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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why Do Glasses Cost So Much?

 60 minutes did a story on Luxottica....and the glasses they make. Luxottica creates eye-wear for all the great fashion houses in the world (Coach, Versace,Prada,etc) ...and, of course, you pay for fashion.

The somewhat disturbing aspect of the story is that Luxottica also owns those companies that not only provide frames, but services as well...including Pearle, Lenscrafters and more.

They also own EyeMed a vision care insurance firm. I went to EyeMed's website and found that they were owned by Luxottica in the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policies and Notice of Privacy Practices/HIPAA section, an area most of us seldom visit.

 The Lenscrafter's website has all the Luxottica fashion frames listed as does the Pearle website. I doubt that these frames are offered in the 2 for 1 selection box

The bottom line is Luxottica has a great, fashionable selection of frames, but should they also control eye care services, insurance and distribution?

 I love frames. I wear them all the time. They are a bit more expensive than most, seldom if ever break, and are light-weight. Silhouette is an Austrian company. For me the extra-cost is worth it. I don't think they own retail outlets and insurance companies however.

 Also remember that when you pay for a pair of glasses, the cost also includes not only the frame but state of the art lenses as well.... (not to mention the personal care given to you by your optician or ophthalmic assistant after an incredibly complete comprehensive eye examination by your family optometrist).

When I was growing up (back when nearsighted dinosaurs still roamed the Earth), you could buy any kind of frame you wanted as long as it was plastic. You could also order this in any color you wanted as long as it was either black or brown (if you were female you could get a couple of other colors as well).

So maybe paying a couple of extra dollars for great looking frames that fit your face comfortably is not so bad. On the other hand, should these companies also own insurance companies and the distribution outlets as well? Think about it. By the way.... the office I work in, Lyons Family Eye Care, has many of the frames noted above, beautiful...very beautiful!

See the video below:

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