Best Value Optometrist (OPSM vs Specsavers vs Independent vs Buying Online)

So I'm probably in need of some glasses (looking to get a test in the next week). Where should I go?

Specsavers seems the cheapest but I've heard they can be a bit rubbish (both in testing and quality of frames/lenses). Is this true or just internet rumour? Anyone have experiences they can share?

OPSM is very expensive by all counts but they currently have 25% off with f&f so could be reasonable (wishful thinking?). Since they only have the cost of frames on their site, I'm not really sure how much I'll be paying all up. I can stomach $250 or whatever for decent frames but if the lenses are over $300 on top of that then no thanks.

Since local independents will vary widely by location, not much I can gather from comments here but if people negative experiences with specsavers/opsm then I'll research some locals places. I'm expecting them to be on the expensive side though.

I'm thinking of just going to Specsavers for the test and buying a cheap pair from them in the meantime, then look online for more stylish/quality options. Any advice? Thanks.

Poll Options

  • 22
    Specsavers
  • 2
    OPSM
  • 6
    Independent (or other chain)
  • 10
    Get test then buy online

Comments

  • +2 votes

    I’ve only gone to Specsavers since 2010ish when I first needed glasses and I’ve found that the quality of the testt, the quality of the glasses and the customer service has all been great. I’ve moved stores over the years (for various reasons), but have always had a positive experience.

    Also, you should add a poll.

    •  

      Thanks, I figured most complaints would be anomalies, considering the large amount of stores they have. My local Specsavers seems to have decent reviews.

      Did you spend extra for lens upgrades? Wondering if the standard $50 option is good enough.

      •  

        I don’t get uv or polarising on sunglasses but that’s a personal choice. I hate how phone screens look through them.

        For normal glasses, I get ultra-clear but I’ve never gotten the super clean (which they often add on without asking), because I can clean my glasses just fine 😂

        https://www.specsavers.com.au/glasses/lens-guide/lens-option...

  • +1 vote

    I find Bailey Nelson cost about he same as Specsavers but they are much more professional.

  • +1 vote

    Spec Savers has been fine.

  •  

    Recent experience in Adelaide. Already had a script for the lenses, wanted a pair safety glasses for workshop use.
    Went to Specsavers chose frame and got a quote with included lenses.
    Then went to National Pharmacy's Optical.
    Same frame, same lenses. Specsavers' quote was $179, National Pharmacy Optical (with member's discount) $72.
    P.S. This was with Health Fund rebate. YMMV

  •  

    Used to use clearly, but last few pairs have been through Specsavers. Last year, got 2 pairs (one normal, one sunglasses) for $0 (after private health)

  •  

    It depends on what kind of lenses you need in the glasses. Specsavers only cater for the very common lenses.

    Better get the eye test first and ask for a printed copy of your prescription before deciding where to go. Use the prescription to get various quotes and then decide where to get them from. Sometimes the health funds themselves have their own optical centres who may offer cheaper glasses than the chains, depending on what you're after.

  •  

    I've been very happy with my local Specsavers. Even their $39 glasses are OK.

  • +1 vote

    Get a proper knowledgeable optometrist that won’t just recommend basic lenses but ones which correct your eyesight. Otherwise your eyes will continue to progress and you’ll be forking out more in the longer term to keep getting new lenses.

    I had myopia progression and recurrent epithelial erosion. Tonnes of optometrists couldn’t diagnose the latter. Finally found one who knew what it was almost immediately and used him ever since. He’s slowed my myopia progression to almost zero with Zeiss lenses.

    Good professionals that fully know what they are doing are worth their weight in gold. I doubt you will find them at a franchise chain because they want their reputation to matter.

    •  

      As a student optometrist, I'm assuming you're referring to the ZEISS MyoVision Pros lenses for supposedly reducing myopia progression.
      I'm curious what your optometrist told you about them because current evidence indicates that it does not reduce myopia progression compared to "basic" lenses.

      •  

        Can you share research please? This is completely contrary to what I have been told.

        I believe this is the product I use. but not sure of particular lens type.

        I have not had any progression in a very long time since moving to them and I have had them now for going on over 8 years and my profession involves significant reading and computer work.

  •  

    I've been buying from Specsavers for over 10 years. Went from a high prescription down to a low prescription due to laser eye surgery.

    Note I used to mainly wear contact lenses, but I do have a fave pair of glasses I wore when needed for many years from Specsavers (still have them)

    More recently I used my health cover to get two new pairs of sunnies and had no out of pocket costs which was great. One of them even had free polarising which is crazy cheap considering the total for both (brand names too) was under $200.

    I also buy from Bupa optical for sunglasses.

    If you have private health cover I'd recommend discussing what is covered at each provider to help you decide.

  •  

    Specsavers seems the cheapest but I've heard they can be a bit rubbish (both in testing and quality of frames/lenses). Is this true or just internet rumour? Anyone have experiences they can share?

    True for me, my last pair from them only lasted a few months before a screw worked its way loose and a lens fell out. They said I would have to pay for a new lens and wait months for shipping of the frame to their factory and back. I said no thank you and got new glasses from OPSM which have been great. In future I plan to get my prescription done at Specsavers and then shop online for frames and lenses.

  • +1 vote

    Go to any optometrist that will bulk bill. Many will. Get your prescription emailed to you then buy your glasses from

    https://www.zennioptical.com/

    Or

    https://www.clearly.com.au/

    Zenni is cheaper if buying few pairs. But both will be half to 1/3 price compared to buying from retail onshore store like spec savers.

    But zenni and clearly require bit of research but well worth the savings.

    • +1 vote

      The above is excellent advice, having done EXACTLY this over the past week I'd STRONGLY advice you consider what best suits you - as buying cheap without getting the proper pair (as it's not just aesthetics they affect) + lenses is really not saving money at all.

      You really have to understand your prescription and what you need from your glasses….a good bricks and mortar store will provide this, as it's not rocket science or difficult but it's absolutely needed.

      The big online providers have very good educational sections where it's easy to learn up on whats appropriate for you - but it'll take a few hours. Just use a few different sites and also non-commercial medical industry ones like this one from the AAO:
      https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts-list

      Frames can be very personal - one person will love a $10 pair, another will NEED nothing less than a $500 designer pair. The lenses themselves are where you shouldn't skimp - as often the quality of machining on the lens will be tiered - more expensive ones being superior. Depending on your script you can often get by with entry level lens material. Coatings are optional and only anti-reflection is considered compulsary.

      It's simple if you just need readers to where every now and then but if you need progressive lenses - then I'd read up and understand how these work, the correct type of progressives to suit you (some do allround, intermediate or just close better) and also how frames make a particularly big difference with these and you also need to learn how to wear them to get proper results (which isn't as simple as you'd think).

      Everywhere will try and flog you blue light blockers - just bear in mind clinical trials have shown NO BENEFIT from these for anything other than with some folks making getting to sleep easier.

      Anyway I'd have your eye exam, ask a lot of questions while there and then educate yourself - if nothing else its a pretty interesting area and you'll feel better about whatever you go with. :-)