I had an eye test recently, and needed to get a new pair of glasses. Those of you who wear glasses will know how much of a shock it is to find out how much any of the high street chains of opticians want to charge you for even the most basic of frames. I have a very simple single vision prescription, and I find it incredible that a very non-descript pair of glasses would cost me more than £100, without even anti-scratch coating included in the price.
So it was time for this cheapskate to investigate the online options. After a bit of searching, I settled on GlassesDirect. They have quite a good range of frames, and prices start at an amazing £15 for the frame, lenses, anti-scratch coating and a hard case (I apologise for sounding like an advert^1^). I went for a pair from the cheapest range in the end, and I'm really happy with the way they turned out. The quality seems every bit as good as the pairs I've had from high street opticians. The fit was also pretty good from the start, requiring only a slight tweaking of nose pads which I did myself.
I generally like to support local shops if I can (though the majority of opticians around here are chains rather than independent shops), but when there's such a massive price differential between physical and online stores, it seems ridiculous. The opticians may claim that you get better after-sales service and fitting with them, but I'm sure it's not more than £85-worth of difference. Really, at £15, it's worth getting a pair just to try them, even if you decide you prefer buying glasses from chain opticians.
^1^ No affiliation with the company, just a satisfied customer etc. etc...↑