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Thread: Costco's AR? How bad is it?

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    Master OptiBoarder Lee Prewitt's Avatar
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    No, I do not work for Costco. I used to work for the AR company. All I am saying is that your friend can get the AR and it will be a high quality product.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Prewitt View Post
    No, I do not work for Costco. I used to work for the AR company. All I am saying is that your friend can get the AR and it will be a high quality product.
    ...if she takes care of it. I started in eyeglass repair. I saw a lot of AR crazing, peeling, cracking and heard a lot of I bought it at Costco, Sam's Club, Target, Walmart etc. etc. People who get their glasses repaired for 3, 4, 5, 6 years are not really a scientific sample, I know.

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    What I don't understand is how Costco provides such rapid service, especially for progressive fitting. My optician spends an average of 20 minutes or more with each client. She helps them with frames, counsels them on options, fits them carefully, dispenses etc. This increases our cost of each sale but is part of "what sets us apart". I've done some industrial espionage at Costco and it seems as if the average sale takes much much less time. I'm almost envious at how quickly they do this and frankly skeptical at how accurate they are. Obviously they wouldn't be able to have such low prices if they spent a half an hour with each patient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ilanh View Post
    What I don't understand is how Costco provides such rapid service, especially for progressive fitting. My optician spends an average of 20 minutes or more with each client. She helps them with frames, counsels them on options, fits them carefully, dispenses etc. This increases our cost of each sale but is part of "what sets us apart". I've done some industrial espionage at Costco and it seems as if the average sale takes much much less time. I'm almost envious at how quickly they do this and frankly skeptical at how accurate they are. Obviously they wouldn't be able to have such low prices if they spent a half an hour with each patient.
    I think at Costco the people usually pick out their own frames with little or no help from the optician. There aren't a lot of choices there as far as lenses so I imagine that it's easy to adjust and measure each person in 10 minutes or less.

    Though I did notice my Costco is now selling Drivewear lenses.

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    The main problem with their AR is its laid over a factory scratch coat that may or may not let it bond well, Ive seen them last and Ive senn them sepperate in three months. Ovations are ok but I wouldn go below an 18 seg. BTW OptiSource makes an awsome AR remover any lab should have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Prewitt View Post
    I can assure you that the AR at Costco is not crap! Costco now does it's own AR and they went to all the major producers and independants and did extensive evaluations. The independant company they chose has been doing AR for longer than most big vendors. Their AR is a dip coated process. In fact, I imagine that with all the technology deals that the independant has made, they likely are now the largest AR vendor in the country. Recommend with confidence.
    Hi Lee Just a question for you is there anywhere else that I may get information on the AR. As someone who recently passed the ABO, I know we used to use Vivixx. Is that still true or is this a different brand (i.e. Kirkland Signature A/R?)

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    Master OptiBoarder Lee Prewitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCB1602 View Post
    Hi Lee Just a question for you is there anywhere else that I may get information on the AR. As someone who recently passed the ABO, I know we used to use Vivixx. Is that still true or is this a different brand (i.e. Kirkland Signature A/R?)
    I think it would be safe to say that you already have the information !
    Lee Prewitt, ABOM
    Independent Sales Representative
    AIT Industries
    224 W. James St.
    Bensenville, IL 60106
    Cell : (425) 241-1689
    Phone: (800) 729-1959, Ext 137
    Direct: (630) 274-6136
    Fax: (630) 595-1006
    www.aitindustries.com
    leep@aitindustries.com

    More Than A Patternless Edger Company

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    I agree with Lee, the info is rite here although I must say that in my opinion the best AR be it outdated or what have you is still Alize by Crizal, it cleans best, it has the best hydrophobe,best anti static, and best scratch resistance, And a 2 year unconditional warranty under most dealers. Not to hype it but go with what does the best job

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    Blue Jumper Alize by Crizal, it cleans best, it has the best hydrophobe,best anti static, and....

    Quote Originally Posted by LensNinja View Post

    I agree with Lee, the info is rite here although I must say that in my opinion the best AR be it outdated or what have you is still Alize by Crizal, it cleans best, it has the best hydrophobe,best anti static, and best scratch resistance, And a 2 year unconditional warranty under most dealers. Not to hype it but go with what does the best job
    .........................it has the largest and most powerful advertising for years and a lot of their re-sellers and users have been brainwashed into strong believers. They are all made with the same base material which is SIO2 (silicone dioxide).
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    OptiBoard Professional William Walker's Avatar
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    To help the original poster with their question - the Vivix coating is a very good coating and Costco offers it at a great price. Working in Costco optical for six years, I can attest that it holds up very well - it is not a cheap budget level coating. (To be transparent - I do not work for them now)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    .........................it has the largest and most powerful advertising for years and a lot of their re-sellers and users have been brainwashed into strong believers. They are all made with the same base material which is SIO2 (silicone dioxide).

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Walker View Post
    To help the original poster with their question - the Vivix coating is a very good coating and Costco offers it at a great price. Working in Costco optical for six years, I can attest that it holds up very well - it is not a cheap budget level coating. (To be transparent - I do not work for them now)
    Thank you for the information. I looked up the Vivix coating and it looks like it is not the top AR offered by the company, there are a couple that are better. I am guessing the Vivix would be similar to regular Crizal Easy rather then the Alize or Avance?

    I find that regular Crizal holds up well and is scratch resistant enough but needs cleaning a lot more often the Avance within a very short time.

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    I've noticed over the years that many of my patients have been adamant about not being fit with progressives because "I've tried them and I hated them". Most of these cases have "tried" progressives dispensed in big box retailers such as Costco, Walmart or Sears where no attention was given to choosing a proper frame, the fitting process took 5 minutes and there was no hand-holding or adjustments in the initial weeks when problems were experienced. Yes, money was refunded or bifocals dispensed instead but the patients were turned off to progressives permanently. Whenever I hear from a patient about how much they hated progressives I ALWAYS ask them where they got them from. THerefore, I'm not just speculating on this issue but feel fairly confident that Costco's non-adapt rate is very high indeed. In my practice non-adapt is well under 10% (possibly 5%). We go to enormous lengths to pick a suitable frame, fit it meticulously, do any post-dispensing adjustments needed and encourage the stamina to undergo the adaptation period. Most of our patient cannot imagine not wearing progressives.

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    Blue Jumper something that might be doing an equivalent job...............................

    Quote Originally Posted by LensNinja View Post

    I agree with Lee, the info is rite here although I must say that in my opinion the best AR be it outdated or what have you is still Alize by Crizal, it cleans best, it has the best hydrophobe,best anti static, and best scratch resistance, And a 2 year unconditional warranty under most dealers. Not to hype it but go with what does the best job

    If Mr XYZ having won the Powerball at $150,000,000, would purchase some last model Satis or top class other equipment, hire a 10 years expirience coating lab executive away from Essilor at double his present salary and using the products and reproduce the exact formulas of the Essilor ARs, would you sing the same halleluhia for the XYZ coatings?

    Most probably not.....................you would say that he has to prove first for a 2-3 year period of abuse by consumers that they are holding up as well as the original, before you would touch them. All explaining to sell the product which is as good as the ones you like, would be talking into the wind. There is always something that might be doing an equivalent job or maybe even better.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    If Mr XYZ having won the Powerball at $150,000,000, would purchase some last model Satis or top class other equipment, hire a 10 years expirience coating lab executive away from Essilor at double his present salary and using the products and reproduce the exact formulas of the Essilor ARs, would you sing the same halleluhia for the XYZ coatings?

    Most probably not.....................you would say that he has to prove first for a 2-3 year period of abuse by consumers that they are holding up as well as the original, before you would touch them. All explaining to sell the product which is as good as the ones you like, would be talking into the wind. There is always something that might be doing an equivalent job or maybe even better.
    Huh? What are you trying to say?
    Last edited by Happylady; 01-28-2012 at 03:34 PM.

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    Blue Jumper

    Quote Originally Posted by Happylady View Post

    Huh? What are you trying to say?


    If I would become an AR coating company, making noticeably way better products than your beloved cryzal series or anything else, I could not survive when I had to deal with customers that are thinking and working on a one way track.
    Chris Ryser
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    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    If I would become an AR coating company, making noticeably way better products than your beloved cryzal series or anything else, I could not survive when I had to deal with customers that are thinking and working on a one way track.
    I'm here to make money not rate products, if you create a demand I'll supply your product. Drop a couple mil in advertising to make consumers want your product and I'm all ears, but until then your just a knock off coating company.

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    Redhot Jumper thats exactly the answer I expected .....................................

    Quote Originally Posted by PhiTrace View Post

    I'm here to make money not rate products, if you create a demand I'll supply your product. Drop a couple mil in advertising to make consumers want your product and I'm all ears, but until then your just a knock off coating company.


    Thank you........................thats exactly the answer I expected and it seems to reflect a general opinion.

    Anybody that does not drop a couple of mil into advertising can do the best job in the world but will starve to death.

    Besides that I would judge you not as the best sales person as you rely on consumer demand not a as a specialised optician that sells what is really good because you are qualified to judge it. You rely on the ones that cyber-exite the consumers.
    Chris Ryser
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    The reason I like Crizal Avance has nothing to do with it's advertising and everything to do with how I have seen it perform. I have also used and sold many other ARs and nothing I have tried has the long term cleanability of Crizal Avance (and Crizal Sapphire). I've used Seiko, Zeiss, and Hoya AR. I've used Essilor's standard AR; Sharpview (which is awful).

    I would honestly LOVE to find a cheaper AR that can be used on more lenses that works as well as Crizal Avance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happylady View Post
    The reason I like Crizal Avance has nothing to do with it's advertising and everything to do with how I have seen it perform. I have also used and sold many other ARs and nothing I have tried has the long term cleanability of Crizal Avance (and Crizal Sapphire). I've used Seiko, Zeiss, and Hoya AR. I've used Essilor's standard AR; Sharpview (which is awful).

    I would honestly LOVE to find a cheaper AR that can be used on more lenses that works as well as Crizal Avance.
    Avance is nice. But Sharpview is Alize+ w/o TD2 process. It's worked extremely well as a less expensive alt. with great cleanability and visual clarity. Not to mention same warranty.
    Everybody has different experiences and preferences.
    I honestly can't tell difference between Avance and Alize+ so why not that as an alternative?

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyf1509 View Post
    But Sharpview is Alize+ w/o TD2 process.
    I dont think there are ANY progressives made by E that do not have TD2 on them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LENNY View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyf1509 View Post
    But Sharpview is Alize+ w/o TD2 process.
    I dont think there are ANY progressives made by E that do not have TD2 on them!
    Wasn't saying PALs only, but I don't think that's true. If it is then I'll admit nice scam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyf1509 View Post
    Avance is nice. But Sharpview is Alize+ w/o TD2 process. It's worked extremely well as a less expensive alt. with great cleanability and visual clarity. Not to mention same warranty.
    Everybody has different experiences and preferences.
    I honestly can't tell difference between Avance and Alize+ so why not that as an alternative?
    I got Sharpview on a pair of glasses for my husband. I was using a coupon for a progressive that I couldn't use Crizal on so I tried it. I was hoping to find a cheaper but still good AR.

    Now I understand they have improved Sharpview since I got it last less then 2 years ago but it was horrible at the time. It scratched very easily and got dirty quickly and was hard to clean.

    As for Alize and Avance, according to Essilor Avance is twice as scratch resistant. But where I notice the difference is long term cleanability. After a number of months Alize starts to get hard to clean and stay clean while Avance is still easy to clean after 2 years. New they are both good.

    I do think Alize is a decent AR, it's certainly much better then Sharpview!

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    Master OptiBoarder Lee Prewitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happylady View Post
    I would honestly LOVE to find a cheaper AR that can be used on more lenses that works as well as Crizal Avance.
    I have been telling you all this for years! There are alternatives out there. iCoat is one such company. (I know, I know, I don't work there anymore but old habits die hard!) iCoat AR goes on over 800+ lenses. Essilor around 325. iCoat is about 30-40% less. Stop the madness! Get out of the rut and try a different product and you be the judge.

    Contact Tom@icoatcompany.com Tell him I sent you and I am sure he will comp your first coating.
    Lee Prewitt, ABOM
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    Big Smile Just renew the coating.....................

    Last week, I have just come up with a new Easy-Clean Hydrophobic Spray that is made to be used by consumers, to renew their slick AR coated lens surfaces when they start getting hard to clean. It provides also anti-fog and anti-static properties.

    That should help to promote any AR coating even the ones you call bad, crap and more. I am tired to hear all this song and dance about only one product made by one company and the free advertising they get.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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