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Finally got my OH to order her new spectacles. She had her eyes tested at an independent opticians. She found a nice 'designer' frame at £170 (presumably, there are frames that have not been designed and these are picked off of trees). She searched on the Internet for the frame and found an optician selling them for £108. She phoned and they would only sell the frames not also make up the lens without her visiting them and the distance said 'NO'. I suggested going back to the original optician to see if they wanted the business for which they would need to sharpen their pencil. They came up with £287. Taking in to account the cost of postage for the £108 frames and then sending them and the prescription to an online company for the lenses to be made (vari focal, reactolite, coated etc) there would only be a few pounds difference.

Out of interest would we have been better off having buying them in France or the UK?
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I would say that for the time being glasses were cheaper in the UK, they most certainly are where I live.

Prices of lenses are however very different depending on our prescriptions.

My last ones, I was told after I had chosen them, are Versace, did not chose them for that, at all, they suited me and I have a big head and they fit. Also coated, best vari focale at the moment, and change colour with sunlight, whatever that is now called, and they were £160, including getting new lenses in my reading glasses and a new case (which one usually pays extra for in France). A friend of mine needs jam jar bottoms, their descripton not mine and yet they buy some german lenses, which are thin and not heavy and always cost hundreds of £'s in the UK and I daresay would in France too.

Re buying them on line. I have already had varifocals that were not done properly and it would worry me in case they were wrong again. Initially when I had a problem, I thought it was just my eyes getting used to them, but it wasn't, I would have been crossed eyed if I had continued and they were giving me head aches. So for those of you who have ordered online and all went well, well, I'm glad for you, I love a bargain, but I daren't do it.

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I use a well known brand in Canterbury. I had to go in the other day to get my glasses adjusted and the shop was crowded out with French people buying frames to take back to France. I suppose the answer is buy British.

When I used to live in France I sent to the well known brand, then in the Isle of Man as that was where I had got my glasses from, and they sent me a new pair when I broke the pair I was using. (I hope that makes sense).

I, too, use german lenses as my lenses are thick too. M.
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How can a pair of spectacle frames cost £170? unless they're diamond encrusted.

I've always believed that the spectacle business is a ripoff.

I buy reading glasses for 15€ and they're ok.

If you have something really serious wrong with your eyes  and need special lenses, fair enough. But I think most people are conned.

My friend's husband pays 650€ for his specs, and he can manage perfectly well without them.

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I cannot wear cheap reading glasses as I have different vision in both eyes and they give me headaches.

I am very happy with the prices I pay now and the excellent service I get. Incidentally, I always got good service in France too and our mutuelle used to reimburse well, but I was still paying as much as I am now. What used to get me was, that the kids glasses would cost more in France, than mine.

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If you have the prescription and it isn't too far from the 'norm' ie no more than +/- 6 diopters or some special stuff going on, I would recommend getting them online.  I use these people


(no connection etc, just a satisfied customer)

I've just ordered a pair of single vision sunglasses to my exact prescription (yes different in both eyes)  for £37 complete and if they are as good as the ones I had in the past I will be a very happy bunny.

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