasses arrive - the fit is pretty good, and the prescription seems good (just a matter of getting used to the new prescription). Thanks for your website! Ordering glasses online works very well. I paid $600 for my previous pair of glasses. a HUGE savings!

 
At August 25, 2008 at 6:24 PM twirls said...

I will definitely visit the eye doc more regularly now that I know I can afford it, thanks to buying online.

 

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