I promised that I would followup on my eye exam once I had ordered my new glasses. So here goes. I spent a ton of money for two new pairs of glasses, but then I would have spent a ton of money in the States too. The prices I paid seem to be comparable to what I paid in California approximately 5-years ago (at WalMart). And that was after my insurance paid for part of it. So, bottom line, I think I paid less here in Mexico than I would have paid Stateside.
Here is a breakdown of the pricing (mostly for my women readers). I have a very heavy prescription (translated as: I’m as blind as a bat), and require bifocals. It made no sense to me to stick expensive lenses into cheap, breakable frames. So I opted for expensive designer frames to circumvent the problem and to satisfy my male vanity.
I chose Dulce & Gabbana titanium metal frames for my regular glasses, with progressive (no line) bifocals and transition lenses. The frames were $3,440 MXN ($271 USD), and the lenses were $3,250 MXN ($256 USD). The grand total coming in at $6,690 MXN ($547 USD).That was about what I paid (including insurance) 5-years ago in California.
For my prescription sunglasses (lente por sol) I chose Oakley frames with single vision (no bifocals) polarized lenses. The frames cost me $2,010 MXN ($158 USD), and the lenses ran an additional $2,260 MXN ($178 USD). The grand total for my sunglasses came in at $4,270 MXN ($336 USD). Again, about what I paid (including insurance) 5-years ago in California.
My impressions about pricing here in Mexico: You pay much less for the actual eye examination by a well-trained ophthalmologist (not optometrist). You pay about the same for designer frames (or maybe a little more) at the retail level. Online the same frames could be purchased for less, but after you pay the import (VAT) duty they would probably cost more. I think you pay less down here for equivalent lenses. Overall, I think you benefit from a modest savings over Stateside prices here in Mexico, but not the extreme savings you might enjoy on other products and services.
Can you buy eyeglasses cheaper? Absolutely. A friend of mine just purchased very simple eyeglasses (no bells & whistles) down here for about $500 MXN ($40 USD). It just depends on what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to pay. I wanted something that would last the next five or six years without problems, and flatter my handsome good looks. But the best part: They will be ready for pickup tomorrow (despite the complex prescription). In the States I had to wait for almost a month.