Clear Eyes, Full Wallets, Can't Lose

Clear Eyes, Full Wallets, Can't Lose

By Samir Rao



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.


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


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


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