According to 2005 MIT report, the cost of a pair of mass produced eyeglasses is only 2 dollars. While most of the Americans are paying hundreds for a pair, even in online stores, the price of discount eyeglasses frames and lenses will cost 50 dollars.
Based on insiders of American optical industry, the general markup in most of the eyeglasses stores is from threefold to thirty fold. Though cheap stores like Walmart offers discount eyeglasses frames and lenses, but still insiders say a markup of fourfold is reasonable in the industry though facing the fierce competition from new entrants. Now with the booming of internet technology, online stores compete with brick and mortar ones, buyers can get even more discount eyeglasses frames and lenses at the price of only a fraction of the optical stores. Though people in the very beginning felt reluctant and worried to buy discount eyeglasses online, now more and more people are hunting for a best deal on the net. Even for those conservative people, they can at least buy the discount eyeglasses frames from web stores, and then go to optometrist’s office for installing lenses. In this way, he enjoys all the traditional optical services, meanwhile he can still save 50%. Furthermore, discount eyeglasses frames are especially good for those clear-lenses eyeglasses users who need not worry about the prescription preciseness.
Some American optical experts predict that optical stores are one of the last sections in America that will be finally decimated by the surge of online discount eyeglasses frames and cheap but same quality lenses.