Cloth envelopes and pictures: Goggles4u reviews

Come here for the reviews with pictures? They’re right after the information section below!

Quick Notes:

  • Glasses available in sub-$20 range.
  • Site is not new-user friendly during the prescription/order process – no mouse-over popups to explain options.
  • Website can be wonky/buggy.

Impressions:

In the past, Goggles4u was well-known for flexibility in their customer service, being quick to send replacement parts without hassle if somebody had a problem. I haven’t had enough recent reader-input to ascertain whether or not this still holds true, but complaint levels have remained extremely low regardless and I suspect customer service is still strong. The language used in their help section regarding policies is very customer-oriented which is a plus.

Goggles4u has abandoned their previous model where near every pair of standard single-vision glasses came out to $30 with free coatings and shipping. Instead, frames are now offered at various price-points, with lenses and shipping being extra. The advantage to this change is that it’s possible to get a pair of single-vision glasses for under $30 if you stick to the cheaper frames.

Website and Ordering:

The Goggles4u site has had a tendency to greet me with minor annoyances on visits throughout the years. The latest was a pop-up under the URL bar warning me that I had blocked notifications and telling me to enable them. The site gave a cryptic error message when I tried to choose the $0 lenses, and one of the options in their help section didn’t work. In a previous variant of their site, a “chat” window popped up and annoyingly floated across the screen (I had to mouse-over it to stop the floating and then close it): the more recent version has the corner pop-up chat with the ding.

Moving on towards the overall user experience, the current variant of the site has a very disjointed feel to it and lacks polish. “Functional but buggy” is probably the way I’d term it. I suspect that veteran buyers who know what they want won’t have much of an issue, but newcomers will be left uneasy. There isn’t any help along the way during the order process (PD, etc) except for the chat bubble.

One excellent decision they’ve made is to put the coupon code entry & shipping estimator in the cart *before* the checkout. I wish every retailer would do this – as a customer I hate it when I have to start entering my billing information before I know for certain how much shipping will be or whether my coupon code will be accepted. Goggles4u has this all up-front, the way it should be.

Pricing and Value:

Goggles4u remains an inexpensive option for frames and lenses. Where some other retailers sell the frames for cheap and make up for it by gouging when it comes to coatings & lens upgrades, Goggles4u throws free coatings in most of the lenses, has moderate upgrade prices, and has competitive shipping. For the very price-conscious who are looking to get AR/AS/UV coatings with their pair, Goggles4u is certainly worth a look.

 

The Reviews

Below are a couple reviews for glasses I purchased, as well as reviews sent in by others.

My 2009 Purchase

Oct 23 – Glasses were ordered. Frames were $9.99 (most frames from Goggles4u are the same price), standard 1.56 lenses were $20. The glasses came with free anti-scratch, UV and AR (anti-reflective) coatings. Worldwide shipping was free, bringing the total price to $29.99.

Nov 2 – Goggles4u does not send an email telling you when the order has shipped. However, you can find the shipping status on the CCNow website (CCNow is the payment processor for Goggles4u).

Nov 6 – The glasses arrived, and the cloth envelope stated that they’d shipped from Pakistan. 2 weeks is certainly a reasonable time-frame for glasses going from Pakistan to Canada.

 

Packaging

Inside the cloth “envelope” was a styrofoam box, containing the glasses case. Within the case, the glasses were further protected with cotton, and the lenses wrapped in a microfiber cloth. A lot of thought has obviously been taken to ensure that the glasses are not damaged during shipping.

 

Pictures

(click on any of the thumbnails to open the image full-size in a new window)

Goggles4u package opened
Goggles4u cloth envelope
Goggles4u cloth envelope (other side)

Pretty simple – Well-packaged, and Goggles4u also includes a free pair of extra nose pads.

 

First Impressions & Quality

The frames were stiff. I’d have no concerns about them breaking on their own, although adjusting them had a bit of a “brittle” feeling to them (I wouldn’t try bending anything other than the nose pads, as it requires a lot of force with these frames). They did need slight adjusting.

The lenses were well-cut to the extent that they fit well into the frames (no gaps/spaces). However, they were horizontally offset slightly from each other – one lens stuck out near the center, while the other lens stuck out a little near the arm at the side. Now, lenses won’t always fit within the width of the frame (and the excess has to stick out somewhere). However, this is the first time I’ve encountered lenses not being symmetrical in this fashion (generally, lenses tend to be relatively flush with the outwards-facing part of the frame with excess being on the inside where it won’t be seen by others). Note that this is primarily a cosmetic issue (the prescription and vision seemed to be fine), but it’s certainly something to note.

The other lens issues revolved around the left lens. Upon close inspection of the lens, there was a marking that resembles a stone-chip (although it wasn’t a chip, it just looked like one under the right lighting conditions) with a small “squiggle”. It appeared to be embedded under the coating. In certain light conditions, this caused a blur. There were also a couple scuff lines in the lower part of the left lens – again only visible in certain light conditions, but they had absolutely no negative effect on the vision.

The AR coating had a greenish/purplish color to it. I ran the glasses through the hot water test, and they passed (no cracking).

All around, while I was pleased with the lengths they went to during packaging, and the AR coating itself, it really didn’t seem that a lot of time and care was given to the lenses themselves, which was a bit of a disappointment.

 

More Pictures

(click on any of the thumbnails to open the image full-size in a new window)

Glasses from the front on a table
Side-angle view of glasses
View from underneath
Goggles4u lens close up

Final Thoughts

I really wasn’t thrilled with the craftsmanship of the lenses. I could rant for paragraphs on this, but suffice it to say, I really hope Goggles4u spends time improving this area. I can understand the issues with the left lens being missed in a quick inspection since they were only visible in certain light conditions. The “fit and finish” aspect of things was very obvious though and there really isn’t any excuse for it being as poor as it was. On a positive note, the AR coating passed the hot water test, and the glasses were very well packaged. Those positives tend to become dwarfed pretty quickly though by the negative issues with the lenses.

 

Would I buy from Goggles4u again?

Maybe. I wouldn’t for an everyday pair (based on this purchase anyway), but they’d be fine for a back-up pair.

 

Would I recommend Goggles4u to others?

Maybe. Goggles4u is BBB accredited, and has been known for their willingness to send replacements when there’s an issue. That said, the recommendation would depend largely on what the intended use is. If it’s for a backup pair, sure. I also know quite a few people who own quite a few glasses and rotate them with their wardrobe. Goggles4u’s huge frame selection lends nicely to this. However, for someone looking for an everyday pair, I’d really tend to suggest looking elsewhere.

My 2006 Review

Jan 11, 2006 – I placed an order for glasses via the website. I chose some semi-rimless frames, the regular CR39 lenses, and added “Grey Dark Tint” in the special instructions box. Opting for tinted lenses generally means that they don’t get an AR coating, but there was no extra cost for tint, so I decided to go for it. After shipping (which was free), the total came to $25.99. After ordering, an email was sent to me through CCNow that gave a link where I could check the status of my glasses at any time.

Jan 15 – My glasses shipped. (I checked the CCNow link each day to watch the order status)

Jan 30 – Received my glasses in the mail. Free with the glasses were a hard case, micro-fiber cloth, and a set of replacement nose-pads and screws. While I don’t expect I will be burning through nose-pads or losing screws, it was nice to get a free backup set in case I do.

Pictures

(click on any of the thumbnails to open the image full-size in a new window)

Goggles4u Cloth envelope back
Goggles4u Cloth envelope front
Goggles4u - the case
Goggles4u - the open case
Goggles4u Inside the Package
Goggles4u - the glasses laid out

#1 and #2 are the packaging. Yes it is simply cloth sewn together, but it worked. I edited out my address (#2), but it was printed extremely neatly. Within the cloth “envelope” there was a white box which has seen better days (all the corners were squashed during shipping), but within the white box was the black hard clamshell case, definitely sufficient in keeping the glasses safe from harm. #4 and #5 are pretty self-explanatory, basically the glasses were wrapped in the micro-fiber cloth which was then wrapped in cotton which was then put into the black clamshell case. Despite the envelope being cloth, for the glasses to actually get damaged during shipping would probably be extremely difficult, as a lot of thought was put into the packing. The final picture (#6) is simply of the glasses laid out beside the micro-fiber cloth and the free nose-pads/screws that were included.

Jan 30 (continued)
All in all I was pretty impressed with the packing. I knew it was going to be sent in a cloth envelope, so I had initially been a little worried, but it seems I was worried for nothing. The glasses did need a quick rinse to get some cotton off that got caught in the arms, but other than that they were perfectly fine. The frames seemed solid, and of good quality. One of the lenses had a groove that was cut a little sloppy (semi-rimless and rimless glasses have grooves cut for a clear line/wire which holds the lenses in place), but the wire was firmly in place, so I’m not overly concerned, although it was worth a mention.

 

Days

Total time between ordering and delivery: 19
Time to ship: 4
Time in transit: 15

 

Would I buy from Goggles4u again?

Yes. In fact I will probably order a clear pair at some point so that I get a chance to examine the AR coating. That aside, the glasses are very inexpensive, and the quality was satisfactory.

Would I recommend Goggles4u to others?

Probably. One simple reason… price. If you want an AR coating, you can’t beat Goggles4u for price. Even if you don’t care about the AR coating, the pricing is still very competitive. As far as quality goes, the glasses I received were satisfactory, nothing to boast about, but nothing to complain about either. I would definitely recommend them for a 2nd or backup pair. As far as a primary pair, I’ll wait until I order a set of clear lenses before making a recommendation one way or the other.

What Michael sent along… (reader-submitted)

I ordered a pair of distance (-1.25) clear lens glasses as well as a coresponding pair of shades. After hearing that I would be paying near $350 here in Canada for a similar purchase (plus $45 for a simple photocopy of a prescription they had on file), I decided to give the web a shot. I pulled my prescription data off my contact lenses and did the measuring (which was simply) well described on the website.

Michael Googles4u Invoice

See invoice for what I bought. In 19 days I got my glasses in perfect condition and they fit on my head with no adjustment required. The frames are solid and attractive. While they are not designer frames, they are of fine quality. The prescription is perfect as are the lenses.

I have attached photos of the package, cases, glasses and invoice. I paid through paypal. The shipping was free and I easily found a coupon by goggling “google4u coupon”. The order form gives you unlimited attempts at coupons so keep trying coupon codes for the best price.

Michaels Goggles4u cloth envelope
Michaels Goggles4u cloth envelope (other side)
Styrofoam box holding the Goggles4u glasses
The open Goggles4u styrofoam box
A look at the Goggles4u glasses in the clamshell case
The Goggles4u clamshell case (open)
The Goggles4u clamshell case (closed)
Goggles4u glasses and case
Goggles4u clear glasses
Goggles4u tinted glasses
Goggles4u free keyring

I ended up paying less than $75 CAD funds for $350 (not including another $50 in taxes) for a great set of glasses and prescription shades.

All coatings that normally could extra were included free. Antiglare, scratch resistance, UV. The lenses are polycarbonate that retailer will often warn will yellow over time. While this is true, it takes more than a decade for that to happen. I think I’ll be wearing different glasses by then. :)

I would order again from goggle4u.com with no reservations. While I cannot comment on customer service since I didn’t have any problems, that’s not a bad thing.

In an industry known for wildly overpriced products, online prescription glasses sites are a welcome change to so called discount eyewear places that charge in excess of $350 for simple non-designer glasses.

 

What Anonymous #04 sent in… (reader-submitted)

Ordered rimless frames from goggles4u; paid about $23 US dollars after coupon. They seem to have the best prices of all the retailers for rimless frames.

Another pair of glasses from Goggles4u

Very satisfied with the frames–my friends could not believe the glasses were under $25. The lenses have antireflective coating which seems to be helpful.

One screw did come slightly loose on the frame, but customer service (via email) was very prompt and helpful; they mailed me a special screwdriver; they also even offered to replace the frame free of charge.

Overall i was very satisfied with my purchase–excellent value with stylish frames. Highly recommended. The one difficulty is that their website has so many frames thus it makes it hard to pick one.

Order shipped from California in a sturdy cardboard container. Came with hard plastic case and lens cleaning cloth.

What kanchan had to say… (reader-submitted)

This order took place in 2006.

I reviewed your site before placing 2 online orders, 2 weeks ago. I’ve thus far received my glasses from goggles4u.

Order placed: 28 Sep
Order Shipped: 30 Sep (according to website)
Order received: 12 October

Goggles4u envelope with a Canada Post sticker
Goggles4u red clamshell case in styrofoam box
Goggles4u red clamshell case
The wrapped Goggles4u glasses
The unwrapped Goggles4u glasses

28 September: Ordered “9708 with Multicoated CR39 Material High Index Lenses”. No tints. My perscription is fairly high – -6.00 in both eyes, with moderate astigmatism in my right eye.

My eyeglasses are normally in the $250++ range with high index lenses and the coatings, so I was willing to give this a shot.

Total for my order was $24.69 USD = CDN$28.13

30 September: The frames I ordered showed up as “sold out” 2 days after I placed my order. So I was hoping that was AFTER my order was filled.

12 October: My eyeglasses arrived – packed in a hand-stitched cloth bag, with a styrofoam container around the red eyeglass case inside. (photos attached).

After removing the tape from the styrafoam, I unpacked the bright red case inside – which was also taped to the styrafoam. I started to take the tape off the case, but discovered that the red coating on the case was coming off with the tape. So I left the tape on the red case.

The glasses were packed in cotton batting, with a lens cleaning cloth inside. An extra set of nose pads and screws were also supplied.

Took out the glasses and examined the frames and lenses. No scratches, frames seemed fairly solid. The left temple was slightly askew, but that was fixed with a little pushing. I was able to adjust the frames easily and the “spring hinges” seemed just as good as the ones on my $250 pair of glasses.

Put them on. Seemed like the PD distance is a bit off my previous pair, but my eyes are adjusting fine. Perscription seems to be the same as my main pair of glasses. I’ll probably go into a glasses store and get the frames fine tuned a bit more. But otherwise, they seem great.

Would I buy from Goggles4u again? Yes. For $28? Can’t really beat this deal, if the quality is the similar.

Would I recommend Goggles4u to others? Probably. Assuming they can adjust the frames themself.

The experience of Nachoman…

This order took place in 2006.

May 21
I placed an order for 2 pairs of glasses from Goggles4u.

First pair was frame# 10945, a half-rim rectangular lens set of Oakley look-a-likes. I ordered these with single vision platic lenses and the free multicoating.

The second pair was frame# 10937, also a half-rim frame, but these were a half oval shap lens and I ordered these with the transition grey glass lenses.

Total for the order was $53.18 after the 5% discount code. As I had placed a previous order with the company, I sent them an email about the repeat customer discount and recieved an email back the next day giving me an additional 10% credit back to my credit card (total now $47.86 for 2 pairs of glasses).

May 24
The online status of the order showed “shipped”.

May 30
WOW, the first pair arrived direct from Pakistan in the Funky sewn cloth back 180 Rupees of postage from Pakistani Post. I even had to sign for them at the post office (not bad for free shipping). The packaging was excellent, the glasses were wrapped in a microfibre cloth, then wrapped in cotton batten, then in a plastic sleeve, then in a nice Seahorse brand wooden box, then inside a styrofoam clamshell and finally in the cloth bag. It would have to have been really abused in transit, to do any damage to the glasses inside.

The frames are really sturdy and the prescription seems right on the money.

Fit and finish is excellent, very impressed indeed.

All that was needed for adjustment was a little tweaking of the nose pads, everthing else seems great.

Lenses are crystal clear with a slight greenish hue from the antiglare (which works very well).

I purchased these as a backup pair of glasses to use as a break from my progressive lenses, but lately I find myself wearing these more and more often around home and after work when I don’t need my progressives for reading.

Another Goggles4u cloth envelope - this one sent in by Nachoman
Nachomans Goggles4u glasses with everything
Nachoman glasses on top of clamshell case
Nachoman first pair of glasses

Click on any of the thumbnails to open a full size picture

June 30

Second pair arrived today, has a Customs stamp dated June 16/06. Not sure if that was when customs recieved it or when they released it. Obviously the glass transition lenses take longer to produce as the postal stamp was June 6/06. Packaging was the same “almost indestructible” cloth bag, styrofoam shell, hardcase, plastic sleeve, cotton batten and microfibre cloth.

The frame is also an Oakley look-a-like, very sturdy feel, but several grams heavier than the first pair. I attribute this extra weight to the glass lenses as the frame and lens size is very similar on both pairs.

The lenses are nice and clear, but they seem a little rough around the edges. They are not sharp or jagged, but look like they could have done a better job of polishing the edges. It’s not noticable enough for others to see, but if you are inspecting them closely, it is noticable along the bottom (rimless) part of the lens. The antiglare seems to work well and has a slight geenish hue on the lens also. Again, only minor adjustment were required and the frames seem to fit very well.

The Transition lenses seem to change very fast, took about 30 seconds to go to 70% tint in strong sunlight and change back almost as fast. They change so fast, that I was unable to get a picture of the lenses when they were still dark. Everytime I brought them back into the house to take a picture, they had changed back to 15-20% tint. When I wear these at work, under the flourescent lights, the lenses seem to darken to approx the 15-20% range. I didn’t realise that there was UV light given off by flourescent lights, but there must be judging by these glasses. The upside is that the slight tint seems to help reduce eyestrain somewhat.

Overall I’m very happy with both pairs of these glasses and I would definately order from Goggles4u again. I’ve already had a few of my friends comment on the nice glasses that I’ve recieved and are amazed at the prices. Some have placed orders as well.

Nachoman 2nd pair of glasses - everything inside the box
Nachoman glasses angle 1
Nachoman 2nd pair of glasses on box
Nachoman glasses angle 2

Click on any of the thumbnails to open a full size picture

jps tries Goggles4u…

This order took place in 2006.

March 19
I ordered frame 9559, added “light brown tint”, and used the 5% off coupon from this site, bringing the total (including shipping) to less than $25. These will be used for lawn mowing, car washing, etc. when it’s not bright enough for sunglasses, and for indoor cleaning, painting, etc. In other words, they are intended to be my “beater” pair. I don’t care if the finish wears off as long as they don’t fall apart. If the quality is high, that will be a pleasant surprise, and I’ll take that into consideration for future orders.

I received a confirmation email immediately.

A few hours later, I wanted to show a family member the frame I ordered. I returned to the web site, and the frame was gone. Perhaps I got the last one? I’ve noticed that Goggles4U CONTINUALLY removes frames and offers different ones in their place, the only retailer I’ve noticed that does it with such frequency. Perhaps it’s because their prices are so low. So if you see a frame you like, don’t count on bookmarking it and coming back later; it might be gone.

March 24
Checked credit card activity – Goggles4U has charged my card.

March 30
Eyeglasses received.

PACKING: A
— Glasses were shipped in hard case inside a lightweight carboard box. Inside the case, the glasses were wrapped in cotton, and the lenses were wrapped in a lens cloth. It was certainly enough to protect them from the expected bumps and bruises of shipping. Also included in the package were replacement screws and nosepads.

PRESCRIPTION: A
— I briefly compared them to my “verified” pair. If there’s any difference, it’s so slight that it’s not obvious.

LENSES: A
— Tinted as requested, and cut neatly for semi-rimless. A very minor issue I’ll mention but won’t lower the grade for: the lenses were filthy and had to be washed.

FRAME: A
— It’s an inexpensive frame, certainly lower quality than you’ll find in a retail store. But it’s not a piece of junk either. I give it it a Grade A because of the low price I paid. Just be aware that it’s an A because of the cost, not because it’s a high-quality frame.

OVERALL: A
— I’m very happy with my purchase. While my $300+ designer pair sit safely in their case tomorrow, I’ll be wearing these for spring cleaning!

An overhead view of the 2nd pair of glasses jps received
Light brown tint glasses from Goggles4u
The Goggles4u glasses wrapped in fluff
The familiar Goggles4u clamshell case (opened)
The familiar Goggles4u clamshell case
The package jps received from Goggles4u - a box

Click on any of the above thumbnails to open a picture in a new window.

 

Would I buy from Goggles4u again?

Definitely. As a matter of fact, I intend to add to my “daily web routine” a visit to their website to see what new frames they’ve added. I won’t go nuts with impulse purchases ;) but might pick up another pair or two in the hopes of getting something I could use as a “semi-primary” pair.

Athios gets some transitions…

This order took place in 2006.

Feb 15
Ordered a pair of these, semi-rimless with the grey transitional glass lens. $35 CDN total after 5% off.

Feb 19
Received email that they have been shipped.

Mar 3
Received a note that the package is at my local post office.

The Goggles4u cloth bag that confused or concerned the mail lady

The glasses arrived in a cloth bag sewn shut with thread which said “Pakistan Post”, with mail chops on a piece of tape. Post office lady looked a little confused as to whether or not she should be afraid of what’s inside, hahaha….

The glasses in the styrofoam package to Athios
Glasses in the clamshell case to Athios
Opening the clamshell case to find the Goggles4u glasses
Glasses removed from clamshell case
A cool front look at the glasses Athios got from Goggles4u
A couple Goggles4u glasses side-by-side

Here’s a breakdown of all the layers of packaging/protection:
Cloth bag –> Fitted styrofoam box –> Cardboard sleeve –> A very sturdy “Sarasa Eyewear” vinyl/felt case –> Microfiber “Sarasa Eyewear” drawstring bag –> Plastic bag –> A layer of cotton –> Square microfiber cloth –> Glasses (finally!)

 

First Impressions

Packaging: I could’ve thrown the package out of a second story window onto concrete without worrying about breaking anything. So a ‘normal’ delivery trip from Pakistan isn’t something that people should be concerned with (assuming that this is now their standard packaging, since it’s different from other reviewers)

Box: Very nice one. Line-textured surface with imprinted logo. I love it. Very solid and sturdy.

Glasses: I didn’t find any dust/dirt. Since it’s glass, it’s slightly heavier than my regular pair. Arms were misaligned, but a light twist fixed that. Frame itself felt very sturdy, but the arms/hinge felt a bit wonky. The nosepad positions needed adjusting. Dimensions were exactly as noted on their webpage.

Lens: The groove was well cut, and the wire fit nicely, but the edge was not as polished as my other pair. As you can see in the photo, there’s also a small gap between the top of the left lens and the frame, which seems to have been filled in with a bit of silicon.

Oily smudges could be removed with the microfiber cloth. For some reason, the AR coating is rosy pink on one lens and orange on the other. This is not noticeable when worn. The lenses themselves have a yellowish tinge to them, and you can see it in the picture above where the glasses are placed beside my regular pair. It is noticeable when wearing them indoors, but not so much outdoors, although if you’re the type of person who uses ‘warm’ lightbulbs indoors, this probably won’t affect you.

As for prescription, they are absolutely perfect. No lines, scratches, blurs, visual distortions, nothing. I can switch between my two pairs of glasses without need to ‘adjust’ to them. The focus at edges is just as good as in the center. I can stare at a spot while swivelling my head around without losing focus.

Transitions effect: It’s been raining (and snowing) in Vancouver ever since I got the glasses, so can’t really test them out, and I don’t have a black light or UV pen light either.

I tried putting them in the 4:30pm evening sunlight, but nothing happened, so I brought them indoors and left them hanging on a houseplant in the sun. A few minutes later, I went back and they were very slightly darker, and I could see the ‘shadow’ shape of a leaf on the lens. They do work, but very slowly, and weakly. But this is perhaps because the sunlight was weak as well.

 

Overall Recommendation for 2019

Goggles4u has a lot of years under the belt and they’ve built a good bit of customer goodwill over those years with their willingness to address issues that may arise. If the Goggles4u website doesn’t frustrate you as much as it does me, they’re certainly worth a look: especially if you’re browsing around the discount range.

That said, first-time buyers who aren’t familiar with concepts like a PD or lens indexes should probably either look around elsewhere first, or be prepared to make use of the chat built into the Goggles4u site which is located at https://www.goggles4u.com/ .

 

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