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Thread: How do you handle Maui Jims?

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    How do you handle Maui Jims?

    Just wondering... with collections like Maui Jim, you're supposed to order the prescription lenses through Maui Jim's lab. If you cut lenses with your own lab, it voids the warranty on the frame and Maui Jim frowns upon you. Maui Jim's prices are very high. We end up not selling many of their frames because the patient is unwilling to pay their prices for the lenses. I have had several patients say "Well the last place made them for me!" (I also had a patient tell me they went to a Maui Jim store and they refused to make prescription lenses for him, so he was forced to take his lenses to an optical shop/non-Maui Jim lab to have lenses made.)

    Are we being sticklers for not just edging lenses for Maui Jim frames? We would not be able to perfectly match the proprietary tints and gradient mirror coats for a lot of the sunglasses styles, which is one of the major selling points. I would not want to cause us to lose the account for breaking the rules, because we still do sell a fair amount of their plano sunglasses. There was one instance where we did make lenses for a patient who had an older MJ frame he purchased elsewhere and wanted to update the lenses in. Patient said he didn't care about a warranty or that we used different lens options than Maui Jim. Ended up being a whole mess because he was used to the Maui Jim Passport progressive and didn't adapt well to the Varilux he was fit with. Lesson learned there.

    We get the same gripes from patients trying to use old safety frames as dress frames when we tell them we will only put safety-thick lenses in them. "Well, the other place did it!" or "I'm not going to use them as safety glasses." I'm sure that's the case but I don't want to be held liable if later on down the road something happens. I was always taught that safety frames get safety lenses, no ifs and or butts, to cover your own butt. More serious than the Maui Jim situation.

    So, how do you all handle this?
    Krystle

  2. #2
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    I would like to share my opinion as frame factory seller. Before making a decision, it's good to know the real needs of our client, the frequency of use. If the old frame is just for some special occasions, like dating, dancing party, they seldom wear it, then we just need to simply tell our client the situation and follow the requirements to make the lenses. But when our client only wear this frame or they wear it as their major glasses, I think it's better to insist on your criteria, unless your client promise they accept the result of broken lenses. I am not a English native speaker, maybe the examples is wrong, but what I main point is that, it depends on specific situation, our clients.

  3. #3
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    Just explain that Maui Jim offer the best or nothing. They are expensive but if you want the best, it is what it is. Then offer cheaper alternatives that you can put any lenses the client wants into. Works for us.

  4. #4
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    As far as safety frame with non safety lens, we do it, just explain that they are not ansi certified, how ever we will not put safety lens in a regular ophthalmic.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

  5. #5
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Selling Maui Jims but then complaining about their cost, is kinda like selling Mercedes and doing the same. You brought them in for a reason I expect - they're at the top of what they do. No other international sun brand remains independently owned, has as tight a control on their quality from start to finish on every piece that leaves their door, has incredibly fast turn times, and is as widely available. They are what they are. If your dispensary doesn't cater to individuals who value those sort of qualities in a company, MJ may not be a good fit for you. If they do seek those qualities, then you do both Maui and yourself a disservice by lamenting their cost. And no - your general wholesale lab simply cannot produce a Maui caliber lens, they just can't. It may look the same, bit it will not function the same.

    Always remember the adage: You get what you pay for.

  6. #6
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optical Roy View Post
    As far as safety frame with non safety lens, we do it, just explain that they are not ansi certified, how ever we will not put safety lens in a regular ophthalmic.
    I make the sale.

    If someone wants to sue me I tell them to "GET TO THE BACK OF THE LINE AND WAIT YOUR TURN!"

  7. #7
    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Maui Jim is a tricky beast. But you absolutely get what you pay for with them. If a patient doesn't want to pay Maui Jim price, then the best alternative is to find them something else within their price point. Majority of the time, when I've explained the quality and the optics behind their sunglasses, patients don't have a problem paying for them. And if you say you can't put a third party lens into their Mauis, and they come back with "but the other place did it, or yall did it before." Just explain to them the reason why you can't. You're bound by contract that you cannot put anything else into them. And the quality will not be the same regardless. The Passport/Varilux example is a good go-to. Labs don't have the parameters for Mauis lenses. Therefore, the optics will not be as good.

  8. #8
    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Also, Maui is now much easier to do with VSP. So that can be a solid plan to help reduce some of the cost to the patient.

  9. #9
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    See, I'm going to disagree.

    Caveats:
    1. I don't sell no Maui for long time (nor Oakley).
    2. I don't sell no plano. We target Rx sun, only.
    3. I don't have the volume to make the sales minimums for Maui (although I'm not a small practice)

    When I sell a sunglass, they are getting good quality lenses (like Zeiss or Shamir) with good quality polarizing filters with a good quality mirror/backside AR in a good material (polycarbonate). What can Maui do that is better?

    Sure, in plano, their lenses are deluxe. No argument there.

    But last time I checked, a bi-gradient mirror isn't impossible to source (as if you really needed that).
    Yes, photochromic glass Rx PALs can be a bit tough.
    Yes, a hydrophobic coat is nice (but not impossible to get, either).


    When I did the math on those suckers, they (like all Rx sun jobs) are a bigger pain to design (size, curves, tints, etc. I mean, Rx sun is the hardest thing to design!), they cost the patient beaucoup bucks and I was getting LOWER margins than I would if I sourced the lenses myself.

    In other words, they're overpriced at the wholesale level
    They aren't worth the extra cost
    And they are for higher volume stores because they made me buy way more inventory than I needed, and it was a constant increase in frames. I needed 24. Then there were 36. Then I need to buy to 48...
    Last edited by drk; 08-05-2021 at 12:49 PM.

  10. #10
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    In short Doc - they really are greater than the sum of their parts, and there are elements that Maui pays very close attention to in Rx sun production that other labs simply do not. They're not "twice as good" let's say than a regular lab lens, but the difference is definitely and easily notable.

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder DanLiv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    See, I'm going to disagree.

    What can Maui do that is better?

    Sure, in plano, their lenses are deluxe. No argument there.

    But last time I checked, a bi-gradient mirror isn't impossible to source (as if you really needed that).
    Yes, photochromic glass Rx PALs can be a bit tough.
    Yes, a hydrophobic coat is nice (but not impossible to get, either).

    When I did the math on those suckers, they (like all Rx sun jobs) are a bigger pain to design (size, curves, tints, etc. I mean, Rx sun is the hardest thing to design!), they cost the patient beaucoup bucks and I was getting LOWER margins than I would if I sourced the lenses myself.
    I agree with you doc, used to do Maui for years but since dropped them. Back in the day they were doing cutting edge stuff that most opticians weren't doing. But now all those technologies are widely available from any decent lab. The big benefit still to most practices is the ease of ordering, the opticians need to do almost nothing, so a lot of the markup is paying Mauis lab to do the lens design work instead of your opticians DIY. Even Barry Santini in another thread lauded Maui for ease of use, just a few clicks online and *poof* three days later an amazing pair of sunglasses appear. And we know Barry is not above doing the hard work.

    I, like you, enjoy DIY, have better control (I will do all kinds of jobs outside Maui's parameters), and in exchange for my efforts reap the rewards of much lower costs. But not everyone wants or needs to do that, at least offloading the intricacies to Maui is a safe bet.

  12. #12
    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    I love your responses! I was just curious to see if Maui Jim's policy was something most shops actually stuck to or not. I agree with Dr. K on the margins not being that great, so it's not the end of the world if someone goes elsewhere with a MJ frame to get the lenses made by a third party. Obviously, we want to make the sales but we also want to play by the rules. Previous optician was (for legal reasons *allegedly*) ordering frames for other opticals under our account, so coming into that completely unaware and getting slapped on the wrist by our Oakley rep was fun. Apparently they frown upon that. We definitely do not want to lose Oakley. And I agree with others that Maui Jim definitely makes great, quality products. The orders we have placed with them for lenses were all through VSP, but the lenses came out excellent - completely matching the plano demo lenses perfectly. I purchased a plano pair for my boyfriend who absolutely loves them and really appreciates the backside AR.

    I was not involved in adding the Maui Jim line to our frames selection, so I am not sure what the thinking was behind all that. Our ophthalmologist's patient bases are primariliy seniors, many 80 years old and up. There are always exceptions, but MOST of our patients scoff at even a modest priced frame. Many are on fixed incomes and, unfortunately, often many of them have the mindset that they're buying their last pair of glasses (kind of grim, I know, but I hear it a lot). We are also in a rural area, so the brands they recognize and value are a little different. We still sell them, usually to our patients who have had LASIK or opted for the premium lens implants for cataract surgery with our OMD and don't mind spending up a bit after already spending a pretty penny on surgery. Might as well protect their investment with quality sunglasses.
    Krystle

  13. #13
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    This stupid board won't let me give you another thumbs up, DanLiv.

  14. #14
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    This stupid board won't let me give you another thumbs up, DanLiv.
    Truth be told...The board doesn't speak highly of you either

    Now give some love to the newbies!!!

  15. #15
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    See, I'm going to disagree.

    Caveats:
    1. I don't sell no Maui for long time (nor Oakley).
    2. I don't sell no plano. We target Rx sun, only.
    3. I don't have the volume to make the sales minimums for Maui (although I'm not a small practice)

    .
    You sure are leaving money on the table, not selling Plano’s. ( True to your usual MO..he,he…)…

    Every one of your CL patients are buying Plano’s somewhere. Why not from you? And I guarantee you every one of them aren’t going cheap! Some got the $ to or DESIRE to get something nice/trendy/bragable ( I made up that word..)

    As far as Maui’s, they are what they are.. The best at what they do…Wrap sunwear made in a given frame with all perimeters kept within their known limits to provide top notch optics for all they offer. It’s premium, and should be offered as such.

    To sell Plano’s, or really anything is to believe in the product, and promote it! Do you catch a fish with every cast? No. But how many do you catch not going fishing?

  16. #16
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    O24:

    I'M NOT LOCKING THE SUNGLASS CASE, BRO! We have Rayban and Arnette (shiny flash mirrors) and Carrera and Tory and Coach and Vogue and Liz C and Ralph. Not too shabby.

    I can tell you what, though. I LOVE the concept of bringing in a line that you are bonkers for, and promoting it wildly. I think MJ may be that line for many. You speak great truth, O24-san.

  17. #17
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    You sure are leaving money on the table, not selling Plano’s. ( True to your usual MO..he,he…)…

    Every one of your CL patients are buying Plano’s somewhere. Why not from you? And I guarantee you every one of them aren’t going cheap! Some got the $ to or DESIRE to get something nice/trendy/bragable ( I made up that word..)
    True in theory. My experience has been that when I work in optical shops surrounded by retail, plano suns sell, when I work in optical shops surrounded by medical and law offices, they don't. I can carry fine, affordable non-RX sunnies and offer deals galore, but if the patient doesn't perceive us as a Place Where People Buy Sunglasses, they won't buy sunglasses here, and I'm not going to invest in a bunch of stock that just sits on my boards.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

  18. #18
    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeHamm View Post
    True in theory. My experience has been that when I work in optical shops surrounded by retail, plano suns sell, when I work in optical shops surrounded by medical and law offices, they don't. I can carry fine, affordable non-RX sunnies and offer deals galore, but if the patient doesn't perceive us as a Place Where People Buy Sunglasses, they won't buy sunglasses here, and I'm not going to invest in a bunch of stock that just sits on my boards.
    We try to make an impression on emmetropic patients and patients who don't need correction anymore after LASIK or getting a premium lens implant that they still need to protect their eyes from UV and the best way to do so is with an optical quality pair of sunglasses. For post-LASIK patients, we offer them 20% off plano sunglasses. Often, they are really excited to finally be able to wear cool sunglasses without having to spend up on RX lenses. I know I was after LASIK. I have way too many pairs of sunglasses now but I can't stop! Every time a frame rep comes in I am tempted by the new selections. We even have some plano suns that cannot be RX'ed, like the classic Porsche aviators that you can swap the lenses out for different colors. I got myself a pair and I love them.

    Seems like now, patients are more concerned about blue light due to successful marketing by the lens companies, but everyone forgets about UV.
    Krystle

  19. #19
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    I’m glad you’re still going fishing doc!

  20. #20
    Rising Star Lori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    See, I'm going to disagree.

    Caveats:
    1. I don't sell no Maui for long time (nor Oakley).
    2. I don't sell no plano. We target Rx sun, only.
    3. I don't have the volume to make the sales minimums for Maui (although I'm not a small practice)

    When I sell a sunglass, they are getting good quality lenses (like Zeiss or Shamir) with good quality polarizing filters with a good quality mirror/backside AR in a good material (polycarbonate). What can Maui do that is better?

    Sure, in plano, their lenses are deluxe. No argument there.

    But last time I checked, a bi-gradient mirror isn't impossible to source (as if you really needed that).
    Yes, photochromic glass Rx PALs can be a bit tough.
    Yes, a hydrophobic coat is nice (but not impossible to get, either).


    When I did the math on those suckers, they (like all Rx sun jobs) are a bigger pain to design (size, curves, tints, etc. I mean, Rx sun is the hardest thing to design!), they cost the patient beaucoup bucks and I was getting LOWER margins than I would if I sourced the lenses myself.

    In other words, they're overpriced at the wholesale level
    They aren't worth the extra cost
    And they are for higher volume stores because they made me buy way more inventory than I needed, and it was a constant increase in frames. I needed 24. Then there were 36. Then I need to buy to 48...
    I agree- I work at an ophthalmology practice and i thought of bringing Maui's in for our post op patients who want superior sun lenses. After previewing the line I'm not convinced its a smart move. First the minimum order is 54. That exceeds any line I carry and is a major investment. Secondly, I don't like having a set MSR at 100% especially since I'm in California and there are sunglass tax and we don't charge sales tax to our patients; granted 100 percent is decent as a plano no brainer sale but I have a feeling I would be ordering more RX'd glasses in the end. Using their lab etc is a complication for me but doable but I'm not sure I want to take it on. Plus, I'm not thrilled with the quality/style of the frames in the line.
    For now, I think I'll pass.
    Last edited by Lori; 08-11-2021 at 01:50 PM. Reason: wasn't done answering accidentally posted

  21. #21
    Rising Star Lori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    You sure are leaving money on the table, not selling Plano’s. ( True to your usual MO..he,he…)…

    Every one of your CL patients are buying Plano’s somewhere. Why not from you? And I guarantee you every one of them aren’t going cheap! Some got the $ to or DESIRE to get something nice/trendy/bragable ( I made up that word..)

    As far as Maui’s, they are what they are.. The best at what they do…Wrap sunwear made in a given frame with all perimeters kept within their known limits to provide top notch optics for all they offer. It’s premium, and should be offered as such.

    To sell Plano’s, or really anything is to believe in the product, and promote it! Do you catch a fish with every cast? No. But how many do you catch not going fishing?
    I want to learn fly fishing. I like the idea of wading in the river and casting a long line into it. Still on the banks edge with the Maui's. I do appreciate your thoughts about them; makes sense.

  22. #22
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    At my old practice (super busy optometry practice) We sold a ton of Maui Jims and carried over 100. When I came to my current location (super slow ophthalmology practice) we didn't carry MJ. I love them. Great quality. Great turn around. Customer service has always been good, but their buy in was 72 pieces. Rep would stop by and I would always tell him no way can we do 72 pieces. Finally he stopped in and said they had a small practice buy in of 35 pieces. So we decided to bring them in. Every year since, we have a big sunglass open house in the summer and we sell a TON of MJ. Plano, but mostly RX. People know the name and love them. We don't even need to try. For our small, slow little office, I think we do quite well with them. We will soon be Davis providers (using local lab only and NO Davis materials) and we will be offering a discount to our Davis patients for Rx MJ and I think we will sell even more. We'll see. (Discount enough to make patient happy and us happy and Rep says his other accounts do a similar thing with Eyemed) As far as MJ rule about not putting anyone else's lenses into their frames... yes we do follow the rule. It really isn't a big deal and patients don't give us a hard time about it. We just tell them that MJ is very picky about quality and want to make sure the lenses are made right and that is why they do it. It's in our contract so we abide by it. Patient shrugs and we all move on. Not a big deal in my mind.

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