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Are Frames and Lenses Too Expensive?

In this third episode of my blog series on multi-pair vs. multi-purpose, I’ll share an abbreviated version of a great article by Robert Bell from a recent Invision Magazine issue. Robert tells a true story of a plane flight when seated next to a gentleman asking what line of work he’s in. When Robert responds “the eye care business,” the seat mate demands “why are eyeglasses so expensive?”

Instead of giving boring details on design and fabrication etc. Robert asks these questions: How long ago did you buy these? Answer — 2 years ago. How much did you pay for them? Answer — $175. And you think $175 2 years ago was too expensive? Answer — Absolutely!

Robert pulls out $500 from his wallet and says, “Okay, tell ya what, as a representative of my industry, I feel awful that you feel you’ve been ripped off, so I’m going to buy your glasses from you for $500 with two conditions. First, you cannot see any eye care professional for the next two years. Second, you cannot wear glasses, contact lenses, reading glasses, sunglasses…anything that would enhance your vision.”

Alarmed, the gentleman exclaims, “Are you crazy?? I’m blind without these things!!” Humbly, he then admits, “I guess they weren’t that expensive after all.”

Like so many things in our lives, the true value is never realized until it’s gone! Time and time again, surveys reveal that humans overwhelmingly value their ability to see more than to hear, smell, taste, and touch.

Why then, would a few patients treat their eye doctor as the “bad guy or gal” for prescribing multiple sets of high quality lenses for the best vision possible? TV “talking heads” claim that the Great Recession awakened the skeptical bargain-hunter in all of us.

By working together, patients and their eye doctor can identify what’s in the best interest of the patient’s short-term and long-term vision health. Nothing good will ever result from doctor-patient debates over justifying prices!

Lenses matter most — they determine vision clarity and provide vision protection. In my practice, we prescribe superior quality lens materials and treatments because we believe the advantages are noticed and appreciated by the patient. We also offer step-down lens materials and treatments as an alternative for our cost-focused patients, pointing out the differences which will be noticed in the lower priced option.

Frames are the accessory component of glasses. Our inventory includes price ranges to fit every budget.

We suggest four key criteria for selecting your frame:

  • craftsmanship — handmade or mass produced by machine

  • hinge durability

  • comfort and fit

  • liking how you look