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Thread: Optiboard's Re-Birth

  1. #1
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Optiboard's Re-Birth

    Let's just do it.

    Someone post something interesting.

    I'll try.

    Let's dish on Tura.

    I think the whole German Eschenbach purchase thingy (of probably ten years ago) was a bad move. The company seems stagnant. And they're way overpriced as well. Quality? OK. Design? OK. Service? OK, I guess. Price? Man!



    Let's dish on Marchon.
    Dag, they are overpriced. Way, way, way overpriced. And boring.


    Let's gush on Kerig. I saw the Puma line and thought they were fun and cheap. Gucci was good. I never bought.


    Let's give kudos to Prodesign...I mean, DesignEyewear Group. I'm just confused! (But I do kinda like that "Nifties" idea.)



    Is Safilo still afloat? Thier Liz Claiborne is pretty dang good, for mainline junk.


    I do like Silver Do.....I mean, SDEyes (yech). If you are a hunter and gatherer, you can build some neat stuff.



    Luxottica's Armani Exchange and Vogue and Rayban are killer good. Sorry.


    And Silhouette's an idiot. On so many fronts I can't begin to say.

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Tura. Good quality, great price points (for us) and great service.
    RayBan? Commercialized crap. Made in China? BBye! Made in Italy, not so bad. But, and a big butt. If you are not a part of the Essilux empire, good luck with service.
    All hail ProDesign, but it’s a niche market.
    MRC? All over the place. Nike-overpriced. Flexon-overpriced. Chloe-way over priced. Longchamps-now we’re talking.
    Safilo, haven’t dealt with since Kate Spade passed. I loved their Elastas.
    now, OGI wasn’t mentioned. Love OGI. We’ll see what happens since their founder moved on.
    Modo and REM-very poor service.
    Silhouette is a love or hate. I like them b/c our rep takes care of us.
    Next!
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  3. #3
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    I really like the TitanFlex by Tura line. Great quality (low warranties considering how many I sell) with a great price point. There are some of the frames in that line that I can retail for as low as $125 and my reps are great to work with. The ladies Tura line are pretty and sell well here to our mature ladies.

    I LOVE the Liz Claiborne petite line, and I sell through those consistently.

    I haven't sold Armani or Vogue in a number of years so I can't speak to those, but the Raybans are crap these days. Unfortunately I sell a lot of them and have been really disappointed in how the quality has declined over the years. They are high on the list for warranties and repairs.

    I sell a TON of Silhouette and wear them myself and I really like them. The website takes a little practice but my rep is fantastic and I haven't had any problems with them at all.

    For the price point I really like L'amy, especially the Ann Taylor. Again, my rep is great!

    I have Marchon just because of the Flexon and Nike but honestly the TitanFlex outsells them by far. I do, however, like the Tres Jolie line for ladies. We have a mostly older, conservative patient base so these work well for us.

  4. #4
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    How is the TitanFlex quality? Can I safely move my Flexon-fans into TiFlex without having to apologize later?

    We have found that Ogi's shapes are hard to wear. Too pointy or something.

    We don't seem to have major quality issues with Rayban. They're average enough.

    I think Silhouette should capture the plastic market way better than they have. What a wasted opportunity. They could have launched an SPX juggernaut to rival their rimless heyday of the 2006-2009 yrs, but they did no such thing.

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    How is the TitanFlex quality? Can I safely move my Flexon-fans into TiFlex without having to apologize later?
    What’s the harm in carrying both? One for the more budget conscious. The Flexon has a storied history of quality. The TitanFlex is a new-kid-on-the-block. Let your customers decide.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  6. #6
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    I carry both and agree with lensmanmd.

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    Lindberg is so overrated.
    Cartier is so overrated.
    Chopard are appalling quality.
    RayBan, terrible, plus you are an enemy of the profession if you carry.

    Am I doing it right?

  8. #8
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    Titanflex is better than flexon. But they both fail at quite a reliable rate so the point is moot.

  9. #9
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Let’s not forget OVVO. Pricey, but wow.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  10. #10
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_S View Post
    Titanflex is better than flexon. But they both fail at quite a reliable rate so the point is moot.
    Failure is minimal under normal wear. Most clients tend to show them off to their friends and exasperate the failure.
    Same goes for OVVO, but as an optician, I can remedy that. I can’t remedy the bridge failure of the Flexon. Dollar for dollar, the TitanFlex is a better option, IMO.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  11. #11
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    I'm a minimalist. It's one memory metal at a time.

    If I cut out Flexon, then I have no more Marchon.

    VSP doesn't love me, anyway, unless I keep about 1/3 of my optical in their products.

    I can double up with the Tura rep, then, plus I'll have more flexibility (hahahahaha) in trade outs between their lines...

  12. #12
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    I'll bite...

    Safilo has been our bread and butter for decades and I've never been so disappointed with the company. Been putting in more and more Charmant, women like the Elle line and some of the mens Ti stuff is nice and the Aristar memory metals are great for the money. I've always liked the Titanflex frames but their availability tends to suck. I think Flexons are waaaaaay overpriced and have seen way too many broken over the years.

    Ray-Ban? I'm not a fan, but people love them...

    Silhouette? Loved them for decades but lately I feel like their quality has not been the same. Waaaaaay too many problems with the 5521 'hinge discs'. So many so that I keep them in stock and replace them for free just to keep customers happy. Not acceptable at their price.

  13. #13
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    What's wrong with safilo? Their new line of own brand frames are extremely good quality, with arguably the best hinge. One of the best ranges on the market IMO.

  14. #14
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_S View Post
    What's wrong with safilo? Their new line of own brand frames are extremely good quality, with arguably the best hinge. One of the best ranges on the market IMO.
    Absolutely agreed. If I had to carry only one frame manufacturer in my office it would be Safilo, easy.

    Also, why discontinue Kate Spade after she died? She sold the brand off over a decade earlier, and it's not like she was personally designing the frames.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_S View Post
    What's wrong with safilo? Their new line of own brand frames are extremely good quality, with arguably the best hinge. One of the best ranges on the market IMO.
    Product is absolutely fantastic, I've carried many of their lines for decades... And, I agree, with rare exception their spring hinges are the benchmark... second only to maybe the old-shool Sferoflex?

    It started when they re-located their warehouse.... just too many problems. Last year or so it's been back-orders and delays and recently they canned two of my favorite sales reps... One of whom has been our Safilo rep for Juicy Couture, Elasta, Emozioni, Team, Liz (?), Carrera etc for 30+ years. We've never ever had a better rep and they took his 'good' territory out of the blue and gave him a much smaller and much worse territory. You DO NOT treat 30-40 year veterans who are a fantastic at their job like that.

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    Anyone deal with Randolph Engineering? I LOVE their product and wear it myself. Love to have something "Made in the USA" and sell it as such. Customers who like that style love the product but, damn, the company sucks. Errors on orders are the norm rather than the exception and they just canned their entire sales force...

  17. #17
    OptiBoard Apprentice Hailey Benson's Avatar
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    I am not a fan of RayBan myself, our patients however, are and they sell like hotcakes around here.

    We are particularly fond of Westgroupe and Global Optique.

    Global Optique's Paolo Belle and Contessa lines are huge sellers in our area, price point is amazing, rep is amazing, and we are very pleased with the quality.

  18. #18
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    It started when they re-located their warehouse.... just too many problems. Last year or so it's been back-orders and delays and recently they canned two of my favorite sales reps..
    While I can't speak for your rep situation, I can second the frustration on back-orders for Safilo Elasta frames. Models that were always in stock suddenly taking 2-3 months to become available again, and when the ETA date hits for availability again...it's another 2-3 months. While a bit on the outlier side, I did have one frame I ordered for a patient back in March of 2019 at my old place of business (it was a Safilo Elasta model that's been around forever) and as of August (the last time I kept in contact with the optician there) the frame still hadn't arrived. But yeah, other than the back-orders, they make a good product.

    Speaking of Kate Spade, our rep for the line just ghosted our entire city. Our old rep was amazing but he left to become a district manager for a competing company about 2-3 years ago. While I don't live in a metropolitan area, the city I'm in is only ~90 miles outside of Seattle (where most reps live) with a population of about 90k that's pretty heavily saturated with optical shops, but every optician I've spoken to in the area that had Kate Spade told me a similar story to what I'd experienced: the new rep made no attempt to visit any shop in our city, wouldn't return voicemails, emails, etc.; he/she/it/they just had no interest in maintaining accounts because reasons? Like most accounts in the city, I just sold through what Kate Spade frames I had and most patients thought we discontinued the line because of the designer's passing, even though that had nothing to do with it.

    In regards to the other lines, Charmant has been a solid seller for us, even if I get bored just looking at the frames we have (but we have to have SOME frames that are...what's a good euphemism for 'boring'...classic?).

    ClearVision is actually my clinic's best selling brand. BCBG, Steve Madden and Aspire all do really well here. The only concern I have is regarding the Aspire frames with nylon frame fronts - I've had a couple come in where the pattern in the frame front seems to wear off in just over a year. It hasn't happened enough to totally can the line, but I'm on alert for seeing how many of those come back with similar stories.

    Silhouette is one of our best-selling collections as well, though we're limited on the frames we carry. We only have space for four different chassis, though we do have some space on our boards for the SPX full rim, SPX illusion, etc. Haven't had any issues with Silhouette at all.

    Tura is solid, and I have to agree that TITANFLEX is one of our better men's lines. In the ~7 months I've been at this clinic, I don't think I've had to warranty a single one.

    I brought in Modo a few months ago and it's off to a really good start. The frames are well-made, we have a fantastic rep and their selection is pretty varied.

    Our OGI rep ghosted the clinic about two years ago (from what I was told by my predecessor), so my grade to them is an official incomplete.

    Europa is one of my favorite brands. Though the Scott Harris line has both men's and women's frames, I love that Scott Harris has so many petite (47-50 eye), PAL-friendly women's designs. Our rep is fantastic, and they offer a good yearly buy-back. Micheal Ryen is a collection that's good for men with superior cranial capacity.

    We don't have an account with Lux, and so many of my patients come in referencing the "60 Minutes" piece that aired a few years ago that I think our patients would prefer NOT to have them. Not to mention that the buy-in minimum for Ray-Ban is now 50 pieces.

    Aspex has a pretty varied selction across their lines. The company just hired a new rep, so I'll see things how things go.

    We also keep New York Eye's Enhance and Jubilee lines for budget frames. Patients like them, and they come out with new frames every few months.

    And for something completely different, I did come across a line called Faniel Eywear at VEW. They're based out of Quebec, and the only word I can use to describe them is fabulous. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but I'm wearing one of their frames and they certainly draw a fair amount of attention.

  19. #19
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Just saw a Safilo rep.

    She carries Polaroid, which is OK I guess for inexpensive plano polarized, but I'm a Dr's office and I Rx everything so... They are branching into ophthalmic at a cheap level, but you can do better for the money.
    I have carried Adensco forever, and it's just pretty boring but whatever. It's probably overpriced by 20% for what you get, again.

    The real gem, I think, is the Chesterfield XL. Yeah, the brand reminds you of lung cancer. Yeah, they charge premium. But it's really good styling for 56-60 eyesizes; no need to compromise if you have a mega gourd.

    I have a piece or six of Tommy Hilfiger, and it's under-developed, IMHO. They could put a little more effort into it and make it a youngster winner, I think.

  20. #20
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    She carries Polaroid, which is OK I guess for inexpensive plano polarized, but I'm a Dr's office and I Rx everything so... They are branching into ophthalmic at a cheap level, but you can do better for the money.
    RX those Polaroid suns! We do! Even if you throw the polarized plano lenses away they're still an amazing bang-for-the-buck sunglass line. And the Polaroid ophthalmics are selling much better for us than I expected them to.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Master OptiBoarder CCGREEN's Avatar
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    Be careful of anything in XL. Very easy to get to many of them on the board regardless of who makes them. There are a few EXTRA LARGE cantaloupes out there but not that many. When I come across them I find the person wants something that feels substantial in their big beefy hands like Safilo, Marcolin, Marchon.
    Now where I struggle finding anything for is a EXTRA LARGE cantaloupe on a lady. Sophia Lauren is the only thing that comes to mind for me. Now lets make it really tough. Extra large frame for a lady with a square face......ughhhhh, or maybe a large Asian or black person with a large head and not bridge for glasses to sit on.
    Last edited by CCGREEN; 01-16-2020 at 01:52 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeHamm View Post
    RX those Polaroid suns! We do! Even if you throw the polarized plano lenses away they're still an amazing bang-for-the-buck sunglass line. And the Polaroid ophthalmics are selling much better for us than I expected them to.
    Same

  23. #23
    Rising Star Lori's Avatar
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    I love this thread. Not sure why I guess because I'm a self-professed frame guru. It's exciting.


    Ray-ban's quality is sub-par but naive or sheep-people still want it, so I carry it and (mentally) roll my eyes when someone buys one. Whatever, it's a sell.


    Safilo- What a mess. In my area, they keep changing the reps, and I have no idea who's selling what. I still love Kate Spade, and so do our patients. Easy to sell, fun styles, and decent quality even with the 'made in China' imprint. Safilo Made in Italy is a high-quality product without the designer tag. Jimmy Choo, Fendi, okay- but maybe played out. Dior is stale, but Safilo lost the license anyway.


    Charmant sells excellent pure titanium frames, but my sales rep is loud, obnoxious, and calls me, 'girl' in every sentence she speaks. I can't tolerate her anymore, so I dropped Elle, and order the titanium's online in limited quantities.


    Marchon - the beast tied to VSP, and they want to dominate my optical shop. I refuse to acquiesce. Just brought in Marni, though. It's a niche, but I think the frames are unique, and my area should support it.


    Xavier Garcia frames for urban kool-kats. I love the new stuff and an independent line, which is the direction I'm heading.


    Tom Davies- British handmade frames that can be customized for size and color. Pricey but nice menswear.


    L' may Canali beautiful men's line for the conservative professional.


    Let's talk about Tom Ford. I've got a love-hate relationship with it. I blow them out but am frustrated by their internet presence and low ball pricing online. Maddening.


    My Silhouette rep, Gayle, is top-notch. Knowledgeable former optician and I love Silhouette products; however, I wish I could bring in styles without buying a kit. Ugh! I agree the SPX is incredible.


    Tura- I use to sell a lot of the core product and the Elegance- then my rep moved, and it just hasn't been the same since. I don't think the quality is as good as it uses to be anyway.


    I sell Lafont and do well with it. Unique frames made in France and still owned and operated by the Lafont family.

    Baumvision Tom's (they are a nightmare to deal with- lousy customer service and horrible website) but the hippie-dippie surf crowd loves them.


    I love working with family-owned US companies. Currently, I sell Erkers, NW77, Kasperek Optical, Randolph suns, and even though some are made in china my patients like it when I tell them the frames company is family-owned and US-based.
    Last edited by Lori; 01-16-2020 at 02:09 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori View Post


    Charmant sells excellent pure titanium frames, but my sales rep is loud, obnoxious, and calls me, 'girl' in every sentence she speaks. I can't tolerate her anymore, so I dropped Elle, and order the titanium's online in limited quantities
    Our shop is attached to an old medical practice, and we have to do service stuff that retail-based businesses don't, to wit: I just ordered a half-pair of temples from Charmant and they have them !!
    They will ship them !! So many vendors these days just won't do parts, so kudos to Charmant.

  25. #25
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCGREEN View Post
    Now where I struggle finding anything for is a EXTRA LARGE cantaloupe on a lady. Sophia Lauren is the only thing that comes to mind for me. Now lets make it really tough. Extra large frame for a lady with a square face......ughhhhh, or maybe a large Asian or black person with a large head and not bridge for glasses to sit on.
    ClearVision "Global Fit" frames in multiple lines. L'Amy has them as well.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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