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Choice Eyewear

http://choiceeyewear.com

 

Quick notes:

  • In the lower price bracket of the discount arena, offers glasses starting at about $20 shipped, including 1.56 index single-vision lenses.
  • Formerly known as LBW Eyewear.
  • Site is in need of some serious visual polish.
  • F rating with the BBB.

 

Introduction:

Choice Eyewear (formerly LBW Eyewear) is located in the US (California). Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision and bi-focal/progressive lenses. Methods of contact include phone, fax, mail, and e-mail addresses. Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, and PayPal. The BBB has LBW Eyewear listed with an “F” rating.

 

Impressions:

Choice Eyewear’s glasses start below $20 and include free anti-scratch and UV coatings. The site is basic, has a horrid color scheme, and looks like it was made in the 1990′s. Multiple contrasts make it difficult to read price listings, it’s impossible to sort a listing by price, and the “$6.98″ price selector shows empty. They desperately need to get a designer in there.

Worth noting that Choice Eyewear used to be known as LBW Eyewear until about 2011 when they had a name change. I’m not sure as to the reasoning behind it, but the old site currently goes to a parked domain. The current site still has some references to LBW Eyewear (in one of the mouseover pop-ups for example).

While frame selection in the under-$20-after-shipping range isn’t strong, frame selection in the under-$20-before-shipping range is very strong with almost 300 frames.

Single-vision lenses (1.56 index) come free with the frames and include free UV and scratch-resistant coatings. Indexes are available up to 1.74. Polycarbonate, Photochromic, Polarized, and Tinted lenses are also available. An AR coating adds $5 to the price.

 

Website and Ordering:

The website is a bit of a struggle to use due to the color scheme. This is one of those situations where I have to be sure to take a break after writing to ensure that I don’t take my headache out on the next retailer. Much of it feels like they’re using some generic shopping cart software and cramming a glasses store into it.

That said, good information is provided throughout – everything from frame sizes to mouse-over popups (though no try-on functionality). It’s just the presentation that’s dying for some love.

Ordering is relatively basic but straightforward. Lens options are all crammed into a single drop-down box and are often unorganized, though they’ve taken the step of mentioning which items can’t be tinted. That said, often selecting a different lens type doesn’t work the first time (and multiple attempts are required), so I’d strongly suggest that anyone ordering from Choice Eyewear double-check to ensure the lens option they chose stuck.

It’s not the type of site I’d send a new user to, but for somebody who’s ordered glasses online before, while some aspects may be frustrating, they should be able to work their way through.

 

Pricing and Value:

Price-wise, they’re very reasonable at the low end. Most of their frames are covered in the under-$20 range (within the $20-30 range after shipping). AR is reasonable at $4.95.

As far as value goes, value is actually quite good. Just about anything can be found in the $9-$40 range, AR is reasonable at $5, and shipping is a fair price at $6.50 ($11.95 internationally). The jump to progressives is a fair bit higher than other retailers competing in the same area.  A very basic pair can be had for under $20 altogether.

Since most offerings have remained the same over the years, I’ve used the old chart and simply updated with offerings and a few price changes.

FRAMES based on $19.98 frame (prices anywhere from $9-40)
Single-Vision Lenses
1.56 FREE
1.58 High-impact +9.98
1.59 Polycarbonate +9.95
“O Plus” Water-Repellant/Anti-Fog +19.98
1.61 +19.95
1.67 +39.95
1.74 +109.98
Photochromic 1.56 (brown, grey, blue, purple, pink) +39.98
Photochromic 1.59 Polycarbonate (brown, grey) +49.98
Photochromic 1.61 (brown, grey) +69.95
Photochromic 1.67 (brown, grey) +149.95
Bifocals
Flat Top +19.98
Rounded Top +29.98
Line Blended Out +59.98
Executive +99.98
1.58 Flat Top + impact lens +49.98
Ultra-Thin 1.61 Flat Top +59.98
Photochromic (grey or brown) +59.98
Progressives
1.56 (no-line multifocal) +59.98
1.56 (no-line multifocal) + impact lens +89.98
1.61 (no-line multifocal) +89.98
1.67 (no-line multifocal) +119.98
Free Form 1.56 +109.98
Free Form Polycarbonate (1.59) +139.98
Free Form 1.61 +129.98
Free Form 1.67 +219.98
Free Form 1.74 +249.98
Photochromic Free Form 1.56 (grey/brown) +129.98
Photochromic Free Form polycarbonate 1.59 (grey/brown) +169.98
Photochromic Free Form 1.61 (grey/brown) +249.98
OPTIONS
Anti-Reflective (AR) coating +4.98
Anti-Reflective (AR) plus Anti-Radiation coating +19.95
Tint Solid (grey/brown/pink/yellow/purple/red/green/blue/orange) +4.98
Tint Gradient (grey/brown/pink/yellow/purple/red/green/blue/orange) +9.98
Polarized (brown/grey/G15) +59.98
SHIPPING
US – USPS First Class +6.50
US – USPS Priority +12.95
International Air Mail +11.95

Charts are updated by hand – contact me if you notice any errors. 

Offerings are reasonable. The site really needs a face lift though.

 

Click here to visit the Choice Eyewear website

 

 

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