February 23, 2009

Review: HD Vision Readers

Description: HD Vision sunglasses with built-in bifocals
Main Pitch: "Like two glasses in one" (sunglasses and reading glasses)
Main Offer: $19.99 for one pair
Bonus: Second pair (just pay S&H)
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Morgan James
Website: www.HDReaders.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7
Commercial Rating: Good

Full disclosure: I worked on this campaign.

IdeaVillage seems to have discovered a magic formula with its HD Vision line of sunglasses. Years ago, the original HD Vision sunglasses were a solid hit (No. 25 on the Jordan Whitney annual for 2002). Last year, the company introduced HD Vision Wraparounds and discovered another bona-fide hit that continues to sell well (currently No. 38 on the IMS Top 50).

In December of last year, IdeaVillage reintroduced its original product under the name HD Vision Ultras. So far, there's been no evidence of success despite a 6 out of 7 rating by me and a very strong offer. The curse of the line extension in reverse? Maybe. But I don't think that will apply to this product. Here's why ...

While HD Vision lenses alone may not be enough to have a hit these days, HD Vision lenses plus a unique twist seem to do just fine. In the case of HD Vision Wraparounds, the twist was that they fit over prescription eyeglasses. In this case, the twist is that they have reading glasses built in.

What's truly amazing about the success of these products is also the reason why I can only give them a  6 out of 7: They target a niche market -- people who wear glasses. I suspect the reason this doesn't seem to matter is that this group isn't a niche when you're talking about DRTV buyers, a group consisting mostly of Baby Boomers and Seniors, people who tend to suffer from age-related vision problems.

63 comments:

  1. I ordered the Deluxe HDREADERS sunglasses with the carrying case and lint cloth, which came to $61.93 for two pair. That wouldn't be so bad, but they also charged my credit card for two more orders of $33.97. I received only one e-mail for the purchase I made. That was on Feb. 7th, 2009, and they have been shipped. Now I have to screw around with them to ship back the two extra orders, which I did not make. This company leaves a lot to be desired with my experience so far.

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  2. the advertisement for this product is absolutely ridiculous. HD glasses? come on! reading glasses are reading glasses. sunglasses are sunglasses. mixing the two doesn't create some sort of amazing product that allows you to see in high definition. clearly this product is marketed for the baby boomer generation, old people will buy anything the tube tells them to.

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  3. Seriously, those commercials are just there to confuse. There is no such thing as 'hd vision.'

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  4. whats the difference between 'HD' and polarized lenses?

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  5. It is probably another gimmick. You buy them and getting a refund will be very difficult

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  6. One of the things that keeps me from buying these particular glasses is that the shipping prices are hidden from the viewer until he or she has entered their credit card information. Then they only limit you to three orders.

    I lose glasses all the time, sit on them, scratch them; I tend to order then in bunches of five or so. I don't like the deceptive advertising. High definition is not the same as high contrast. Groups that hide their postage and handling charges lose me right up front. I'll buy at affordablefashionreaders.com, where I'm told up front what the prices will be, and the shipping is free.

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  7. There's no such thing as "HD Vision". You can't compare "HD TV" with sunglasses that are bifocals. It's entirely different. This is a disgrace to intelligence.

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  8. Thanks to all for posting of the comments on the "HD" glasses. I thought about placing an order and decided to check the reviews. I am certainly glad I did. I have been burned a couple of times buying from a TV commercial. I usually wait until a product shows up on the "As seen on TV" isle at Walmart. NO shipping and handling charges!!

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  9. to :indyrod

    THE SAME HAPPENS TO ME , I ORDERED A PAIR OF SUNGLASSES AND ONE FREE FOR A TOTAL AMOUNT OF $$33.97 AND THEY CHARGE ME TWO MORE FOR A TOTAL OF $101.81, I CALLED THEM INMEDIATLEY AND A PERSONS CALLED CEASER TOLD TO BE FIX THEY DID NOT. THE NEXT THEY ,I CALLED THEM BACK
    AND THEY SEY THEY COUDNT FIXT IT BECAUSE IT WAS ALREDY SHIPPED. THAT AS SOON AS I RESEIVED THEM ,SEND BACK THE TWO EXTRA.AND THEY WILL REFOND ME ,BUT AS I SE IN YOUR CASE THAT IS GOING TO BE UP HILL. THIS THEIR MODE OPERANDIS.I WIIL UPDATE THIS COMMENT AS SOON AS I REVEIVE MY REFUND.

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  10. Very confusing order site-
    I ordered one pair, never was notified how to get 2nd pair free. when bill arrived, they wanted ~ $75.00 for the one pair which included ? Night Vision extra glasses that I never requested.
    I imediatly canceled the entire order. Now reading these post- I see I'm not alone with this sweat shop sell and ship deal.
    I understand Liz Clayborne outlet has similar in stores for $20. Live and learn.

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  11. THIS PRODUCT IS FOR FOOLS ONLY!!

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  12. Yes, I was a fool. I was charged an extra $21.96 shipping and handling. I was told to send them back unopened for a refund . . . as if that will happen. I dread to see what is going to happen to my credit card now. It's not like I don't have written proof that they definitely defrauded me. How do we pursue this?

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  13. Wow! Thanks so much to all for saving me from this rip off. It is criminal, but will anything be done? Not a thing.

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  14. wish I had read these postings first. I just ordered and the same rip off is being done to me. Two billings for 39.97 and another for 21.96, for a total of 101.90. How the hell to they get away with this. Tried to cancel the order by phone and was told that the order was not in the system yet, caback in the morning.

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  15. My advise to everyone who thinks they were over charged, call you credit card company, and dispute all the charges, as long as you never signed the delivery reciept, they have no proof you recieved their product.

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  16. I've found them on Targets website. Available online but not in stores. $9.95

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  17. I received the two pairs for $37.11, as advertised. They appeared fine..EXCEPT the bifocal band area is VERY small and difficult to "locate" while reading. I am going to check if I can get the entire lens in my 3.5 range. I also wonder what the HD Vision is.

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  18. These glasses suck and I'm scared and cold and hungry and I have to poop

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  19. typical S&H scam, shipping and handling should be less then $5 per pair so what is up with all the over charges. I would say unauthorized charges to a credit card is fraud, call you card issuer and if advised the police.

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  20. Your ear will be sore after ordering them from all of the sales Bull S**t!
    Over and over they try to sell you something else. Just ordered a pair and now I'm kicking myself in the ass.
    Dont do it! .... This Company is so shady it gets dark as night while placing your order.

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  21. They take your credit info. first .... KABLAMMIT!

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  22. Wow. I just filled out the complete order for the readers and the free pair. I was ready to hit the submit order button and decided to Google them and found this site. Sure glad I did. I just deleted all the information and closed the link. I hate having charge card problems from rip off people like this. They are hoping you will keep the extra pair they charged you for. No order placed by me. Thanks again.

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  23. Just called them. Asked if they were polarized. They said no but the deluxe model was for $39.99. He said it was on their web site. No deluxe offered. Sounds like the scam you were all talking about. Not good!!!

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  24. Both my wife's and my pair of HD readers frames cracked. Not from sitting on them or dropping them -- just by themselves. Both pair are about 3 months old. I called their customer service 866-262-2403 and they are replacing them free of charge. Only gotcha is that you have to send the old ones back at your own expense. Just in case this happens to anyone else out there.

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  25. Do not buy anything you see advertised on TV. All items are very poorly made. Typical scam of charging two orders hoping you won't send them back. If you do not have a tracking number they will say items were never received. Most people don't get the tracking when they ship out. All a big SCAM. File a complaint with the better business bureua and see where that leads. DON'T BUY TV ADVERTISED JUNK!!!

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  26. Thank you all for your comments. I just saw the HDVision commercial on CNBC and I immediately thought this was too good to true. So I googled HDVision and found this site. I hate scams.

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  27. Thanks to all. I was just about to order my pair. So glad I saw this first.

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  28. Glad I saw this site - I was going to explore, and might have ended up placing an order.
    Why is it still rated 6 out of 7 on this site?? Is should have a big caution sign on the top.
    Thanks to Guys and Gals who posted their experience.

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  29. Wow, If you wanna solve the economy problems, elect these scam artists as President. We won't have to pay taxes anymore. Just wait until all the gullible people, (the same people who believe that the "Holy Grail" is some sort of special cup. Come on?) who buy these glasses are done. Then do what the Glasses people do, take all that money and run. This is not about Glasses, or you, or credit cards, or fraud, it's all about money. Grab the money and run. My advise, quit buying nonsensical Glasses, and start your own scam. You could offer air that Marilyn Monroe, and the dinosaurs, breathed. $19.95 per bottle with $80.00 shipping and handling. AND absolutely free, I'll include air that Elvis Presley and Charles Manson breathed. AND as a one time bonus, for an additional $19.95 per month, I'll include my popular .5 oz bottles of air that Jesus and Adolph Hitler breathed. If you're not sold yet, I'll just take all your money, any way I can, and not care even a little, because I'm in a country that will not extradite me for trial. I couldn't care less what you think, this is all about greed, me, and my MONEY. Wake up suckers...........lesson's over.

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  30. AT LAST, a remedy for all those annoying infomercial scams. My method avoids, inferior products, credit card identity theft, overshipping and billing of the product, and a whole variety of assorted complaints. I will sell you, a single shot shotgun for $5000.00 and just a meager $500.00 shipping and handling. This may seem expensive, but if you are a person who buys all of these scams; you're gonna save a lot of money. I will throw in one shotgun shell absolutely free. All sales are final, no refunds. Don't call the phone number, it doesn't work, don't E-mail me because I couldn't care less, and don't try to sue me, because I'm in Nigeria and will never be extradited for trial. This one time offer comes with one free shot gun shell, AND free instructions. "Place gun barrel in mouth and big toe on the trigger". Goodbye. Scam problems are all resolved, and look at the money you saved on the stupid crap you won't be buying. Christmas is coming, get one for every member of your ignorant family. Please.

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  31. Three rules:

    1: Never buy or believe anything you see on t.v.

    2: If you buy anything from an infomercial, expect the worst, so you won't be disappointed. Never give this stuff as a gift. What better way to show everyone what a worthless POS you are.

    3: Evil & Greed are in power right now, so you can expect that virtually everything is NOT about you and your dashed expectations, it's about "them" and their money. What part of "no" don't you understand. If you wanna see crappy, foreign made junque, just take a ride down to Walmart. Just get it from Walmart, it'll still have that fresh from China smell and you'll save the credit card fraud, the stolen identity and the incredibly absurd shipping and handling charges. When all they did was stick a postage stamp on it. Why order stuff from T. V. when you can use all that time and money to go to the dentist? Or buy some more crack to help justify your logic.I rest my case.

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  32. Well, I bought a vacuum on TV by proxy. Fortunately that brand had a store near by. I went, looked it over, and bought it. Nice vacuum.

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  33. Kind of ironic how this SciMark blog became an outlet for people to exclaim how STUPID buying things from the TV is.

    If you're dumb enough to buy "as seen on TV" crap, then I guess you get what you deserve, and these guys as SciMark and everyone else in the "sell crap on TV to stupid people" industry make zillions. Congrats.

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  34. To one extremely saturated sarcastic comment about politicans and selling air to earn a profit: Air breathed can't actually be sold. But never mind. I guess that's why the people have to be gullible. Ha.

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  35. Anyone who is bashing this company for exploiting people's gulliblity are just simply narrow minded. Sure, the name "HD Vision" is an exaggeration, but did anyone stop to think that these glasses might enhance vision differently? By enhance, I don't mean that your vision will be any better (unless of course you've purchased the corrective version). I'm saying that they might alter the image in other ways. For example, increasing contrast and brightness, increasing saturation, etc. There are a whole load of algorithmic methods an image can be enhanced without actually increasing the resolution. How any of this would be accomplished in a simple pair of sunglasses, I haven't a clue, precisely the reason I'm researching all of this. Perhaps if some of you jaded cynics would take the time to do the same, you might surprise yourselves.

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  36. I almost ordered some because they look like the Blu-Blockers of the 80s, which I actually kind of liked looking through (but they looked funky). When I backed out of the web site w/o ordering it lowered the price by 50% (but still same S&H for the 2nd pair, which I don't want anyway). For the currently-offered HD Vision it would be $5 PLUS $6.99 S&H for EACH PAIR, or $18.98 for the total order, unless they play any of the games others posted having experienced and my cc is charged in excess...I don't think so!

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  37. Anyone who is STUPID enough to buy anything like this probably deserves what they get!

    How 'retarded' do you have to be to believe anything on this type of commercial?

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  38. Haha, dumbasses...you already see in "HD"...you can't put on glasses that improve your eyes and brains abilitity to take in more information. Its like saying your putting on 3D glasses so you can see in 3D....it doesnt make any sense, who buys this crap?

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  39. This product had sex with my wife!

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  40. Wow! Thank goodness for the internet--and blogs such as this one! I saw a commercial advertising these HD Vision Ultras on TV just a few minutes ago. I was attracted, and decided to place an order. "Was" going to place an order... until I did some research. Yes, due-diligence. I always remind myself to. Guess what I uncovered! Exactly. I stopped myself just in time. Revert! About face. Thanks everyone! I empathize. Farewell. -SCJR

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  41. **Hello everyone. You should know: "Target" stores carry these "HD Vision Ultras". They have them available and in stock, for $10.

    Here's a link: http://www.target.com/gp/search/180-0539045-6621347?field-keywords=HD+Ultra+Vision&url=index%3Dtarget%26search-alias%3Dtgt-index&ref=sr_bx_1_1

    Just remember, we owe it to ourselves to do our own investigative research before-hand. Always. Farewel. -SCJR

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  42. I got my hand son a pair of these "HD" glasses, and, unlike what the commercials advertises, these do NOT present everything in a clear "HD" format. Rather, everything is presented in the same orange tint as the lenses, and the view is no better than what you would normally see without the glasses. Thankfully, I got mine for free and didn't have to pay for them.

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  43. WOW! I threw away my ($200) Costa Del Mars when I first put on my new HD's, this product is awesome! Me & my wife are going to divorce because I caught her wearing my HD's. Please by this product!!!

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  44. i can't believe anyone would actually believe that there's glasses that can give you 'hd' vision, i mean seriously think about that for a second

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  45. These glasses are not what you would expect. They are really tight and leave you with pain after wearing them for only 2 minutes. I ordered 2 pair of glasses with 2 hard cases for them. I did not receive the hard cases (none of them) even if I paid extra for them. I specifically called them after I placed the order to ask about the hard cases. They said..."of course you'll gonna have them"...but not me

    For the price you end up paying...you can buy way much better glasses

    I would not recommned them to anybody

    A shitty product that probably will break after a week. The plastic they are made from is really cheap and very stiff. Being so stiff it is really hard to put them on. Not to mention about the noise they are making when trying them on. "Crack" "crack"

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  46. Excuse me how can you possibly believe these glasses can give you "HD" vision, seriously it's just about as absurd as the x-ray glasses with spirals that you give little kids. They claim to be the same technology as HDTV but don't you watch tv with just your eyes, the whole purpose behind HDTV is that it is supposed to offer a clearer image like your natural vision. Come on think for a second if you just want to give your money away there are easier ways than this.

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  47. Lord Jesus Help Us!

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  48. same old same old remember the fantastic Blue Rays at the beach? One in the same and be carefull min order is 3 at some sites and over charge shipping for sending you the glass in the same package. kman

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  49. My husband ordered them and they suck!!!! I called to get a refund and after paying 34.61 we only get 10.00 back cause they dont refund shipping costs. the shipping cost 21.97 SUCH BULLSHIT!!!!

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  50. I just ordered these for my dad because he's been wanting to try them, and I wish I would have seen this page before-hand. I submitted my order and was not given my total charge. I also failed to read in the fine print at the bottom of the page stating that shipping is 6.99 PER pair, keep in mind that each pair alone costs $5. I have not recieved a comfirmation email and im just expecting the worst at this point. What a scam. I dont know who I'm more upset with, HD vision ultra or myself for not seeing this coming

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  51. While I am strongly inclined to dismiss all the advertising I see on television the HD Vision Sunglasses commercial has been of interest to me because of the claims made by sellers and customer feedback I have read. The customer feedback is very clear, about half love the product and half hate it. What is of interest to me is that some of the benefits which are described are exactly what I would expect to observe from the application of moiré pattern technology. I recently viewed the 3D movie Avatar and I strongly suspect that polarized moiré patterns are being used in the movie to enhance the colors and 3D special effects. Note that not everyone is happy with the new 3D technology either and probably for very good physiological reasons.

    I was a student of Dr. Gerald Oster in the early 1960 when he did his pioneering work on moiré patterns. He was always available to his students to discuss his research and even if it was not you’re major and I learned quite a bit. I plan to purchase a “cheep” pair of the HD Vision classes to see how they work, assuming they work at all. Please remember that this is pure speculation on my part until I can run some tests. Yes the marketing is a scam but there might be a kernel of truth.

    For additional information on the technology, Google the follow search terms:

    Google: moiré patterns
    Google: Gerald Oster
    Google: Gerald Oster moiré patterns


    Dr. Gerald Oster, 75, Who Found Op Art In Eye Experiments
    http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/11/obituaries/dr-gerald-oster-75-who-found-op-art-in-eye-experiments.html?pagewanted=1

    POW...
    http://www.djmisc.com/2007/12/pow.html

    Michael Ronayne

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  52. Here's my take, I wanted to order, but don't like giving cc over phone or online, saw these glasses at Walmart for 9.99 so I went for it, they're not bad for the price, I like them, they're cheap enough that I not worried about loosing them, like my Porche pair ($140), so look around, you might find one much cheaper than ordering them. $10 ain't bad, no?
    George

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  53. If anyone is interested in truly wasting their money but realizes that these glasses are not for them - I will be happy to accept the $19.99 from you and because I truly respect your financial judgement there will be no handling charges. Please know that I will consider it an honor to waste the $19.99 for you. I will even send you a postage paid envelope for your donation with a sincere thankyou card. Please respond in this blog and I will be in touch ASAP. TDT

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  54. Tried these glasses at an As Seen on TV store. Very cheaply made yellow to amber plastic lenses, bad frames. Go to Walgreens and buy 10 buck Foster Grants for twice the glasses at one-fith the price

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  55. Human vision is the most advanced vision of any species, and human technology has not come even close to matching it. we have just come out with 3-D TV's, and there still prototypes. a simple tinted lens isn't going to make you vision any better, unless you have bad eyesight. if you have bad eye sight you should really be getting prescription lenses though.

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  56. P.T. Barnum was right !

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  57. lulz at all the people who said "i saw this commercial, was about to buy them, then saw this blog and didn't! Im so smart!". Uh..if you saw a commercial that sold cheap ass glasses but which give you "HD vision" and believed it...you are a retard. Seeing this blog does not unmake your epic retardedness. HD television has nothing to do with seeing more clearly with your eyes, its about the number of pixels being shown on the screen. And your eyes already see a lot better than any HD television. Jeebus people.

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  58. I have bought several pair of HD Vision Readers and am happy. I buy thru Amazon and get the 2 or 1 deal and don't have to deal with the hassle most of the commenters do. They are right that the frames are cheap and seem to break above the lense too easy. But for $10 each, I just throw them out and break out a new pair. All in all, I think they are OK. I wish I could put those lenses in decent frames. Maybe WalMart vision can do that!!

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  59. You can get them on EBAY for $6.99 with free shipping. Can't beat that price even if they are cheap, made in China glasses.

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  60. I bought two pair of the HD Readers over a year ago, and have been very pleased. Sunglasses with built in bifocals, what a great idea. However, they are cheaply built, and one of the pairs frame broke after about one year. Still, at just $10.00 a pair, a very good deal.

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  61. CVS had a stack marked as - specially priced $1.00 Manager's Special. For only $2.00 plus tax, I bought 2 pair. The frames cracked within days of purchase. FYI - HD Vision readers are not worth, even a buck. DO NOT WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS on these eyeglasses.

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  62. As you can see the most recent posts are favorable. I too bought the "HD" vision readers and they have made my job a lot easier when I read water meters. I can wear sunglasses and also read the box scores of baseball games in the paper. I got 4 pairs and used a rubber leash to keep them around my neck. Now I can't find them here in 2012. I recently bought some flimsy ones not the same brand..their fine but not HD Vision readers. For you people who thought HD meant you could see in Hi Def...buy some Nike's and slam dunk like King James!

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