John M. White

Why Prescription Sunglasses Cost So Much - The Naked Truth

Apr 16, 2022

The Naked Truth

Did you ever wonder why your prescription glasses/sunglasses cost so much?

Of course.

Your optometrist completes your exam, turns you over to an assistant to help you pick a frame.

Sometimes the choices aren't just what you like, but what can you do?

So you pick a frame and the next thing you experience is "Sticker Shock!"

You really weren't all that thrilled with the frame, but you have to have one for your glasses/sunglasses.

A Recent Customer Experience

Recently I had a new Customer purchase a prescription aviator frame from me which he took to his optometrist.

He had an eye exam and then came the discussion on a frame for his glasses.

My Customer already had a frame and showed it to the optometrist and asked them to put the prescription lenses in the frame he had purchased from me.

Well, after a bit of hemming and hawing the optometrist said they were worried that the frame might come apart and recommended one from their selection.

So, the Customer called me, I sent him a label and the paperwork to make a warranty claim, and the frame was sent off to Randolph Egineering.

Upon inspection Randolph could find no problem at all with the frame, and so the frame has been shipped back (at no charge) to the Customer.

I am waiting to see what happens next (but I have suspicion as to what will happen!).

I guess I'm a bit jaded.

Why Do They Cost So Much?

 As a business owner myself I understand that there are a lot of costs associated with running a business, not the least of which is payroll, office rent, taxes etc.

So, it is more expensive to have a brick and mortar shop.

Yet, prescription frames should not be so expensive!

Even those stores in the mall or shopping center like LensCrafters Sunglass Hut and  Pearl Vision are not that inexpensive.

So, why are eyeglass and sunglass frames so expensive?

A quick search on Google and you find out that a company called Luxotica controls most of the eyeglass and sunglass market. 

Essentially, the company tries to own a piece of everything to do with a pair of glasses.

The merger of Essilor and Luxottica also stopped the two companies from competing with each other in their previous core businesses — Luxottica in making frames, and Essilor in making lenses.  

The result? You guessed it: higher prices!

The Solution?

There are a few Made in the USA companies like Randolph Engineering, Inc., Europa and AO Eyewear where you can get frames at a more reasonabe price. 

Once you have the frame then you can give it to your optometrist and he can have the lens manufacturer make the prescription lenses and fit them into your frame.

Now, you are in more control of the costs of your glasses and/or sunglasses!

On our website you can find both plastic and glass prescription lenses, as well as a nice selection of aviator style frames to choose from.

We are adding more frame styles to our website soon, and all of our prescription frame customers, as well as our prescription lens customers, have been very happy with the results.

We do Single Vision and Bi-Focal lenses, Transition lenses, Polarized and Non-Polarized lenses, but NOT Progressives. Progressive lenses are best handled by your local optometrist - but we can still provide the frame!

 If you like airshows with aerobatics, be sure and look for next weeks blog post!

In the meantime, keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


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