Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

For Your Eyes Only

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 By

I'm rather vocal when I like a product. I'm especially vocal when I like a product and it's CHEAP. So I'm going to start doing more product reviews, in order to be helpful to people.

Here's a product that works, and is also cheap. What, you say? Eyeglasses aren't cheap, and that's why you're still wearing your Sophia Petrillos, circa "The Golden Girls?"

[facepalm] Do not do this to yourself!
Here's something you don't know about eyeglasses: Wherever you buy them, no matter what company name is on the store front, you're usually purchasing from a company that has a near monopoly on the eyewear marketplace: Luxxotica. They own LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, K-Mart Optical, Sunglass Hut, Budget Eyewear, Pearle Opticians, Cole Vision, and more. They also own EyeMed Vision Care, one of the largest vision insurance providers in the United States. And they make and market the brands Arnette, Killer Loop, Luxottica, Persol, Ray-Ban, Revo, Sferoflex, Vogue, Adrienne Vittadini, Anne Klein, Brooks Brothers, Bvlgari, Byblos, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, D&G, Donna Karan, DKNY, Genny, Miu Miu, Moschino, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sergio Tacchini, Versace, Versus. They're in the process of buying Oakley, too.

My next-to-last pair of eye glasses cost $300, not including the eye exam. They didn't turn out to be the right prescription, and Sears Optical wouldn't fix them. Fast forward. Burned by the cost and the customer service, I decide to give it the old Clark Howard go. After listening to his show one day (I love you, Clark!), I gave Zenni Optical a shot.

I'm not going to talk about their philosophy, their market rank, or anything else about the company. Because I'm not a cult member. Here's all you need to know: $40 for an eye exam, $30 for a pair of glasses, including shipping. And the best pair of glasses I've ever had in my life. In fact, I went back and bought a second pair.

This is the pair I'm going to buy later. Ooooh, sparkley! Neil Diamond will be calling.

Is there a drawback? Yes. You'll also have to ask your optician to write out the name of the measurements on your prescription. And you will have to wait two weeks for your glasses to come in. You will also have to ask your optician for your pupillary distance (PD). And they do not want to give it to you. Because even though it can be argued that it is a part of your prescription, and that the FDA says you are entitled to one complete, legible copy of your prescription each year for free, their bottom line is affected if you don't choose to purchase your eyeglasses from them. And I'm really sorry about that. But If it's a difference of $200, I'm going to go to the competitor. That's the free market economy. To find your own PD, which is what I did, simply pick up a ruler. Stare at a fixed point for 10 seconds, while a partner measure - and re-measures for accuracy - the distance from the center of one pupil to the center of the other, in millimeters. That's your PD.

There are plenty of good companies in town that do a great job. And they're locally-owned and operated. I support them. I recommend using MCGHealth's Eye Care Associates. After all, they're not just practitioners. They also teach their craft to a new generation. Their off-site clinic is on Washington Rd. They also have a clinic in the hospital. But if it comes down to a cost issue, you can still get your Sofia Petrillos at Zenni Optical. If you must.

These are the glasses I hope Emmie chooses, when she needs them. CUTE! $19!
Take a look at what some eyecare professionals (who do not work for MCG Eye Care Associates) are saying. Do they have our best interests at heart? Go here:


  1. If you have any questions about the validity of this post, you can check the glasses I'm wearing ON MY FACE, and I'll be happy to pull the bank records where I bought these more than a year ago. I've been crowing about Zenni Optical for a long time, and anyone who knows me (and wears glasses) can attest to that.

  2. My next product post will be about Aveeno's Ultra-Calming Moisturizer, which is ALSO on my face right now. Anyone with rosacea should check it out.