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Old Oct 29, 03, 11:03 am   #1
 
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Inexpensive Prescription Eyeglasses In Singapore or Malaysia?

I'll be there Thanksgiving week. U.S. eyeglass prices are outrageous. I hear Hong Kong offers a cheap alternative. How about Singapore and Malaysia (specifically Kuching in Sarawak)? And how about production time? Can they produce them quickly, or ship them without my incurring significant shipping cost/import duty?

Thanks for advice!
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Old Oct 29, 03, 12:06 pm   #2
 
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Interesting idea. I've never considered buying my eyeglasses anywhere other than from my doctor. That said, you could always buy the frames abroad and bring them home to have the lenses made...
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Old Oct 29, 03, 12:09 pm   #3
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I know nothing about that, but that is an excellent idea! I'll be in BKK soon and I'm going to look into that.
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Old Oct 29, 03, 12:20 pm   #4
 
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A colleague in our office got two pair when she was in Hong Kong recently, for a fraction of the U.S. price. She just brought her prescription from the U.S.

If anyone knows who to see in the countries named, I'd appreciate it (assuming they also have good deals).
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Old Oct 29, 03, 1:05 pm   #5
 
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I went to a UK national specialist (Dollond & Aitchison for those interested), had all the tests, spent GBP 150, and got spectacles that seemed to make little if any difference. I still couldn't read small type.

On a visit to the USA I saw by chance reading spectacles in Wal-Mart for USD 20 that were just right. I use them whenever reading now. Those expensive ones I don't touch. The appearence of the frames is little different.
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Old Oct 29, 03, 1:13 pm   #6
 
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Well, MrsOpus and I both bought glasses in SIN in July. The pricing is somewhat less than the U.S. The difference is the level of service and the speed of getting the work done. My Singapore optician is so much better than LensCrafters and cheaper than my AAA discount.

Should one want his shop's location, please e-mail. Orchard Road not far from MRT station.
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Old Oct 29, 03, 3:46 pm   #7
 
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I was just in SIN and read in a tourbook that eyeglasses were cheap there.

I did a little window shopping and was not impressed by the prices. They were slightly cheaper but not what I would consider a great bargain.
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Old Oct 29, 03, 8:53 pm   #8
 
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Glasses IMO are better, but not necessarily cheaper, in SIN. Back when I was wearing glasses (several years ago), a good pair would cost me S$200-S$350. However, it seemed at the time that the available technology in lenses and frames were so much better than what was available from my optometrist back home. The lenses were predominantly Japanese tech - non-reflective, super-thin (Hoya etc) and the frames were titanium (super light/strong).

A good shop in SIN would be ParisMiki (http://www.parismiki.com.sg) - they have several chains in the city area. There is another huge shop in the Suntec City mall called Yes! If cheap is your thing, you'll have to venture out into the suburbs - take the MRT to Jurong Point (Boon Lay station) or out to Tampines and shop at the neighbourhood mall. All of the optometrists are good - they all have to be licensed - would you expect anything else from SIN?

Malaysia would be cheaper but not by a huge margin. The lenses and frames are imported so the costs are roughly the same.

[This message has been edited by tide (edited 10-29-2003).]
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Old Oct 29, 03, 9:05 pm   #9
 
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When in BKK, a big chain is Top Charoen Optical (www.topcharoen.co.th). They are all over the country.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by bhatnasx:
I know nothing about that, but that is an excellent idea! I'll be in BKK soon and I'm going to look into that. </font>
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Old Oct 29, 03, 9:08 pm   #10
 
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If you are looking for brand name frames, prices may not vary a whole lot. However if you are looking for normal frames, I can tell you that a standard pair of wire frame glases, complete with assessment by the optician and precription lens starts at USD30-40. That's how much my mom pays despite my constant nagging to get a nice pair of glasses. I think in general you can expect that USD50-80 will get you a good pair of non-brand glasses. Cheaper in M'sia, without a doubt. I've visited malls in Johor Bahru and they are littered with shops catering to the Singapore market. No idea of prices though.

If you want higher quality goods, you can try the Paris Miki shops - that's where I get my glasses made. They often have sales, and are a Japanese company. Most of their shops are also staffed by a Japanese manager, and the service is impeccable. They can have your glasses done same day for certain lens, otherwise some of the lens are manufactured in Japan so turn around time will be longer. I got a pair of high-index, scratch resistant glasses with Gucci wire frames for about USD150. This was during a sale where I got the frame for half off (~USD80).
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Old Oct 29, 03, 9:55 pm   #11
 
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Great tips...thanks!
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