Last night I picked up my new glasses that I purchased from Costco 2 weeks ago (April 20th, to be exact). The process was easy, they had a nice variety of frames, cheap to pricey, and they came in within the 2 to 3 week time frame I was given when ordering them. I love the new glasses! I might even wear them out of the house, I like them so much.
My previous glasses made me feel like I had to wear my contacts every single moment I was awake because I could never really see clearly through the lenses without holding them up (and no, this wasn’t a prescription problem). I had purchased them about 4 years ago from one of the big optical places (you know who you are LensCrafters), and was less than pleased with the finished product. The frame was okay quality wise, but the lenses were somewhere far less than correct. They had messed up the lenses so that the only way I could see accurately was to hold my glasses way up on my nose, basically looking out the bottom of the lens. So, I complained and was told that I probably just needed time to adjust blah blah blah and in the end they would not fix the problem. Oh yeah, and the best part was that these were a $400 pair of glasses. Nice. And the coatings on the lenses started to come off at the edges of the lenses about a year ago. Who doesn’t like an expensive, quality item like that?
In comparison, my new Costco glasses seem great. The lenses are totally correct, as in, I can actually see out of them and don’t have to do anything strange to actually get that accomplished except open my eyes. There are a variety of price points for the frames from $39 for Kirkland Signature frames to over $150 for designer frames. I had decided that this time I wanted to try the rimless frames because I think they have a very clean look on your face and don’t stand out. Of course, if you like the flashy frames something like red, lime green, or purple, Costco’s got you covered on those too. Unfortunately for me, there is no totally rimless frame option from Kirkland Signature, so all of these frames were priced at $79.99. And that’s a price I find reasonable for a pair of glasses I’m going to have for several years.
Now, on to the lenses. I’m still young enough, or at least my eyes are, that I do not yet require bi- or tri-focal lenses. So, just the plain old lenses for me. I went with the 1.67 High Index lenses that were $69.99; these are the thinnest, lightest lens material available right now and they come with a scratch resistant coating, as well as a UV coating. I also got the anti-reflective treatment, really a must if you work at a computer or drive at night, for $29.99. So, that’s a big grand total of $99.98 for the lenses. Also, since I have the totally rimless frames you can get the edges of the lens polished for an extra $9.99, which I decided to do because I don’t like the dull edge look. This was the only thing that I thought was a little bit of an unnecessary fee from Costco, but it was low enough that I didn’t mind paying it.
All together, for the frames and lenses I ended up paying $189.96. This is significantly cheaper than other places I’ve gotten glasses, and they are certainly better quality than my last pair.
When I went to pick up my new specs last night, they would have made any fit adjustments if they had been necessary. Since I didn’t need any though, it was as simple as just walking in, picking them up from the Optical counter and leaving. This is partly due to the fact that you pay for the glasses when you order them, not when you pick them up. They give you a nice case and one of those little lens cleaning cloths, as well as some instructions on how to clean your lenses. All in all, I’m very happy with my purchase from Costco Optical, but we’ll have to see how they hold up over time.
Also, just so you know, if you do need bi-focal lenses, Costco charges $129.98 for the no line bi-focals; which is much lower than I’ve heard they sell them for at Sam’s Club. I’m going to try to get some comparison prices from other optical stores in my area, just to see how Costco’s prices hold up. You can find out a little more about Costco Optical on their website, unfortunately, they don’t have their frames online for you to browse. You can also read more about how Costco Optical stacks up to its competitors in the March 2008 edition of the Costco Connection. And, just so you know Costco does rank number one in a J.D. Power satisfaction survey for in-store optical departments.