If you’re looking for glasses, you may find yourself shocked by the price tags. While glasses are cheaper than contact lenses, especially in the long-run, they’re still expensive. Many people wonder whether or not glasses should be priced the way they are, if they’re marked up, why they’re priced the way that they are, and how you can save money on glasses.
Here is what you need to know about why glasses are priced the way that they are and what you can do in order to save money while wearing glasses.
Are Glasses Marked Up?
It’s true that glasses are marked up for a profit, especially if you get designer lenses. However, the saying that “you get what you pay for” still holds weight, as cheap glasses are likely to be low-quality and break easily while pricier glasses are likely to be higher quality. While sometimes expensive glasses are cheaply made, as a general rule, they do tend to be of higher quality.
Remember too that everything you purchase has something of a markup. This is because the people who make glasses do need to make a living, plus they need to cover the cost of materials and labor. Whether or not glasses are designer plays a huge role in whether or not they’re expensive, as you aren’t just paying for the glasses, but also for the brand name.
Why Glasses Are So Expensive
Luxottica is an Italian company with a monopoly over the global optical market, including names like Coach, Target Optical, and more. A lack of competition means that they can charge what they like, whereas having more competition would mean prices would come down in order to compete with each other.
Most companies keep the reasoning behind why they price glasses the way that they do closely guarded and do not respond to requests for comments from journalists asking why. Because of the lack of competition, they are able to charge more than what glasses should actually cost.
Should Glasses Be As Expensive As They Are?
Many believe that the cost of eyewear should be part of the national health care discussion along with prescription medication, as glasses and contact lenses are indeed medical devices. Since people need them in order to see, people argue that glasses should be covered by insurance, especially in cases where it would otherwise be a safety hazard for someone to try to drive without glasses or contact lenses.
Factors That Impact The Cost Of Glasses
The unfortunate state of the United States’ healthcare system aside, there are many factors aside from those listed above that play a role in the cost of glasses.
These are as follows:
- Manufacturing fees
- Profit margin from the manufacturer
- Licensing fee
- Distributor purchases from manufacturing
- Distribution fees
- Selling expense
- Warehouse cost
- Profit margin from the warehouse
- The retailer must be able to pay rent and the sales staff, as well as make a profit and afford selling expenses.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into the pricing of glasses.
Can You Save Money On Glasses?
Yes, you can indeed save money on glasses. You can get glasses that are cheap and glasses that are expensive. Glasses in general are a cheaper corrective lens option than contact lenses due to the fact that you can keep the frame and just replace the lenses with glasses, whereas with contact lenses, you need to throw them out as recommended and buy new ones.
Some of the factors to consider if you are trying to save money on glasses are as follows:
- The frame. Where they’re made, what they’re made of, how complex the design is, whether the company pays royalties to a designer, and more all play a role in how frames are priced.
- The style.
- The lenses. High index lenses, high-definition lenses, multifocal lenses, lens customizations, lens treatments (anti-scratch, blue light protection, UV-blocking, anti-reflective, etc), and more all influence the price of your glasses.
Sometimes you are indeed just paying to be able to wear a designer label, but other times, you are paying for higher quality. Remember that you want your glasses to last. Spending more up front can save you significantly in the long run by investing in quality rather than a temporary savings that necessitates frequent replacement.
You don’t need to buy frames every year, just as needed. Also, you can also if your new lenses can be fitted to your old frames. If you are looking to save money on glasses, consider timeless frames rather than trendy ones that you may no longer like in a year or two.