There is a well kept secret in the eyeglass industry that insiders will never tell you. By now you must have noticed that the frames cost more than the prescription lenses themselves and that seems counterintuitive, right? That’s because it is not the reality. The truth is that the eyeglass frames that you pay $400 - $500 dollars for only cost between $25 - $ 50 dollars to make. I have long suspected this was the case and now I know it’s a fact.
Have you ever heard of a company called Luxottica? I certainly never heard it before but the truth is that this manufacturer controls 80% of the global eyeglass market, a market that is worth upwards of $28,000,000,000 (that’s 28 billion) a year. As we speak there are an estimated 500 million people wearing their glasses around the world that have never heard of them before either.
Luxottica is the producer of many brands of eyeglasses including Prada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Bulgari, Vogue, Persol, Coach, DKNY, Rayban, Oakley, Sunglasses Hut, LensCrafters, Oliver Peoples, Pearle Vision, Target Optical, Sears Optical and more. Yes, the company is that big.
I probably don’t need to explain to you what happens when any private company has little to no competition, right? Can you imagine if we could buy milk or bread from only 1 producer? Monopolies have the ability to set prices in a given industry because they have no competition and it is the consumer that foots the bill. When you are choosing your favorite eyeglass frames you see the many brand names available and feel that you have a wide choice but this is not the case. It is no less an illusion than watching a world class magician on stage and it is what I like to refer to as a “legal scam”.
Now you know why you are paying $450 for something that costs only $25 to make. So what can we do about it? Well, being aware of the fact that you are being misled is the first step. The second step is to patronize what few competitors are available to you. Warby Parker is one online business that you can check out. I suppose there are others but it will take some research to discover who they are. In either case, now you know what you have always suspected.