Getting an eye exam and a new pair of eyeglasses doesn’t have to be expensive if you play your cards right. Enter the Walmart Vision Center where you can get an eye exam (from a board certified optometrist) and a new pair of prescription glasses for under $100. Even less if you’re not super picky about frame style and brand. So I went out and did the research to figure out exactly how the eye center at Walmart works and here are all the things you GOTTA know before you show up.
1. What Type of Frames Does Walmart Offer?
Walmart offers many name-brand frames like Ray-Ban, Guess, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Nike, Lacoste, and Armani Exchange.
But where Walmart separates themselves is in the great deals on generic frames and frames for kids.
They have a terrific selection of both with prices starting below $10.
If your family is on a tight budget, I’d definitely shop for frames at Walmart and AVOID buying them at an eye doctor’s office or specialty retailers like Lens Crafters or Vision Works.
The cool part is that Walmart claims they can have your eyeglasses ready to be picked up (or delivered) in 7-10 days.
2. What Does an Eye Exam Cost?
If your local Walmart has a vision center with a doctor of optometry within, you can expect to pay around $75 for an eye exam.
The last time I checked this was a little more expensive than Costco which charges $65 for an exam.
Talking to folks that have had an eye exam at Walmart they’ve been happy with the service overall but did say to expect less face time with the doctor compared to a regular optometrist office.
3. Do I Need an Appointment for a Vision Exam?
Yes, and you CAN’T make the appointment online.
You need to call your local Walmart eye center and schedule your vision exam.
4. Do They Accept All Types of Insurance?
I dug around on their website and discovered that Walmart Vision Center takes most major insurance providers.
Apparently only the following providers are considered “Out-of-Network” which means they’ll cover less.
- Cole Managed Vision
- Davis Vision
I’d contact your local Walmart eye center if you have any specific questions related to your insurance.
5. Does Walmart Hire Only Experienced Optometrists?
Yes, they’re highly trained, but keep in mind that Walmart DOES NOT actually hire most them.
The vast majority are considered self-employed eye doctors who simply lease space in the store right next to the vision center.
Not all vision centers have an optometrist within, so check with your local Walmart first.
Keep in mind that you can visit any Walmart in your area, so if you don’t like the Vision Center staff at a particular Walmart, try a different one.
Once you find a center that you really like, just make that your “home” eye center.
6. Are Walmart Eyewear Prices Competitive?
The online Walmart Vision Center currently has 137 different frames priced under $50 and 20 priced under $20 and many are brand names like Vera Wang, Fendi, and Nike.
Obviously the brand and materials used is going to influence the price of the frame, but overall the prices are very competitive.
Lens prices also vary with “single-vision” lenses available for FREE and “progressive no-line lenses” coming in at $50.
You also have the following cool options available:
– Basic Tint: $41
– Clear Lenses: Free
– Polarized Tint: $65
– Transition Lenses: $65
7. Does Walmart Also Sell Contact Lenses?
They sell popular contact brands like Acuvue, Air Optix, Bausch+Lomb, and Dailies.
They range in price from $40 a box up to about $80.
They’ll even mail them for FREE and let you set up a “Auto Lens Subscription” where Walmart will automatically mail you new contacts when you need them.
8. Can I Bring in my Eyewear Prescription from Another Doctor?
If you don’t need an eye exam, and already have a prescription in-hand, you can walk-in whiteout an appointment.
A Walmart vision center associate will help you find the best frame and lenses for your needs.
Bonus: What Type of Return Policy Comes with my Glasses?
This is where the Walmart vision center gets an A+ in my book.
Not only do you get a 60 day return policy (no questions asked), but you also get a 1 year warranty for the frame and the lenses.
So if you get a deep scratch in a lens within the first 365 days, you can bring them back for a full replacement lens.
Likewise if you sit on, step on, or break the frame any other way, you can bring them back for a free replacement as well.
Walmart will even pay the return shipping charges which is kinda epic.
Ask the Reader: Have you ever bought eyeglasses or contacts from the Walmart vision center? Would you recommend it? Let me know.
By Kyle James
Photo by Mike Mozart.