Cheap Prescription Glasses Relensing in Canada?
July 29, 2010 10:20 PM   Subscribe

Is there somewhere cheap & reliable in Canada (online or by mail) where I can send my prescription glasses and sunglasses frames to be relensed in my own prescription? I have purchased some funky/vintage frames online and would like to have my prescription put in them but the local optical shops are charging $200+ and I just can't afford that for each pair of glasses (I have just purchased several pairs). I see there are some US-based sites (that probably ship overseas which is OK) but none seem to be available in Canada. Bonus if you can give me a personal recommendation. Thanks!
posted by 1000monkeys to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I use Zenni Optical for complete new pairs of glasses. They ship from China and they appear to ship to Canada but there's no information on their site about sending them your own frames so you'd have to call and ask. (They seem to be a very streamlined operation so possibly they don't do this.) The office is California time. 1-800-211-2105,
posted by XMLicious at 10:38 PM on July 29, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks XMLicious. I think I looked into them but they didn't do relensing, at least not for Canada but I will double check.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:56 PM on July 29, 2010

Nthing Zenni. They have Canadian shipping rates so I assume that will work. A friend of mine has nice glasses from Zenni. (We mentally hi-5'd when we discovered that we both got our glasses online).
posted by bradly at 11:54 PM on July 29, 2010

Oops, I didn't mean Zenni (for framing).

I meant 39 Dollar Glasses

Now my story becomes irrelevant.
posted by bradly at 11:58 PM on July 29, 2010

Response by poster: Heh, thanks bradly. I did contact them but their fine print says that they only do relensing for US customers. I emailed them anyways just in case they will do Canadian orders as well. I assume everything gets done overseas in China or something.
posted by 1000monkeys at 12:03 AM on July 30, 2010

Response by poster: Okay, answering my own question kinda but apparently Optical4Less will do them, still waiting on a price from them. I just ordered some ubercheap full glasses from them so I'll see how those turn out.

I am still looking for other suggestions though, so please keep 'em coming.

posted by 1000monkeys at 12:31 AM on July 30, 2010

No relensing here, but as you've asked for more suggestions.... We've done business with both and eyebuydirect shipping to Canada. Goggles is less expensive but has more limited frame choices; they ship from Pakistan. eyebuydirect seems to ship from the US but the bill of lading was kind of odd. Both companies shipped promptly and the products (four pairs so far) were exactly as promised, perfectly ground and right on the money with the prescription.

I must say, though, that the parcel from Pakistan was way beyond my ken, being wrapped in cloth and sealed with thread and wax and covered in code numbers, certificates and odd handwriting. Very exciting! But it was just my glasses.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:07 AM on July 30, 2010

Where in Canada are you? If you are in or near Ottawa, check out this place at Woodfield & Merivale whose name I cannot remember. See the "complete eye glasses $29" in the window? It is for real, and the glasses worked fine. Frame selection is...not attractive, and I don't know the re-lensing policy -- but definitely worth asking if you're in the area.
posted by kmennie at 5:33 AM on July 30, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I will check out the links, etc. Curious to know if anyone has any experience with SmartBuyGlasses as I have bought a pair of Ray Ban Clubmaster glasses from them. Also, Optical4Less as I have bought a pair from them AND they quoted $200 USD to relense FIVE pairs of glasses which seems almost too good to be true (plus only $8 additional for tinting). I told them I'm interested but wanted to see how well they did with the full pair before sending them all my frames.
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:43 AM on July 30, 2010

Response by poster: Hi kmennie, thanks for the info! I am currently located on Vancouver Island but I will (hopefully) be moving to the 'burbs of Toronto very soon (listing our house next week).
posted by 1000monkeys at 9:09 AM on July 30, 2010

It's not by mail or internet and I don't know if you have a Costco membership, but I strongly recommend the Costco optical department. Most warehouses have them. All the work is done in-house in their own lab facilites.

My wife needed a new prescription done and the relense cost just under 70$. I thought that was reasonable. I don't think tinted lenses would cost much more than that.
posted by eastofottawa at 4:01 PM on July 30, 2010

I have friends that swear by Costco in Canada for glasses as well (though I have never used them). I would try walking into any bricks and mortar store and ask for relensing pricing. I'm not sure if online would be worth it if you had to pay to have your own frames sent in (although I'm watching the thread hoping to be wrong on this, since I too am due for a relensing of my own).
posted by kch at 7:57 PM on July 30, 2010

Response by poster: Ooh, thanks eastofottawa and kch for the tips on Costco. I didn't even know they had an optical department. We have one nearish but outside of town. It's an option but not an easy one, especially since I don't drive.

I did hear back from Optical4less and they quoted $200USD for FIVE pairs of lenses (1.67 thin lenses, scratch resistant, yada yada yada) and $8 more per pair if I want to tint them for sunglasses. It sounds like a good deal, and I know that some optical shops ship their stuff to China anyways. I did order some super-cheap glasses (frames and lenses) from them so I will see how those turn out and if they are okay then I'll consider sending them out. My only concern, aside from quality, is that they don't get lost somewhere along the way, not to mention the time it will take to ship them, have them relensed, and shipped back from China.
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:40 PM on July 30, 2010

Response by poster: UPDATE: I just heard back from; apparently, they WILL do international relensing but customers must sign a waiver stating that they (the company) are not responsible for frames/glasses that are lost in shipment. I imagine the other companies would be the same but they just don't state it explicitly, or at all, as the case may be.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:48 AM on July 31, 2010

I relensed a total of six pairs of frames on two separate occasions with and would recommend them. I would also recommend getting insurance+tracking with whoever you ship your frames with, as the first time I tried sending in my frames, the US Postal Service lost them for about 2 months and then mysteriously recovered them and sent them back to my house.

I've done tints, gotten the photochromatic transitions thing, and plain regular lenses, everything seems to have turned out fine (I have a pretty straightforward prescription). The turnaround is somewhat slow, maybe about a month?

If you are patient enough to wait, there are semi-regular sales for $20 off at 39dollarglasses. The sales have historically been valid on relensing and the discount could be applied to multiple frames, which takes singlevision lenses to around $25USD. They will also combine return shipping for multiple fames.
posted by tangaroo at 12:47 PM on August 16, 2010

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