Eyeglass Factory Outlet
- Very high end of the discount price range with glasses coming to about $40 shipped with single-vision CR39 (1.5 index assumed) lenses.
- One of the most expensive AR coatings at $39.50 (more than the basic glasses/lenses). UV coating adds $5.
- Website is clean, fluid, and trendy.
- A- rating with the BBB.
Eyeglass Factory Outlet is located in the US (Florida). Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision and bi-focal/tri-focal/progressive lenses. They have a mailing address, fax, toll-free phone number, and contact form on the website. Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, and PayPal. The BBB has them listed with an "A-" rating.
I'd been notified some time ago that ownership had changed and the website had been redesigned. In the past, the emphasis appeared to be on an eBay store. Since the change in ownership the website certainly has been redesigned and it feels very clean and professional.
Short version of my impressions is that ~$35 is a high base price to charge for what I assume to be 1.5 index lenses, and isn't really competitive with other online retailers. Normally I'd suspect it's simply an online store-front for a retail location, but the only address they list is a PO box. So I have no idea what market they're trying to reach. They do offer 5 different AR coatings including Crizal-branded (in the $80-120 range), so maybe they're targeting the market who's very picky about AR..? At this point I'm stretching a little to try and figure out what it is about them that stands out.
Frame selection at the $34.50 price point is quite good, with many frames offered in multiple colors.
Single-vision lenses come free with the frames which are typically $34.50. Bifocals add $15, Progressives add $45, and Trifocals add $65. An AR coating adds a whopping $39.50 to the price – more than the cost of a single-vision pair of glasses, while a UV coating adds $5. Tints (and gradient tints) are available at $5, and Transitions or Polarized lenses can be added for varying prices depending on the lens selected.
Website and Ordering:
Browsing is a clean and easy experience, though sorting options are limited (no way to see frames sizes in the listings for example), and there are no virutal try-on features. In addition, Bifocal and Progressive wearers may come out a little frustrated, as there doesn't appear to be a way to see which frames are compatible with bifocal/progressive lenses.
The ordering process decent, and good lens information is provided (I actually love the way they've explained the differences between CR39/Polycarbonate/Glass/etc in a manner that's easy to understand), but information on taking your own PD isn't there and there's nothing that tells me what the benefit of stepping up to the Crizal AR coatings might be. Also, while "thin and light" 1.56 index lenses are mentioned in the pop-up page, no offerings appear to exist.
All in all, the site has improved a lot but still lacks some of the basic features that most other retailers offer.
When it comes towards the end of the order, just before checkout they have a selection for entering a coupon code or estimating shipping – this is very fluid and well done. Guest checkout is available too – really, getting to the checkout process is an area I'd score them perfectly in.
Pricing and Value:
While Eyeglass Factory Outlet is technically in the discount spectrum, it's not a strong presence. There's a lot I love about the site, but basic CR39 (what I assume to be 1.5 index) lenses is a hard sell at $34.50 unless you're focusing on the name-brand market too or can provide some indication as to why your glasses are worth more than everyone else's.
I've tried to translate the pricing into a chart (ranges were required for some options to keep this simple). Pricing based upon $34.50 frames.
Lens offerings (based on $34.50 frames):
|Single-vision||Bifocal FT28 (+$15)||Bifocal FT35 (+$45)||Progressive (+$45)||Trifocal (+$65)|
|CR-39 (1.5 index assumed)||free||included||included||included||included|
|1.59 index Polycarbonate||+$45||+$55||+$20||+$10||+$70|
|High index||+$95 (1.67 index)||+$175 (1.67 index)||+$85 (1.60 index)||+$100 (1.60 index)||+$160 (1.67 index)|
|Glass (no index mentioned)||+$40||+$50||+$50||+$40||+$120|
|Transitions (grey/brown)||varies from +$70-145||+$100 (CR39 only)||+$150 (CR39 only)||varies from +$150-$210||varies from +$100-$120|
|Polarized (grey/brown/green)||varies from +$70-$170||varies from +$100-$125||+$120 (CR39 only)||+$180 (CR39 only)||varies from +$90-$260|
|Photochromic XtraGlass (glass lenses)||+$40 brown, +$35 grey||+$70 brown, +$50 grey||+$140 brown, +$120 grey||+$190 brown, +$160 grey||+$70 brown, +$40 grey|
|Tint or Gradient Tint (blue/brown/grey/green/purple)||+$5||+$5||+$5||+$5||+$5|
|AR coating (standard)||+$39.50||+$39.50||+$39.50||+$39.50||+$39.50|
|AR coating (premium)||+$69.50||+$69.50||+$69.50||+$69.50||+$69.50|
|AR coating (Crizal)||+$80||+$80||+$80||+$80||+$80|
|AR coating (Crizal Alize)||+$100||+$100||+$100||+$100||+$100|
|AR coating (Crizal Avance)||+$120||+$120||+$120||+$120||+$120|
Shipping hits $4.95 in the US, and $9.95 to most international destinations.
The price charts are created by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.
For those seeking a Crizal-branded AR coating or glass lenses (of an unknown index), Eyeglass Factory Outlet is definitely worth a look. If you're content at the higher end of the discount spectrum, upgrades to Bi/Trifocal and Progressives are somewhat reasonable too (though still at the low index). Other online shoppers who are looking to upgrade beyond the base pair of lenses would probably stand to save a fair bit of money by looking elsewhere though.
Eyeglass Factory Outlet Reader Review #1
Sent in by: jps
March 13 , 2006
I ordered frame "West 9709 Blue Eyeglasses", adding dark grey tint and UV protection. Total price with shipping: $49.50. These will be used as sunglasses for car washing, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, etc. where I don't want to risk damage to my "primary" sunglasses (an expensive designer pair).
As I went from page to page through the order process, I noted that the prescription numbers became "jumbled". I assume (hope!) it's just the way they're being displayed on-screen and that the lenses will be manufactured properly.
Immediately after ordering, I received a confirmation email.
A few hours later, another email arrived stating the order status had been updated to "processing".
March 16, 2006
Checked credit card activity - Eyeglass Factory Outlet has charged my card.
March 28 , 2006
I received an email that afternoon stating the glasses had been shipped on Friday, March 24. I went home and found the glasses in my mailbox.
--- Shipped in a stiff cardboard box, it would take a lot of weight to crush them. Inside, the glasses were wrapped in styrofoam and placed in a soft case.
--- My fears about the "jumbled" numbers were unfounded.
--- No marks of any kind, cut to fit frame exactly.
--- It's an inexpensive frame, but that's not why I give it such a low grade. There is a LOT of play in the right-side hinge. When folded, the arm can move up-and-down almost a full inch (observed at the ear end of the arm). When wearing them, the "grip" on my left side is noticably stronger than on my right. The hinge doesn't need tightening; I did check that and the screw is as tight as it's going to get.
--- These would be a Grade A pair of backup sunglasses if it weren't for the hinge issue.
I've decided to keep them rather than return for repair. It looks like the manufacturing tolerances are poor, not that the person who put them together didn't do their job properly. They're comfortable enough to wear, and since they will rarely leave my home property, I can store them in the "open" position to avoid putting stress on the bad hinge. I don't expect that they'll break.
Pictures (click on any of the thumbnails to open the image full-size in a new window)
Would I buy from Eyeglass Factory Outlet again?
To put lenses in my own frame, definitely. Using their frame, it would have to be a frame I really, really wanted.
Topics from the Eyeglass Factory Outlet section of the old forums...
Below is the original write-up for Eyeglass Factory Outlet (from 2006-2009). It's been kept around for posterity.
Eyeglass Factory Outlet
Eyeglass Factory Outlet is located in Florida (USA). Pricing in USD. They display a 1-877 number, fax number, physical address, and online contact form on their Contact page. They accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Paypal.
Eyeglass Factory Outlet doesn't seem to be overly popular on the net. To be honest, I've seen very little mention of them anywhere. Most of the frames/lenses (pretty much all but rimless) on their site are $34.50. Their lenses come with a free anti-scratch coating. Tint and UV coatings are an additional $5 each. An upgrade to bifocals adds $15 which isn't bad all things considered. An AR coating however is a whopping $39.50 extra, which is more than the glasses!
A strange thing about the site is that at the bottom of each page, they state "Orders Are Not Valid In The State Of Florida". I would guess that this is due to legal/regulatory issues regarding the sale of prescription lenses in the state of Florida, but I really have no idea (it could also be the additional complexity of adding tax to the checkout of the website, or something else entirely). Regardless of the reason, it seems that if you live in Florida, you're out of luck.
I had a little trouble trying to get accurate information about the company from the search.bbb.org website. The most accurate result seems to be for Dr. Barry Meyer (Eyeglass Factory Outlet), which is held on the BBB of Southeast Florida's website. The address for Eyeglass Factory Outlet does not match the one shown on the website, but if you choose Eyeglass Factor Outlet's "About Us" link, you are brought to a message/statement from Dr. Barry Meyer, so it seemingly is in fact the correct site. The bottom of Dr. Barry Meyer's message/statement says "P.S. We're also members of the Better Business Bureau of Broward County in the State of Florida". I was unable to confirm this, as I could not find an online source of the BBB in Broward County. The BBB of Southeast Florida's information on Dr. Barry Meyer (Eyeglass Factory Outlet) does not show them as a BBB member, and says that the record is 'unsatisfactory', with 3 resolved, and 4 'no response' complaints. It would be nice to get more clarification on this, but for now this is all I was able to find.
Pricing (base price of $34.50)
Single Vision Bifocals Progressive Trifocals Lenses (plastic) included +$15.00 (Ft 28) +$90.00 (Sola Vip) +$64.00 (7/28) +$32.00 (Ft 35 or Executive) +$141.00 (Varilux Comfort) +$80.50 (8/35) +$45.00 (Super No Line) High Index +$74.00 +$125.00 (Ft 28) +$194.00 Polycarbonate +$44.00 (average) +$125.00 (Ft 28) +$194.00 +$65.00 (thinnest) Polarized +$85.50 +$130.50 (Ft 28) +$220.50 Photochromatic +$44.00 +$84.00 (Ft 28) +$151.00 Transition +$95.00 +$125.40 (Ft 28) +$195.00
Tint (Grey Brown Blue Yellow Rose) (Gradient or Solid) (Light Medium Dark) +$5.00 Glass Lens +$20.00 Anti Reflective Coating +$39.50 UV Protection +$5.00 Shipping (US) +$5.00 Shipping (International) +$9.95 Shipping (order over $50) free
A pair of single vision frames/lenses shipped is $39.50 in the US, and $44.45 Internationally.
Bifocals (shipped) go for $54.50 in the US, and $59.45 Internationally
|Website||Good||Website is easy to navigate. Nothing is really outstanding, and for the most part there are only minor inconsistencies. For example, if you choose Polycarbonate lenses, it will still allow you to upgrade to Glass and UV Protection. A novice could potentially end up ordering either conflicting or redundant options. While this should obviously be caught when the glasses are being made, it's still extra headache and hassle that could be avoided by automatically 'graying out' options while ordering (the same way many other sites do).|
|Selection||Great||Just about all the frames/lenses on the site are $34.50. Most categories have quite a few frames as well, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find something you like. Rimless frames are the exception. There are only 5 rimless frames, which are all $79.50 and up.|
|Frame Info||Acceptable||Material, color, dimensions, and a short description are given. It would be nice if the pictures were a little larger and in some cases clearer.|
|Lens Options||Great||Despite a somewhat sloppy layout, there really are quite a few lens options. Single Vision, Bifocal, and Progressive lenses are all offered in Polarized, Polycarbonate, Photochromatic, Transitional, and High-Index lenses. Trifocals are available too. Glass, tint, AR, and UV coatings are additional options with additional cost.|
|Value||Acceptable||It would be nice if the basic pair was either slightly cheaper, or came with free AR & UV. Shipping cost is reasonable, and will probably be free if you get anything other than the basic Single Vision or Bifocal lenses.|