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Cost of prescription sunglasses?

josepidal

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I was planning on getting a spare pair of prescription sunglasses. With the limited local selection, I eyed some pairs of Ray Bans, but they'd have to send them to the US to have prescription polycarbonate lenses done (unless I want cheaper plastic lenses with anti-glare coating). The cost adds up to about $200.

Might it be cheaper to have the prescription lenses done while I'm in the US, with the wider selection there? I was told it would end up considerably more expensive.
 

mrchapel

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Originally Posted by kitonbrioni
Costco will save you 50% or more on decent frames and good lenses--more than enough to pay for a year's membership.

I don't think this will help him considering as though it sounds like he is not from the US. I'm pretty sure you have to be a US resident to get Costco membership.

To the OP, I don't think you'll be saving much, if anything. That price sounds about right to what we'd pay here for that.
 

lawyerdad

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Was it your optician there who said it would be considerably more expensive? That doesn't make a lot of intuitive sense to me, if they're going to be sending them to the US anyway? You may be able to do some comparison shopping online - I think some of the major brands: Oakley, Ray Ban, etc. - have information about prescription lenses online (you may even be able to order them online if you send them a copy of your prescription). If nothing else, you should be able to get some price points for comparison.
 

josepidal

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I was told getting a clearance or something so the prescription goes through is more troublesome in the US.
 

drizzt3117

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I doubt it would be cheaper than $200 in the US, especially if you want to use the thinnest possible lens. I believe I paid somewhere around $230 or so for my lenses, with the thinnest possible material and UV/Reflective coating, from Lenscrafters.
 

lawyerdad

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Originally Posted by josepidal
I was told getting a clearance or something so the prescription goes through is more troublesome in the US.
No idea. Maybe there's some FDA regulation that makes it trickier to get prescriptions issued by non-U.S. doctors filled in the US? Or perhaps your optician is just feeding you mumbo-jumbo to keep your business. I mostly wear contacts now, which I order online, but I've never gotten the impression anyone was checking out the bona fides of my prescription when I've gotten prescription glasses made before.
 

lawyerdad

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Didn't follow the order process all the way through, but it appears you can order Oakley prescription lenses through this site merely by entering your prescription information. Not that I'm endorsing this particular vendor (I didn't even take the time to figure out if they're actually affiliated with Oakley or not - just did a quick Google), but that would seem to suggest there should not be issues with getting "clearance" or whatever. But of course I could be totally wrong, and as someone pointed out $200 isn't out of line with what you might pay here. So aside from the selection issue, it doesn't seem you'd gain much by waiting until you get here.
 

SGladwell

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Originally Posted by lawyerdad
No idea. Maybe there's some FDA regulation that makes it trickier to get prescriptions issued by non-U.S. doctors filled in the US

There is no problem with foreign prescriptions. I've had lenses made in America off of eyeglass prescriptions written in Austria, Israel, and Pakistan without incident.

I find it hard to believe that it'll be cheaper to get lenses made in the US than the Philippines, though. The parts cost is going to be similar but the labor here will be higher for a given quality. I've had glasses made in Lahore, Pakistan, after breaking my old glasses on a plane, and the workmanship was excellent even on rimless glasses.
 

LA Guy

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Originally Posted by josepidal
I was planning on getting a spare pair of prescription sunglasses. With the limited local selection, I eyed some pairs of Ray Bans, but they'd have to send them to the US to have prescription polycarbonate lenses done (unless I want cheaper plastic lenses with anti-glare coating). The cost adds up to about $200.

Might it be cheaper to have the prescription lenses done while I'm in the US, with the wider selection there? I was told it would end up considerably more expensive.


Polycarb for my incredibly strong prescription is under $200. Unless you are practically blind (like me!) I'd wait until you get to Harvard. There are lots of optometrists and opticians even in Harvard Square (too many books, too few people!)
 

josepidal

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Can anyone recommend a good online site where I can, say, test order a pair of Rayban sunglasses with prescription lenses? I realized this might be a very easy way to do the comparison, except I can't quite find a site.

I bought a new titanium-frame, rimless, polycarb lens pair of glasses for under $100. However, I'm still thoroughly undecided on what kind of sunglasses to get, and I've even emailed sample photos to a couple of SFers!
 

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