Consumer

Keep from overspending at the eye doctor

Monday, July 29, 2013

A new pair of prescription glasses can set you back hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Consumer Reports can tell you where to go to get great prices for eye glasses, and top-notch service. If you're in the market for a new pair of glasses, like some Consumer Reports' readers, you are buying them from a mom-and-pop store.

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

Schub is 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," Margot Gilman from Consumer Reports said.

But they are 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 will get the biggest bang for your buck at Costco.

Cost-conscious shoppers can expect to pay less than $200 for a new pair of glasses, and still get above-average quality, service, and staff expertise. But Costco's selection is not 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 for eye glasses are 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.

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