Should I purchase prescription glasses in Mexico?
November 18, 2019 3:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be buying prescription progressive glasses/frames at some point in the next few months. I already have the prescription. Is there any cost savings to making this purchase in Mexico. The trip is already planned. If you have any experience with doing this, please let me know the pros/cons of going this route and any other related advice you may have. Thanks.
posted by metadave to Travel & Transportation around Mexico (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My guess is probably not.

The price of prescription eyewear or even regular sunglasses in the US is um... eyewateringly high, mostly due to Luxxotica being one of the several monopolies that dominate various segments of the economy. I suspect that this may also be true in Mexico, certainly for international brands of frames. Compare the prices to what you'd pay on Zenni or one of its competitors. It's possible that whoever you buy from, even in Mexico, is going to just send the order to China to have it made there and shipped back anyway.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 4:18 PM on November 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

I live in Mexico and still find competitive on price and superior in quality to what I’ve gotten from stores. The people I know who buy them here all swear by the local Costco.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:22 PM on November 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'd go for an online option like those suggested above because you often can return/exchange glasses if there's a problem. I can't imagine the savings would be significant in Mexico, mostly because the online options in the US are so much cheaper than what I was used to paying for glasses via brick and mortar opticians.
posted by quince at 4:38 PM on November 18, 2019

I agree with the others. Go with an online option here in the US.
posted by allison00 at 4:59 PM on November 18, 2019

Unless your trip is very long, this may not be possible. Progressive lenses usually will need to be made custom for you, and I bet Randle is right that someone there will need to order them from China. Although, you would have the benefit of having them fit to your face by an actual human. Progressives are very finicky about the positioning in front of your eye, and they can still be finicky for some folks even if that's perfect.
posted by fritley at 4:59 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have ordered glasses from China (Zenni) twice, and have also ordered from Costco twice. The prices for my prescription/choices were roughly comparable from both (Zenni might have been a hair cheaper). The experience from Costco was *so* much better. I had an issue that they worked hard to resolve and I really felt they backed their product. The Zenni glasses never felt quite right and the coatings degraded more quickly than I had hoped. I don't know anything about buying glasses in Mexico, but based on my experience, I'm sold on the idea of buying glasses from an outfit where you can actually get in-person help for any problems that arise. Especially if/when the prices are comparable anyway. Also, Costco.
posted by ClaireBear at 8:26 PM on November 18, 2019

I’ve been buying from Zenni for years. I mostly only wear glasses to drive and they are indeed cheap quality but they’re so cheap who cares? I buy several pairs and treat them as disposables. I’ve never had a bad pair from them, and actually I’ve had very kind and efficient customer service the two times I’ve had problems in like a decade. Do the coatings wear off faster? Maybe? For $50 a pair I can’t complain. Instead I just have like 10 pairs scattered around everywhere I go and in my car and it’s great. Every year I buy a couple of new pairs and retire the oldest. They tend to last a couple or three years. But then so did the $300 glasses I used to think I had to buy.
posted by spitbull at 3:47 AM on November 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

AS stated already. I highly recommend Costco, worth the membership just for the glasses. I am able to buy three pairs of glass at Costco for what I would normally pay for one pair else where. I get regular progressives with transitions , a pair of computer glasses and sun glasses. I find them to be as good if not better then what I would get from the optometrist.
posted by tman99 at 8:01 AM on November 19, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!

All this is good advice. I'll stick to domestic.
posted by metadave at 10:08 AM on November 20, 2019

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