- Middle range of the discount price scale.
- Discount frames essentially start at the $19 mark with free 1.5 index single vision lenses.
- No Polycarbonate offerings.
- UV protection is not included – adds $5 to the base price. AR adds $10.
- Have maintained an F rating with the BBB.
Global Eyeglasses is based in the US (Georgia). Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision, bi-focal, and progressive lenses. Methods of contact include a mailing address, local phone number, toll-free fax, and email. Accepted methods of payment are Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, Switch/Maestro, Solo, and Paypal. They are listed with the BBB, receiving an "F" rating.
Global Eyeglasses seems to target themselves at retail shoppers, advertising on their front page how much cheaper (in percent) they are than Walmart/Costco. They are fairly middle-road price-wise – rarely the cheapest in any area, but rarely the most expensive.
Frame selection is moderate, with the bulk being in the under $20 range. Most frames in that category are $19, though there are a small number of frames for approximately $10.
Basic single-vision lenses (1.5 index) come free with frames. Bi-focals bump up the price by $19, whereas progressives bump it up by $34.50. Trifocals are available for $69.
Lens selection is broken down into 4 categories – Standard (free 1.5 index), Thinner ($19 for 1.56 index), Thin Air ($49 for 1.61 index), and Ultra Thin Air ($79 for 1.67 index). These lens prices are the same whether looking for single vision, bi-focal, or progressives – once you've paid the initial base increase for bifocals/progressives, you're getting the same lens upgrade prices as single-vision wearers.
Tint is available for free, with Photochromic or Polarized lenses adding $69 to the cost. Scratch resistance is free, but a UV coating adds $5. AR can be had for $10, and a Hydrophobic coating for an additional $5.
Website and Ordering:
The website has a clean fluid layout to it, and is easy to navigate. However, if looking for bi-focals or progressives, it's imperative that you limit the frame selection to that type, as there's no indicator when browsing all frames which are compatible with those lens types.
When it comes time to order, the process is quite simple and well-guided. The largest deviation here from other retailers is that Global has kept lens upgrade costs rather simple. Upgrading to higher lens index is the same price across all types of lenses (single, bifocal, progressive).
To sum it up, Global Eyeglasses seems to focus on keeping everything clean & simple. Things are well laid out, and information is provided in such a way that new customers are unlikely to be overwhelmed. The biggest issue I came across (aside from some formatting/spacing) was that it's possible to miss the tint options, as you need to scroll to see them.
Pricing and Value:
It's very possible to get a basic pair of glasses in the $25 range when all is said and done (including shipping), though you're getting the lowest index available (1.50) at that point, whereas with some other retailers you might get 1.56 or higher (and the others might give you free UV). Still, it's not wildly out of tune with other retailers – just not as competitive.
The price chart will be a little more simple here, reflecting the simplicity of the pricing model Global Eyeglasses offers.
Lens offerings (based on $19 frames):
|Upgrade price (added to basic $19 frame price)|
|Standard lenses (1.50 index)||included|
|Thinner Lenses (1.56 index)||+$19|
|Thin Air Lenses (1.61 index)||+$49|
|Ultra Thin Air Lenses (1.67 index)||+$79|
|(tint, polarized, photochromic)|
|Tint (if it matches the picture)||free|
|Tint (dark – grey, brown, G15, grey)||+$15|
|Tint (graduated – grey or brown)||+$15|
|Tint (light – grey, brown, blue, yellow, green, red)||+$10|
|Photochromic (grey or brown)||+$69|
|Polarized (grey or brown)||+$69|
Shipping in the US is $5.95. Within Canada is $9.95. Unfortunately, shipping starts to get quite high to most other international locations – anything from $19-$29 seems to be common.
The price charts are created by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.
Feb 20, 2013 - I placed an order for glasses from Global Eyeglasses. I ordered a cheap pair of semi-rimless frames with the basic CR39 lenses ($19) although those became free after using a "first pair free" promotional code. An AR coating added $10, and a UV coating added $5. Shipping to Canada was $9.95. It's worth noting that after you've entered your prescription, it does not show up anywhere (during the rest of the order process or in the final invoice). Thus, to verify that I had indeed entered the correct information, I had to log into the Global Eyeglasses website and look at the "prescription" page.
Feb 23, 2013 - I received an email stating the order had been shipped. They'd actually shipped it via DHL which I wasn't overly thrilled about (it meant a guaranteed drive to pick it up, since DHL does not deliver to my location). I was also a little apprehensive that I might be charged the exhorborant customs-clearing fees that DHL/UPS/FedEx are all known for charging.
Feb 28, 2013 - Glasses were received. DHL had phoned the previous day indicating they won't deliver to me, and I had to set up an alternate location to pick it up.
Order Review - May 11, 2013 - Pictures
Order Review - May 11, 2013 - (continued)
Part of the reason for delaying the review a ways past February was that DHL in particular is known for sending an "invoice" a few months after
you've received your item for customs/duty fees and I wanted to see if one would show up. It never did, so at this point, I'm assuming I'm in the clear.
The glasses were packaged quite well, inside both a box and a fairly durable case. Lenses looked good, prescription appeared to be correct, and the tracks for the semi-rimless "wires" were well cut in each lens. Lenses passed the hot water test, and I didn't run into any issues or concerns. A very acceptable pair for something in the mid-range of the discount price arena.
Total time between ordering and delivery: 8 days
Time to ship: 3 days
Time in transit: 5 days
Would I buy from Global Eyeglasses again? I'm not a fan of extra fees for UV protection (most retailers include it for free), and DHL shipping really turns me off. Sure, I got the glasses incredibly fast, but personally I'd rather have the peace-of-mind of having it go through the national postal carrier (and not have to worry about picking up the glasses or the risk of unnecessarily large duty fees) even if it means slightly slower shipping times. Just the option would be nice. That said, the glasses were good, overall pricing was reasonable, it passed the hot water test, and I didn't have any complaints with the workmanship.
Would I recommend Global Eyeglasses to others based on this purchase? Sure, with a few notes. Anyone in a rural area (or in a country where the major couriers are notorious for gouging for customs clearance) should keep in mind that DHL might present them with some issues. In addition, be ABSOLUTELY SURE you've entered your prescription information correctly, as you're not presented with opportunities to notice a mistake later. The glasses themselves didn't present any cause for concern in my case, though should you have an issue, be mindful of Global's "F" rating with the BBB.
Global Eyeglasses Video Review
Global Eyeglasses topic from the "Other Retailers" section of the old forums...