My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Topic Author
dm200
Posts: 20787
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:06 pm

My wife is really giving me a hard time over what I chose to spend (at Kaiser) for new glasses (both frames and lenses). Is my wife correct?

I got new frames, but the ones I picked were only $99 (much lower than most of the other choices).

The total I paid (frames and lenses) was about $800.

This did not include any kind of replacement warranty if they were lost or damaged, but (as part of the price) there is a 60 day guarantee that the prescription is correct, etc. - since I used the Kaiser Optometrist.

I really needed a new prescription - since I had trouble reading road signs, etc. Contributing to the real need for new glasses is the progression of cataracts (but a while until surgery is needed).

These are progressives - and I need both distance and reading.

My wife got some progressives for herself elsewhere at a fraction of my price and is giving me holy hell!

I have significant astigmatism - and I think that added to the price?

I chose the highest quality lenses - because I needed/wanted the best vision I could get.

Because, with my distance prescription, lenses would be thicker, I chose an added cost lens that is not as thick. Did not want to look like coke bottle lenses.

I also chose a more expensive option for the lenses that gives me a wider field of distance vision - without moving my head as much. I believe that is, then, safer as I read road signs, etc. driving.

I also believe that getting the best vision I can will allow me to go a bit longer if/when my vision changes before I need new glasses.

So far, I believe I can see very well - and I notice the wider field of vision without turning my head.

To a small degree, as well, I was starting to have some vision problems driving at night -- but that seems to be better with these new glasses.

User avatar
Christine_NM
Posts: 2678
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:13 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Christine_NM » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:19 pm

I paid almost that much every 4 years or so for progressives and expensive (well-made) frames that never broke with constant wear. Seemed worth it to me.

Last year I had cataract surgery and no longer need glasses except for computer and reading. I have a mild astigmatism so I got prescription bifocals that help with that, but the total cost with Medicare was $91. I was really tired of 30 years of progressives every day and now I like the bifocals better. I got computer glasses and reading glasses for $20 a pair tops.

So, appropriate cost depends how much you need to wear them.

Strongly recommend cataract surgery before the problem becomes noticeable and uncorrectable with glasses. Tremendous quality of life improvement.
Last edited by Christine_NM on Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
16% cash 48% stock 36% bond. Retired, w/d rate 2.85%

Silk McCue
Posts: 2470
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Silk McCue » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:21 pm

I'm very confident that Costco would have been dramatically cheaper. Of course you did take every bell and whistle it sounds like. I wear progressives and buy mine at Costco.

Cheers

User avatar
Topic Author
dm200
Posts: 20787
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:24 pm

Christine_NM wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:19 pm
I paid almost that much every 4 years or so for progressives and expensive (well-made) frames that never broke with constant wear. Seemed worth it to me.
Last year I had cataract surgery and no longer need glasses except for computer and reading. I have a mild astigmatism so I got prescription bifocals that help with that, but the total cost with Medicare was $91. I was really tired of 30 years of progressives every day and now I like the bifocals better. I got computer glasses and reading glasses for $20 a pair tops.
So, it depends how much you wear them.
Strongly recommend cataract surgery before the problem becomes noticeable and uncorrectable with glasses. Tremendous quality of life improvement.
I wear them almost all the time. I need them for anything other than very close up stuff - and even then it is better with the reading part of the progressives.

From many friends and acquaintances - I hear fantastic stories about how wonderful their cataract surgery turned out.

Now, though, with these new glasses I am just fine - and not ready for cataract surgery.

cykj
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:53 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by cykj » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:24 pm

Yes. I just got progressive lenses for my FIL for father's day. 2 sets for just around $130 total from Zenni Optical. You can prob get the same configuration, with all the bells and whistles (including the thinnest kind of lens), all sorts of coatings, and other features for under $150 each at the top end. I never buy glasses at the typical retail stores anymore.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 16474
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Watty » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:24 pm

Mine were less than $300 at Costco.

If you have your prescription you could take it to Costco and ask how much they would cost there.

livesoft
Posts: 66956
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by livesoft » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:26 pm

Wow! I thought I got the most expensive progressive sunglasses ever, but I was wrong. Yes, I think you paid way too much. However, maybe they are the absolute best glasses you have ever had?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

furikake
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:13 am

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by furikake » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:30 pm

Wow, that's very high! I went to Warby Parker, got my progressive glasses with transitional lenses for I think $145 if I remember correctly. Without insurance, they would be $300 more. I have bad astigmatism as well.

User avatar
Topic Author
dm200
Posts: 20787
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:30 pm

furikake wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:30 pm
Wow, that's very high! I went to Warby Parker, got my progressive glasses with transitional lenses for I think $145 if I remember correctly. Without insurance, they would be $300 more. I have bad astigmatism as well.
I did not have insurance - just a small credit.

bowest
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:19 pm
Location: New York

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by bowest » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:32 pm

This is about what I pay in NYC with an optometrist (who also sells the finished eyeglasses) that I really like and trust. (He has helped with referrals to ophthalmologists and identified a potentially troublesome condition during a routine exam that I was able to treat early on so I remain a loyal and satisfied customer).

I'm also paying more for 'advanced' no-line progressives with wider reading area and also have a high-index prescription so pay additional for thinner lenses. If it included a comprehensive eye exam, new prescription and you're satisfied with end result you've paid a fair (if full) price.

User avatar
Topic Author
dm200
Posts: 20787
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:35 pm

bowest wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:32 pm
This is about what I pay in NYC with an optometrist (who also sells the finished eyeglasses) that I really like and trust. (He has helped with referrals to ophthalmologists and identified a potentially troublesome condition during a routine exam that I was able to treat early on so I remain a loyal and satisfied customer).

I'm also paying more for 'advanced' no-line progressives with wider reading area and also have a high-index prescription so pay additional for thinner lenses. If it included a comprehensive eye exam, new prescription and you're satisfied with end result you've paid a fair (if full) price.
No - the Optometry full exam was covered by Insurance with just a $10 Copay.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3438
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:35 pm

I had the cataract surgery. It was fantastic. Life changing. Sadly, I still need fancy progressives to read a menu in a restaurant.

I don’t remember what I paid at Costco, but it was considerably less than $800, and they did a fine job. The Costco lenses come with all the bells and whistles, so they’re not doing a bunch of upselling. My snooty opthalmologist’s office couldn’t find anything wrong with them, despite trying really hard.

When I had vision insurance, snooty ophthalmologist’s office made a pair, and price before insurance kicked in was $1200. The Costco frames are only about 80% as nice as the snooty frames, but otherwise, I can’t tell the difference.

User avatar
Feb29
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:52 pm
Location: Chicago Area

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Feb29 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:08 pm

Yes, that sounds pretty high. I paid $260 at Costco: $60 for the frames, and $200 for the lenses with anti-reflective, anti-scratch, and Transitions.

User avatar
samsoes
Posts: 1254
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am
Location: Northeast Rat Race

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by samsoes » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:12 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:06 pm
Is my wife correct?
Always. Never forget that.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 13347
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Toons » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:58 pm

I have been wearing glasses for decades,
My last pair,
Trifocals,
Progressive,No line.
Transistion lens(darken automatically)
Nikon lenses digitally cut,thin.The best they offer
Titanium frames
480.00
Purchased another pair at the same time
20% off,384.00
WALMART
More than pleased.

:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

GT99
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by GT99 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:11 pm

cykj wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:24 pm
Yes. I just got progressive lenses for my FIL for father's day. 2 sets for just around $130 total from Zenni Optical. You can prob get the same configuration, with all the bells and whistles (including the thinnest kind of lens), all sorts of coatings, and other features for under $150 each at the top end. I never buy glasses at the typical retail stores anymore.
This. Zenni. I'm not sure how the retail places still exist when there's Zenni.

My last pair of Zenni glasses were $70, including shipping (not progressives, but I do require ultra-thin lenses because my prescription is so strong). Frames were $26. My prior pair of comparable glasses at LensCrafters were over $500 and lower quality than the Zenni glasses. Before that I had glasses from Target that I believe were about $200 10 years ago, and those were also lower quality than the Zenni glasses.

Point
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:33 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Point » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:16 pm

I got the same thing at Costco for around 70. And a second pair for around 170. Quite happy with them.

Horsefly
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:13 am
Location: Colorado, mostly

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Horsefly » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:18 pm

My history:
  • Spent >$700 a few years ago at the optician that works out of my optometrist's office.
  • Spent about $250 for a new pair at Costco a couple of years ago.
  • Spent $120 at Zenni for a new pair of sunglasses for golf.
All three pair were progressive, hi-index lenses. The first two were also transition lenses so I could wear them in sunlight. The third pair was only for outdoor activity, so I just got sunglasses.

I really like Zenni, but there is something about face-to-face that makes Costco appealing.

KirklandCoug
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Kirkland

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by KirklandCoug » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:26 pm

Costco and Warby Parker for about $300 with everything you quoted.

retiredjg
Posts: 36776
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by retiredjg » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:29 pm

I think it may be a lot, but I also think it does not matter.

You are happy with them and you can see well with them and your glasses are not heavy on your nose and you have regained a little field of vision. All of these things are important, maybe even priceless.

Sure, you can get progressives for a lot less. But that may not include things like the thinner lenses. Thinner lenses are a quality of life issue, not a vanity issue. It may not include the wider field of vision. Wider field of vision is a quality of life issue, not a vanity issue.

You may have paid some extra or you may just have better glasses (for you) than some people need or get. Including your wife. Maybe she has no need or less need for all the add-ons. Some people need a lot from their glasses. Some people do not. What someone else needs cannot be compared to what you need.

I would not worry about it at this point. It's a sunk cost and worrying is useless. Makes some notes about what you paid for and what has improved things for you and what has not. Next time, get what you want but also do some comparison shopping. You may find you can cut the cost and keep the quality you are enjoying. You may not find that in which case, you should get what is best for you anyway.

This is not like a hot tub that you pay for and use for 3 months and the ignore. This is all day every day. And having your eyes be "right" is important.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 7486
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:32 pm

After getting fed up with Costco and other discount sources messing up my progressive prescription, I went to an optometrist who took the time to get it perfect and the order perfect. There were a number of exchanges but it turned out to be the best 2 pairs of progressives I've had in decades. I paid nearly $400 each. All the bells and whistles.
And, the lenses and frames were very high quality and have lasted very well.

Now, years later, I can't read street signs and need to start all over again.
Drat!

I have a new vision policy at a local eye center. Hope it turns out well.
j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

User avatar
PaddyMac
Posts: 1547
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:29 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by PaddyMac » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:08 pm

I pay the same price, about $800, for progressives every couple of years from our local, semi-rural optician. Why? Because the glasses are the best I've ever had. Like you, I add on ALL the options to get thin lenses, choose the best glass, etc etc.

The reason is that I was shocked the first time I "upgraded" my options to find that I could see so much better. So now that's my default for the future. My eyesight and comfort is paramount to me. If for some reason the "center" isn't perfect, my optician will retest my eyes again and reorder the lenses (for some reason, my eyes change as the day goes on).

A few years back I had a quick test at Costco (and I mean quick, I felt really hurried along), and I bought sunglasses with the prescription. As soon as I put them on, my eyes teared up and all the signs were blurry. I was not listened to when I complained and told "I'd get used to them, just wear them for a bit". I wore them for two weeks, had horrible headaches, and eventually figured out that they had messed up the prescription (did a +1 instead of -1, or whatever). That was the LAST time I'll cut corners for a few hundred bucks.

averagedude
Posts: 629
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 3:41 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by averagedude » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:20 pm

Zenni optical. Three pair, including progressives for $150 dollars total. Love the two pair, but not exactly thrilled with the progressives. I highly recommend them for just regular glasses. Eyeglasses in the US have been a racket for a long time, even 60 minutes reported on this 10 years ago.

adamthesmythe
Posts: 2834
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:26 pm

1. It sounds a bit high.

2. It doesn't help to have prices from elsewhere from others who may not have prescriptions as complex and who may not have made the higher-end choices you made.

3. I have made many of the same choices you did EXCEPT the "high quality lenses." I figured there was no point in excellent optics in the eyeglasses when my own lenses were degraded by cataracts. You could have saved a few bucks there.

4. Yeah, gotta get the cataracts done sometime soon.

User avatar
Topic Author
dm200
Posts: 20787
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:42 pm

I have made many of the same choices you did EXCEPT the "high quality lenses." I figured there was no point in excellent optics in the eyeglasses when my own lenses were degraded by cataracts. You could have saved a few bucks there.
I concluded just the opposite - that with the slightly degraded sight with the oncoming cataracts - I would see better with high quality.

I can say that I see very well now - and I do not seem to be slightly bothered driving at night. I now see road signs clearly - and do not need to move my head as much to get a clear view at distance.

It did take a few days to adjust to mid range viewing - such as computer screens. Now I have adjusted fully and no problems working on the computer - which is essential to my part time (20 hours a week) job.

WhyNotKnow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:49 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by WhyNotKnow » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:03 pm

I paid almost $700 recently from my local ophthalmologist. The new prescription helped correct a serious vision problem. I can also drop in anytime and get my glasses cleaned and adjusted, with the added benefit of a two year warranty. If I scratch the lenses, in any fashion, I simply call them and they duplicate the lenses and they swap them out while I wait.
Yes it cost more however it’s worth it to me. I do buy backups from Zenni and will wear those when I know I’ll be knocking around.

User avatar
Jazztonight
Posts: 956
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:21 am
Location: Lake Merritt

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Jazztonight » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:41 pm

<Sigh> Disclosure: I am a retired optometrist, and I see that I've been on this forum since 2007. Since that time, I have seen many hundreds of similar posts about eyeglasses and responded to many of them.

Here's my overview response. Take it for what it's worth--just my honest opinion.

First of all, questions about glasses and eyecare really fall into the category of medical/health care, and I don't know why these issues are even permitted on this forum. What, just because it's about what's referred to as "an appliance" it's okay to discuss it? What about dentures, and implants, and stents, hearing aids, and hair transplants? Are all of these allowed to be discussed? Eyeglasses, optical lenses, and contact lenses are subject to federal ANSI standards and have to meet certain criteria. In most states, optical labs and optical outlets need to have a licensed optician on board. Some states are less rigid. Just saying.

Regardless, there is a difference in quality from one pair of glasses, one eyeglass frame, and one pair of prescription optical lenses when compared to another.

I have personally prescribed and worn "top of the line" lenses and frames, and have also purchased glasses from both Costco and Zenni optical. Of these three, you're talking apples, oranges, and bananas (not necessarily comparing the quality of fruits, just saying they're all very different animals).

Just because Person A does well with progressive lenses from Zenni does not mean that Person B or the OP will also do well with the same product. The best comparison is shoes. I like Merrells. Some of you like Nikes or New Balance or Adidas. Or you might love the Costco brands. Does that mean I'll love Costcos and you'll love Merrells or any other brand? Absolutely not! People are different, feet are different, your needs are different, eyes are different, and glasses can be very different. My experience shows me that some people can tolerate really low-end lenses while other people cannot; some demand and will pay for the "highest quality" available.

OP: If you're happy with your new glasses, regardless of the price, and you understand that you have issues with incipient cataracts (a medical condition) and a high eyeglass Rx (necessitating "thinner" lighter weight lenses, which cost more), and high quality progressive lenses (this is where the rubber meets the road for many patients who demand a wider reading area), then you did NOT pay too much--you paid for a quality product, are satisfied, and it's all worth it to you. You did good.

I have a friend who is about the cheapest person in the world. He always buys the lowest cost item available, including his glasses, and sometimes he winds up with crap. Sometimes he finds a bargain, and he's happy, even though his wife is embarrassed to see him in his $14.99 prescription glasses.

I personally have a pair of progressives that I bought at Costco, and they were pricey; but I see quite well out of them. I have another pair of progressives that I bought at Zenni. They work, but they are NOT good quality, and cannot in my professional opinion compare with the Costco progressive lenses. I know and can see the difference. But I'm aware of what I'm getting, and they do the job; if I lose them (they're sunglasses, and I wore them while walking 2,600 miles across America), I won't be heart-broken.

I also have pairs of single vision (no bifocal) glasses that I bought at Zenni, Costco, and other places.

Then...there are sunglasses. Polarized lenses are invaluable (always get 'em). When you add coatings (AR=antireflection so people can see your eyes better and you can see at night better while driving), and scratch resistant coatings, etc., very often the consumer is thinking, "these optical salespeople are trying to upsell me!" But not always. Polarized lenses cut glare when out in the desert or on water, the golf course, or the beach, etc. Me, I wouldn't buy a pair sunglasses without them. AR coating is really great when you're a public person, speaker, a professional, etc.--people can see your eyes better when they look at you--the light doesn't reflect off your glasses. (I once informed a former clergy person about this and she bought new glasses the next week. It made a big difference and she knew it.)

Anyway, that's enough of this. I'm retired, not in the business anymore, and am weary of this whole subject of glasses, etc.

OP--it sounds like you got just what you need. It's like buying tires--you can always get cheaper; but sometimes it's a good idea to get the best. Some people will be happy with cheap, low quality, or medium quality, or whatever. It's like "The Three Bears."

And, folks, sometimes you do get what you pay for. Just be aware that with eyeglasses it's not like a duck--just because it quacks, doesn't mean it's the same as every other duck.

(Pause for applause.)
Last edited by Jazztonight on Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

adamthesmythe
Posts: 2834
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:42 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:42 pm
I have made many of the same choices you did EXCEPT the "high quality lenses." I figured there was no point in excellent optics in the eyeglasses when my own lenses were degraded by cataracts. You could have saved a few bucks there.
I concluded just the opposite - that with the slightly degraded sight with the oncoming cataracts - I would see better with high quality.
Thinking about it as a signal transmission problem, the largest noise source in the chain dominates, and any noise sources significantly smaller no longer matter.

In any case, I am glad you are satisified with the result.

User avatar
Bogle7
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Bogle7 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:46 pm

Yes, you did.
For me (9.75, astigmatism), Costco was $200.
Zenni was $80.

Turbo29
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 7:12 am

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Turbo29 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:54 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:46 pm
Yes, you did.
For me (9.75, astigmatism), Costco was $200.
Zenni was $80.


Last time I got glasses (progressives) I purchased a pair from Costco. Just for fun (and to have a spare) I ordered a pair from Zenni. I can see perfectly well with either pair, the Zenni glasses were just as good as the Costco at less than half the price. I have 3.25 astigmatism.

MathIsMyWayr
Posts: 515
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:00 pm

I had a pair of eye glasses made recently at VSP places. I had every goodies including poly carbon lenses, progressive, transition (extra-active), AR, anti-scratch, titanium frame,,,. The total cost is over $1,200 and I paid a little over $400 after VSP discounts. Afterwards, I went to Costco out of curiosity. Costco's price is much lower: mid $200 for lenses with similar options and similar frames under $100. They said Costco also gives VSP discounts now, but less than VSP places. I might have saved over $100 at Costco.
https://20somethingfinance.com/why-eyeg ... n-pay-less/

User avatar
PalmQueen
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:09 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by PalmQueen » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:20 pm

PaddyMac wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:08 pm
I pay the same price, about $800, for progressives every couple of years from our local, semi-rural optician. Why? Because the glasses are the best I've ever had. Like you, I add on ALL the options to get thin lenses, choose the best glass, etc etc.

The reason is that I was shocked the first time I "upgraded" my options to find that I could see so much better. So now that's my default for the future. My eyesight and comfort is paramount to me. If for some reason the "center" isn't perfect, my optician will retest my eyes again and reorder the lenses (for some reason, my eyes change as the day goes on).

A few years back I had a quick test at Costco (and I mean quick, I felt really hurried along), and I bought sunglasses with the prescription. As soon as I put them on, my eyes teared up and all the signs were blurry. I was not listened to when I complained and told "I'd get used to them, just wear them for a bit". I wore them for two weeks, had horrible headaches, and eventually figured out that they had messed up the prescription (did a +1 instead of -1, or whatever). That was the LAST time I'll cut corners for a few hundred bucks.
+1 My same experience.

I carry the VSP vision plan which is worth it to me to help a bit with the cost.
If, like me, you wear glasses all day every day, and the glasses last 2 years, it's a dollar a day.

MathIsMyWayr
Posts: 515
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:40 pm

Jazztonight wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:41 pm
<Sigh> Disclosure: I am a retired optometrist, and I see that I've been on this forum since 2007. Since that time, I have seen many hundreds of similar posts about eyeglasses and responded to many of them.

Here's my overview response. Take it for what it's worth--just my honest opinion.

First of all, questions about glasses and eyecare really fall into the category of medical/health care, and I don't know why these issues are even permitted on this forum. What, just because it's about what's referred to as "an appliance" it's okay to discuss it? What about dentures, and implants, and stents, hearing aids, and hair transplants? Are all of these allowed to be discussed? Eyeglasses, optical lenses, and contact lenses are subject to federal ANSI standards and have to meet certain criteria. In most states, optical labs and optical outlets need to have a licensed optician on board. Some states are less rigid. Just saying.

Regardless, there is a difference in quality from one pair of glasses, one eyeglass frame, and one pair of prescription optical lenses when compared to another.

I have personally prescribed and worn "top of the line" lenses and frames, and have also purchased glasses from both Costco and Zenni optical. Of these three, you're talking apples, oranges, and bananas (not necessarily comparing the quality of fruits, just saying they're all very different animals).

Just because Person A does well with progressive lenses from Zenni does not mean that Person B or the OP will also do well with the same product. The best comparison is shoes. I like Merrells. Some of you like Nikes or New Balance or Adidas. Or you might love the Costco brands. Does that mean I'll love Costcos and you'll love Merrells or any other brand? Absolutely not! People are different, feet are different, your needs are different, eyes are different, and glasses can be very different. My experience shows me that some people can tolerate really low-end lenses while other people cannot; some demand and will pay for the "highest quality" available.

OP: If you're happy with your new glasses, regardless of the price, and you understand that you have issues with incipient cataracts (a medical condition) and a high eyeglass Rx (necessitating "thinner" lighter weight lenses, which cost more), and high quality progressive lenses (this is where the rubber meets the road for many patients who demand a wider reading area), then you did NOT pay too much--you paid for a quality product, are satisfied, and it's all worth it to you. You did good.

I have a friend who is about the cheapest person in the world. He always buys the lowest cost item available, including his glasses, and sometimes he winds up with crap. Sometimes he finds a bargain, and he's happy, even though his wife is embarrassed to see him in his $14.99 prescription glasses.

I personally have a pair of progressives that I bought at Costco, and they were pricey; but I see quite well out of them. I have another pair of progressives that I bought at Zenni. They work, but they are NOT good quality, and cannot in my professional opinion compare with the Costco progressive lenses. I know and can see the difference. But I'm aware of what I'm getting, and they do the job; if I lose them (they're sunglasses, and I wore them while walking 2,600 miles across America), I won't be heart-broken.

I also have pairs of single vision (no bifocal) glasses that I bought at Zenni, Costco, and other places.

Then...there are sunglasses. Polarized lenses are invaluable (always get 'em). When you add coatings (AR=antireflection so people can see your eyes better and you can see at night better while driving), and scratch resistant coatings, etc., very often the consumer is thinking, "these optical salespeople are trying to upsell me!" But not always. Polarized lenses cut glare when out in the desert or on water, the golf course, or the beach, etc. Me, I wouldn't buy a pair sunglasses without them. AR coating is really great when you're a public person, speaker, a professional, etc.--people can see your eyes better when they look at you--the light doesn't reflect off your glasses. (I once informed a former clergy person about this and she bought new glasses the next week. It made a big difference and she knew it.)

Anyway, that's enough of this. I'm retired, not in the business anymore, and am weary of this whole subject of glasses, etc.

OP--it sounds like you got just what you need. It's like buying tires--you can always get cheaper; but sometimes it's a good idea to get the best. Some people will be happy with cheap, low quality, or medium quality, or whatever. It's like "The Three Bears."

And, folks, sometimes you do get what you pay for. Just be aware that with eyeglasses it's not like a duck--just because it quacks, doesn't mean it's the same as every other duck.

(Pause for applause.)
A great post! As I majored in an optics-related field for my graduate study, I had to deal with many of these subjects - polarization, AR coating, optical interference filters (by OCLI? near Santa Barbara), light scattering by impurities and optical imperfections in solids, diffraction, etc. I appreciate the importance of the quality of optical materials and processes (grinding, polishing and coating). When I have my glasses made, I ask which optical labs they use, because some well known semiconductor photolithography companies such as Hoya also do business in eyeglass lenses. However, the wide variances in prices is more than the result of quality alone as I indicated in a post above.

Globalviewer58
Posts: 525
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:26 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Globalviewer58 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:05 pm

I paid $122.85 to Zenni optical for progressive lens and frame in November 2018. Lenses include lightweight high refractive index material, transition lens, anti-smudge coating. I have an astigmatism. You can go to the Zenni website and enter your prescription detail and select the options and frames to compare prices.

I offered my optician the opportunity to price match and they declined. Their price was in the $400 range for same item.

User avatar
Chip Munk
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Chip Munk » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:09 pm

My previous pair of glasses were around $800. They are progressives, great quality lenses, AR coating, Transitions, etc. They worked well for 18 months, until I started having trouble reading. I had my eyes checked, got a new prescription and decided to give Costco's optical department a try after my DH had a great experience with progressives from Costco.

Unfortunately, while my Costco glasses are wonderful for reading (best reading experience I've ever had with progressives) and watching TV, they are terrible for distance. I cannot see well enough to drive with them unless I push them way down my nose and look out the very top of the lenses, and the AR coating is useless for night driving, especially compared to my $800 glasses.

I went back to Costco and they verified the glasses match the prescription and that the pupillary distance is correct. My eye doctor re-checked my eyes and verified that my prescription is correct. Costco adjusted the frame and asked me to try them for a few weeks but it didn't help at all.

Fortunately my distance prescription hadn't changed much so I've gone back to my $800 glasses so that I can drive, and I use the Costco glasses as reading glasses. At some point I will need to replace my $800 glasses, and I suspect I'll be forking over another $800 to get a pair that will work for me.
Last edited by Chip Munk on Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

palaheel
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by palaheel » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:17 pm

My experience is that the particular materials affect the price greatly. DW has the highest quality materials available, and cost almost twice my very good poly carbonate lens. If you're going to compare prices, be careful to compare materials as well.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 38470
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:31 pm

Luxottica has monopolized the market and is out of control. About three years ago, I set what was then a new record for a pair of eyeglasses, $600, at a local mall optician that's part of only a smallish chain, with a good optometrist. The lenses were a name brand (Varilux, and fairly high-end, I sorta took all the recommendations... photochromic lenses, antireflection coating. My first experience with progressives. And, I adapted to them quickly, I loved them, and the overall optical quality seemed better than I'd ever had before.

So three years later, it seems as if the hinge screw wouldn't tighten, and on closer inspection some metal part had broken free from the plastic it was supposed to be glued into or embedded in--in short, the frames were worn out. Naturally, the identical frames were no longer available, I couldn't just have the old lenses put into new frames. But I didn't argue too much because my prescription had changed a bit, too. So I did my best to order "the same thing" as before.

And the price had gone from $600 to over $1,000. And the difference was almost entirely the lenses. The "same" lenses.

I went ahead and got them, I like them, etc. but... it's too much, too much, too much. The next time I need new glasses I am going to give Zenni a try.

Anyway, my point is: yep, you can pay over $1,000 for "the same" glasses that cost $600 three years ago. Which I thought were incredibly expensive at the time.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

tibbitts
Posts: 8839
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by tibbitts » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:35 pm

In some states, Costco, Walmart, etc. can't legally provide optometry-related services, so that's not an option for everyone.

123
Posts: 4804
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by 123 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:13 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:35 pm
In some states, Costco, Walmart, etc. can't legally provide optometry-related services, so that's not an option for everyone.
Cost savings at Costco, Walmart, etc could pay for travel costs (and more) in many cases.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

User avatar
Summit111
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:32 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Summit111 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:17 pm

Another vote for Zenni Optical....Progressive lenses and frame....$120.00. No issues at all...

Summit
“Got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind!” Snoop Dog

MathIsMyWayr
Posts: 515
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:22 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:24 pm
Christine_NM wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:19 pm
I paid almost that much every 4 years or so for progressives and expensive (well-made) frames that never broke with constant wear. Seemed worth it to me.
Last year I had cataract surgery and no longer need glasses except for computer and reading. I have a mild astigmatism so I got prescription bifocals that help with that, but the total cost with Medicare was $91. I was really tired of 30 years of progressives every day and now I like the bifocals better. I got computer glasses and reading glasses for $20 a pair tops.
So, it depends how much you wear them.
Strongly recommend cataract surgery before the problem becomes noticeable and uncorrectable with glasses. Tremendous quality of life improvement.
I wear them almost all the time. I need them for anything other than very close up stuff - and even then it is better with the reading part of the progressives.

From many friends and acquaintances - I hear fantastic stories about how wonderful their cataract surgery turned out.

Now, though, with these new glasses I am just fine - and not ready for cataract surgery.
I have suffered from very high degree of myopia for most of my life I can remember. Heavy eyeglasses with thick lenses even with high index of refractive lenses. Never good far vision because of dizziness - just good enough to pass vision test for a driver's license. Finally I had cataract surgeries because of clouded lenses of eyes. Now I have a 20:20 vision for the first time in my life and can even read letters of projected presentation in meetings. However, it comes at a cost. Now my vision has a fixed focal length. My vision is great for reading books without glasses and driving with glasses which is my choice. However, if I have to deal with a number of documents at the same time, it is extremely frustrating. Nothing is in focus even with eyeglasses with progressive lenses.

tibbitts
Posts: 8839
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by tibbitts » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:39 pm

123 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:13 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:35 pm
In some states, Costco, Walmart, etc. can't legally provide optometry-related services, so that's not an option for everyone.
Cost savings at Costco, Walmart, etc could pay for travel costs (and more) in many cases.
I would probably use one of the internet providers first. I've used a couple of them and the results have been okay, although my vision plan mostly pays for one pair of glasses per year (about $60-$100 net for exam, frames, and medium-grade progressive lenses at local retail providers), so I make use of that.

SteveinMN
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:34 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by SteveinMN » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:42 pm

Like some of the previous posters, I got a little sticker shock at the last pair of high-index progressives I needed for my very nearsighted eyes. I paid around $750 at a local independent optician, which did not include the eye exam (done elsewhere) or any warranty beside initial fit.

The idea of Zenni and Warby Parker always has appealed to me but I resisted because I didn't think a prescription so strong would be well-served by mail order. When Warby Parker opened a brick-and-mortar shop in my city, though, I thought I'd give them a try.

The buying experience was fine -- easy and quick. The price of "equivalent" glasses was a little more than half of what I'd paid the last time. It took about as long for the glasses to be mailed to me as they would have taken to be fabricated at a shop.

My verdict after wearing the WP glasses for some months now? I got what I paid for. Yep, paid about half what I'd paid the last time. But these frames do not have the "relief" hinges that can handle being opened too far without breaking. I can tell the material used for the lenses is not as high-quality, either, with more refraction and a much smaller sweet spot of sharp focus. I find myself moving my head more to keep my eyes on that sweet spot.

I adapted; it wasn’t that hard. But I'm aware my eyeglasses don't have to be that way. And, when these need replacement, I may very well head back to the indy optician and acknowledge that, like my laptop and my snowblower, I can't just coast by on whatever's cheapest. For me, there's a difference I literally can see. All the time.

JohnSmith123
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by JohnSmith123 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:52 pm

Paying $800 for a pair of glasses is an outrage, you are being hoodwinked by the optometrist as well as your own ego to feel better that you got the “best” at $800.
You could easily get top of the line for $300 at Costco AND be able to donate the extra $ to an individual/charity that does not have the obvious wealth you do. Or pocket the difference and give to your children/grandchildren.

I just shake my head....

MathWizard
Posts: 3425
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by MathWizard » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:17 pm

To the Op,

I've paid about the same. Progressive +polarized, plus high index. I am incredibly near sighted and have astigmatism.
I replace glasses every 2 to 3 years. I use flex benefits, so I use pretax dollars which helps a lot.

I have worked on a computer daily for over 35 years.
I am cheap on some things, but not on vision, health or safety.

I nearly had to quit early in my career due to eyestrain. My optometrist straightened things out, and I'm not going to cheap out.

I invest so that I have money to by the things that I need.

You can certainly try some of the other options given if you are looking to save money, but if you are satisfied that you got value for what you paid, I wouldn't let anyone tell you otherwise.

User avatar
Gort
Posts: 487
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:07 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by Gort » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:30 pm

JohnSmith123 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:52 pm
Paying $800 for a pair of glasses is an outrage, you are being hoodwinked by the optometrist as well as your own ego to feel better that you got the “best” at $800.
You could easily get top of the line for $300 at Costco AND be able to donate the extra $ to an individual/charity that does not have the obvious wealth you do. Or pocket the difference and give to your children/grandchildren.

I just shake my head....
He didn't buy them from the optometrist. The Kaiser optometrist supplied the eyeglass Rx and he could have taken it anywhere. He chose to buy at the Kaiser healthcare facility which has an optical shop as most of them do. I doubt the Kaiser optometrist made any money off the optical purchase.

thomase
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:48 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by thomase » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:04 am

I recently hit the age where reading was getting difficult and needed to my first pair of progressives. I got them from Zenni for around $80 (was >$100 but had 20% Memorial day discount), and I'm very happy with the quality. Being my first pair of progressives, it took me a couple days to get use to it. Our family generally gets the first pair of a new prescription through Costco, then subsequent pairs through Zenni.

andypanda
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by andypanda » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:31 am

"You could easily get top of the line for $300 at Costco "

Top of Costco's line anyway.

For many years I gladly paid what it took to get the newest Varilux progressive lenses and titanium frames. I liked being able to see clearly. And to have them fit to me with all of my quirks of head size and wide eyes and all that. I wore glasses from age 8 to age 68 and then had cataract surgery. Now I'm 20/20 or bit better for driving and use cheap reading glasses for tying fishing knots, etc. Before the surgery I could read the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin out to about 6 inches and then couldn't see a person blink across the table. Call it 20/1200+.

To answer the OP, no, you didn't pay too much IMO.

user5027
Posts: 826
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by user5027 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:19 am

I tried Zenni for my last pair and they could not fill my script in progressives. I wound up buying them at Payne Glasses online. Offering that in case anyone has the similar problem.

jkrm
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:20 am

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Post by jkrm » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:40 am

I think there is a good chance that you DID NOT pay too much, judging from your description. I paid a little more for my last pair (though it included a magnetic sunglass attachment). I am very nearsighted (my ophthalmologist says I am a fraction of a diopter from being classified as "extremely nearsighted") and my understanding is that the lenses for dealing with that, especially if you want them thinner and lighter weight, get to be pretty expensive. And the various coatings for glare, etc. also add to the cost but are worth it.

About two or three pairs ago I had a pair made by a local discount optician. My next pair after that was from a non-discounter and the difference was remarkable. Could be just luck of the draw, but it made me think that paying more for better quality is worth it.

Having said all that, my ophthalmologist says that there are soft contact lenses that can correct my vision available now, and I may move over to them. I find that with glasses my peripheral vision is not as good as I would like when I ride my bicycle.

Post Reply