They’re a bit of a status symbol, aren’t they? Women, as well as men, love designer sunglasses. And why not? We wear them almost daily, so why should we not pay for them? And since we pay for them, why should our friends not see the cool designer name etched on the side?
Ray Bans are the thing of now–for men or women, at any age in any size, any style. We do love our Ray Bans–classics, they are. This might have been the biggest fashion comeback (from the 80s), maybe ever. But at $200 (and that’s not including a prescription), the question is: are they worth it?
And what about those $300 Prada Sunglasses? Gorgeous yes. Worth $300-$500? No. Especially since those Jessica Simpson glasses at TJ Maxx are indistinguishable copies. And if you’re a normal human being who loses sunglasses on a regular basis, they definitely aren’t worth it. Here’s what you need to know:
You are paying for name ONLY. And, a fancy case…again: TJ Maxx, people. The sunglasses do not more offer protection and most importantly, are not made better.
According to the Wall Street Journal, most sunglasses are made by the same company. I REPEAT, they all come from the same place! And guess what? This goes for your spectacles, too. Italian manufacturer Luxottica pretty much has a monopoly on…well…everything. Glasses, included. Perhaps what you’re paying for is the idea that your designer glasses are being manufactured in Italy (because doesn’t it sound better than Taiwan?). About 70% are and the rest in America or China. But still…same glasses, lower manufacturing cost. So that is ultimately what you’re paying for: the cost to do business in Europe.
You are probably buying your sunglasses from Luxottica, no matter where you purchase them. The same company is also selling your sunglasses. Luxottica owns, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Sunglasses Hut. So, to clarify, your doctor may be peddling sunglasses if he wants to remain in good standing with the company he works for.
The margin is incredibly high, which means the markup is HUGE, which means your getting hosed. Luxottica is making $.52 on every dollar, including overhead. And they’re doing great. Stock is at an all-time high.
And finally, cost has little to do with the amount of protection you’re getting. As long as you’re getting 100% protection against UV rays, you’re good…and that shouldn’t cost you more than $40. After that, what the heck, pay a little extra for polarizing lenses that cut glare. Now, you can afford it.