BADLY: How badly are we being ripped off on eyewear? Former industry execs tell all. | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


BADLY: How badly are we being ripped off on eyewear? Former industry execs tell all.

Both Butler and Dahan acknowledged what most consumers have long suspected: that the prices we pay for eyewear in no way reflect the actual cost of making frames and lenses.

When he was in the business, in the 1980s and ’90s, Dahan said it cost him between $10 and $16 to manufacture a pair of quality plastic or metal frames.

Lenses, he said, might cost about $5 a pair to produce. With fancy coatings, that could boost the price all the way to $15.

He said LensCrafters would turn around and charge $99 for completed glasses that cost $20 or $30 to make — and this was well below what many independent opticians charged. Nowadays, he said, those same glasses at LensCrafters might cost hundreds of dollars.

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