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Saving money on glasses

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A new pair of prescription eyeglasses can set you back hundreds and hundreds of dollars. So if you’re in the market for a new pair of glasses, listen up. Readers of Consumer Reports have weighed in about where to go to get great prices and top-notch service.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center’s survey of almost 20,000 subscribers finds that people who shopped locally are some of the most satisfied. Readers gave independent shops and private doctors’ offices top marks for the quality of the glasses and for customer care and follow-up service. But they’re also among the costliest places to shop.

You can save big on eyewear—as much as 40 percent, according to Consumer Reports—if you know where to shop. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck at Costco. Cost-conscious shoppers can expect to pay less than $200 for a new pair of glasses and still get above-average quality, service, and staff expertise. But Costco’s selection isn’t as impressive.

For a huge selection and low prices, shop online. Be aware that it can be more work. You have to try on the frames and then find them online, but you can save a bundle. Consumer Reports says there is also a new segment of online eyeglass shops that can deliver a basic pair of glasses for less than $100. Websites such as will even mail frames for you to try on at no charge. The company sells its own brand of frames, which keeps the price down. But it also means you won’t find designer brands.

But if service and follow-up care are important to you, Costco, private doctors’ offices, and independent shops are good bets. And ask about price-matching. It can’t hurt. Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

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