Designer Sunglasses: Worth the Price Tag?

Jan 19, 2014 Olympic Eyewear


Designer sunglasses are a big industry, with Bulgari and Prada styles selling upwards of over $500 a pair. Even popular models like Ray-Ban can easily set consumers back $200. Even though the economy is poor, designer sunglasses continue to be bestsellers. In fact, mall's popular chain Sunglass Hut reported their incomes increased by 10.8-percent in the first quarter of 2010.

However, this trend towards designer shades has experts wondering if these expensive brands are actually worth the hefty price tag. Before carrying a variety of expensive sunglasses, retailers should consider the following:

  • Same Manufacturer – Some people praise the quality of Prada over Dolce & Gabbana, but the stark reality is Italy's Luxottica produces them both. They also make sunglasses for Bulgari, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Burberry, Polo Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Paul Smith, Tiffany, Stella McCartney, Vogue, Versace, Miu Miu, Donna Karan and Tory Burch. Seventy-percent of these brands are manufactured overseas in Italy, with the remaining 30-percent balanced between China and America. Luxottica handles all the designs, marketing and manufacturing of their sunglasses.
  • Selling – Little do people know that Pearle Vision, LensCrafters and the Sunglass Hut are all owned by Luxottica, meaning that the manufacturer is directly selling the products.
  • Markups – The markups seem hefty, because they are. Luxottica reports profits of $0.64 out of each $1.00 of merchandise sold. After deducting licensing, overhead, advertising and sales costs, they still net $0.52 out of every $1.00. A 52-percent margin – what company wouldn't love that kind of profit?
  • Advantages – Some fashionistas may prefer to believe that a more expensive price tag equals higher quality sunglasses, but that fallacy isn't true. By purchasing sunglasses that offer 100-percent UV protection, consumers are actually getting a high-quality product for a fraction of the designer sunglasses' price tag.
  • Cheap – Inexpensive drugstore sunglasses aren't bad for the eyes. In fact, most people wear sunglasses to help block out bright white light. These types of sunglasses accomplish this task remarkably well and only cost around $10.
  • Investment? – While some people claim that designer sunglasses are an investment, the reality is that everyone has lost a pair of sunglasses, scratched them at the beach or even sat on them at least once in their lifetime. Today's society looks at sunglasses as a disposable commodity, which means it's not unreasonable to forgo the latest expensive $500 pair in favor of a trendy, less expensive brand.

Olympic Eyewear offers quality sunglasses at wholesale prices. Offering the latest DG sunglasses, Locs sunglasses, VG sunglasses and X-Loop sunglasses, they strive to offer affordable sunglasses to retailers.

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