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Thread: Costco Optical = busy................

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pknsbeans View Post
    I've been an on and off member for the last 4 or 5 years. In that time, I've yet to see any Costco employee look good in their glasses. However, Costco did rate near independents in a consumer reports I read a while back. Maybe their employees don't shop there for glasses?
    I work for Costco. I find it very interesting when almost all of the local OD/MD office employees come in wearing scrubs and buy contacts and glasses from me. Yes I asked them why. Number one answer: Your price is way less than what we can get it for.

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdarnall View Post
    I work for Costco. I find it very interesting when almost all of the local OD/MD office employees come in wearing scrubs and buy contacts and glasses from me. Yes I asked them why. Number one answer: Your price is way less than what we can get it for.
    I think this speaks more of the *Scrooginess* of your area’s Dr’s than for Costco’s prices. What office can’t source stock lenses and disco frames cheaper that Costco retail?

    In fairness, though, I do know several area Dr’s that only give employees 20% off their retail pricing for personal eye wear. (Talk about Scrooge!)

  3. #28
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    I have nothing against Costco. They serve a purpose and deliver well. And like America’s Best, WalMart and even LensCrafters, they serve the population well.
    The question is, what do you have to offer that differentiates you from them? Quality service, selection and knowledge. That is what you can offer. Cheap products? Discontinued products? Yesterday’s technology? Leave that to the others.
    Remember that value does not equate low prices. If the scrub wearing staff cannot recognize that, it’s their loss.

  4. #29
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdarnall View Post
    I work for Costco. I find it very interesting when almost all of the local OD/MD office employees come in wearing scrubs and buy contacts and glasses from me. Yes I asked them why. Number one answer: Your price is way less than what we can get it for.
    I find that hard to believe.

    If you're trying to say that Costco retails THE SAME STUFF for less than acquisition cost at a smaller account, I'm going to have to call bullcrap. And I can prove that.

  5. #30
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    I think this speaks more of the *Scrooginess* of your area’s Dr’s than for Costco’s prices. What office can’t source stock lenses and disco frames cheaper that Costco retail?
    Yeah, I call BS on that as well. That speaks more to miserly doctor/owners than the reality of eyewear costs.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

  6. #31
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    It is incredibly frustrating when a customer requests a quote for your "best lens" and after pricing them with either Varilux X, Definity 3, Auto 3 or IOT camber (whatever you prefer, top of the line Hoya/Zeiss, etc...), they reply with "well, I'm just going to get them from Costco. They're cheaper." I mean, if you want the McDouble, tell me you want the McDouble. Don't ask for the mushroom swiss and tell me the kid's menu cheesburger is less expensive.

    Does that look like spit to you??? (obscure movie reference)

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    In this area 70% of the homes are second homes for snowbirds. We also feature some of the best golf courses in the world, major polo ponies and some of the most exotic cars in the world. Oh yes and a HUGE concert every year. You know, the kind of place were people can buy what they want.

    I love it when my patients come back from an African safari and tell me they waited to come home so I can adjust their glasses.

    I also love it when local OD`s write a script in front of me for a pair of glasses.

    The point is...people tell me they have bought glasses from the Dr office for years and are just as satisfied with the Costco quality. You do know the bulk of Costco Member have higher than average incomes.

    Call all the B'S you want, I'll call it great products at great prices coupled with great service.

  8. #33
    Ghost in the OptiMachine OptiBoard Silver Supporter Quince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pknsbeans View Post
    It is incredibly frustrating when a customer requests a quote for your "best lens" and after pricing them with either Varilux X, Definity 3, Auto 3 or IOT camber (whatever you prefer, top of the line Hoya/Zeiss, etc...), they reply with "well, I'm just going to get them from Costco. They're cheaper." I mean, if you want the McDouble, tell me you want the McDouble. Don't ask for the mushroom swiss and tell me the kid's menu cheesburger is less expensive.

    Does that look like spit to you??? (obscure movie reference)
    This is perfect.

    One thing I run into a lot is the 'I've never been given options before.' Then I explain most chains only have a couple of lens options available to them and they make the choice for you. I have probably a hundred different PALs I can order. The patient doesn't need that many options of course, but their say in eyewear shouldn't be limited to frame options only.
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by pknsbeans View Post
    It is incredibly frustrating when a customer requests a quote for your "best lens" and after pricing them with either Varilux X, Definity 3, Auto 3 or IOT camber (whatever you prefer, top of the line Hoya/Zeiss, etc...), they reply with "well, I'm just going to get them from Costco. They're cheaper." I mean, if you want the McDouble, tell me you want the McDouble. Don't ask for the mushroom swiss and tell me the kid's menu cheesburger is less expensive.

    Does that look like spit to you??? (obscure movie reference)
    Dr what do you charge for Driveswear poly progressive with A/R?

    It's $170 here unless we have a $30 off promo going on sunglasses .

  10. #35
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    What you meant to say was "Dr., can you match a product with these features to this price?"

    What I actually read was "Dr., we can sell a product you don't offer for a price less than you."

    Congrats. I'm not interested. The intention of my post was voicing frustration in the variability of the market. While many customers realize there is a difference between Acura and Kia, some think everything in the optical world is already an Acura and some retailers sell it for Kia prices. The term PROGRESSIVE is the same as AUTOMOBILE. That is my point.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdarnall View Post
    I work for Costco. I find it very interesting when almost all of the local OD/MD office employees come in wearing scrubs and buy contacts and glasses from me. Yes I asked them why. Number one answer: Your price is way less than what we can get it for.
    I believe him, in some instances. I had a Pearle franchise thirty years ago, back when it was Cole. I frequently saw Raybans being sold for less than my cost, by the big box stores of the day, i.e. Best Products. On CTLs in particular, the more dollars you spend annually, the better the discount. Most small practices can't begin to order the quantity of a BJs or Costco.

  12. #37
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    ...
    Last edited by ajonesgirl; 08-13-2018 at 01:33 PM. Reason: duplicate post

  13. #38
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Pdarnall,
    Costco's pricing for Drivewear Image PALs is a great price, for sure. We cannot beat the price point, however, we do not offer the Image in Drivewear, unless the RX is out of range for freefom. We offer multiple full freeform designs, both compensated and non-compenstated in Drivewear (FF SV, as well), which gives a lot of flexibility to the fit.
    Unlike Costco, we turn them in less than 3 days, including BSAR and flash mirror, if requested.
    This is what pknsbeans was referring to. Choices.
    Again, Costco delivers a good product for the price. The BIG difference is the availability of options. Costco's model is to reduce choices and in return, reduce costs via volume. The primary eyeglass consumer only knows frame brands and total out of pocket expenses. They are completely unaware of the available options that would make a usable pair of glasses into an exceptional pair of glasses.
    Your previous post talks of second homes, safaris and luxury cars. You do realize that most of these are for show, right? Bragging rights. Look what I drive. Look where I went on vacations. Aren't I rich, jealous, yet? I'll skimp on other, more important items. But most Costco consumers do not know the difference between a Canon Rebel and a Canon 1DX, other than the price. Same goes with their eyewear. If it's cheap and takes good pictures, good enough. If it's cheap and I can see, good enough. Again, Costco serves this category of consumer very well, and based on your following, you are obviously a talented optician. Wouldn't it be great if you could provide your patients with real freeform options? Wouldn't it be great to offer customized solutions? I applaud your ability, I just wonder if you would be happier if your were able to provide more choices, more current choices.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdarnall View Post

    Call all the B'S you want, I'll call it great products at great prices coupled with great service.

    Costco can't even design computer glasses.

    Costco is by no means the worst out there. They're a balance between (as you said) quality, price, service. Not a bad niche.

    I'm glad you're enthused where you work.

    But to act as though local ODs flock to Costco to write their own Rxs and fill it at Costco is a fantasy. (Unless they work for someone who makes them pay retail, and the ODs are into the medium-quality-level products that you get at Costco.)

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    Redhot Jumper We can purchase just about all brand name products at Costco at lesser prices........

    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post

    Costco is by no means the worst out there. They're a balance between (as you said) quality, price, service. Not a bad niche.


    We can purchase just about all brand name products at Costco at lesser prices than a conventional retailer will charge.

    Their success is to offer brand name products in limited models for the same usage, therefore to increase their purchasing power at the suppliers level for better discounts, and pass the savings on to the consumer while still making a good profit.

    With the announced and expected heavy increase of online opticals activities after the Essilux merger in a few weeks, who has the best chances of long term survival ?
    Chris Ryser
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    I think they stock discontinueds. Any success is merely the Costco brand/pricing. Not product.

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    Blue Jumper As for lenses, which are no fashion product .....................

    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post

    I think they stock discontinueds. Any success is merely the Costco brand/pricing. Not product.

    If they can get away by selling discontinued frames that are sold by the wholesalers at heavily discounted pricing, they can sell cheap and still make a high profit on those frames.

    As for lenses, which are no fashion product they limit the selection and purchase large quantities over the year and any supplier will lick his fingers to get their account.
    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 they can get away by selling discontinued frames that are sold by the wholesalers at heavily discounted pricing, they can sell cheap and still make a high profit on those frames.

    As for lenses, which are no fashion product they limit the selection and purchase large quantities over the year and any supplier will lick his fingers to get their account.
    You are correct Chris. As a member, you get a great quality product at a great price. Selection is not an option hence why they are so successful. As for lenses, it's all poly, one AR and one progressive.

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    So for those that work at Costco, which progressive lens are you using? It would be nice to know so when I see them, I'm not totally clueless as to which lens they are.

  20. #45
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    I would rather see people buy glasses at Costco than on line. They have a more limited selection but since they can buy stuff so much cheaper than we can and have cheaper overhead their prices are very reasonable.

    This is is what I find- their progressive (and they only sell one) is decent but not the very top of the line. Works well for most people. Their AR is fair. Their warranty on glasses on broken and scratched lenses is poor. They don’t sell 1.74 or Transitions XTRActive.

    I know people who have gotten glasses there and they are happy with them except some don’t like the AR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happylady View Post
    I would rather see people buy glasses at Costco than on line. They have a more limited selection but since they can buy stuff so much cheaper than we can and have cheaper overhead their prices are very reasonable. This is is what I find- their progressive (and they only sell one) is decent but not the very top of the line. Works well for most people. Their AR is fair. Their warranty on glasses on broken and scratched lenses is poor. They don’t sell 1.74 or Transitions XTRActive. I know people who have gotten glasses there and they are happy with them except some don’t like the AR.
    How do you know the exact lenses and A/R that we are using? Please tell each manufacture and type, etc.

    It would be nice to have a 1.74 lens, but our 1.67 works pretty darn good. Why sell XTRActive when you can sell a Transitions 7 pair AND a polarized pair to go with it?

    I spot most new patients progressives lenses and and see the compensation marks, Zeiss and other brand marks, etc. and 99.9% percent of the time the patient is very happy. Patient's can request a full refund on their glasses anytime.

    Darryl Meister was a guest speaker at one our conference and I was lucky enough to talk with him after his presentation and blessing of our Lenses and Digital FF labs. He was adamant about not liking "All of the industry marketing..." He said the best lens is one "that is fit properly with an excellent PD, seg ht and frame fitting." Nuff said!

    Have a great day and most of all, I hope your patients say "Whoa!" When they put their new glasses on!

    Philip

    PS Dr K you are a riot! My wife and I try to guess your "spicy" responses before reading them.

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    I agree that a proper fit is more important than the actual lens style. As long as the opticians are well trained and know their product, it does not matter where they work.

    What this really comes down to is experience. If the patient want to special order frames or to see the latest Gucci release, Costco is not the place. If they have a -20.00 with 7 diopters of prism in each eye, not the place to go. But there is clientele where Costco/ Eyemart/ etc. does meet their needs.
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

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    Redhot Jumper

    Quote Originally Posted by Pdarnall View Post

    Have a great day and most of all, I hope your patients say "Whoa!" When they put their new glasses on!

    Philip

    PS Dr K you are a riot! My wife and I try to guess your "spicy" responses before reading them.



    Thanks for posting Philip, continue to stick around.
    Chris Ryser
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdarnall View Post
    How do you know the exact lenses and A/R that we are using? Please tell each manufacture and type, etc.
    I wasn't trying to attack you and I'm sorry if it seemed that way.

    There is a long thread on Facebook about what progressive Costco sells. It seems no one including Costco opticians know actually. It seems to be an Essilor base and digital. Some say it is similar to Ovation digital which makes sense since Ovation is what Costco used until recently. But that's just guessing. I said it was decent and most people like it fine. It just isn't the very top of the line like Auto 3 or Varilux X but for the money can't be beat.

    I don't know what AR Costco sells and neither do any opticians at Costco. I just know from people who have bought their glasses there that is isn't as good as Crizal.

    I have actually recommended Costco to people who need or want less expensive eyeglasses.

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