It was brought up in the thread about eye care at Costco
that someone mentioned being very satisfied with America's Best deal of two pairs of glasses and an eye exam for only $69. I was not familiar with this offer so I looked into it. If anyone has feedback or comments on America's Best - this is the thread to add it.
First off, the basic offer looks like a fantastic deal. For $69 you get an eye exam plus 2 pairs of prescription glasses. Since eye exams generally cost at least $45 at most places, that means the glasses are only about $12 each. This price would put them in line with the cheapest glasses available, even online from places like Zenni
So, is the deal all it appears to be?
My conclusion is that it may be for some people. If the glasses you need are pretty basic, then this may be an okay deal. Based on what I can find out, the frames included in the package are mostly ugly, especially the choices for women. Perhaps there are different choices at different branches, but you will have a very limited selection of frames. I will be adding more information soon witih additional details on the prices to upgrade the frames. The lenses are standard plastic single vision lenses. My first pair of glasses I got at Lenscrafters had plastic lenses
and that was adequate for me, but that we before I learned a lot more about various options with eyeglasses.
It turns out that most people who wear glasses will not be satisfied with plain plastic lenses. They can be thick, especially if you have a strong prescription. I am guessing that for most people they will try to upsell more expensive options. Based on user feedback, that appears to be the case. I plan to update this thread on the costs of the various upgrades. Since the upgrades wind up being for two pairs of glasses, this seems to quickly add up. Many people said it was around $200 for them when all was said and done, and some people wound up paying around $500. I'm guessing an upgrade to polycarbonate lenses (somewhat slimmer, lighter, and stronger) is what gets people into the $200 range. I'm not sure yet if that includes any sort of anti-reflective coating
, which I personally have found I like. The $500 options would like be for someone who needed high index lenses (much thinner) due to a strong prescription.
Based on what I could find out so far, it seems many people are not happy with their experiences at America's Best. I'm guessing part of that could vary significantly based on the particular staff at a particular store. I also think many people are unhappy when they go in expecting to get everything that want for $69, but wind up needing to spend a lot more to get what they want.
I look forward to hearing other people's feedback.