Costco Optical vs. Walmart Vision Center

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    Costco Optical vs. Walmart Vision Center

    Sixty-one percent of Americans have corrective lenses. Many find that changing eyesight requires new glasses every year (my wife could probably use some). This can be a significant chunk of the family budget each year, especially if several family members need glasses to see properly. Walmart and Costco are two places that are generally associated with good business. Of course, I’m a Costco fan myself. So I decided to dig into Costco Optical vs Walmart Vision Center and compare the two to help you find the best place to buy glasses.

    A regular eye exam at Walmart for glasses costs $ 69, which is quite a lot. However, if you want contact lenses, the price for an exam is $ 99. However, you can find extremely affordable frame and lens combinations on the Walmart website. In some cases, basic glasses can cost less than $ 100. However, most people want to add supplements to their product, which drives the price up. Here’s a quick look at some of the options you can choose from when using Walmart Vision Center instead of Costco’s Optical Center.

    Available packages

    There are four different optical packages and two lens options to choose from when you go to Walmart’s Vision Center. Lens options include polarized and anti-glare lenses, each adding $ 50 to the price of your glasses. The simplest package contains high quality plastic lenses that are scratch resistant. This comes at no additional cost.

    The most popular Vision package at Walmart costs an additional $ 31 but offers the greatest value. It offers impact-resistant, scratch-resistant glasses. There are also two Nikon Eye packages, both of which are a bit pricey, but come with an additional two-year warranty and protection. The Nikon Eyes Advanced package ($ 121) has what the above two do plus high resolution digital lenses that are water resistant. Nikon Eye Custom Packages offer everything in the other packages with a few additional customization options ($ 151).

    Independent ophthalmologists working at Costco will perform a basic eye exam and health checkup for $ 74 for glasses. If you want contact lenses add $ 40 for a total of $ 114. It’s a bit higher than Walmart’s Vision Center, but Costco offers more with its basic package. You get anti-glare glasses free of charge. At the same time, there are fewer customization options when you choose Costco Optical over Walmart. The only options available are Polarization ($ 69.99) and High Quality Polarization ($ 94.99). It should be noted that you don’t need to be a member of Costco to get an eye exam, but you do need a membership to purchase frames and lenses from the club. So if you are not a member this will be included in the cost as well. A basic membership costs $ 60 per year.

    Compare: Costco Optical vs. Walmart Vision Center

    Walmart has a slightly lower price ($ 69 versus $ 74) for the basic eye exam. And while Walmart seemingly has more options for its lenses, let’s compare the cost of the most popular options below.

    Option 1: Polarized lenses with scratch and glare protection:

    • Walmart: scratch-resistant ($ 0) + polarized ($ 50) + anti-glare ($ 50) = $ 100 on top of base price, $ 169 total.
    • Costco: Both are included, so no additional costs on top of the total base price of $ 74.

    Option 2: thinner polarized lenses with anti-scratch and anti-glare protection

    • Walmart: This would be the custom Nikon package which adds $ 151 to the base price.
    • Costco: The high quality polarized option would be selected for $ 94.99 on top of the base price, which makes it significantly cheaper than Walmart’s package.

    In both cases, Costco Optical is cheaper. According to Consumer Reports, the average cost of frames and lenses at Costco is $ 184. By comparison, the average price for frames and lenses at LensCrafters is $ 369, so Costco offers huge savings for eyeglass wearers. Walmart Vision Center seems to have a few more options, however. Depending on your visual needs, you may need to go for Walmart. However, if Costco has what you need, it is definitely the winner in the Costco Optical vs. Walmart Vision Center debate.

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