Where to get eye glasses?

eye glasses on a table closeupJames asks via a comment:

Where is a good place to get eye glasses & eye tests & the whole shabang? New to the Clifton Park area & need to find a reasonable priced option.

On one hand, glasses can be very expensive. On the other, you're probably going to get a lot of use out of them and they become a core feature of your appearance. However you look at it (ha, walked right into that one), it's worth seeking out a place that has frames that you can afford and like.

So even though James is in Clifton Park, it could be worth it for him to go wherever in the immediate Capital Region -- even if that means getting his eyes checked one place, and taking the prescription for glasses somewhere else.

So... got a suggestion for James? Please share!

Earlier on AOA: Ask AOA: A good eye doctor?


Once you have a prescription for glasses I highly recommend filling through Warby Parker http://www.warbyparker.com/ Stylish, affordable and they donate a pair for every pair purchased!

If "60 Minutes" is to be trusted, you won't find much variety among the offerings (or prices) for frames. And, if your eyes only need a lens Rx, then probably any optometrist could do the job. Here's the link to the story about the frames: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57527151/

the most reasonably priced method would be to go to an optometrist for your Rx (make sure they complete the whole darn sheet) and then order the glasses on-line at coastal.com (you can up load a pic and "try on" the glasses.) I had great success and your first pair (with some restrictions) is free.

I've had very good experience for many years with DiNapoli Opticians in Clifton Park (right near Toys'r'Us). They have a couple of optometrists who do exams in their store by appointment. Also, they have at least one annual sale on frames and give discounts for buying more than one at a time (e.g.: regular glasses and Rx sunglasses).

I recently got frames and Rx lenses from Warby Parker. Amazing! Excellent quality, the service was stellar (when I called to inquire about delivery a nice person in Brooklyn answered).

My glasses look great and most important, I can SEE. :)

Frames and lenses were $95, but because of my crazy football shaped corneas (astigmatism) I opted to pay another $30 for thin lenses.

If you can get by with cheap glasses, fine. I can't and won't. There's a huge difference in quality of both frames and lenses as you move up the ladder, despite the many who will tell you there isn't, and those differences become apparent the second you go back to a cheap pair. I suppose people order shoes online, too. I can't.

We've been huge fans of DiNapoli. They aren't inexpensive, though on things like contacts they've been willing to match internet prices for orders. Their service has been fantastic. They have been HUGELY accommodating to my family, including times when money was a crucial problem but I still wanted to support a local, family owned business.

As a part time employee at a major eyeglass retail chain found in shopping malls, I can say don't go there for the best value. Only go if you want glasses within about an hour (maybe, depending on what you're looking for.) The cheapest eye exams can be had at Walmart's independent eye doctors and yes, you can use your prescription on Warby Parker or Coastal.com for the cheapest value.(make certain they take your PD measurement!) But keep in mind if you want immediate satisfation, you're going to pay extra (especially if you don't have optical insurance.) The 60 minutes piece linked above is about Luxottica retail, which is a virtual monopoly who owns LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Target, and Sears Optical Centers. Your best value at those locations would be Sears and Target. Luxottica has a long history of taking over retail locations, and they even own Ray Ban, Oakley, and many other common brands, so they control the price even if you're not getting it from a Luxottica location. The more you know.

I can highly recommend Dr. Rickert in Guilderland (in the 20 Mall plaza or whatever it's called now).

I used to go to the chain eye doctors but I used to get a headache every time I switched glasses so I would end up going back to my old ones because I couldn't take it. I told Dr. Rickert's staff about it and it turns out that the chains were not sizing them correctly so my eyes couldn't adjust. I've had 2 pairs of new glasses from them and had zero issues every time.

VERY happy to recommend him, he and his staff are very friendly.

My last test was done by William Leahey in Cohoes. He and his entire staff were great.

I used my insurance money to get contacts from them, because their prices are competitive and even better than on-line "discounters."

I got my glasses from Warby Parker, because frames and lenses at all retail stores are ridiculously overpriced.

America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses Dr. Mark Schneider, 1545 Central Avenue. There is no better value and I recommend them highly. (Does it count that I am a former GM there to biased)

Since moving to the area I have been to Troy Vision Center on 3rd street a couple times. The eye doctor was young and informed, and they have a really good frame selection. Troy Vision has both cheap frames and designer frames, in modern looks (and some crazy stuff I'd never wear, but I skimmed past that).

people talk about ordering online as if you just need your prescription and and the rest ain't no thang, but you need more information than is on the prescription. I've found it difficult to get my pupillary distance out of the people at the eyeglass place, even when I AM buying glasses on site.

Well, I can tell you where NOT to go -- America's Best on Central. Probably self-explanotory, but I just had an exam there a few months ago. They dropped my prescription in one eye (like it magically got better) and I see like crap now. Already bought a year's worth of contacts, so I feel stuck. Never again.

@Kobe -- Did you tell them?

So, for instance, when we decided with one of our daughters that the contact type (not the prescription) just wasn't working out for her, DiNapoli let us bring all the unused ones back, credited us for them fully, and got us into another type.

Yeah, you can return unopened contacts, and sometimes a nice place will take opened ones back.

Get a copy of your prescription including pupillary distance (PD) and order your glasses online. You can literally order dozens of pairs online for the price of single pair in retail shop.
Here is a blog which lists online eyeglass places:
I bought 3 pairs in different places, 2 of them turned out to be good. It can be hit or miss but you can't beat $12 eyeglasses including frame.

LasikPlus in Corporate Woods. I am so not joking.

Hughes Opticians in Delmar have been so wonderful to work with! I know that's a hike from Clifton Park, but they give wonderful service and attention through the whole process.
I have had issues with delays with contact ordering and they gave me samples to get me through the gap.
Also, their glasses selection is second to none! If you're looking for stylish frames this is the place to be!

This just makes me mad that i didnt know about this 2 years ago and went and spent way too much at Lenscrafters.

Helpful for the future tho!

I highly recommend Casey Vision on Western Ave in Guilderland (near Crossgates). I have a tricky prescription for my contacts and they let me come back multiple times for follow up appts with no extra charge, and they took back contacts that weren't exactly right. I wish all my health care providers were as generous and patient with their time.

Hughes Opticians in Delmar ...

I second @Angelos Dr. William Leahy in Cohoes is great!!!! Everyone is wonderful there =)

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine