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Thread: Why are glasses so expensive?

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    Why are glasses so expensive?

    Anyone else read this article in the La-Times a few days ago?

    https://www.latimes.com/business/laz...122-story.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Camblor View Post
    Anyone else read this article in the La-Times a few days ago?

    https://www.latimes.com/business/laz...122-story.html
    not much meat on the bone of this article, extremely rehashed, lazy reporting with nothing new, no new insight (no pun intended) just same old blah blah about such expensive glasses. And Warby Parker is portrayed as a hero - did their marketing department write this "news" article? How about Zenni selling glasses for a tiny fraction of Warby's ripoff price? Warby is at least 10X more expensive than zenni - con artists I tell ya, hucksters.

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    Blue Jumper This would all be nothing, ....................

    in short they say:


    The average cost of a pair of frames is $ XXX, according to VSP, the leading provider of employer eye care benefits.
    The average cost of a pair of single-vision lenses is $ XXX. Progressive, no-line lenses can run twice that amount.

    The true cost of a pair of acetate frames — three pieces of plastic and some bits of metal — is as low as $ XX, according to some estimates. Check out the prices of Chinese designer knockoffs available online.

    Lenses require precision work, but they are almost entirely made of plastic and almost all production is automated.

    Why do glasses cost so damn much?
    Because this industry has been getting away with fleecing people for decades.
    And you don’t have to look hard to see this won’t change any time soon.



    This would all be nothing, ....................if opticians and OD's would sell and charge their top class service and know how, separate from the frame and lenses.

    In most other hands on professions there is a standard, to charge material and service separate. Why can that not be done in the optical retail trade, and the best, not the cheapest, would be the winners ?
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    in short they say:





    This would all be nothing, ....................if opticians and OD's would sell and charge their top class service and know how, separate from the frame and lenses.

    In most other hands on professions there is a standard, to charge material and service separate. Why can that not be done in the optical retail trade, and the best, not the cheapest, would be the winners ?
    The market continues to sort things out just like in most other industries. People have never had so much choice, anyone can buy glasses online for a few bucks, or they can spend to their heart's content. You think there is no competition in optical retail? really? Is Costco not a competitor? (jeez costco doesnt seem to compete in dentistry or accounting or law...maybe they should?) Maybe we should go Soviet/Cuban style, with empty dusty shelves and line ups but with super "affordable" glasses for all. Costs money, time, professionalism and a whole lot of risk taking to open, stock and run an independent optical retail. Bring on the Zennis, the Warby Parkers, deregulation and all the folks who want to compete, in the end everything will find its level and the market will decide. America is business. I wonder Chris, should Costco and Walmart, 2 rather large optical retailers, also sell at cost plus a fitting fee, or is your advice intended only to independent retailers...do you have other good advice for costco?

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    Fake news!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    Why can that not be done in the optical retail trade, and the best, not the cheapest, would be the winners ?
    Well, just for starters, because there's a huge subset of consumers who only judge their purchase by how little they spent. Give them the option of shopping down the street at the chain shop that bundles everything together, thus concealing their service costs, and they'll take it.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Redhot Jumper I wonder Chris, should Costco and Walmart.................................

    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post

    I wonder Chris, should Costco and Walmart, 2 rather large optical retailers, also sell at cost plus a fitting fee, or is your advice intended only to independent retailers...do you have other good advice for costco?

    They both exist in the optical retail because their industrial studies have shown that the markups in the optical retail business have always been excellent.

    For them both and many others have decided to cut these 100 year old habitual markups to another level and they would make up the difference in increased sales.........and they did.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Redhot Jumper consumers who only judge their purchase by how little they spent ....................

    Quote Originally Posted by AngeHamm View Post

    Well, just for starters, because there's a huge subset of consumers who only judge their purchase by how little they spent. Give them the option of shopping down the street at the chain shop that bundles everything together, thus concealing their service costs, and they'll take it.


    Good point.............however the the consumer is actually looking for the best pricing these days. That is why the online opticals show increased sales without giving any actual after service.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    They both exist in the optical retail because their industrial studies have shown that the markups in the optical retail business have always been excellent.

    For them both and many others have decided to cut these 100 year old habitual markups to another level and they would make up the difference in increased sales.........and they did.
    They're not "MARKUPS" like a box of Cheetos.

    It's a lot of professional service wrapped up in a product. They're selling it without service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    That is why the online opticals show increased sales without giving any actual after service.
    Right. Or before service. Or during service. Or safety margin.

    Nobody cares, though, if it's cheap.

    Until their kid gets amblyopia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    They both exist in the optical retail because their industrial studies have shown that the markups in the optical retail business have always been excellent.

    For them both and many others have decided to cut these 100 year old habitual markups to another level and they would make up the difference in increased sales.........and they did.
    So what you are saying is - free market competition.....works? So what exactly is new here? Why can't independent ODs and Opticians just compete, what is this business model of charging people for adjustments and selling product at cost? Is Costco or Walmart doing this? Why would I NOT want to learn from what they do well, continue to do what I do better and just compete? Let the better overall price/quality/service win. Charging to adjust glasses is not a solution, and competition is not a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    in short they say:

    This would all be nothing, ....................if opticians and OD's would sell and charge their top class service and know how, separate from the frame and lenses. In most other hands on professions there is a standard, to charge material and service separate. Why can that not be done in the optical retail trade, and the best, not the cheapest, would be the winners ?
    Why don't you try to figure out WHY that is not done in the optical retail trade, rather then pound the table that it SHOULD be done in the optical retail trade? Don't you think the average independent retailer sees how the market is going and must adapt to the changing landscape? The real question is what are independents doing, what is working, what is not, and how are we taking on the online and offline challengers? Again, I don't think any of us will ever pay our rent by charging to bend temple tips and change nylor strings. Its sort of a silly argument, sorry. The market is huge, people are looking for different things, and I believe most independents are savvy enough to do just fine. There have never been more ads for eyewear - Zenni and WP are all over cable tv with ads - and somehow I have had a great January so far - maybe they are having a positive effect by raising awareness about going for an eye exam and getting folks thinking about eyewear. Let them continue to spend ad dollars, seems fine to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Right. Or before service. Or during service. Or safety margin.

    Nobody cares, though, if it's cheap.

    Until their kid gets amblyopia.
    +1

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    Redhot Jumper I don't think any of us will ever pay our rent by charging to bend temple tips ......

    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post

    Again, I don't think any of us will ever pay our rent by charging to bend temple tips and change nylor strings. Its sort of a silly argument, sorry. The market is huge, people are looking for different things, and I believe most independents are savvy enough to do just fine. There have never been more ads for eyewear - Zenni and WP are all over cable tv with ads - and somehow I have had a great January so far - maybe they are having a positive effect by raising awareness about going for an eye exam and getting folks thinking about eyewear. Let them continue to spend ad dollars, seems fine to me.

    optimensch ......................great post and nothing wrong with it, however you are dealing with the present.

    I have had a personal interest in the development of an optical company, as the then ESSEL, since the day in 1983-84 when I met their then President and his wife at the dock in New York Harbour, arriving on the new liner "FRANCE" to see if they could make a foothold in North America with a start in Canada.

    That company under their new name has been successfully reshaping the optical world on the manufacturing side, and has made the move, to do the same thing in the retail market by fusing together with Luxottica to become the biggest and most influencing in a world wide sense, from manufacturing to the retail business on a world wide basis.

    The present that is now, will be changing at a much faster speed as technical and commercial technology advances in every field, even in the optical retail where the happy patients of today will be replaced with younger generations that have a far different way of thinking and acting.

    What has been the basic standard in a profession for the last hundred years will have to be adapted to more modern times in every way as we go along, or we will be at the losing end. Planning ahead of the game has never harmed anybody, but maybe could be of some benefit for many.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    If you love fast food, and don't care about quality, just prices, then there are plenty of McDonalds, BurgerKings and Wendys to satisfy your lack of taste.
    For the rest, there are quality restaurants and diners to fit every taste and budget.

    We are here to provide you the knowledge, service and care that you deserve for your vision health.
    Sure, we may cost more than America's Best and Warby Parker, but we provide better long term care, service and value, without McOptical wannabe templebenders.
    Just saying, chicken little. The sky is falling?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post

    If you love fast food, and don't care about quality, just prices, then there are plenty of McDonalds, BurgerKings and Wendys to satisfy your lack of taste.
    For the rest, there are quality restaurants and diners to fit every taste and budget.

    We are here to provide you the knowledge, service and care that you deserve for your vision health.
    Sure, we may cost more than America's Best and Warby Parker, but we provide better long term care, service and value, without McOptical wannabe templebenders.

    Just saying, chicken little. The sky is falling?



    LENSMANMD...........................I am in full agreement with your post ...................... as it is right now.

    If you watch the happenings in the trade as they are showing up on the internet at a fast pace these days, and convert them to actual live, you will have to admit that there are big changes in the doing that will affect the whole business cycle in the near future.

    I was born into this profession and had to learn it the hard way, from apprenticeship to top class schooling as directed and paid for by my parents, worked as an optician in the store, then changed to become a successful frame distributor for close to 20 years, and then went to become a manufacturer of lens treatments for another 20 years. So I have been around for a while.

    If you don't look into the future as it is happening now at a fast pace, and make adjustments. you might get caught with your pants down and become a looser.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    LENSMANMD...........................I am in full agreement with your post ...................... as it is right now.

    If you watch the happenings in the trade as they are showing up on the internet at a fast pace these days, and convert them to actual live, you will have to admit that there are big changes in the doing that will affect the whole business cycle in the near future.

    I was born into this profession and had to learn it the hard way, from apprenticeship to top class schooling as directed and paid for by my parents, worked as an optician in the store, then changed to become a successful frame distributor for close to 20 years, and then went to become a manufacturer of lens treatments for another 20 years. So I have been around for a while.

    If you don't look into the future as it is happening now at a fast pace, and make adjustments. you might get caught with your pants down and become a looser.
    Do you have a date for this mighty fall of the independent optical, Nostradamus. Or even a timeline? Succession of events? A decade that it might happen in? You've been preaching about the optical doomsday that is just around the corner for years now, when it is happening? The Essilux merger is going to pinch off the bottom of the market not the top, not the well qualified strong independent. Yet you seem to want to convince all of us we should open mall kiosks making adjustments for a living. I would love to see your business model for that btw, and a project P&L. How many nose pads do you need to sell, and adjustments do you need to make to break even.

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    Kwill,
    Chris is old school with a Google addiction. He is a retired doomsday prophet and isn’t grounded in independent philosophy.
    However, his posts do make us think and react. Perhaps, that is not all bad?

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Happened to catch a "How It's Made" episode on cable yesterday where they covered how acetate frames are made.

    Well done and showed the process start to finish.

    Concluded with a statement that there are 70 separate procedures used to make a frame and half of them are done by hand.

    Brand was STATE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill212 View Post

    The Essilux merger is going to pinch off the bottom of the market not the top, not the well qualified strong independent. Yet you seem to want to convince all of us we should open mall kiosks making adjustments for a living. I would love to see your business model for that btw, and a project P&L. How many nose pads do you need to sell, and adjustments do you need to make to break even.

    Kwill....................................... To answer your post I will repeat again what I have said for a long time, and then maybe you might understand.

    I have never said and not meant, what you are writing about. In short, my idea that probably could work, is that you could split up your present total markup a different way and not make a penny less.


    To price the frames at a competitive cost, to attract customers. Then sell them a service package to finish the job, that contains everything you want to include, more revenue or warranties for frames, from lenses to warranties on them, adjustments and maybe even minor repairs along the way for a certain time period you set and decide the details.

    It is an idea that just might work ..........................
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post
    Kwill,
    Chris is old school with a Google addiction. He is a retired doomsday prophet and isn’t grounded in independent philosophy.
    However, his posts do make us think and react. Perhaps, that is not all bad?
    I am aware of this, but should I just ignore it? Is optiboard somehow more Chris's than mine? What would we do if there were 2 or 10 or 20 retired google addicts posting 5-10 repeat topics with lack of substance every day? Should I "go along to get along", or should I voice my opinion of opposition? I think I'll stick with the latter, within the rules of optiboard.

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    Blue Jumper Chris is old school with a Google addiction.........................

    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post

    Kwill,
    Chris is old school with a Google addiction. He is a retired doomsday prophet and isn’t grounded in independent philosophy.
    However, his posts do make us think and react. Perhaps, that is not all bad?



    Thank you lensmanmd for your kind post.

    ..................................whatever crosses my mind or some news, I check out on the web and often also on this Forum, and then make some comments I think of.

    I am a retired well educated optician, formerly several business owner in retail, wholesale and also in the manufacturing sector.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Redhot Jumper Thread coming back

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser

    The average cost of a pair of frames is $ XXX, according to VSP, the leading provider of employer eye care benefits.
    The average cost of a pair of single-vision lenses is $ XXX. Progressive, no-line lenses can run twice that amount.

    The true cost of a pair of acetate frames — three pieces of plastic and some bits of metal — is as low as $ XX, according to some estimates. Check out the prices of Chinese designer knockoffs available online.

    Lenses require precision work, but they are almost entirely made of plastic and almost all production is automated.

    Why do glasses cost so damn much?
    Because this industry has been getting away with fleecing people for decades.
    And you don’t have to look hard to see this won’t change any time soon.



    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser

    in short they say:

    This would all be nothing, ....................if opticians and OD's would sell and charge their top class service and know how, separate from the frame and lenses.

    In most other hands on professions there is a standard, to charge material and service separate. Why can that not be done in the optical retail trade, and the best, not the cheapest, would be the winners ?


    ..........................by going through some of my late post's, I came to this one, which actually became side tracked by another member, who seemingly did not like it, and tried to kill it.

    However, now with with our latest and newest member on optiBoard being an active and open an minded former, online optical employee, I believe I can continue the thread, as it has become technically active again.
    Last edited by Chris Ryser; 02-03-2019 at 03:51 AM.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill212 View Post
    I am aware of this, but should I just ignore it? Is optiboard somehow more Chris's than mine? What would we do if there were 2 or 10 or 20 retired google addicts posting 5-10 repeat topics with lack of substance every day? Should I "go along to get along", or should I voice my opinion of opposition? I think I'll stick with the latter, within the rules of optiboard.
    Or---Go to settings click edit ignore list add any name you wish.

    And there' the third option that I use which is skim the post and scroll on if it doesn't interest me.

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    Blue Jumper .........................thank you Uncle Fester,

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post

    Or---Go to settings click edit ignore list add any name you wish.

    And there' the third option that I use which is skim the post and scroll on if it doesn't interest me.


    .........................thank you Uncle Fester, you just made my day !
    Chris Ryser
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    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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