I often find myself buying new glasses or having my old ones re-lensed. This is needlessly expensive. Walk into your neighborhood Lenscrafters or Pearle Vision and you’ll probably spend about $500 before you can get out the door (and that’s if they’re having a “sale”). Your neighborhood optometrist will still manage to charge you about $200 to put new lenses in your old frames when your eyes change (or you walk into a pole at USC. Not that I would ever do that.)
News Flash America. You’re being screwed over.
If you prefer the “quality” of your Ray-Bans to your friend’s Oakley Flaks and/or think Versace frames are better than Prada, I have shocking news for you. They’re all made by one company – Luxottica. You’ve probably never heard of them and that’s what they want. They make design and manufacture almost all the designer sunglasses on the market today, and as a monopoly, they set the price floor for frames. Burberry, Chanel, Chaps, Gucci, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Tiffany, Versace, Vogue, Persol, Miu Miu, Tory Burch and Donna Karan. They also own Rayban outright. And REVO. And Oakley.
In most cases, this same company is also the one selling you those glasses. Luxottica owns LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Oliver Peoples, and the Sunglass Hut. That’s right. The eye doctor telling you to buy a new pair of glasses, the sales people helping you choose them, and the people who design and make the glasses all work for the same company. Luxottica. A company that makes a gross profit of 64 cents on each dollar of sales. I’m torn. I want to hate them but maybe I should invest…
If that wasn’t enough, this same company also owns the second largest vision insurer in America, Eyemed. It’s crazy.
If you want to get a nice pair of glasses at a reasonable price, I recommend the following sites:
eyebuydirect.com (use promo code IF5SJWGQZQ to save 5%. Great designs. Better prices.)
zennioptical.com (probably the best/cheapest glasses you can find anywhere. My new rx aviators were $23.)
warbyparker.com (for the hipsters. They also let you try on the frames at home for free so why not?)
For relensing, replacealens.com is great as well!
Great links if you want to learn more:
[Archived — September 13, 2015]