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Thread: Sad to be a small optical shop

  1. #1
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    Sad to be a small optical shop

    I just wanted to rant

    I own a really small shop (more like an oversized booth) inside a local mall and I am the owner/salesperson/lab tech.
    I don't mind this- it gets busy by myself, but profit is good
    and I find it rewarding to help people see better without the absurd costs they pay at big stores.

    My only problem is trying to get an account open. with ANYBODY.
    I was forced to look for and open local accounts for stock lenses/lab jobs since bigger companies won't,
    as they know I won't be stockings tons of inventory or sending in hundreds of jobs a month.
    They will email and call me at first when I inquire, but after figuring out its not gonna be much money,
    they just decide to never reach me back.
    It's just a slow process of "let me get back to you" and then to "our company is mostly for X and Y type of services.."
    and then ultimately never getting any information for a couple days and then being forgotten altogether. Haha
    I have no idea why but bigger companies also seemed to want to have multiple "guarantors" to open an account.
    They don't need my business at all- and I am always the one chasing after them to make an account.


    Same goes with frames.
    I have had good luck finding many unbranded but good quality frames.
    My shop is full of generic frames mostly because Marchon/Luxxotica/Safilo account is out of the league for me.
    NO reps ever reach me back when I inquire lol.
    and I'm not even asking for Cartiers or Guccis.
    The patient demographics that I am working in only wants low to mid-end designer frames, and I thought that would be easy to get.
    I want to sell something that has a recognizable name! What do I have to do to get RayBans?



    It makes me so, so, so, so sad as an optician.
    There are more things than just honest service and quality dispensing to customers in the business. *sigh*

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    Why would you want Lux when they're competing with you in the same mall?

  3. #3
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Some suggestions-

    Look at these "Buying Groups":

    https://www.aeccpearlman.com/

    This one is part of Walman Optical so you may have to have them do the work (or at least some of it):

    https://www.adopracticesolutions.com/

    There are others as well. Become a paid subscriber and look at deals offered in the Optical Market Place.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeromida View Post
    I just wanted to rant

    I own a really small shop (more like an oversized booth) inside a local mall and I am the owner/salesperson/lab tech.
    I don't mind this- it gets busy by myself, but profit is good
    and I find it rewarding to help people see better without the absurd costs they pay at big stores.

    My only problem is trying to get an account open. with ANYBODY.
    I was forced to look for and open local accounts for stock lenses/lab jobs since bigger companies won't,
    as they know I won't be stockings tons of inventory or sending in hundreds of jobs a month.
    They will email and call me at first when I inquire, but after figuring out its not gonna be much money,
    they just decide to never reach me back.
    It's just a slow process of "let me get back to you" and then to "our company is mostly for X and Y type of services.."
    and then ultimately never getting any information for a couple days and then being forgotten altogether. Haha
    I have no idea why but bigger companies also seemed to want to have multiple "guarantors" to open an account.
    They don't need my business at all- and I am always the one chasing after them to make an account.


    Same goes with frames.
    I have had good luck finding many unbranded but good quality frames.
    My shop is full of generic frames mostly because Marchon/Luxxotica/Safilo account is out of the league for me.
    NO reps ever reach me back when I inquire lol.
    and I'm not even asking for Cartiers or Guccis.
    The patient demographics that I am working in only wants low to mid-end designer frames, and I thought that would be easy to get.
    I want to sell something that has a recognizable name! What do I have to do to get RayBans?



    It makes me so, so, so, so sad as an optician.
    There are more things than just honest service and quality dispensing to customers in the business. *sigh*
    I would be happy to supply you with any of your lens/equipment needs, no minimum's. We are also a small family owned business. www.superoptical.com or don@superoptical.com

  5. #5
    OptiWizard
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    I work for Luzerne, call 1-800-233-9637, ask for me and I'll have a rep call you directly.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefe View Post
    Why would you want Lux when they're competing with you in the same mall?

    Honestly, I don't. I'd rather not carry cheap frames with "names" and marked up prices- but customers demand it.

  7. #7
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    Thank you everyone!!

  8. #8
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    I know I’m about a week late to the party, but just remember when you are feeling frustrated, that small is beautiful : ). Scaling is an ever present issue in microeconomics, but I suspect your customers really appreciate your work! I know I prefer small shops in most circumstances.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenLightly View Post
    I know I’m about a week late to the party, but just remember when you are feeling frustrated, that small is beautiful : ). Scaling is an ever present issue in microeconomics, but I suspect your customers really appreciate your work! I know I prefer small shops in most circumstances.
    Wow, thank you! You made my day :)

  10. #10
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    I'm in a similar position. I just opened my own small optical after 38 years in corporate world. I love being able to sell what I feel the patient needs rather than what the corporate hierarchy is pushing but like you it is difficult getting quality products. My biggest challenge is contact lens. ABB has bought up most of the supply chains and their shipping fees are ridiculous ($12.99 on a $41.00 order). I've looked into buying groups but their monthly fees are still high for my volume. I know contacts have small profit margins anyway but I don't like paying the total profit to shipping cost!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConwayOptical View Post
    I'm in a similar position. I just opened my own small optical after 38 years in corporate world. I love being able to sell what I feel the patient needs rather than what the corporate hierarchy is pushing but like you it is difficult getting quality products. My biggest challenge is contact lens. ABB has bought up most of the supply chains and their shipping fees are ridiculous ($12.99 on a $41.00 order). I've looked into buying groups but their monthly fees are still high for my volume. I know contacts have small profit margins anyway but I don't like paying the total profit to shipping cost!
    Why not buy directly from the contact lens manufacturers?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConwayOptical View Post
    I'm in a similar position. I just opened my own small optical after 38 years in corporate world. I love being able to sell what I feel the patient needs rather than what the corporate hierarchy is pushing but like you it is difficult getting quality products. My biggest challenge is contact lens. ABB has bought up most of the supply chains and their shipping fees are ridiculous ($12.99 on a $41.00 order). I've looked into buying groups but their monthly fees are still high for my volume. I know contacts have small profit margins anyway but I don't like paying the total profit to shipping cost!
    Nassau lens

  13. #13
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    small shop

    Quote Originally Posted by jefe View Post
    Nassau lens
    I had 6 different small shops. First the way i did my frames. i went to all the trade shows and made deals. try not to buy what all your competitors are selling, as then it only becomes a matter of price as your frame is no better. I had a lot of german, austrian denmark frames, and when people asked me about my frames, my reply was , mine are better, explain why from there, european craftmanship, etc.. mark it up 3 times over, and give a two year warranty. These mfg,s are glad to do business with you, as most of them do not have reps to annoy you. Lenses you will find somewhere like nassau, but again, sometimes you can secure a better deal at the shows, im talking vision expo east, west for the most part. the other benefit you will derive from the shows, is all the other items you never knew about, are there, like newest in tools for dispensing, this was a lifesaver for me, and you were able to get show deals. Try it , you,ll like it

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