If you're in the market for a new pair of glasses, like some Consumer Reports' readers, you're buying them from a mom-and-pop store, like this. Peter Schub "Honestly, I really think it's the personal service …" He's right. The Consumer Reports National Research Center's survey of nearly 20-thousand subscribers finds people who shopped locally are some of the most satisfied. Margot Gilman Consumer Reports "Readers gave independent shops and private doctors' offices top marks for the quality of the glasses, but also for customer care and follow-up service." But they're also among the costliest places to shop. You can save big on eyewear -- as much as 40 percent according to Consumer Reports -- if you know where to shop. You'll get the biggest bang for your buck at Costco. Cost-conscious shoppers can expect to pay less than 200 dollars for a new pair of glasses -- and still get above-average quality, service, and staff expertise. But Costco's selection isn't as impressive. For a huge selection and low prices, shop online. Margot Gilman "It can be more work. 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, Costco, private doctors' offices, and independent shops are good bets. And ask about price matching -- it can't hurt. ."
More On Your Side Stories
- Consumer Reports just put two dozen of the most popular brands and styles through rigorous wind, rain, and climate tests to find the best for your house.
- Walmart is known for value, some strategies to try when shopping the discount chain.
- Sales of portable generators spike every time the power gets knocked out, a good one can keep the basics running.
- Instead of Apple TV, Roku, or another set-top box for streaming video to your TV, consider a Blu-ray player.
- Consumer Reports tests car seats for kids to find the safest ones.
- Full-Sized pickups are notorious gas guzzlers but Consumer Reports has found some real winners.
- As college students head off to school, they have to figure out how to set up their banking and receive their financial aid.
- Most eat it for breakfast, but 11 percent have cereal for dinner according to the market research company Mintel.
- Seventy-nine percent of cell-phone users keep their phones with them for all but two of their waking hours.
- There's a serious health concern about eating some kinds of fish, because many popular varieties contain high levels of mercury.