Optical centers at Costco or Sams Club ...

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Posted 6/8/2009 by myliesmom in NSBR Board


PeaNut 246,670
February 2006
Posts: 3,958
Layouts: 19
Loc: Idaho

Posted: 6/8/2009 10:33:39 PM
Has anyone purchased glasses through Costco or Sam's? How were their prices? What about the price of the exam? Was the turnaround time quick in getting your glasses back?

So random, while putting on my makeup this morning my bottle of foundation fell out of my makeup bag and right on the counter on top of my glasses. They cracked right on the bridge. Thank goodness I have my old pair since I am major blind. But I do need to replace them ASAP, this prescription is giving me a headache!

pearl-clutching nitpicker

PeaNut 201,774
April 2005
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Loc: gone to chemo with BethAnne

Posted: 6/8/2009 10:38:17 PM
My DD aged out of my vision insurance so she went to Costco for an exam and glasses. The price was a LOT less than my private optometrist for the exam and she found much cheaper frames than I seem to find. I'm not sure the selection is as good, but I'm thinking I might take my prescription in and get a back-up pair there for under $150 instead of the I-don't-even-want-to-say-how-much-they-cost pair of glasses I'm wearing right now.


PeaNut 77,171
March 2003
Posts: 2,192
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Loc: The Mitten State

Posted: 6/8/2009 10:42:08 PM
I've been getting mine at Walmart for years ( I assume Sam's uses the same Lab ) and have been completely happy!

DH and I BOTH got glasses, exams and my glasses have the ultra thin lenses and good coating and the magnet-on sunglasses and we spent $427 total for both of us.

I'd definitely recommend it!


PeaNut 1,802
November 1999
Posts: 186
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Loc: Southern Oregon

Posted: 6/8/2009 11:48:35 PM
Wow! We just ordered glasses for my 12 yo DD at Costco. They were the cutest ones she found ( purple small cosmpolitan brand). Her first glasses we searched everywhere, I told her she could spend up to $250. the insurance limit. Her new glasses with lenses, case fitting were $119. The best part we ordered them on thursady and picked them up today, Monday! I was really impressed. They will not bill our insurance, I have to send it in myself.
The exam at our local Walmart from a super older gentleman (we met because he bought 10 boxes of GS cookies from us!LOl!)was $68.00. He said he would retest her eyes free for one year. They did bill our insurance no problem at all! Too much info sorry, but I hope it helps. Sandee


PeaNut 246,670
February 2006
Posts: 3,958
Layouts: 19
Loc: Idaho

Posted: 6/9/2009 12:00:26 AM
Thanks everyone!
Sandee - so you just submitted the bill to your insurance and then they reimbursed you? I was wondering about that.


PeaNut 31,018
February 2002
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Loc: probably here. maybe there.

Posted: 6/9/2009 12:18:52 AM
we don't carry vision insurance because it's cheaper to buy the glasses ourselves if we go to costco.

We got titanium frames for my son for $80!

I got mine from Sam's for $180 and that's with transitions lenses.

Been very happy with the quality.


PeaNut 54,403
November 2002
Posts: 2,724
Layouts: 0
Loc: Washington State

Posted: 6/9/2009 1:16:40 AM
I got my 2nd pair of glassed from Costco.

You have to pay up front for the hardware, but I just submitted the receipt to my insurance and had payment in a quick turn around. I got the hardware within a week or so as well!

I'm completely happy with them, and will go back again.


PeaNut 90,754
June 2003
Posts: 7,128
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Loc: So Cal

Posted: 6/9/2009 2:00:43 AM
do you have to be a member to use their services? I'd imagine so, but I've heard otherwise.

Owner of "best tacky invitation" thread EVER

PeaNut 176,832
November 2004
Posts: 14,039
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Loc: Stalking Dave Gahan

Posted: 6/9/2009 6:11:10 AM
My girlfriend got all her girls' glasses there (3 of them).

They are all very happy with them, and Mom loved the pricing.


PeaNut 100,104
August 2003
Posts: 781
Layouts: 1

Posted: 6/9/2009 7:25:38 AM
Another happy customer of Costco. Their frames are limited - they didn't carry small enough ones for my 3 year old so we had to go elsewhere for her. We're military, so get free exams and take our prescription to Costco. Thumbs up!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 235,775
December 2005
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Layouts: 0

Posted: 6/9/2009 7:28:56 AM
We get our glasses at Costco too! We've all been happy with them.

Bagpipes - not just for funerals anymore!

PeaNut 5,176
July 2000
Posts: 8,694
Layouts: 42
Loc: Far, Far Away

Posted: 6/9/2009 7:40:14 AM
I've used both. I've had eye exams at Costco and I buy my contacts there. My kids get their glasses at Sam's Club, as Costco couldn't do the high prescriptions they needed.

We used to use a specialty glasses store when DS was super little - he started wearing glasses at 18 months, and his prescription was -15. So most places couldn't make the glasses. They ran about $600 a pair. This past November his school had a low-vision evaluation done by the Foundation for Blind Children and thy suggested a reading pair and a distance pair - so we were looking at $1200 for glasses that he would likely break or scratch within 6 months!

Sam's Club was able to do them, it did take a little longer than normal (3 weeks) but it was $340 for BOTH pairs. So needless to say, we'll be using them from now on.

Carolina dorkburger

PeaNut 233,457
November 2005
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Layouts: 38
Loc: Stuck in the middle

Posted: 6/9/2009 7:45:39 AM
DH and I both get our glasses at Costco (have for several years now) and I've gotten contacts there in the past as well. We've never had any complaints, their service is relatively quick (usually about a week or so), and their prices are great.


PeaNut 252,551
March 2006
Posts: 1,858
Layouts: 0
Loc: Brentwood TN, wishes it were anywhere but here

Posted: 6/9/2009 7:49:52 AM
Last year, I thought I'd go to the cute optical store in town - my ds & I went there for our exams. He uses contacts - I don't. The opticians fees were about the same as Costco. I sat down with the groovy chick behind the counter to choose my glasses. I quickly realized what a snob she was... honestly, I can spend whatever I'd like to - especially on a pair of glasses (I'm exceedingly vain) but I do know I only need them to watch tv or to drive at night. "Progressives" were prescribed - and of course, the gal talked about Transition lenses - which ran about $99 extra. She visibly sneered when when I told her I'd skip that part and please show me her "value " priced glasses.

A cute BASIC pair ran me @ $460. I cringed (since I knew I'd wear them for *maybe* an hour or two a day, but driving, OK) I signed the cc and left thinking how many taikwondo lessons that could be... or whatever... They'd be ready in a week or so.

I went to Costco. 'Cause I'm there every third day ANYWAY.

I priced out (almost) the exact same pair of glasses (they carry Cynthia Rowley, too - just no rhinestones.... but TIGER STRIPEs INSIDE ) WITH the Progressive lenses, WITH the Transition lenses, too! I walked out for under $175 and promptly cancelled the $$$ order with the snooty chick at the chic eye boutique. Same turnaround time!

I now wear my too cute, REASONABLY priced glasses quite a bit because of the Transition lenses - in fact I'm sure it makes my optometrist happier, too.

Oh - and we changed to the Costco satellite optometrist, as well. Contact lenses are less expensive there, too.

"Surrounded by thugs."

PeaNut 16,228
June 2001
Posts: 33,204
Layouts: 71
Loc: SW Chicago suburbs

Posted: 6/9/2009 8:01:51 AM
I've been going to Costco for glasses for years. I've always had great eye exams and the selection of glasses is pretty good, IMO. They have everything from Kirkland brand to designer brands like Coach. The exam was $44 and the glasses can be all over the place. They aren't in my 'approved list' of providers with our insurance, so I pay up front and submit the bill when I get home. We still pay out less than if I got the glasses someplace else. DH just got glasses and paid $150 total, exam, glasses and everything.

I am always amazed at how much people I know spend for glasses and exams at a dr.s office or boutiques and big box stores. They're portion of the payment is always bigger than our total bill- before insurance kicks in.

And if the prices aren't enough of a reason, I think it was Consumer Reports that did a side by side analysis of optical stores. They compared the exams, the prices and ultimately- the finished product. In every case but Costco, they found the finished glasses were not correct. The prescription was slightly off- and sometimes very 'off'. The exams were found to be adequate- but at Lenscrafters and Pearl they noted the unnecessary 'upsell' of expensive add ons to the exam. The prices on frames and lenses were varied- but Costco had the best price range.

And- you can stop at the desk anytime to have your glasses cleaned, readjusted, tightened- or even have small repairs done. They never ask you "How long have you had them?" before they look at them. They look at them, determine if they can be fixed on site- and then do it or send them out.

My turnaround from exam to pick up has usually been about 10 days.
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