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Cost of Seeing
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WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Because 150 million Americans wear glasses, and that’s 150 million people overpaying.

By Samir Rao

According to the American Vision Council, Americans spend over $15 billion on eyeglasses annually. That does not include contact lenses. It turns out, though, that much of that $15 billion is pure profit. Eyeglass frames are routinely ranked as one of the five most marked-up products anywhere. So before you go to LensCrafters again, take a look at these figures:

$3 or less

Base cost: What it costs to manufacture a pair of frames (even designer models) in China.

$30

Wholesale price: What stores pay on average for the frames that they sell to you.

$263

Retail price: The average cost you’ll pay for a pair of designer frames.

$100

Online price: The approximate price that Warby Parker, Firmoo, Mezzmer, Eyefly and other online companies charge for the same $300 frames.

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