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Quick notes:

  • In the middle of the discount price range, with the bulk of glasses coming to $37 (shipped worldwide) with free 1.56 index single-vision lenses, free AR and free UV coatings.
  • Historically known for lens quality when it came to high prescriptions.
  • High Indexes offered – with indexes up to 1.8 and 1.9, they offer some of the thinnest glasses for those with high prescriptions
  • Located in HK.
  • Pricing for lens upgrades tends to be on the higher side.
  • Site has not changed in years – because other retailers have made improvements over time, Optical4less has become one of the least new-user-friendly sites by current standards.

 

Introduction:

Optical4less is located in Hong Kong. Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision, bi-focal, and progressive glasses, as well as a minor selection of contact lenses. Their only methods of contact are via on-line forms for which you have to register. They accept Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, and Paypal. Being located outside of the US, they are not listed with the BBB.

 

Impressions:

Optical4less has historically had a focus on lens quality. Their prices have never been the absolute lowest, but they maintained a competitive level at $29.00, complete with AR, anti-scratch, and UV coatings plus $8 for worldwide shipping. A large number of their frames are continuously listed as “overstock specials” at $15. They offer some of the highest index (thinnest) lens’s available, at a higher price – all the way up to an index of 1.9 which is a plus for people with strong prescriptions who don’t like thick glasses. Their website is full of information, but lacks polish in a number of areas.

All that said, the availability of current information about them has dwindled over time. If anything, I’d say they’ve probably become less popular, which is a bit of a shame. Chances are that I’ll have to order from them again myself to get a current look at things.

The majority of their metal and plastic frames are $29.00 which includes single-vision lenses. They offer a variety of other frames (rimless, titanium, bendable, hingeless etc) but they generally cost between $10-30 more depending on what your’re looking for. The majority of their frames are offered in 2-6 different colors which vary depending on the frame selected.

Single-vision lenses come free with the frame. There are 4 different index’s for single-vision plastic lenses from 1.56-1.74 (one of which is polycarbonate), and 2 very-high-indexes for single-vision glass lenses (1.8 and 1.9). Photochromic lenses are offered in 7 different colors for single-vision lenses, and 2 colors for progressives. They have a massive tint selection including a mirror coating option. Lens brands listed include AS Hi-Max®, GIA®, DAGAS®, PRECISION®, Appolosoft®, and GN®.

 

Website and Ordering:

The Optical4less website is fairly easy to navigate though the design is clearly dated. Some things are likely to cause unnecessary confusion for first-time buyers though at first glance. The information’s great – it’s the presentation that could use work. Aside from that, the browsing experience is quite good. It’s easy to narrow down what you’re looking for, there’s plenty of information about each frame

Going through the order process is fairly easy, though quite bland.. Choosing a frame color automatically changes it in the display. Measurements are shown as well. When choosing a lens type, clicking on the link brings up excellent information about what prescriptions each lens is suited for, where your prescriptions strength “fits in”, and in some cases, pros and cons about the particular lens.

While good solid technical information is available, the information on taking your own PD is easy-to-miss and lacks any sort of picture to help in that area. No information is given about reading your prescription either. The result is that anyone new to buying glasses online will have to figure things out on their own, as the site does not help you along in that area. On the other hand, those who have bought glasses online before will probably be satisfied with the information provided.

 

Pricing and Value:

Optical4less is very middle-road when it comes to pricing. Their largest strength is in the ultra-high indexes offered – 1.8 and 1.9 are virtually impossible to find elsewhere.

Because shipping is a flat $8 worldwide and AR/UV are included free on all lenses (simplicity at it’s finest), gauging your total price beforehand is a little easier than with some other retailers.

Prices below based on $29 frames – because Optical4less has not changed their prices in years, I’ve re-used the old chart and simply removed the lenses they no longer offer.

Single-Vision Frames & Lenses $29.00 (free lenses)
1.56 Standard included
1.6 Polycarbonate +35.00
1.67 Aspheric Ultrathin +35.00
1.74 Aspheric Universe +198.00
1.8 Super High index glass +88.00
1.9 Extreme High index glass +178.00
1.56 Photochromic (grey/brown) +59.00
1.56 Photochromic (blue/purple/green/red/orange) +99.00
Bifocal/Progressive Frames & Lenses $92.00 ($29 + $63 lenses)
1.56 Bifocal included
1.6 Polycarbonate progressive +115.00
1.50 PRECISION progressive +155.00
1.53 PRECISION SAFEWEAR (unbreakable) progressive +205.00
1.67 PRECISION Super High index progressive +265.00
Customized Polarize progressive (grey/brown/hunter-green) +175.00
1.56 PRECISION Photochromic progressive (grey/brown) +135.00
1.67 PRECISION Photochromic progressive (grey/brown) +335.00
Tint (optional) +8.00
hunter-green, orange, brown, red, grey, purple, royal-blue, yellow, green
Grandient Tint (optional) +12.00
hunter-green, orange, brown, red, grey, purple, royal-blue, yellow, green
Mirror-coating (optional) +39.00
Anti-Radiation coating (optional) +29.00
Multi-coating – AR (anti-reflective), anti-scratch, UV, water proof FREE
Worldwide Shipping $8.00
Woldwide Shipping (2 pairs or more) FREE

Charts are maintained by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.

 

Optical4less is very upfront about additional costs for certain prescriptions.

  • $59 is added if cylinder is lower than -2.75 or higher than +2.75.
  • $3 is added for each degree of prism correction on each lens.
  • Photochromic coatings increase by $99 if lens power is lower than -5.00 or higher than +2.00.
  • Tint on 1.67 index lens is $30 more.

All-in-all, they really seem to cater both to those looking for quality glasss on the low end of the price spectrum, those looking for special tint/lens colors, and those who want/need high index’s that have trouble finding them elsewhere.

 

Click here to visit the Optical4less website / Click here to go to the Optical4less purchase review

 

 

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