If you're in the market for new glasses, like some Consumer Reports' readers, you're probably buying them from a mom-and-pop store. Consumer Reports' survey of nearly 20,000 subscribers finds people who shopped locally are some of the most satisfied.
"Readers gave independent shops and private doctors' offices top marks for the quality of the glasses," says Margot Gilman of Consumer Reports, "but also for customer care and follow-up service."
But they're also among the costliest places to shop. You can save as much as 40% if you know where to shop. You'll get the biggest bang for your buck at Costco. Expect to pay less than $200 for a new pair of glasses and still get above-average quality, service, and staff expertise.
But for a huge selection and low prices, you have to shop online.
"It can be more work," Gilman says. "You have to try the frames on and then find them online, but you can save a bundle."
Two sites to check out FramesDirect.com and Eyeglasses.com. But if service and follow-up care are important to you, you should ask places like Costco, doctors' offices, and independent shops about price matching. It can't hurt to try.
If you have a basic prescription, Consumer Reports says another place to save is a new type of online site that sells its own brand of frames. A basic pair of glasses -- frames and lenses -- can be under $100.
Websites like Warby-Parker.com will even mail you frames to try on at no charge.