Eyewear Merchandising Tips From the Field #2 Frame Pricing


I have been out and about in the “field” recently working on an eyewear survey which involves talking directly to eyecare providers and I am taking the opportunity to write about some of the tips they shared with me. I recently wrote about the male optical consumer and received some good comments so I thought I would go for Tip #2. This concerns Frame pricing.

Dolabany Eyewear
Dolabany Eyewear - Just Gorgeous!

Frame pricing is not understood by most optical patients as they have little knowledge of the cost benefits of different attributes such as flex hinges, nickel free metals, country of origin etc. They do not know what goes into creating beautiful but functional temples likes these Dolabany frames from from Best Image Optical. Consumers will often ask for a low price frame or look at low priced frames first. For this reason don’t display all the low price frames, keep them readily available to present when price is an objection but show the best ones and point out the key features. (This tip was given to me by an ECP in a very successful family practice that has some of highest repeat customer numbers you can imagine – over 80%!) Often it is the most expensive frames that are locked up and the low priced ones the most available for the optical consumer to try on.

Too many different frame prices confuse everybody! Some retailers are pricing frames within very limited and specific price points so that there are only 4- 5 different prices which is easier for consumers to deal with. David Friedfeld of ClearVision Optical has told me in our recent interview that this is the norm in some other countries so I made a point of looking and found that one of the large chains here is doing just that.

We would like to hear from you and your thoughts on frame pricing and merchandising.

Aspire MidPage June 19


  1. PRICE PRICE PRICE Why does it seem to always be the driving force? It doesn’t. Price is dictated by the image of the Drs’ office or Optical shop & the image of the staff. It is also driven by what collections that you represent/buy for your business. Is your shop old & dirty…….or is hip & fresh & inviting? Is your staff dressed well-or do they look like schlubs? Not everyone can afford better eyewear-it is a percentage game & an image game. The decor of your business can make even the lesser priced frames look better than the same frames in your competitors shop. However-you have to separate yourself from the “pack” by working harder-seeing more frame collections & weeding out the frame companies that are entrenched in LensCrafters, Cohen’s, Sterling. Pearle & other chain stores. If you are buying these same frame collections-you are competing on price. The frames are “shoppable”, all over town. Elevate yourself & your business image & your clientel will respond……as will your staff. How do you answer the question “I have never heard of this frame collection before?” ” This is a collection that we found to be high quality & not in the chain stores…we are very proud to have this collection in our shop”. It is a spin sometimes.
    But I know that when I bring my collections to a Drs’ office or optical shop & see their excitement of having something “different” than the big box companies….I know as well as the dispensers know they have something that tells a story & represents an image that they already have or want to create. With the big box companies & what I call “Slap a name on a frame”…it almost does not matter which sales rep shows up-because each rep from that company has pretty much the same looking frames with a different name attached….hence “slap a name on a frame”. If YOU are looking to grow your business-YOU have to be representing frame companies that will extend “exclusivity” to you. As an independent rep I have figured out what makes me different than my worthy sales rep competitors. Knowing what you want from the business & having a vision of where you want to be & go is important. It is not always about money-it is the desire & determination that will take you to the net level. It’s about that website that you have not created yet…it’s about blogging on the internet..it’s about change. It’s about changing your approach….your vocabulary. The word “COATING”…I dropped 7 years ago from my vocabulary—today I use the term “TECHNOLOGY” when explaining A/R. Coating is passe & has no intrinsic value.
    Most reps work for one company & take a paycheck & maybe expenses—-they HAVE to sell you more of their products to keep their jobs…..I, on the other hand am trying to help you sell more products thru innovative ideas & a new approach. Your customer/patient…..does not care that you got 180 days billing to pay your frame bill….product is KING and will ALWAYS be KING!!!
    As always I look forward to all comments & innovative ideas that others bring to the table to help me be a better rep for my customers.

    Jamie Hansel
    New York

  2. Jamie, Thanks for this valuable and excellent response to the pricing article. Your expertise and willingness to share are very much appreciated.


  3. Everyone is concerned about price! What we opticians must do is sell value! What price is good vision, good vision at night, good vision driving, etc.? What price is comfort with good vision-light weight eyewear, strength? What price is dispenser competence, that professional who knows how to resolve issues and competently adjust eyewear?
    It is this competence that puts the value in the price of eyewear. It is the integrity and competency that puts the value in price be it retail at $33.00 or $4500.00 a unit. Perceived value always determines price . . . not always on the first try.

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