Saturday, December 09, 2006

Eyeglasses stores are for suckers

I was pointed to this blog : Glassy Eyes from Boing Boing.

Eyeglasses stores are for suckers backstory.

A few weeks ago I had to get a new pair of glasses when the frame I've had for years finally broke.

I bought my last pair of glasses YEARS ago at Specs on Bloor for almost $500 (about $250 ea. for frames and lenses), so that's where I went back, hoping they'd have spare parts (yah right).

Even though I'd kinda soured on them - the coating on the $260 primo-brand lenses started shedding in a few months. The $125 Chinatown lenses (Fuji Optical) turned out to be way better.

They have a decent selection, but, like shoes, whenever you spot the one that's a little bit nicer, stylish without being tacky; it's always $100 more than the others.

At Specs on Bloor, the prices aren't marked on the frames, this makes it hard to comparison shop. You only know the real price when everything is tallied. The guy who works there is really patient and accomodating, he even installed the lenses while I waited. The service there has to be good. Once you've put him through all the work of dealing with you it's hard to back out of the purchase. That's how I rationalized my decision to not walk out of the store and to Toronto Western Hosptial or Chinatown, two places I know where I can get as good or a better product for less money. That, and I wanted them right away.

I ended up dropping $280 on a new frame, but I still can't get over the fact these days thanks to online shopping and ebay and craigslist $280 buys a hell of a lot. Lot more than an ordinary pair of glasses.

Buying glasses online is sounds tricky but I plan to try it out.

Some business are big time rackets, like dentistry, insurance or real estate and apparently ... shops that sell glasses.

Some rackets rely on instituionalizing the business, so that you are forced to deal only with authorized agents who have a strict agreement on how to do business and what to charge. Some do it by making it hard to shop around, but that kind racket is starting to crumble now that every douche has google and can find out what anythng should really cost.

Still I have a ongoing beef with dentistry. I need a teeth cleaning, but you can't just walk into a dentist's office and get a cleaning. You have to put up with half-assed checkups, x-rays, rectal probing and semi-annual boolsha, and get hit with massive bills when all you're looking for is cleaning (a cosmetic not medical procedure in my opinion) which is going to be done by a dental hygenist anyway.

I have one filling, and it was from a time I was getting regular check ups and x-rays, but because of their ineptitude I had to endure a wicked toothache and a expensive rootcanal anyways.

Sure there are teeth related issues that can be serious health problems, but there also skin related issues that are serious - and no one ever suggests that everyone should see a dermatologist every 6 months for a "check up".

If most people could get their teeth cleaned for a price which in comparable other trivial cosmetic services like haircuts and manicures, they would never have occasion to see a dentist.

This is my new ongoing project: Get my teeth cleaned without getting hosed.



Blogger spyros said...

Wow, this looks very interesting. I am about to start the disturbing process of deciding on a new frame. For $100 I would be willing to give it a shot at the online store. Still the whole thing looks fairly involved. I should read the blog post you linked.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Amit said...

As far as I can tell you need a detailed prescription. You'll get this from your eye doctor.

You also need your pupil distance, it's sometime's abbreviated PD, but I don't think it's on the prescription.

Usual the optometrist measures it, he migt call it "optical centers".

If you have all that correct you should be able to get a decent pair of glasses online.

4:44 PM  

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