Why Are Glasses So Expensive?

Have you ever wondered just why are glasses so expensive?

A lot of people often wonder just how it is that a pair of spectacles can cost more than an iPad. Yes, this is especially true if you go for designer brands. However, even no-name frames can cost you hundreds of dollars. Why is that so? We’ve done some digging and research and have uncovered some very interesting truths as to why glasses cost so much. Here are the top six reasons.

1.Monopolized Market

The largest eyewear company in the world is called Luxottica. Yes, this may be the first time you’re hearing about the Italian eyewear manufacturer. But believe us, you’ve probably bought something they manufacture. Think Ray-Ban. Do you own a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses?

Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Persol are their three biggest brands. They also make prescription frames for big designer names such Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY, Prada, and Giorgio Armani.  This means they control the largest market share in the world, and when you have the biggest share of the pie, you can set the prices you want.

2. Manufacturing Fees and Licensing Fees

When Prada commissions third parties like Luxottica to produce designer eyewear unique to their brand, there are manufacturing and licensing fees involved. These fees have to be recouped somehow by the designer label. Therefore, they are transferred to the final price of your glasses, pushing the cost of the eyewear up.

Also, because designer brands want to be competitive, none of these companies is going to sell at a market value undercutting another company. They all want to make you believe that the more expensive the brand is, the better. Therefore you’re buying into a marketing gimmick. Just because a designer frame costs $500 doesn’t mean it’s always superior to the no-name $100 frame from Walmart.

3. Profit Margin

Brands have to make a profit after they’ve paid manufacturing and licensing fees. Therefore, they also have to include a profit markup in the final price. All these factors cause the price of your spectacles to go up markedly.

4. Warehousing Costs

After the frames have been manufactured, they are shipped to a warehouse where they are stored before being distributed to different retailers across the country. There are warehousing costs to factor in, and distribution fees, as well as the final selling costs. All these just like the licensing and manufacturing fees must be taken into consideration when brands are coming up with final price.

5. Associated Retailing Costs

Once the brand has sold their frames to retailers, retailers have their own set of costs to consider. These include rent needing to be paid on the building they are using to sell the spectacles. Retailers also have to think about the sales staff and other employees working for them. This is all money that’s needed and it must come from somewhere. Hence, the only place where it can come from is from putting a markup price on the spectacles you’re buying.

6.Lens Manufacturer Associated Costs

After you’ve purchased the frames you still need to get the right lenses fitted into the spectacles. When you go to a retailer with your prescription or you complete the prescription online, you’ll still need to send the frames to the third party lens manufacturer who integrates the lenses into the frame. This assemblage and shipping back to the retailer where you pick up will cost you money. The same holds true for replacement lenses, if for some reason, your glasses got broken.



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