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Old 22.03.2015, 11:32
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Recommendations - Glasses

Hello All,

I need to get new glasses and would like extended wear contact lenses I have 'invisible' bifocals. The contact lenses I wear do not correct the slight astigmatism I have.

I recently saw Visilab had discounts, based on a customer's age .

is it worth while to get the glasses and contacts from Germany? France? Italy? If so, I welcome recommendations, experiences .... The nice thing about a local store is the ability to pop by, if I have issues with the glasses ....

TIA!
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Old 22.03.2015, 12:00
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Re: Recommendations - Glasses

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I recently saw Visilab had discounts, based on a customer's age .
I, too, got excited when I saw that billboard...

... but on reading the fine print* it says that the discount is only on frames, not on lenses. So while every little helps, not as good an offer as I had hoped.

I'm a happy Fielmann customer - as apparently are many EFers. There are several threads discussing spec and contacts prices - a bit of a search will bring these up.



* Fine print is especially cruel when advertising corrective eye wear.
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Old 22.03.2015, 12:49
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Re: Recommendations - Glasses

High street opticians promote their products by discounts on frames but they rake in big margins on the lenses. I was recently charged 250 fr per lens at my local optician and 160 fr per lens at Fielmann for new glasses. Online stores such as arenaptic.de, megabrille.de or smartbuyglasses.ch charge about 45 fr for a pair of lenses.

I was so surprised to discover this that I went back to the opticians that charged 250 fr to ask if there was something special about the lenses that they had provided. It turned out that they were cheap (but optically good) CR39 plastic lenses which is the cheapest option the online stores offer.

My attitude in the past was that I should not try to save money on the price of a good lens and this ignorance is exploited by the high street opticians who have high overheads.
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Old 22.03.2015, 16:20
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Re: Recommendations - Glasses

Many thanks for all the feedback.

I'm also aware that retailers sell the lenses for an exorbitant markup. At the same time, these are glasses that I need. it's a fine line between savings and getting a professional to do the exams right, the fitting, etc.

historically I had to pay about CHF 800.00 for a pair of glasses .... I was hoping to find a way not to compromise on the professionalism and still get reasonable prices ...
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Old 22.03.2015, 17:21
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Re: Recommendations - Glasses

Several of the online stores have a partnership with local opticians where you can have your glasses fitted after ordering online e.g.Optikonline.ch

Quote from their website:
"Hinter Optikonline steht ein Netzwerk von Augenoptik-Fachgeschäften. Service und Kundenzufriedenheit haben bei Optikonline oberste Priorität. Zusammen mit den Partner-Optikern möchten wir Ihnen auch nach dem online Kauf einen kompetenten Ansprechpartner in der Nähe Ihres Wohnortes bieten."

I prefer to get my eyes examined by a medically qualified Augenarzt every 3-5 years to check for any other problems as well as getting their independent assessment of my needs.
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Old 22.03.2015, 23:28
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Re: Recommendations - Glasses

I just went through the same glasses search myself and it's very frustrating! Lenses are definitely more marked up here and lots of my friends go to Fielmann's or to Germany (we're in Zurich, so two day trips to Konstanz are still worth it!).

I ended up at Visilab because with the discount and bit that my insurance covered it wasn't too bad. I have SWICA + supplemental... so that is actually quite good as long as you only need glasses every three years!
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Old 22.03.2015, 23:45
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Re: Recommendations - Glasses

Has anyone else noticed that the fine print is particularly fine in CH? I'll admit my vision is not my strongest sense, but corrected from -16 with contact lenses I generally am fine. I find myself squinting to read the signs showing the stops on the tram, menu boards etc..but do not have this problem in other places (eg UK)

On the subject of lens (regular glasses) prices - even in "less expensive" markets (eg UK) an optician will usually quote a much higher price than what is available online for the same material. As I rely mostly on contact lenses I do not want to spend excessively on specs that are mostly in the case. I would suggest having your eyes examined and trying on frames to find what you like. If the frame you choose is not exclusive to the optical chain you can probably obtain it online. There is also no law stopping you from purchasing just the frame and sending it off for the lenses. This option saved me about 600 sfr (the only hitch may be customs fees - I had mine delivered to a UK address..)

Last edited by Tasebo; 22.03.2015 at 23:55.
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Old 23.03.2015, 08:28
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Re: Recommendations - Glasses

"purchasing just the frame and sending it off for the lenses"

I haven't managed to find an online store that offers that service - who did you get to do it. If they charged the price that they offer when buying frames+lenses, it would probably be a loss making operation for them.
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Old 23.03.2015, 09:15
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Re: Recommendations - Glasses

I recently bought glasses online from www.shopviu.com. If you already have your prescription it's easy. There's a list of partner stores where you can try the frames on their website, and they have flagship stores in Basel and Zurich. I paid 245CHF all in, frames and lenses, and am very happy with the glasses and the customer service was excellent. They are also partnered with an optician where you can get your prescription. And I buy my lenses from linsenkontakt.ch.
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