Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's a Photo Finish!

No, not the Melbourne Cup. That's still an hour or so away. The glasses race!

Yesterday my local glasses arrived. Last night at about 11:30, I thought I would check the tracking on my internet ones and see if there was any update (there hadn't been since they left the US). This is what I saw:
Delivered! What? Where was I at 1:58?
I know exactly where I was - walking down to the optometrist to collect my glasses, having given up on the postie for the day. He normally arrives before 1:00pm on Mondays, so I assumed he had already been and had nothing for me.

After my trip to the optometrist I went to the cinema, and never checked the letterbox again for the day. But I should have, because that's where my glasses were all along!

So, compare and contrast:
There are some differences. My local glasses, which are on the left, are "enhanced readers" which are supposed to be correct for using the sewing machine or computer, but with a close-up section at the bottom for threading needles, etc.  Here you see everything that came with them (a cleaning cloth). On the left, the single-vision internet version, and everything that came with them (a case, a larger and prettier cleaning cloth, a bag of extra nose pads and screws etc for repairs, a tiny 3-part screwdriver tool for making repairs, and a plastic measuring device for working out your pupil distance for future orders).

Local glasses pros:
  • could use my own frames, which I've had for years and really like.
  • can try on other frames.
  • when the prescription was incorrect, they were returned and replaced at no cost to me.
  • are guaranteed, so if I decide I would rather have only single vision, I can send them back to be changed at no cost.
Local glasses cons:
  • was charged an installation fee of $30 to have the lenses put in my own frames. This strikes me as unfair, as they have to be put in some frames.
  • very limited range of frames available if I had wanted to buy new ones. They had 3 frames, all in the men's section, which were large enough for my face. 
  • anti-reflective coating was going to cost about $50, so I didn't get it (notice reflections in photo).
  • lenses cost $190 for these multi-focus ones, or $120 for single-vision.
Total cost: $220.00

Internet glasses pros:
  • far more frames to choose from in large sizes, even in "women's" designs.
  • frame and single-vision lenses cost only $19.00 (US)
  • anti-reflective coating cost only $4.95 (US)
  • I had actually put my distance prescription on my order, but they contacted me to check it, because it didn't match what I said I wanted the glasses for.
  • more goodies included!
Internet glasses cons:
  • if they hadn't been correct, sending them back would not have been practical
  • have to pay postage (even though it was only $9.95 US)
  • had to wait for the postie
  • frames are quite light-weight, so I don't know how durable they will be
  • frames probably aren't re-usable, either, so contribute to the "throw-away" culture I hate.
  • could be trickier to get multi-focal glasses correct, as there can't be any tweaking like the local ones have needed.

Total cost in Australian dollars: $36.24

So, the race was close enough to a dead heat. As to which pair will be my favourite - what do you think? Let's just say that so far, I'd be happy to order on-line again.


  1. Fascinating, Vireya. I won't hazard a guess which you end up using more. I am not altogether surprised at the extras. We don't have a very strong 'service culture', but on the other hand we do mostly pay employees properly which helps explain the price differential. Also we use our small size market and remoteness as an excuse for ripoffs!

    1. Yes, there are definitely arguments on both sides!

  2. And the price difference!!!!! However, not sure if I would chance the internet - I have enough trouble finding the glasses I like when I can try them on! Good on you for having a go.

  3. I definitely think the Internet ones are worth a try. Good luck with the 'hardness' factor.....if you keep using the case they will probably be fine. I like both frames and agree about the reusing and recycling aspects. Happy reading et al.