Hack: How to Get Below-RM100 Glasses

below rm100 glasses

Confession: I wear glasses because they’re more economical than contact lenses.

Can you make something economical EVEN MORE economical? Caaaaan. Here are three methods to get below-RM100 glasses. No lie.

First things first though. This guide works best for low-to-medium-strength prescription glasses. For complicated cases*, it might be harder (but not impossible!) to get glasses at this price.

*Complicated cases: suffer from both short and far-sightedness, have astigmatism, very high power, etc

Also, don’t expect branded frames. Who cares for branded frames anyway.

With those in mind, here we go.

Below-RM100 Glasses – Method #1: Buy them from optical shops during promo

You’ve seen this, so this tip is hardly a surprise. Many optical shops around Malaysia offer basic prescription glasses for RMxx (usually RM88 or RM98). The cheapest I’ve seen is at GM Klang (a wholesale mall) for RM58. If you don’t know where to go to get these prices, shoplots nearby student areas is a good bet.

However, in most cases the prices are for frames + basic lens only. The shop attendant will likely try and upsell add-ons, like AirAsia style. In my case, I was attracted to the RM58 price tag but ended up paying RM178 in total for:

  • Sturdier frames (additional RM70)
  • Non-scratch lens coating (additional RM50)

They also have options for UV coating lens (additional RM180) and tinted glasses (not sure of price).

EDIT: I overpaid. See comments section for places to get better glasses package deals.

Below-RM100 Glasses – Method #2: Buy cheap frames, then ask optical shops to fit them with your prescription lens

LeeChangmin / Pixabay

My dad does this method. He likes to buy vintage glasses from second-hand shops, then he brings them to optical shops for custom lens fitting.

In this case, you’ll save money on the frames. Once, my dad bought these kickass vintage frames costing just RM5 – an absolutely good buy for the quality. RM10 ‘fashion glasses’ can also work for this method.

Next, it’s a matter of finding optical shops that are willing to do it for you. Some common difficulties:

  • “We don’t replace lenses” – just go and find another optical shop
  • “We don’t have lenses for this kind of frames” – try another shop, or try another pair of frames
  • *gives you above-average price for lenses* – shop around and compare quotes

My dad says this method is cheap, but he can’t remember the prices exactly. I’d be grateful for anecdotes on this – if you’ve tried this method, do share your costs in the comments section. EDIT: See Madhav’s comment on this!

Below-RM100 Glasses – Method #3: Order your glasses online

THIS IS THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE METHOD

In 2016, I bought 3 prescription glasses and 1 sunglasses from SelectSpecs – an online optical shop. It costs me USD77.31 including the USD11.25 shipping fee.

below rm100 glasses

Minus the shipping fee, the average price for ONE eyewear is a mere USD16.52. Or just RM64.34 per glasses, with today’s exchange rate (30 Jan 2018). Seriously, so good value for money, even if you factor in fluctuating exchange rates. The prescription glasses also comes with free UV coating, anti-reflection and scratch-resistant lens.

The caveat is:

  • You have to know your eye prescription. The only way to get accurate prescription is via eye tests at optical shops. And it’s not nice to get free prescription without buying from them (which is why this time I bought from method #1 – I wanted to know my latest eye prescription).
  • You have to wait for a bit. It might take weeks to arrive.
  • The budget frames selection is limited. You might like them, you might not. If you don’t, they also offer other styles, usually at higher price points. The good thing is it still costs less than normal optical shops.
  • You can’t try it on in person before you buy. It’s all online.

But other than that, the prices can’t be beaten. I’m the kind of person who prefers to have a few glasses at any one time in case I lose/break them, and getting them from here is the most cost-effective method for me.

Now that I know my latest eye prescription, you bet I’ll buy the rest of my backup glasses from this website. Aside from SelectSpecs, you can also try out BudgetSpex, Googles4u and others listed in Money Saving Expert’s Cheap Glasses page. I studied in the UK and this English sifu helped me save a bunch of money, including for glasses.

Do you know any other ways to get cheap glasses in Malaysia?

Please share in the comments section! If this guide is helpful, please share to your friends 🙂

Author

13 comments

  1. Great tips, number two seems the most plausible!

    However, with my power being around the 400-500 range, a spec at this range is nigh impossible. I’d like to add another tip though: make sure you browse around forums to see what people recommend. I also noted that spec shops around college areas offer competitive prices. My current spec shop (and it looks like I’ll be going to him from here on out) is from Lowyat recommendations and in a college area too.

    So, with my power, flexible frames (I need this because my last spec had fiddly spring bits that wore out) and hi index lenses was around 200+. Not bad, considering my previous pair was stupidly expensive at around 500 plus elsewhere.

  2. Great article on cost effectiveness but If you’re to get prescription glasses, you need to know the basics and not get scammed by the optical shops to pay higher. Basically, there are uncoated and multicoated lenses. Uncoated Lense is without any filters. Nowadays, nobody uses them. Multicoated are those with UV filter, anti-reflect(good for night driving), scrathresist. Your best cost effective yet useful choice would be multicoated lense. So, if you’re going for those promos at optical shops, make sure they include multicoated lenses in their package. The cheapest you can get is about RM38 for student promo including lenses and frame. Bear in mind, promo frames are very cheap (RM1-2). You’re basically paying for lense. Okay, coming back to lenses, if you’re going to get reading glasses, you don’t need multicoated lense. Just get uncoated lense. More cheap. Remember, our cornea already filters 99.9% UV rays. Therefore you don’t actually need a filter for UV. It’s marketing gimmicks you can say. A small tip, glass lenses are cheaper than plastic lenses but are more fragile and heavier. Coming to nowadays trend, the optical shops will try to sell you those lenses which can filter magnetic rays (blue ray) from computer. These are a little higher priced (extra RM100) but subjective to user preference. Good for those who sit in front computer all day long. Then, finally coming to those with high power prescriptions. A common fiction believe is that the higher your power, the higher the price. NOPE. The higher your power, the higher the lense thickness. Lense thickness usually categorized as low,middle,high and super high index. If you want your lenses to be thinner, you pay higher for high index lenses. Power lower than 300, no need to care about this. Higher than 300, your frame may not fit the lense. Either get another suitable frame or option for high index lense.

    1. My head spins on the amount of information here. Goodness, you know your stuff don’t you? This is amazing, thanks so much for sharing.

      No wonder there are so many optical shops. What a profitable business.

  3. I have an optical shop that is honest, reliable and cheap. Tells you what is best and cost effective. One fact he tells me – no need to buy expensive lenses after I told him one shop quoted me a 1K-3K for lens only. Fact is when you drop and scratch it, it is useless and money gone. Just get cheap ones and if you drop it, make a new one without felling painful.

    1. That’s a rare gem, that shop. Semoga diaorang murah rezeki always. Love it when businesses prioritise customers rather than profits.

  4. I did my spectacles at Sungai Way for only RM110 (including UV protections)! Good deals I must say. The basic frame + lense only cost RM60. The cheapest so far.

  5. Our industry is considerably matured; overpricing is very unlikely especially in competitive areas like cities and some suburbs. Im an optometrist, working in the manufacturing, not the retail optical.

    All I can say is what you pay is what you get. One of the most expensive lenses is 7k and there are alot of reasons why it is the way it is but overpricing is definitely not one of them. There are also lenses as cheap as RM7 if you’re willing to go out of town and god knows if it’s just another acrylic or water bottle plastic material.

    Another interesting point for you to note. The way you wear your spectacles might require slight adjustments in your prescription. If it’s not thoroughly checked, the worst case, you’ll be wearing too much power and you’ll face consequences.

    It’s your choice on how you want to spend your money afterall, am i right?

    1. Hi J,

      Thanks so much for your input, much appreciated!

      What are your tips to customers who are looking for best value-for-money glasses? Not cheapest, but most value for money

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