Best Way to Buy Prescription Glasses?

I’m in the need for new glasses. Both sunnies and regular glasses

I don’t have private health insurance, nor do I need it at the moment.

What would be the best way to buy them? I usually go to OPSM but that as when I had private health insurance.

Are the prices online (at OPSM) inclusive of prescription lenses?


  • Zenni Optial. From $6.95 USD and 20% off at the moment.

  • Give Baily Nelson a try. You can get Frames and Lense for $120 and they Bulk Bill eye test.

  • Eyebuydirect with 20% off code "20all" till the 290518.

    • I've bought two from em as a cheap online test and they're great especially for ~$30-$40, delivery is quick and they come in a hard case

  • Call ASIO or ASIS for surveillance kit.

  • why would you want to do that?

  • Goggles4U have always been good to me.


    Main article in the current Guardian Weekly is on 'specs'!!
    Suggesting basic corrective specs should be available under $10.

    IIRC Jon Faine (ABC Radio Melbourne), some years ago commenting on a ten fold mark up for frames.

    You need to request an accurate PD as part of your (standard Bulk Billed) prescription.
    I might suggest a personal Pupil Distance check too - outlet profit$ being cut when ordering from the web.

    For multi/bi-focals there are two PDs - one for driving (mm between pupils); another for reading, with eyeballs concentrated - so a smaller PD for close up work, compared to distance viewing.
    The distance of the spectacle lens from each pupil also having an effect.

    • markup for spectacles is an appropriate economical valuation set by the frame company who sell it at this price, many brands have a cost price similar to RRP. unfortunately this markup is required to run a bricks and mortar shop. it helps pay for rent, electricity, strata, wages, payg, running costs, servicing, ophthalmic equipment. ultimately without optometrical practices, thousands of people in australia would be out of jobs and unemployed. the general consensus of optometry practices is selling glasses and contact lenses with "a ten fold mark up for frames", however their scope is much wider than this and they are there to perform regular eye tests examining the front and back of the eye for diseases such as cataract, macula degeneration and glaucoma, all of which can cause blindness, some conditions such as glaucoma are a silent disease which cause blindness without any symptoms so this requires regular monitoring. optometrists can also detect systemic disease at its first point as the eye is the only place in the body where the vasculature can be observed in its origin. many conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, leukaemia, arthritis can all be detected first in the eye before any systemic signs. if you are one of "those" that buy glasses online to save a couple of dollars and skip your regular eyetest, you are risking the health of your eyes and vision so it may all well and good to save money and buy glasses online, but what you are actually doing is putting people who look after your eyes out of a job and the less optometrists there are the longer the waiting lists at opthalmologists there will be. currently a 3 year waiting list is the minimum for cataract surgery due to a clogging of the eyecare system by patients who can be seen and managed by an optometrist but end up being seen by a specialist, and the reality is everyone gets cataracts eventually so this may be you on the growing waiting list in a few decades time

      • -1 vote

        I didn't intend to hit a nerve :-)
        Tho your wall of text does offend my eyes ;-)
        Take a look at the GW article!

        Tech [high resolution screen phablet/computers, with clever algorithms] perhaps already offering "personal testing"?

        The retail side (as with other consumer products) shrinking?
        Medical professions likely hanging on longer than lawyers/accountants.

        I'm overdue for a cataract operation - but interestingly the older (without the 'new' expen$ive equipment) surgery is better!
        Without laser cutting complications - should be cheaper too!


      • You make a very good point about getting regular eye tests. I have glaucoma and see my eye specialist regularly.

        I always bought my glasses from my optometrist but they were very expensive, even with money back from my health fund.

        I got my last pair of glasses from Costco and was very pleased with the price, quality of the frames and lenses and service. I just expected their optometrist to check my prescription and that would be it, but he did a very complete eye examination. Plus it was bulk billed. I had been to Spec Savers to get an idea of price but so glad I went to Costco.

        So I'm definitely with you on recommending regular eye examinations rather than just buying online. If I hadn't had that regular examination that found the glaucoma I hate to think what would have happened to my vision. But their are other cheaper alternatives to going to OPSM etc, or buying glasses from your optometrist.

  • Vision Direct, ordered my prescription glasses online from there. It was a very smooth experience. OPSM and the like didn't have enough range for me to find something I liked.

  • Get your eyes tested locally for free under Medicare, then order online through

  • TV show years ago reported that BIG W are the only ones that will give you a printed report on the test so you can go elsewhere to buy your lenses. I still have my printed test from 3 years ago to compare for my next eye test.

    • That's bs. Just ask the optometrist for a print out your prescription and they will happily do it.

    • I had my eyes tested at a private optometrist on recommendation of a friend. Eye test was fine, but when it came to buying frames and lenses, service was terrible, gave a quote, which then changed when I went back 2 days later. Disinterested staff and prices kept changing for the same frames and same lenses.
      Requested prescription and went to Big W. Fantastic service, great price for multifocals, discount for seniors and no charges for adjustments and nose pads later on. Prices all written down, itemised so you know exactly the brands and types of lenses and coatings you are getting. Over $200 cheaper than private optometrist. If you are not in a fund dont get sucked in by 2 for 1 etc they are crappy lenses, particularly if you use multifocals.
      PS I used to work for an optometrist 10 years ago, so have some knowledge. Single visions lenses were bought from overseas for $6 and then sold for $80

  • Try Oscar Wylie or get an eye test and order some glasses from Ali express.. It sounds dodgy but ive had excellent experience

  • It's easy enough to get your eyes tested and bulk billed… I dropped by SpecSavers. They have to give you a copy of your prescription. Online is fine and will depend on your taste! I used VisionDirect for prescription sunglasses with Prada frames (have extras insurance just now). They seemed to have the best range and prices for an AU business. Leave AU and cheaper deals still…

  • I’ve tried Zenni Optical, Goggles4U and Firmoo. I found Goggles4U to be the lowest quality of the three. Firmoo has been the one I go back to because of the price and speed of service. I placed my last order on the 12th of May and received them by the 22nd of May, which is quicker than the times I’ve used OPSM, Budget Eyewear and Specsavers.

    Ordered two pairs of prescription glasses with basic coatings and a pair of prescription polarized sunglasses for a total of around AUD$122 with express post. Payment is made in USD so make sure you have taken into account the exchange rate and any international transaction fees.

    They included a 50% off frames (coatings and shipping not incl.) coupon in my order than can be used by 5 different people if anyone is interested in trying them out. Please note that I do get a 10% commission from any orders placed using the code.

    50% off code: d4a2b

  • In the past I have been a compliant Get Eye Test/Select Frames Straight Afterwards At Same Shop sort of dude….and I've been rusted on to the same up-market provider for years. I'm not quite game enough to order on line, but changed my habits for my latest glasses a few weeks ago. I had a bulk billed eye test at an optical store run by my health fund. Then took the script around to the five or so optical stores located in my local shopping centre, comparing frames and deals (I wear multifocals, so things are a little complex). Asked for written quotes. Went away to think, then made a decision. Much wider frame choice and much cheaper than the traditional process. Glasses are fine!

  • I have a lot of complications with my eyes, so I always get mine from the shops thru Medibank Private. I get 2 pairs free every year, as long as I dont choose fancy lens and frames.

    Before the prices came down in Oz, a few years ago, I always get mine done when overseas. Had them done in Malaysia and Taiwan from memory. They are very quick, 3 days is not impossible, and they fit you on the spot. So it's less risky than buying online, and much more fashionable and more varieties.

  • Or get a pair free from Firmoo for a limited time…