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Why Glasses Are So Expensive

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In 2017, Italian eyewear behemoth Luxottica announced a merger with Essilor, a French lenses manufacturer. The $49 billion merger furthered Luxottica's entrance into all facets of eyewear, from design, to manufacturing, to retail. Though the merger was approved by several major international trade commissions, including the FTC, some antitrust experts question if the move will help consumers, or entrench the industry standard in which glasses cost hundreds of dollars. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: https://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC Why Glasses Are So Expensive
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Text Comments (1332)
CNBC (4 months ago)
What other products costs should we dig deeper into?
Gabriel Goh (4 days ago)
Having a paid un-skippable advert is not going to make me want to be a customer even more. In fact it's a turn off
KOLLA GOPINATH (1 month ago)
In India we will get a pair of glasses with frame around $10-$20
Mel Eva Grover (1 month ago)
The legal industry.
Robo Virtuoso (2 months ago)
Nothing. Don't waste your time "digging deeper" into product costs because there are always cheaper alternatives. If you don't want expensive stuff, buy the cheaper ones. It's that simple. Go dig deep into more important matters.
When Guinea Pigs Fly (2 months ago)
Funeral Industry
ramiyan22 (2 days ago)
in ontario, the exam is free until you are 19 then frames are around 100 CAD then lenses are around 200 CAD
Lady Investor (5 days ago)
Because it overcharges PERIOD
hector bedoya (11 days ago)
Monopolies are the maximum expression of capitalism that the United States defends.
Rhob C (11 days ago)
Use eye buy direct. I paid 25 dollars for glasses, including lenses.
Ivy c (13 days ago)
Pft... I pay $50 for an eye exam and no more than $30 for a pair of glasses online and that's including tax and shipping.
Steve (13 days ago)
A-and... i can just purchase this exact frame from aliexpress for mere $20 with same quality....
Rafal C (14 days ago)
Many years ago when RayBan brand belonged to Bausch and Lomb, they used glass lenses in sunglases and the quality was amazing. Now Luxottica only use plastic lenses ....
Darien Chase (14 days ago)
I went to Target Optical paid $110 for the exam. The frames cost me $130 and the lenses were $365. But I need the glasses to drive. They have a gun to my head. Noticed they didn't tell you which online eyeglasses site gave inferior lenses. Now your forced to doubt both. I bet Luxottica was behind the study.
Siddhant Dand (16 days ago)
They're just expensive in America, very decent Crizal ones are cheap af in India
geo (16 days ago)
In Australia you can metal frames with lens for like $20
Elk4758 (17 days ago)
Yeah you only pay that much if you want brand name. Nobody is paying $700 dollars for a normal par of glasses unless they want to.
Stella Boos (17 days ago)
Opticians sell what costumers want ... at the moment thats mostly rayban (especially in Europe)
ruzzell907 (17 days ago)
He's the President of the American Optometric Association, of course his their interests comes first than giving us consumers more options that are cheaper. Insurance actually makes everything expensive. When you don't know the price, they can charge you any amount. You can't shop around for more affordable options.
HN Atikur Rahman (18 days ago)
In Bangladesh, we can get an eye exam and glasses with prescription lenses for about 30-50 bucks. I am living in USA for past 10 years. Every time I go to visit motherland I bring back about 2-3 pairs. This business in USA is a awful.
Timren1 (18 days ago)
Break up Luxoticca.
rock4you (18 days ago)
Luxottica is snake oil business. Go buy your glasses on Zenni.
Mauro Ramos (20 days ago)
Love this videos but i still don't have clear "why glasses are so expensive"... There is a monopoly i get it but is it the only reason for high tickets?
thandermax (20 days ago)
We get same glass (Nikon, Carl Zeiss ..) at <$100 combined (frame+glass+consultation) Why US is so expensive in health care ?!
Choto manush (21 days ago)
The avarage price of glasses in my country is roughly 10 Dollars 🤣
Mason 美生 (21 days ago)
It's hard to not buy Luxottica. I think I can only go to JCPenny Optical.
W V (26 days ago)
Dear Americans I'm not sure if you noticed but wherever a product is sold with with any relations to your health you are charged 4-5X more than Europe. And it so happens all your loving and caring doctors and the health institutions which exist to protect have perfect relationships with the companies that charge you 4-5X times the prices of Europe. I wonder why...
Chirag Nagpal (26 days ago)
Dave Roush (27 days ago)
Antitrust suit against Luxxotica, break them up.
Shaurya Dandriyal (28 days ago)
Rest 40% is owned by safilo group , Carrera , Smith optics , Hugo Boss to name a few brands owned
Jeffrey Twoey (30 days ago)
I interviewed with this company once...was very unprofessional and the manager wanted to sleep with me. 😅.
Sunil Kc (1 month ago)
order some glasses from aliexpress PROBLEM SoLvEd 😂😂😂😂
Akash Bhavsar (1 month ago)
I've lived in India for 18 years and bought eyewear in best designed for nearly A$20 and now I'm in Australia everything same cost me from A$150-200 which is crazy even though some of the eyewear I see here says made in India and still costs A$150
oacy16 (1 month ago)
I love my Ray Ban glasses
stephen (1 month ago)
My glasses cost $700. I couldn’t believe the price when I saw it.
Yanishka Yachtboy (1 month ago)
Nice investigation
Kris Degs (1 month ago)
Wow that price point I could have my eyes lasered to 2020 vision. I would never wear a glasses any longer!!
WHITE LION (1 month ago)
Luxottica = optical industry mafia
Mai Howell (1 month ago)
We know.. we will still buy Luxottica has us over. I still buy online though 😂😂😂
Nicholas L (1 month ago)
Glasses are all counterfeits made in China!
Stan the HeadHumongous (1 month ago)
You should have taken into account the overhead cost of glasses. The very nature of glasses determines that a lot of them sit on shelves for very long time before being sold.
Stefan Xhunga (1 month ago)
Is very interesting: Why Glasses Are So Expensive
Edward Snowden (1 month ago)
I am sick of health professional using "Patient health and patient safety" as code for "challenging our monopoly"
lingling (1 month ago)
For the most recent few years, I had worked at an online eye glasses store in logistic, customer services and business decision team. The company is owned by couple of American eye doctors from FL, they contract out their lab work to a few licensed Chinese factories. Their glasses were all imported to the US with drop ball test cert and cost usually around $3-15. Then the glasses are sold either online or in their physical stores, depends on the design of the frame. When sold in the store, each pair priced $100 and up, if online, their price range $15-100. So you know sometimes when you order a pair of a glass from the eye doctor why it takes around 2 weeks. Your prediction was sent to China (which take a couple of days )and air ship back(take a week). The cheapest way to order prescription glasses nowadays is to get eye exam from your eye doctor and then order the glasses online. Coz anyhow you are most likely going to received the glasses from Chinese made glasses anyway.
Abigail Peña (1 month ago)
I use Zenni Optical, cheaper and pretty good frames, but some can break a lot easier than RayBands or other brands...
Shashwat mishra (1 month ago)
Why wear glasses eat green vegetables or pull your eyes abit wide yu will also be able to see things yu arent
Best Pranks 69 (1 month ago)
I bought some Tom Baker glasses because £208
Best Pranks 69 (1 month ago)
Shut up really. You can get a test done in the UK for £20. And you can get two pairs of glasses for £69.
Abhishek Pokhrel (1 month ago)
Wow!! In India I got my eyes examined and got lenses. I admit frames were not super branded. Still, everything was under about $30. I guess that's why India is popular in medical tourism.
Sheryl G (1 month ago)
This isn’t only a North American thing, I’m in Central America and had to get another pair of glasses for $330+ when I even haven’t fully paid my previous pair of glasses in less that’s a year. It was kinda my fault that they damaged but the price to pay is too much. Yes, you can practically get a pair of glasses (basic ones) for much less than that, but they won’t work as well, too high of a price for a need but that’s they way it is 😪
Eddy Kardash (1 month ago)
You can still get a regular eye exam and then get your glasses online. They give your prescription.
Alessandro Fornari (1 month ago)
Leonardo Del Vecchio( Luxottica) have been raised in orphanage he Started The business from nothing, I always had Great admiration for him.
Heste04kraft93 (1 month ago)
I thought I paid a lot for my glasses that cost 324usd.
V Guyver (1 month ago)
I was hoping they would mentioned goggles4u. They have helped me out and several others in a jam when we managed to get $30 pairs while my eye doctor was charging me $400 after insurance. After I lost my insurance, I can only rely on them now.
wildchild (1 month ago)
Specsavers: Should've gone to specsavers
Myriri Myri (1 month ago)
200 US funny money for an eye exam? I paid ten pound sterling for my last eye exam. I paid 200 pound sterling for my glasses.
silenc3x (1 month ago)
It's RALPH LAUREN, like Lauren. He's American, not french.
JoinAnamoly (1 month ago)
Knew this. I paid 15 dollars for my home glasses from zenni. But i wanted a versace sunglasses and cartier glasses, so i had to pay that fee.
lacertus (2 months ago)
Answer: They are not, you can buy your exact degree on Amazon for about 20 bucks.
Beeni (2 months ago)
And this is why i always get my glasses from Korea whenever im over there.. my prescription is so bad that it always costs me a fortune here in the states to get the lenses to a reasonably thin size that won’t weigh down on my nose. It cost me $150 for total for my frames and lenses that were thinned 12x. Oh, and they were done in 3 hours in the same day. Lovely.
ayushi grover (2 months ago)
$200 dollars for an eye exam ? They cost 50-100 INR at any good hospital in New Delhi. That's $1 - $2. You guys should definitely see Lenskart. I got 2 really good frames with blue ray protection, anti-glare, scratch proof layer glassed for $25. That's 2 glasses for $25 with a free eye checkup and a free visit at home to show me the frames. This is bogus, y'all!
GONEWILDFILMS (2 months ago)
Was priced out of the USA glasses market, so was forced to get them from Zenni Optical.
ked luv doggo (2 months ago)
In Vietnam: Eye exam: free even without insurance Frame: $0.5 - $70 Lenses: $7 - $45 I think the average total cost is about $15 and this is a very decent quality pair of glass that could last you for ~5 years
David Nunes (2 months ago)
Talking about money, capitalism isn't supposed to help people, it's supposed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
Kidcorpus (2 months ago)
What about Americans best?
Ernie Correa (2 months ago)
hello zenni.com exists people
Zhonguoria (2 months ago)
Something is very wrong - what good is optical insurance that is owned by eyeglass frame and lens manufacturers?
Zhonguoria (2 months ago)
What happened to the Sherman Antitrust Act?
Not_PopSK Gaming (2 months ago)
Why are frames the most
wan wan (2 months ago)
Wooooow.. i bought my glasses worth 2800 PHO, that's about 55 USD. And that includes frame, eye check up, lens and i upgraded it with transition lens. 😱 Next time you visit the philippines, grab your self a pair of glasses if you need it, you'll save a lot. Haha Edit: 2800 PHP and that's the "high end" package. Prices here starts 795PHP in the leading optical stores here.
Brandon Key (2 months ago)
When more competition such as Warby Parker grows, then Luxottica as a whole will be forced to bring down its prices. Its just a matter of time, monopoly or not.
Joslyn Marqs (2 months ago)
I thought monopolies were illegal, or is that just a law in certain countries
Gregor Clegane (2 months ago)
Expensive in the US "only".
K.D.P. Ross (2 months ago)
This analysis fails to consider that glasses might be a Veblen good.
K.D.P. Ross (2 months ago)
I'd rather not live in Iowa, Wisconsin, or Nebraska, though. (Spoiler alert: Rent is cheap in those places for a reason.)
Derek Mulready (2 months ago)
Cost of my glasses and eye test reading/ watching TV Zero Nothing NaDa social Welfare System in the Republic of Ireland. You can buy Designer eyewear of course. One company operating in Ireland www.specsavers.ie IRISH CITIZEN
fredocorleone (2 months ago)
The optometrist monopoly has also added $50-250 tax to eyeglass costs. CNBC should do a story on this unnecessary and overpriced cost and step for getting glasses. Maybe we should have optometrists also administer an AIDS test during their "examinations" to make them more useful to society. Optometrists are useless, fee-gougers in the google-your-symptom-age.
Max77 (2 months ago)
Warby Parker does have pretty cheaply made frames when compared to the same priced Ray Bans alternatives and there lens technology is very basic with little to no options.
Jerrod Tham (2 months ago)
This is we call monopoly
Stuey Griffith (2 months ago)
Adam ruins glasses is only slightly more entertaining that this piece. SLIGHTLY. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAeHuDcy_bY
I love bacon (2 months ago)
They don’t even let retailers compete. Ray-ban’s wayfarers are retailed at $153 Amazon, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and target sells them for the exact same price.
Jason Laboy (2 months ago)
"Most consumers can't spend several thousand dollars on a Parda handbag, but for $300, they can own a pair of Parda sunglasses" that's the most rediculus thing I've heard. Well maybe people don't want to have to pay to own fancy glasses so make affordable options for them.
Alex R (2 months ago)
What lol
Mac Kobalt (2 months ago)
That owl sold me a pair for 60 free eye exam too
TheDarkBrutal (2 months ago)
Warby Parker all the way baby :)
pbilk1 (2 months ago)
3:56 You never mentioned their major presence in Canada too.
Hettie Petra (2 months ago)
Warby Parker, $99 is still a rip off you can get them for £30 in England
Hettie Petra (2 months ago)
Eye exams in England are like £10 if not free
Emma Mulligan (2 months ago)
I use ZenniOptical.com its the cheapest ive found starting at like 7 dollars. The quality is great and while it is online you can download pics to get a feel for what they'll look like on you. Ive bought probably a dozen pairs from there myself and my family have as well. The freedom to compare such large quantities at once is great. And you can design your sunglasses to have colored mirror tints, color tint, gradients, and much more to make your glasses all the more for you. Within the last few years, they introduced an unnoticeable yellow tint to block blue light from computer screens and phones and reduce headaches, i love it and wont go back, i never notice the tint and the benefits are fantastic. I bought a total of 9 pairs for my family and it was about the price of one pair at LensCrafters. The pair i have now are almost 2 years old, super durable with a plastic/metal frame, and the only bad thing is that the oleophobic coating has worn down some but i have an oily face and ive worn them for 16 hours a day for 2 years so i dont mind. The only pair i ever broke was a frameless pair but again, i dont blame them bc it took a dodgeball straight to the face before they cracked. Dont waste your money, I buy designs that ive never seen in a store but online they can stock more floral prints, pride designs, and other kooky and cute designs while stores are limited by their floorspace.
DOHC 106 (2 months ago)
I understand going to optometrists for the full examine to detect different things, but you can still get jacked up glasses from Walmart. I have noticed even if a correct prescription is given the adjustment is only as good as the people doing it and consumer beware if their mood is bad.
absolutdave (2 months ago)
Stan Luxottica for quality glasses, the rest can choke
Muna Karshe (2 months ago)
I cannot be the only one who immediately googled Zenne. Sis I need me some $8 glasses.
Alex (2 months ago)
Can you do a video on why the dentist is so expensive
Koodge (2 months ago)
12:22 most important line in the entire video
Tino Sim (2 months ago)
"Lens shatter under slightest pressure"? Can't you just buy the frame online and take it to the store to confirm your prescription and make the right lens for you. At least you can save money on the frame. You can do this is Malaysia, and eye exam are literally free here.
DOOM FIST (2 months ago)
I paid $250 for 2 pairs of glasses from Costco don’t care about what brand they are
JustSilly rachet (2 months ago)
I don’t get why people are hating on Luxotica,they are very smart it’s not their fault consumer are idiots who agree to spend thousands of dollars on some glasses
MPK (3 months ago)
I love paying to use my eyes with high prices
Amit Raj (3 months ago)
In India you can get glasses in $7(Cheap) and good Anti-Glare glasses or BlueCut glasses in under $15 with offers it can go as low as $4 !!!!
subhology (3 months ago)
I can go for a checkup buy a pair of glasses and come back home with just $10 in hand
Skylark1507 (3 months ago)
A visit to Optometrist 200US$ wow! I pay only 69$AUD more like 55$US for eye exam without any insurance or anything here in Australia.
Luxottica (3 months ago)
Yeah;) 😂
Raymond XL (3 months ago)
Hello china and cheap eyewear
taith2 (3 months ago)
Ah, you could buy ticket to Poland, get yourself dental made, medical procedure done, buy glasses, spend vacation, fly back, and still save money if you worked and spend money while receiving all these things in the US
vpshastry (3 months ago)
I don't find the answer to the question why glasses are so expensive.
BRBallin1 (3 months ago)
What I hate more than the frames is the extra you have to pay for add-ons like polycarbonate lenses and anti-reflective coatings.