Image from zach_manchester

In my last post I discussed some of the basic reasons that glasses are so expensive – cross subsidisation of the services offered by the glasses themselves (ie, they don’t charge the true cost for eye tests, but much more for the glasses). Also rents, expensive equipment, etc.

To try and stop people from going online to buy glasses many opticians will resist giving you your Pupillary Distance (This is, as it sounds, the distance between your pupils. I’ll write another blog post on this topic soon, and will be having a discussion with our Senior Optician about PDs which I’ll put up as a podcast).

To give you an idea of what many opticians feel about you, their customers, and the services that we and they provide, it can be worth eavesdropping on some of their conversations.

Optiboard is a forum for americans in the optical trade. There have been many threads on there about the online trade, and PD measurements.

Here is one about PD measurements: which many opticians are reluctant to give out.

“Online eyeglasses appeal to the cheapest and most moronic people out there. If I lose a few drooling idiots with no money to the online crowd, I’m not sure I even care.”

“Tell them to take their own. If they feel they do not need us, they they can do it themselves (note, I am no longer in the industry, so I can make statements like that).”

“My policy would (I haven’t been asked yet) No PD, period!”

“My policy is no PD, period.”

One member of the board tried to point out that by providing a service of measuring PDs etc, it could actually be a useful way of keeping customers returning to him, but he was in a very small minority being shouted down by the others who think that everyone who orders online is a moron, and any glasses bought online will be awful and won’t work.

We’ve had over 100,000 happy customers, and made over 200,000 pairs of glasses. If they didn’t work, we’d have been out of business a long time ago.

The industry is changing, and we’re part of that change. I wish the industry would realise that we’re not out to destroy anything, we’re just about giving a better deal. People, including myself, will still buy from the highstreet, and online. I buy books from amazon, my local book shop, and waterstones. I’ll buy glasses online, from the big chains, and from independant opticians (more of which in another post).

The difference is that I have 10 pairs of glasses, Two are from high street opticians, and are nearly double the cost of all the other 8 bought on-line put together!