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Thread: How badly are we being ripped off on eyewear? Former industry execs tell all

  1. #51
    OptiBoard Apprentice Lori's Avatar
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    That sucks.

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    OptiBoard Apprentice Lori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post
    Back to hiding under the Essilor blanket, Shamir and Kodak are subsidiaries, and no longer fully independent.
    That sucks. Everyone's in bed with each other. Too bad there's no fun in it.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post
    Question for the group.

    "Yet those same frames and lenses might sell in the United States for $800."

    a direct quote from the farticle. Either the guy is referring to only Lenscrafters based in the usa (why would he all of the sudden do that, since he never distinguishes American domestic lenscrafters from overseas lens crafters) or he is swiping American opticians, optometrists and other riff raff like us peddling glasses. I speaks the english, i reads the woydz. Yall see sumpin different than me?
    No. $15 COGs do not equate to $800 retail-at all! Even if they are stocked and filled under one roof. I know. I operate a centralized lab, stock frames and lenses, know the retail pricing and our costs.

    Lazy writing.

  4. #54
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Lensman: How monopolistic is Essilor (forget Lux for the moment)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Lensman: How monopolistic is Essilor (forget Lux for the moment)?
    Equipment, consumables, lenses, freeform designs, subsidiaries, labs, including partner labs, it’s pretty extensive. Add Lux to the picture, don’t quote me, but last I heard was close to 46% of the supply chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post
    Again , With Peace and Love. This article is about the ripoff eyeglass industry,
    Are online sales part of the eyeglass industry? He clearly mentions a cheaper alternative.

    “You can get amazingly good frames, with a Warby Parker level of quality, for $4 to $8,” Butler said.

    As much as you try to insist, this article isn't about private practice optometry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post
    WE ARE BEING RIPPED OFF IN EYEWEAR. THERE IS NO COMPETITION ANYMORE. It is a hit piece on all of us.
    You're taking the title out of context. The context is as follows:

    “There is no competition in the industry, not any more,” he told me. “Luxottica bought everyone.

    This is the scope of his claims:

    The company’s owned and licensed brands include Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Valentino, Vogue and Versace.


    Along with LensCrafters, Luxottica also runs Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical, as well as the insurer EyeMed Vision Care.


    And Italy’s Luxottica now casts an even longer shadow over the eyewear industry after merging last fall with France’s Essilor, the world’s leading maker of prescription eyeglass lenses and contact lenses. The combined entity is called EssilorLuxottica.


    You like to put words in his mouth. He doesn't mention private practice optometry anywhere.

    He also doesn't "hit" Warby Parker and online e-commerce of glasses.
    Last edited by optio; 03-11-2019 at 05:30 PM.

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    optimensch: I'm going to mention that you seem to be conflating two different issues.

    The article is a "hit" on Luxottica. It's not a hit on other entities that may have the "same" business practices as Luxottica. Perhaps you (in terms of mark-up or whatnot) have a similar business practice as Luxx. So you read an article like this and take it as a hit on yourself. But it's not. It's a hit on Luxottica, not you.

    Show me where he mentions optometry. You can't, because he doesn't.

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    By association, it is a hit on the entire brick and mortar eyewear industry. LensCrafters is the white elephant. WP is the millennial darling.
    So, optimensch is correct, as is optio. Time to let this die and focus on the actual article, and how it affects us all, as well as the Essilux empire.
    How we compete and co-exist is more important than semantics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optio View Post
    optimensch: I'm going to mention that you seem to be conflating two different issues.

    The article is a "hit" on Luxottica. It's not a hit on other entities that may have the "same" business practices as Luxottica. Perhaps you (in terms of mark-up or whatnot) have a similar business practice as Luxx. So you read an article like this and take it as a hit on yourself. But it's not. It's a hit on Luxottica, not you.

    Show me where he mentions optometry. You can't, because he doesn't.
    If this article is ONLY about lenscrafters (as the main retail arm of essilux, and the pictured store) or at least about Essilux retail outlets - why is there a link for people to learn how to buy glasses online? Where is it mentioned that not all 800$ glasses are a ripoff? Why not say , hey go to your local independent, where the markups are not 1000%, and where you can request and find NON ESSILUX frames and lenses? basically, if you buy anywhere BUT online, or pay anything more than around 99$, you are being RIPPED OFF.

    If I sell a Lindberg frame with Zeiss progressive lenses for $800, none of which is touched by Essilux, am I greedy ripoff artist too? Is Zeiss? Lindberg? If the JOURNALIST"S mindset is to send people to buy online, I guess he at least is clear about his agenda and BELIEVES what he is writing. I mean this guy writes as if he has shares in Zenni or some other online outfit (would make perfect sense). You on the other hand are the one CHOOSING to read into this article that it is something OTHER than a hit piece on optical retail, and it is YOUR state of mind and point of view which concerns me WAY more than that of the journalist.
    Last edited by optimensch; 03-11-2019 at 08:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post
    By association, it is a hit on the entire brick and mortar eyewear industry.
    Perhaps, although the journalist makes no mention of the associations in the article. It is probably true he wouldn't have an issue with discount brick and mortar discount opticals, nor would he have an issue with private practice optometrists who sell at multiples far less than what is referenced in the article. So his alleged (by association) hit on private practice optometrists (a claim I still see no evidence for) only applies to optometrists who sell at the same mark-ups as Luxx. It would therefore seem to me that the only optometrists who feel the article is a hit on them are those that do sell at those mark-ups.

  12. #62
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    Redhot Jumper ...........read your post all the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lori View Post

    I don't carry any Luxottica products on my frame boards, and I'm doing surprisingly well, and there are some great progressive designs by Shamir and others besides Essilor. ]

    ...........read your post all the way.

    Shamir is also ESSILOR for your information.
    Chris Ryser
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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optio View Post
    Perhaps, although the journalist makes no mention of the associations in the article. It is probably true he wouldn't have an issue with discount brick and mortar discount opticals, nor would he have an issue with private practice optometrists who sell at multiples far less than what is referenced in the article. So his alleged (by association) hit on private practice optometrists (a claim I still see no evidence for) only applies to optometrists who sell at the same mark-ups as Luxx. It would therefore seem to me that the only optometrists who feel the article is a hit on them are those that do sell at those mark-ups.
    In defense of optimensch, I would love to buy a pair of Lindbergs with Zeiss ID2s and AR for $800.
    Last edited by lensmanmd; 03-11-2019 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Fat fingers

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    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post
    In defense of optimensch, I would love to buy a pair of Lindbergs with Zeiss ID2s and AR for $800.
    Thanks lensman, I appreciate the sentiment, I am simply asking an optometrist who thinks I can't read to actually READ the article which he or she presented to us with this thread. By read, and considering I am speaking to a University-educated optometrist, I mean of course, to READ and UNDERSTAND the point. An optometrist who thinks Warby is referenced in the article as a low markup counterpoint to 1000% markups.

    I will conclude by easily illustrating that this is not an article defending Warby Parker, given the actual WORDS and NUMBERS presented in this piece, a "BUSINESS" article which was in business section, interviewing "experts" in eyewear, who are siamming essentially all of us with a big brush, INCLUDING warby parker.

    "consumer prices for frames and lenses are so astronomically high, with markups often approaching 1,000%"

    The article CLEARLY mentions that Warby Parker frames cost $4. Lenses of course, "first quality" are $1.25 a piece. THerefore Warby Parker (owned and operated by savvy Wharton School MBAs who KNOW what "MARKUP" means and know how to negotiate cost prices) are paying $6.50 for glasses which everyone knows (and is advertised AD NAUSEUM EVERYWHERE) they sell for starting at $95. NOW KIDS - WHAT IS THE MARKUP IF YOU PAY $6.50 and SELL for $95?

    How about 1462 %.

    Again, if you think the business journalist, slamming the ripoff 1000% markups in the malls of America, is defending ripped off consumers by advising they go to Warby Parker with their 1462% markup, then Houston, we have a problem.I don't need a defense. YOU however, OP, need a calculator.
    Last edited by optimensch; 03-12-2019 at 05:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post

    How about 1462 %.

    Again, if you think the journalist, slamming the ripoff 1000% markups in the malls of America, is defending them by advising they go to Warby Parker with their 1462% markup, then Houston, we have a problem.I don't need a defense. YOU however, OP, need a calculator.

    However it does not matter how it looks in a financial calculation ............................................

    The WP makes 1462% which is good profit, .....................but sells a same and decent product 7x cheaper at a good profit, which is pleasant to the buyer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    7. You're awesome.


    I'd really like to see a guy like LabInsight or others on the lab end validate or invalidate my take on their near-monopoly status.
    Lens manufacturing and lab services alone, nowhere near a monopoly. In my opinion, it is more of an oligopoly. On a global scale, Essilor and Hoya are very close in the lead followed by Zeiss and Nikon.

    Portfolio diversification is becoming more and more prominent and that includes retail. Hoya owns and operates a large chain of optical stores in Japan, yet they frantically wave the independent flag and market themselves as the ally of the independent. Look hard enough at their annual financial statements and you will see it listed in fine print.

    Call it what you want, Essilux has an impressive portfolio built for success, market domination and longevity. I personally see nothing wrong with that. Who wouldn't want a piece of that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    However it does not matter how it looks in a financial calculation ............................................

    The WP makes 1462% which is good profit, .....................but sells a same and decent product 7x cheaper at a good profit, which is pleasant to the buyer.
    You do realize, with your continued references to the power of google and a web search, that a consumer can buy glasses easily for $6.95, right? Do you know that this is NOT an Essilux company selling glasses at this price to consumers? Is a 6.95$ pair of glasses, (to use your style of math) 13 X cheaper than Warby Parker, not even MORE pleasant to the buyer?
    SO, just like a "4 minute abs" workout video being better than a "6 minute abs" workout video, cheaper is better and more pleasant, right? By the way, how do you think Essilux would do if everyone agrees with you, and the journalist, and decided they want $6.95 glasses? I mean you seem to think Essilux the empire is invulnerable, yet you think folks would do better to buy cheap online glasses, but somehow, these 2 thoughts are slightly incongruent, at least a tiny little bit, no ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lab Insight View Post
    Call it what you want, Essilux has an impressive portfolio built for success, market domination and longevity. I personally see nothing wrong with that. Who wouldn't want a piece of that?
    Shoulda coulda woulda bought their shares years ago, instead I stuck myself with Canadian energy stocks and a largely blah canadian portfolio. Just because there is a huge megamonster in an industry controlling close to 50% of the market, with the rest split among a bunch of far smaller players, does not a monopoly make. Interestingly we don't address the other oligopoly in our industry, with what I imagine are FAR FAR higher margins and markups and profits, making eyewear look like charity. And that is..............CONTACT LENSES. How about the true "cost" of a 90 pack of TOTAL ONE DAILIES or 1 DAY OASYS? OR HUBBLE? You want margins? forget eyewear. Alcon, JnJ - now that's a business.

  19. #69
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optio View Post
    “There is no competition in the industry, not any more,” he told me. “Luxottica bought everyone.


    The company’s owned and licensed brands include Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Valentino, Vogue and Versace.


    Along with LensCrafters, Luxottica also runs Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical, as well as the insurer EyeMed Vision Care.


    And Italy’s Luxottica now casts an even longer shadow over the eyewear industry after merging last fall with France’s Essilor, the world’s leading maker of prescription eyeglass lenses and contact lenses. The combined entity is called EssilorLuxottica.

    Again, who cares how many brands they license? Brands are meaningless, and they don't inhibit anyone from buying anything. That's a Dean Butler + Warby Parker + millenial socialist canard.

    What's more, who cares if they own Target, Sears, Pearle, whatever? Is McDonalds a monopoly? Go to Target and Sears or don't.

    Plus, Essilor doesn't "make...contact lenses". More crap reporting.

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    LensCrafters is the white elephant. WP is the millennial darling.
    why is there a link for people to learn how to buy glasses online? Where is it mentioned that not all 800$ glasses are a ripoff? Why not say , hey go to your local independent, where the markups are not 1000%, and where you can request and find NON ESSILUX frames and lenses? basically, if you buy anywhere BUT online, or pay anything more than around 99$, you are being RIPPED OFF.
    Double bingo.

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    Defining and measuring oligopoly

    An oligopoly is a market structure in which a few firms dominate. When a market is shared between a few firms, it is said to be highly concentrated. Although only a few firms dominate, it is possible that many small firms may also operate in the market.




    Well said, LI.

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    Optimensch. Your posts are a morass of pre-conceived notions, prejudices, and defensiveness. Like - how about this?

    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post
    Malls may not be such a useful example given how they are in a general decline,
    I was at Yorkdale on the weekend and the LC seemed pretty busy. If someone wants to spend their money on glasses tomorrow, they'll probably still be open. Your criticisms of the article are even more unfounded than the issues you bring up with it.

    This is the central thesis of the article. Right here. The article ends with this:

    Butler said it should be clear from EssilorLuxottica’s practices that the company has too much market power. “If that’s not a monopoly,” he said, “I don’t know what is.”


    As for Warby, it's used as an illustrative example of an option for cheaper glasses. They are saying you can get LC-quality stuff for e-commerce prices. Even you essentially say the same thing here:

    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post
    so....the ads I see on tv for zenni which promote $6.95 complete eyeglasses - this is not competition?
    So the crux of the matter is this. Why can Zenni sell glasses for $7 and yet you charge $700?

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    Quote Originally Posted by optio View Post
    So the crux of the matter is this. Why can Zenni sell glasses for $7 and yet you charge $700?
    Apples and chicken wings. I'm not selling for $700 any product that is remotely similar to what Zenni is selling at $7.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    What about Warby? Are they selling something similar to what LC sells, for multiples more?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeHamm View Post
    Apples and chicken wings. I'm not selling for $700 any product that is remotely similar to what Zenni is selling at $7.
    OK - but I could get your $700 product for about $250 easily, online.

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