Why Are Glasses So Expensive?

Have you ever wondered why eyewear costs so much these days? In a recent 60 Minutes expose´, reporter Lesley Stahl uncovered the truth behind the rising prices of today’s eyeglasses. The reason? One company owns a huge portion of the market.

One Glasses Manufacturer to Rule Them All
In her revealing 60 Minutes report, Stahl discovered that Luxottica, the Italian eyewear manufacturer, owns nearly every recognizable brand of eyewear in the world. Top designer brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Coach, Dolce Gabbana, Prada, Tiffany, Bulgari and dozens of others are all designed and manufactured by Luxottica. And it doesn’t stop there. Luxottica also owns a majority of the eyewear stores in the United States. Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Oliver Peoples, Sears Optical, and Target Optical are all owned by the Italian company.
What does this mean to American consumers?
It means that Luxottica can charge whatever they want to for their eye glasses because they not only make most of the frames found on the market, but they also own most of the retail outlets where you traditionally buy eyewear. This is why a pair of eyeglasses that used to cost around $30 about ten years ago now costs a couple of hundred dollars. And according to Stahl’s 60 Minutes report, unlike most companies that sell their own brand of product, Luxottica doesn’t discount the price of their own frames in their own stores.
Thankfully, Affordable Eyewear is Still Available
While Luxottica may have a lion’s share of the brick-and-mortar eyewear market, there are still affordable options for Americans who want high quality eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses without being forced to pay excessive prices. 39DollarGlasses.com is a New York-based company that has been selling affordable eyewear online since 2001.
39DollarGlasses.com offers eyewear made from the same high-quality materials used to make premium brand eyewear, yet the company only charges $39 for a base pair of glasses. And unlike other eyeglasses retailers, 39DollarGlasses.com doesn’t charge extra for anti-scratch and 100% UV coatings and polished lens edges.
Get Eyewear That Fits, Delivered Fast!
Besides offering frames that stand toe-to-toe with today’s hottest frame fashions and designer trends, 39DollarGlasses.com makes it easy to buy frames that fit perfectly. Using ExactFit™ technology, shoppers can upload their own pictures on the website so they can see exactly what the frames are going to look like on their faces before making a purchase. And, because all orders are manufactured and shipped from the company’s Long Island, NY office, American consumers can get their glasses shipped direct to them instead of waiting for their glasses to make their way through customs.
To read more about Lesley Stahl’s eye-opening 60 Minutes report, click here. Or, to find more affordable eyewear options for everyone in the family, please visit 39DollarGlasses.com.


  • dj

    I was in sticker shock when I recently started looking for glasses. The first place I went, it was close to $1k! I normally buy two pairs, one being sunglasses. We just wanted polycarbonate, single vision, scratch resistant, anti-reflective coating glasses. I feel sorry for seniors requiring bifocal or progressive. They cost more. It’s odd. By law, we are required to renew our vision prescription every year or two depending on state, so eyes/vision is medical. But glasses (which are required to then correct vision) are treated as “face jewelry”. 🙁 My glasses are not a fashion piece. The frames and lenses are a prosthetic for my eyes. I’ve been wearing them all my life. Sure, I don’t want to look like Buddy Holly. But come on… I’m looking for options and definitely am considering 39dollarglasses. Thanks for providing some competition. I can’t live without glasses, and to be held hostage by the lack of competition and high prices from a sole provider is frustrating. I didn’t see the original 60 Minutes piece on the cost of glasses but I caught it when I was looking online.

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