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Thread: former Warby Parker optician- ask me anything

  1. #26
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    Redhot Jumper Time for independents to up their game in service and turn times.....................




    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post

    It will be a matter of time before they add wearer metrics into this. PD and fitting height convenience in one package.

    Time for independents to up their game in service and turn times. This will apply to labs, as well.

    Our advantage? Knowledge in fitting, quality, troubleshooting and adjustments. Emphasis on knowledge.


    ..............................thank you Uncle Fester and Lensmanmd


    I have been through this lengthy article, that shows that they are some well organized big business, that seems to be doing something right, and should not be shrugged off.
    Chris Ryser
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    Redhot Jumper With a few exceptions the frames are actually very good quality, ....................

    Quote Originally Posted by will pockets View Post

    With a few exceptions the frames are actually very good quality, not just for the price but overall.

    To be honest they felt more sturdy at times than some premium designer brands. One exception to this is they switched temple styles (made their temples thinner at the end) a few years ago, and since then what was once an embedded metal logo plaque is now a foil sticker adhered on which will ALWAYS fall off, in time. Sometimes it would have fallen off before we even received them. One of my favorite hobbies towards the end was alert Supply Chain at every single instance I ran into it (I'm sure they loved me ; ) ).

    Obnoxious, but no impact on the quality of the frame overall.

    Where Warby cuts corners is the lens quality.


    Thank you again "will pockets" for your post today on optiBoard, supporting first hand what other posters have claimed right here on optiBoard, to be nothing than garbage quality frames, sold through the online WP optical services, and, or others, as the"Essilux" owned ones and more.

    The standard North American optical retail world is still selling "Polycarbonate Lenses" as a prime choice, at elevated prices, because of its unbreakable characteristics, introduced and pushed by the "Lenscrafters stores some 20 years ago," and sold at artificially higher prices, while it has become a standard quality on online glasses.

    This revalues also my posts here on optiBoard, on the world's 3rd largest commercial website, "Alibaba.com", which advertises also hundreds of optical frames at the original factory pricing from China to Thailand and many more.

    Some real food for thought, and how do you plan the future of the conventional professional retail optician, as it has been for the last hundred years ?
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Redhot Jumper .............................and here is some good advice from a person

    Quote Originally Posted by will pockets View Post

    My advice? For a SV customer, lighter prescription, there really isn't much you can compete with. Even for a high-index customer, they only charge $30 more for a 1.67 lens. If you want to compete with Warby, focus on what you can offer and they can't: Trivex, brand-name progressives, non crap tier AR, blue protection, etc etc.

    Don't push designer brands, because if a customer is interested in designer brands they already aren't shopping at Warby.

    I've even begun to embrace them here, telling people they're great-- for a second pair, and to use their insurance to get a premium lens and frame with me first.


    .............................and here is some good advice from a person that has been on both sides of the fence.
    Chris Ryser
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    Quote Originally Posted by will pockets View Post
    With a few exceptions the frames are actually very good quality, not just for the price but overall. To be honest they felt more sturdy at times than some premium designer brands. One exception to this is they switched temple styles (made their temples thinner at the end) a few years ago, and since then what was once an embedded metal logo plaque is now a foil sticker adhered on which will ALWAYS fall off, in time. Sometimes it would have fallen off before we even received them. One of my favorite hobbies towards the end was alert Supply Chain at every single instance I ran into it (I'm sure they loved me ; ) ). Obnoxious but no impact on the quality of the frame overall. Where Warby cuts corners is the lens quality.
    So what brands are you comparing WP frames to when you say they are "very good quality"? This is pretty vague. What characteristics of frames are you comparing? Longevity, adjustable, holding adjustments, balance of the frame, ability to stretch/reshape as needed, propensity for the screws to loosen, feel on the skin, size and quality of the hinges, does the plastic shrink over time causing plus lenses to pop out the front, does the plastic turn white and chalky with use. These are some of the things off the top of my head that I care about concerning frame quality. I know of the couple dozen WP frames people have brought to me, none of them would be what I would call, very good quality. Obviously this doesn't just apply to WP frames, plenty of other "brand name" frames as well.

  5. #30
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    My lab processes quite a few POFs from WP. IMHO, most of their acetates are good quality, easily glazed. Most were pre-glazed, as our patients did not like the quality of lenses they received from WP. Others are brought to us due to their vision benefits. Compared to frames from Zenni, I would rather process WP frames all day long.
    The caveat is, their metal frames are nothing to write home about, and their 3 piece are crap. We process a lot of Silhouette and Marchon, with the occasional Oakley/Prada/Lux 3 piece. I would rather work with Lux 3 piece than WP 3 piece.
    Dollar for dollar, I do think that WP acetates are of better quality than other 'like priced' value acetates.

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    Redhot Jumper

    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post

    My lab processes quite a few POFs from WP. IMHO, most of their acetates are good quality, easily glazed. Most were pre-glazed, as our patients did not like the quality of lenses they received from WP. Others are brought to us due to their vision benefits. Compared to frames from Zenni, I would rather process WP frames all day long.

    ...................... so now that we have established that WP plastic frames are of good quality .............and better, than the ones supplied by Zenni online. There have to be different quality levels between competitors.

    So how does this correspond to the screaming of some optiBoard members in recent threads, that it is totally bad quality ?

    It also brings us to the question of pricing the now suddenly good quality pricing by WP in frames ?

    Looking at optical eyeglass frames, at ex factory pricing on alibaba.com for example, including transport and import charges added, they, WP makes a fair profit markup in general.

    So there is some misunderstanding about conventional pricing of eyeglasses in the optical retail world and will need some reviews.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Redhot Jumper I would also recommend to look again at the thread ................................

    I would also recommend to look again at the thread on : alibaba of a couple of month ago right here on optiBoard.

    see at:

    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...80%A6%E2%80%A6
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    ...................... so now that we have established that WP plastic frames are of good quality
    We did? When? Because Lensmanmd (no offence) said so? It's all just opinion, including my own. However, the only real opinion that matters is that of the purchaser anyway. Just because you couldn't pay me to sell those frames, doesn't mean and end user can't find them perfectly acceptable and extremely valuable. The same can be said about people who wouldn't be caught dead wearing a WP frame and will only purchase independent brands made with top of the line materials, craftsmanship, and lenses. It's almost as if there is a wide gamut of consumers who have differing opinions on what they want. The smart optician will pick a segment they can be successful in, and service that segment. McDonald's doesn't care what Ruth's Chris is doing, and vice versa. But, if as a small business you try to wade into the shallow end of the pool with the big fish with endless pockets, you are going to get eaten alive.

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    Me thinks what I said was taken out of context
    dollar for dollar, WP acetate frames are better than like prices frames does not mean that they are better than mid range and above acetates.
    I would rather work with WP frames than Zenni frames does not mean I would rather work with WP frames over high quality frames.
    I glaze WP pofs to replace their lenses means that we produce higher quality products. It does not mean I endorse their optical quality. There is a reason why we replace them.
    Rant over.

  10. #35
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    +1 That's the way I understood it.
    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post
    Me thinks what I said was taken out of context
    dollar for dollar, WP acetate frames are better than like prices frames does not mean that they are better than mid range and above acetates.
    I would rather work with WP frames than Zenni frames does not mean I would rather work with WP frames over high quality frames.
    I glaze WP pofs to replace their lenses means that we produce higher quality products. It does not mean I endorse their optical quality. There is a reason why we replace them.
    Rant over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    Looking at optical eyeglass frames, at ex factory pricing on alibaba.com for example, including transport and import charges added, they, WP makes a fair profit markup in general.

    So there is some misunderstanding about conventional pricing of eyeglasses in the optical retail world and will need some reviews.
    What does a `fair profit markup`mean? What misunderstanding about conventional pricing of eyeglasses is there...I price my products, people look at the prices, sometimes they buy, sometimes they don`t, sometimes they price compare right from their phones (and try to negotiate the price down) - not sure where there is a misunderstanding in the process....its actually very transparent and easy to understand. I don`t know what Alibaba factory pricing has to do with anything though - you can find all sorts of cheap product, knock offs etc at any local flea market or in a big electronic flea market like Alibaba, but what does this have to do with prices at a professional optical retail though? How do you know what WP pays for their frames, did you find their factory on Alibaba displaying WP frames ? Link please.

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    Blue Jumper There are no freebies in this world of commerce .....................................

    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post

    What does a `fair profit markup`mean? What misunderstanding about conventional pricing of eyeglasses is there...I price my products, people look at the prices, sometimes they buy, sometimes they don`t, sometimes they price compare right from their phones (and try to negotiate the price down) - not sure where there is a misunderstanding in the process....its actually very transparent and easy to understand.

    ................. there used to be a time, some 25 to 30 years ago, when optical frame wholesalers/importers, charged the optical retail customers prices, that were based on a 35 to 42% markup of their landed cost, as a gross profit. The sale was a final price, including whatever the factory warranty would be.

    Due to heavy competition from manufacturers the world over, the market got flooded with new brands and models, and competition got a lot fiercer. Frame wholesalers offered all sorts of options to gain more customers, from free consignments and warranties, to taking back sold frames for credit or exchange with newer models at later dates.

    This new system was very costly on the frame wholesalers, who then raised their selling prices to the retail industry over the years to
    markups of over 300% of their landed cost, to cover the cost of all the free goodies they were offering the retail end.

    This much higher cost of optical frames has been translated to the public, as the charge of much higher quality products by the manufacturers, were it is in reality a service charge to please the retail market operators.

    There are no freebies in this world of commerce and at the end somebody is paying for all the no charge extras.


    ..............................and here is the link to the alibaba.com site:

    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/showthread.php/69434-The-cat-is-out-of-the-bag-%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80 %A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    There are no freebies in this world of commerce and at the end somebody is paying for all the no charge extras.


    ..............................and here is the link to the alibaba.com site:

    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/showthread.php/69434-The-cat-is-out-of-the-bag-%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80 %A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6
    Chris, with peace and respect, why are you posting a useless link. Do you or do you not have a direct link to the WP manufacturer on alibaba where we can purchase WP frames at their "ex factory" cost? You make these claims where it seems we can find everything on Alibaba, that Alibaba is the new arbiter of price and that now the cat is out of the bag. I would like to buy Rayban, WP and other original frames (without logos to avoid trademark issues) from the original factories, the exact models/quality at the exceptional prices you profess to now know. A direct link please, not a link to your old posts. If all you have are links to cheap knock offs and just useless non-actionable information then let's get that cat out of the bag as well. There are MOQs, quality issues and logistics to consider when going factory direct. A price listed on on Alibaba for cheap frames is as useless as T&#S on a bull. The bottom line is you CANNOT claim to have found anything on Alibaba which links to any brand's original product manufacturer, you do NOT know which factories they purchase from and this is for OBVIOUS reasons. You are simply pointing to a flea market stand and yelling - hey look at these super cheap prices for super cheap frames!, some of which sort of RESEMBLE actual quality brands! There has never been more options for consumers, the market is huge and this is all just normal business like in many other industries. Free market capitalism may have a future.

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    Blue Jumper do you actually believe that WP would have told me where to get the frames ..........

    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post

    Chris, with peace and respect, why are you posting a useless link. Do you or do you not have a direct link to the WP manufacturer on alibaba where we can purchase WP frames at their "ex factory" cost? You make these claims where it seems we can find everything on Alibaba, that Alibaba is the new arbiter of price and that now the cat is out of the bag.

    The bottom line is you CANNOT claim to have found anything on Alibaba which links to any brand's original product manufacturer, you do NOT know which factories they purchase from and this is for OBVIOUS reasons. You are simply pointing to a flea market stand and yelling - hey look at these super cheap prices for super cheap frames!, some of which sort of RESEMBLE actual quality brands! There has never been more options for consumers, the market is huge and this is all just normal business like in many other industries. Free market capitalism may have a future.


    optimensch, also with peace and due respect, do you actually believe that WP would have told me where to get the frames that they are buying and reselling ?

    Anybody being a large supplier, or most probably several of them to WP, must have signed a confidentiality agreement with WP not to reveal where they purchase their frames.

    Alibaba is nothing else than the largest media, and a central point used to advertise by optical frame and lens manufacturers mostly in the far east, with pictures and pricing at certain quantities. You will have to find what you like, and contact the manufacturer directly and deal also with them, in reference to logo and model name or whatever you want to have the frames marked with.

    All I am doing is steering you in the right direction, which will bring you the wanted results if you want to invest the time and work
    to contact those manufacturers that can supply you what you want or need in the quantities requested. You have a boat load of possibilities at your fingertips, in every price range and or quality you desire, but you will have to do the work yourself, or pay somebody to do it.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by will pockets View Post
    Was just teasing about the dirt ; ) Unfortunately they never shared that info with us retail side, even us Opticians! It seems to be more basic digital PAL lens, it isn't awful by any means, but certainly not a cutting edge lens. They only have one AR option and just based on our care instructions given and defects I'd seen its definitely equivalent to a tier A AR.
    I would suspect IOT.

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    Blue Jumper Up to this moment of this date, there was : ...................................

    Quote Originally Posted by will pockets View Post

    Hey! New here and I've been browsing for about a week, enjoying the site so far. Seems you all aren't Warby fans- not that I blame you! I was there for about 3 years, started as part-time sales but became an Optician and member of the management team before leaving earlier this summer (I'm now at an independent eyeglasses provider and loving it, for the record).

    I didn't sign an NDA so if you want the dirt.... ask me anything and I'll do my best to answer!

    "will pockets" ..........................................

    The above quote is again your original one, you made 10 days ago when you started the first post on optiBoard. In the 10 days since its start, it has become one of the most viewed and answered ones in recent history of optiBoard.

    Up to this moment of this date, there was : 2847 Views, and 39 replies, since it was started by you on January 30, 2019 at 01:21 PM, which must be a new record for optiBoard in recent days, and has proved that there is some real active interest, by both the posting members, as well as the visitors to optiBoard, on the subject of the most active online optical "Warby Parker".

    This is a new proof, that the latest and fastest growing new wave of of online discount, optical retail sales has "stirred some optical minds of all sorts", if they are for, or against this new commercial wave.

    WP also has recently made a deal with the "US Health Insurance", a few month ago, to supply their clients with glasses, on which there are some subjects posted, also right here on optiBoard. This also means that WP is now in direct competition in the eyeglass insurance sector, with the Essilux owned "EYE MED" and the huge "VSP" organization.

    I have made posts right here on optiBoard all ready 15 years ago, predicting some of the future happenings in the optical trade and see more and more of it becoming reality, as we go along.
    Last edited by Chris Ryser; 02-10-2019 at 02:45 AM.
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    It's not just the Optical biz that is going to change. When true 5G happens we will not recognize our 1st world environment. Perhaps as soon as 3 to 10 years from now.
    Two days ago, I chatted (typing) with this great Microsoft tech support guy, Luke U. After he solved my problem and he asked for my comments to the support he provided, I said, take the rest of the day off and start your weekend, you rock! Luke replied, "I am sorry I don't know the answer to that question". Hot damn, I had been chatting with AI for 30 minutes and didn't know it. To make things even worst. I watched I Robot that same night.
    The Turing test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.
    Eye exams over the internet? 3D printing your own custom frames? Eye disease detection from your smartphone? Remote cataract surgery? All will be possible sooner or later.
    I always thought that electric or self dring cars would never be reliable or possible in the near future. My 2014 Ford Escape can flawlessly parallel park better then any person could.
    What's my point? I don't know if being concerned about the future of the optical business is debatable. Things are going to change faster and into something we never could have imagined for every aspect of our lives.
    Luke U will take care of that for us. I am not sure if I should be happy or afraid. I guess I'm afraid.

    Last edited by haliopt; 02-10-2019 at 09:44 PM. Reason: forgot a verb.

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    Blue Jumper We should all be afraid of the 5G future ....................................

    Quote Originally Posted by haliopt View Post

    It's not just the Optical biz that is going to change. When true 5G happens we will not recognize our 1st world environment. Perhaps as soon as 3 to 10 years from now.

    .........................

    What's my point? I don't know if being concerned about the future of the optical business is debatable. Things are going to change faster and into something we never could have imagined for every aspect of our lives.
    Luke U will take care of that for us. I am not sure if I should be happy or afraid. I guess I'm afraid.



    We should all be afraid of the 5G future, but take measures to recognize it, keep our eyes and ears open, and take some action and measures to avert any disaster to our way of living.

    The first signs should be visible and noticeable this year, with coverage of the most densely inhabited geographic areas and the rest to follow over the next few years.

    The world will be run by computers in every field of life, that we can not even imagine at this stage of the game.

    The optical eyeglass field has already been mapped out by the large monopoles, that have been looking ahead for the last few years, and taken their measures to be sure to succeed along with the new electronic progress.
    Chris Ryser
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    Blue Jumper Some retirees won't have to sacrifice fashion for affordability .....................




    Some 2 month's ago .................................... is there any insider story to this announcement, that puts the WP into the same category, as the Essilux EYE MED or the VSP insurance benefits ?



    Some retirees won't have to sacrifice fashion for affordability when buying their next pair of prescription glasses.


    UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, announced on Monday it will offer about 2 million people enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans access to Warby Parker's prescription eyewear online and at more than 80 stores stores for little- to no out-of-pocket cost.

    A $375 pair of designer prescription sunglasses from Warby Parker could cost a person less than $50 under a Medicare Advantage plan, according to UnitedHealth.

    "We know baby boomers are looking for a more convenient and personalized health care experience, and we believe they will find Warby Parker's innovative model both appealing and affordable as they shop for eyewear," John Ryan, general manager of UnitedHealthcare Vision, said in a statement.


    see all of it:
    shttps://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/19/unit...care-plan.html
    Last edited by Chris Ryser; 02-11-2019 at 01:16 AM.
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    Redhot Jumper is there any insider story to this announcement ? ..................................

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post



    Some 2 month's ago .................................... is there any insider story to this announcement, that puts the WP into the same category, as the Essilux EYE MED or the VSP insurance benefits ?


    UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, announced on Monday it will offer about 2 million people enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans access to Warby Parker's prescription eyewear online and at more than 80 stores stores for little- to no out-of-pocket cost.


    "will pockets" ..........................................

    Are you in the "know how" of this announcement ? Some two million new customers going their way is a huge gain of business for any company, and should be interesting news for them.
    Chris Ryser
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    Is there anything else you want to add to your dystopian nightmare, Chris?

    How about this one: everyone will be walking around in a virtual reality headset that is cortically connected, obviating the need for eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    "will pockets" ..........................................

    Are you in the "know how" of this announcement ? Some two million new customers going their way is a huge gain of business for any company, and should be interesting news for them.
    Chris, that's like saying you are going to open a store in a town with 2 million people and have 2 million new customers. Also keep in mind that plan is for retiree's. WB doesn't offer FT lenses of any sort. ( Lot's of retiree's preferred lens type, just like you...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Is there anything else you want to add to your dystopian nightmare, Chris?

    How about this one: everyone will be walking around in a virtual reality headset that is cortically connected, obviating the need for eyes.
    Lol!! Red pill or blue pill?

    Not only is it his dystopian nightmare, it's one that he's an expert on in all aspects. He knows what has happened and why, what is happening, and why and what is going to happen and why. We all should be humbly grateful for his extraordinary generosity for sharing his brilliance with us. I sure know I am...

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    Redhot Jumper I can only answer your friendly post with .......................................

    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post

    Is there anything else you want to add to your dystopian nightmare, Chris?

    How about this one: everyone will be walking around in a virtual reality headset that is cortically connected, obviating the need for eyes.

    ADJECTIVE


    • Relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice.
      ‘the dystopian future of a society bereft of reason’


      ‘the utopian dream that became a dystopian nightmare’


      Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
      Chris, that's like saying you are going to open a store in a town with 2 million people and have 2 million new customers. Also keep in mind that plan is for retiree's. WB doesn't offer FT lenses of any sort. ( Lot's of retiree's preferred lens type, just like you...)





      wrong..............optical24/7
      They are selling exclusively to 2 million older people that would have been spread over an conventional, existing and established market under the existing way of doing business for the last 100 years.

      ........and yes the plan is for retirees who will not be around anymore, in a few years from now, and the new oldies waiting in line to retire, have been wearing progressives, since they needed glasses for close up work.
      (furthermore I am writing this post looking through a pair of progressives lenses, while I still prefer my ST 35 lenses to read a book or a newspaper.




    Quote Originally Posted by Quig View Post

    Lol!! Red pill or blue pill?

    Not only is it his dystopian nightmare, it's one that he's an expert on in all aspects. He knows what has happened and why, what is happening, and why and what is going to happen and why. We all should be humbly grateful for his extraordinary generosity for sharing his brilliance with us. I sure know I am...



    I can only answer your friendly post with, a piece of history from Winston Churchill in 1938:

    Churchill's warnings about the danger of the new Nazi regime in Germany initially fell on deaf ears. In 1938 Britain and Germany almost went to war over Hitler's desire to annex part of Czechoslovakia. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Munich to secure a guarantee that there would be no further German aggression. Churchill was critical of the policy of appeasement and broadcast directly to the United States, appealing for greater American involvement in Europe. When Hitler occupied Prague and the Czech provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, Churchill's predictions were seen to be coming true.


    source:
    https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/churchill/wc-hour.html
    Last edited by Chris Ryser; 02-14-2019 at 03:25 PM.
    Chris Ryser
    ________________________________________
    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

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

  25. #50
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    Nothing but a bunch of cutting and pasting. Nothing to see here, as usual...

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