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Consumer Reports: Savings on eyeglasses

July 9, 2013 3:06:05 PM PDT
A new pair of prescription glasses can set you back hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

If you're thinking about getting a new pair, Consumer Reports can tell you where to go to get great prices and top-notch service.

If you're in the market for a new pair of glasses, like some Consumer Reports' readers, you're buying them from a mom-and-pop store.

"Honestly, I really think it's the personal service," said Peter Schub.

He's right. The Consumer Reports National Research Center's survey of nearly 20,000 subscribers finds people who shopped locally are some of the most satisfied.

"Readers gave independent shops and private doctors' offices top marks for the quality of the glasses, but also for customer care and follow-up service," said Margot Gilman of Consumer Reports.

But they're also among the costliest places to shop.

You can save big on eyewear, as much as 40 percent according to Consumer Reports, if you know where to shop.

You'll get the biggest bang for your buck at Costco.

Cost-conscious shoppers can expect to pay less than 200 dollars for a new pair of glasses, and still get above-average quality, service, and staff expertise.

But Costco's selection isn't as impressive. For a huge selection and low prices, shop online.

"It can be more work. You have to try the frames on and then find them online, but you can save a bundle," Gilman said

Two sites to check out: FramesDirect.com and Eyeglasses.com.

But if service and follow-up care are important to you, Costco, private doctors' offices, and independent shops are good bets. And ask about price matching: it can't hurt.

If you have a basic prescription, Consumer Reports says another place to save on glasses is by using a new type of online site that sells its own brand of frames.

You can get a basic pair of glasses, frames and lenses, for under one hundred dollars.

Websites like WarbyParker.com will even mail frames to you to try on at no charge.

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