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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 (1221)
CNBC (1 month ago)
What other products costs should we dig deeper into?
Alex (19 hours ago)
the dentist
AlbySpace (3 days ago)
Tim Sharp (4 days ago)
Razors for men's shaving - the mark up must be many hundreds of percent
STeVe PNW (6 days ago)
Car Parts
STeVe PNW (6 days ago)
Construction Power Tools
Alex (19 hours ago)
Can you do a video on why the dentist is so expensive
Koodge (3 days ago)
12:22 most important line in the entire video
Tino Sim (3 days 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 (4 days ago)
I paid $250 for 2 pairs of glasses from Costco don’t care about what brand they are
JustSilly rachet (4 days 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 (6 days ago)
I love paying to use my eyes with high prices
Amit Raj (6 days 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 (7 days ago)
I can go for a checkup buy a pair of glasses and come back home with just $10 in hand
Skylark1507 (7 days ago)
A visit to Optometrist 200US$ wow! I pay only 69$AUD more like 55$US for eye exam without any insurance or anything here in Australia.
Luxottica (7 days ago)
Yeah;) 😂
Raymond XL (8 days ago)
Hello china and cheap eyewear
taith2 (8 days 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 (8 days ago)
I don't find the answer to the question why glasses are so expensive.
BRBallin1 (8 days 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.
Neryssa111 (9 days ago)
When I went to get my glasses from a optometrist who was part of the network I found the whole business strange. I had to keep demanding the sale floor person after my eye exam I just wanted my prescription but I was pushed to use the insurance.I told them I wanted only the glasses which were 100% covered by my insurance. Sadly not everyone else in the office was aware they had to say that. A woman was going to be charged $1500 on glasses (with insurance) and when she heard that she walked out of that office. I found out that I can buy a cheaper price pair of frames online and my insurance would be covered after I show evidence of purchase. I always tell my optometrist I will have laser eye surgery when I’m 21 so I don’t have to deal with this and they have a look of fear over loser a customer. 🤷🏽‍♀️
Marina Lucena (10 days ago)
Warby Parker is a life savior lol
Brent Tyrrell (10 days ago)
I’ve purchased glasses from a professional optometrist only to discover 6 months later that one of the lenses had the incorrect prescription.
Lee Lorenz (11 days ago)
you guys get ripped off in America. In the UK we pay around £99-£199.
Plus Optica (11 days ago)
Is seriously? Are you doing apology? I find it hard to believe that they simplify the work of the optometrist and the optical costs
Nico Porcu (11 days ago)
I using almost everyday my Rayban wayfarer made in Italy since 2013 and they still perfect and cool :) so.. better spend more getting quality' that last
Muhammad Mirsab (11 days ago)
In Pakistan you can get glasses with frames, lenses and eye test for under ~$25 And I would assume it's the same if not cheaper in rest of the subcontinent, including India and Bangladesh.
bel pet (11 days ago)
I had to pay $250 after insurance for my glasses with free frames.
Fabulous (11 days ago)
a months worth of food for 2 people, lol! yea rite! more like 2 weeks worth for 1! Food is expensive here in the uk! Glasses are also £40 ish
M M (12 days ago)
Buy off Zenni optical! My glasses cost 15 bucks
TrollBuster (12 days ago)
Why aren't antitrust regulators in Europe on this?
PePe The Frog (12 days ago)
zenni optical thank me later
Hadrian (12 days ago)
In Russia, you can get a decent pair of glasses for 105$
Gareth Thomas (12 days ago)
I live in France, it costs me 33 euros to have me eyes checked, of which I don't pay a penny. My last glasses and lenses cost 250 euros total (Police frame, so not cheap), of which I payed, wait for it, 0 euros and 0 cents. All that thanks to my 15 euros per month health insurance.
Zerin Sakech (13 days ago)
No one is saying to avoid the eye exam. Just get the exam, get the prescription and buy them online.
Khalid hasan Asif (13 days ago)
$10 USD in Bangladesh you will get slimier designer glasses with lenses.
Benny Sulistio (13 days ago)
I got mine $30 for two, complete with lenses. Bought in Indonesia, made in China.
enrc0gastaldi (13 days ago)
what about American multinationals? this is so sad, Alexa play despacito
Binamra Sharma (13 days ago)
In Kathmandu, 12 US dollars will cover everything from eye checkup to frame and lenses. 🤘🏻
Gavan Griesmeyer (13 days ago)
old news - like decades old
Pengbo Ma (13 days ago)
thats why i get mine from China, 20$ per pair
generalmeng (14 days ago)
glass doctors are like fake doctors and they are the biggest insurance scammer, bigger than fake dentist and fake chiroprotactors
JaeyunJi (14 days ago)
Eye exam is free here in Seoul, why does it costs over 100 dollars ?
Roedy Green (14 days ago)
Mergers always reduce competition. This means higher prices. They should almost never be approved.
דוד (15 days ago)
Perhaps if americans dont buy D&G glasses, it wont cost them 1 month's rent.
Glynna Schmehl (15 days ago)
My eyebrows are straight. Many thanks.
boia (15 days ago)
You can get a great pair for around 30 usd in India.. 😂 😂 😂 And for cheaper you can get a basic one.
Jorge Gomez (15 days ago)
talking about monopoly...
Bhatri SR (15 days ago)
Lol, you Americans are so dumb, in Asia, you get oakley and rayban at as low as 60$(original). That's bcoz ppl here but products for its use but not to try to prove something. A huge reason why apple products fail very badly in asia
alucard tepes (16 days ago)
My eyewear is from Tom ford and my sunglasses are massada. I got Zeiss lenses. To avoid luxortica
armyxonce (16 days ago)
lol i live in singapore and it rlly depends on which shop u go to,, one time i got a pair for $170+ and i recently found a shop which sells a pair with frame&lensfor $35.90 lol ok
Var r (16 days ago)
In India we got two for 10$ lol with all UV protect and vision correction.
Paul T (17 days ago)
We'll see if Luxottica lowers their costs on frames and lens, if not, we should sue the Federal Trade Commission (hint: the Federal Trade Commission turned a blind eye to this deal, if they actually would have looked into the history of how Luxottica has worked the glasses frames industries, you can see that they are using this deal to monopolize).
Paul T (17 days ago)
I get my sons and my eye exam from an actual eyecare place, but buy our glasses from an online retailer and have not had had any issues as of yet. We have used Zenni for about 3 years now.
Blanca Morales (17 days ago)
Ughhhhh no wonder my classes were still over $400 with insurance that happens to be eye med 😡🤬
Golden Boy (17 days ago)
I paid for mine around 300$ here in Europe And while on holidays to Pakistan I found out for 10$ i can buy exact same lookin replica frames with same glass quality
Mohsen M. Amrei (17 days ago)
Another form of legal theift.
Ya K (18 days ago)
This doesn’t happen in my country it’s cheeeper
Amalur Alure (19 days ago)
Dr. samuel pierce really afraid to lose his job lol
Ashley Jefferson (20 days ago)
And THIS is why I did LASIK.
Stefan Etienne (20 days ago)
There expensive because companies love to overcharge for medical lenses and so forth. Also don’t forgot these companies are allowed to overcharge in the US.
Bokimon (20 days ago)
that's why america block huawei in the form of cybersecurity threat to back up its own American companies like apple.
Francesco Vitti (20 days ago)
Don't like them? Don't buy then. Luxottica Is huge, they are even top recruiters at the most prestigious universities here in Italy, they'll never be stopped.
Dee (20 days ago)
did you guys hire a new video editor
MyYT ACCOUNT (21 days ago)
America is such a rip off and the service is such a bothersome. I went traveling in the Philippines and decided to get a new prescription glasses for just 50USD, all done in 1.5 hrs from walk in check up to picking my frame and getting my glasses. While in America I have to make appointment and wait couple days to weeks for the appointment and spend hundreds of dollars for a decent glasses and have to wait a week or two just to get my glasses.
Davidpochtli (22 days ago)
You can get prescription glasses for as low as $15 US dollars in Mexico... And I tought it was too pricey just for for a pair of glasses...😅
thosai (22 days ago)
Thanks to made in china frames 😄
Robin Sandell (22 days ago)
Just have it in the Philippines, you can have prescription glasses for as low as 1000 pesos or $20. That's already free eye exam 😂
Shilpan Shukla (22 days ago)
Go through an eye exam and upload prescription online to order glasses
sanch Sanchayan (22 days ago)
Extortion and nothing else.
Tineke Williams (22 days ago)
I paid $99 in the Netherlands, one day return from the German factory. Same in New Zealand, $799
Dan Kirchner (22 days ago)
suckers market
Haus of RicoBHI (23 days ago)
How pricing segments healthcare access is really important to highlight, but I'd also think we should stress more about what access to healthcare professionals offers over self-diagnosis. Optometrists and ophthalmologists can use their instruments and expertise to detect a host of potential health risks. As the piece touched on, they do more than just tell you how bad your eyesight is. And overall healthcare costs prevent many Americans from getting access to this form of preventative healthcare.
Jam Pablo (23 days ago)
i get my pair for $15 in the philippines
Marcotd 79 (23 days ago)
I paid my glasses 700 euros. The frame is dolce & Gabbana... But i get the frame for free because lenses where hugely expensive. I'm very short sighted so i had to buy ultra thin lenses. I bought my glasses from my parents' friend who had a glasses shop
mohamad ghandehari (23 days ago)
Can we work together? please watch: @Wrmo or here : @t
emmeaki (23 days ago)
Go to zennioptical.com. Never pay for this expensive crap again!
Irene Hurtig (24 days ago)
In Sweden nearly 1000 $ for glasses.One lens cost 0,5 diam to produce.
Tineke Williams (22 days ago)
Yes, last pair I bought used my old frame and still cost me $1200.
Jeremy Jackson (24 days ago)
Why is anything worth anything?? They sell them for that much because people pay that amount.
Dallas T (24 days ago)
Jeremy Jackson no actually, there is no basis for that in fact. people pay a high price for glasses not because it is what they are willing to pay but because they need to see and these are the prices that they are charged for technology that has the power to change someones life. if you need glasses to see, living without them is not an option.
Stanley Wey (25 days ago)
Meanwhile in Australia...
Josh H (25 days ago)
i got two pair and an exam for $69 in the USA
Cry Whit (26 days ago)
Don't we have a law against monopolies in the USA?
Veronica Bap (26 days ago)
Warby Parker is better, they have so many brick and mortar stores in the US and they make their own lenses and frames for an affordable price and the employees of the store can tell you what you are getting in the lenses and they have opticians who adjust your frames to fit properly to your face! You can’t get any better than that! (Also the frames are super cute!!!)
ilove2929 (26 days ago)
U know the title should be: How luxotica dominates the eyeware market and why nobody does anything about it. I watched too many content about this topic... But same ol same ol
Benmark Pascual (26 days ago)
Here in the Ph you can have a glass around PHP2,000 or around USD40 Us is always been expensive
CheesecakeLasagna (25 days ago)
I got my my latest for 4k, we were in a mall so it's convient at that time. My first glass was around P800 but we had to go through lengths.
Wikus Moto (26 days ago)
If you live near the México frontier, come here to get your glasses, the exam is free, about $30 dollars and that's all, mine costs $16.50 in USD
Mohamad El Chamaa (26 days ago)
Why is CNBC picking on the little guy????? You do know that you can order Ray bans online, it's not just WB?
Wu Yu Hong (26 days ago)
i mean of cuz dolce and gabana is expensive wtf r u talking abt. its like gucci watever they make r expensive lol... u shouldnt compare it to branded specs but normal brand/ price
beatjunkybg (26 days ago)
You don't have a free eye exam when buying glasses in US? Damn
Lyn (20 days ago)
Not unless you have insurance or go an optometrist who helps people with low income.
9000k4 (26 days ago)
All we wanna do is just see
Omar (26 days ago)
In my country,high end don't exceed 💯$
Renee Louiz (26 days ago)
Here in the Philippines, we can get a decent pair + eye exam in under 39 USD!
Kennedy - (26 days ago)
I just came back from the optometrist and bought my first pair of glasses ever and was randomly recommend this video when I got home .... kinda cool
Яссэр Абухарба (26 days ago)
God bless the grey market.
Eliza Knight (27 days ago)
I bought 2 pairs from American Best with free eye exam for $70. I paid extra for a pair of driving glasses with black lens, $200 in total, I'm quite happy with them.
Ageng Rezha (27 days ago)
buy from aliexpress
Florimond Vld (27 days ago)
It's free in England and nearly in France...
Scare League (27 days ago)
Like everything else they can charge that much because no ones telling them they cant
yamamancha (27 days ago)
Exams are free at Costco (and many other stores) here in Japan. Frame (Police) + lens/ blue light cut was under$200 but I easily could have chosen out of necessary and paid less than $100.
Eduardo Pérez Olivares (27 days ago)
america still not having subsidised glasses...
Anarose Rambo (27 days ago)
Mine is only $2.
Andrea DeSimone (27 days ago)
As a licensed Optician this is poor journalism only highlighting such a vague and layered topic. Bottom line, any product a consumer is seeking we can search you will find from a bottom price point to top of the line price point. What's the difference? QUALITY. As a consumer and eyesore professional, educate yourself. There is a reason you can purchase eyeglasses for $5.00- $500, the flux in cost all boils down to a compromise in lenses and frame qualities. If we applied this same theory to everything, well why can I purchase 4 tires for $300 or $800 for my vehicle, both claim to do the same thing..take me to point A to B....but clearly I would be compromising quality somewhere otherwise why would there be such a range in cost...
Bria Singh (27 days ago)
Although Luxottica dominates the industry, in NZ their branch OPSM are one of many optical stores; all of which I see fairly equal in terms of who consumers prefer overall. I would say OPSM (basically the same as Laubman & Pank and Lenscrafters) are approximately middle of the range when it comes to the cost of eyewear - the company Specsavers definitely striking as a more prominent go to. I'd attribute that to their low prices, what you might call 'cheap and cheerful'. But honestly when it comes down to it, at most Luxottica owned Optometrists, I always find they are more focused on the experience they provide - which is always genuinely with the patients/customers best interests in mind. There are other private optometrists that a good portion of people go to who's cheapest frame is the same as OPSM's most expensive. I've been to both Specsavers (also exists in UK) and OPSM, speccys being far cheaper - and STILL went back to OPSM because the quality really is there.
mohammed jaffer (27 days ago)
Way overcharging. I buy Ray Ban for around $100. Why you ppl pay that much?
Kyon (27 days ago)
I buy my glasses at ZennyOpticals.com affordable good glasses.