I had planned on an entirely different blog this month. I had it all mapped out in my head, and was ready to start. And then, I saw a Facebook post from one of my Optician friends. This Facebook post:
…”Good Morning America just had a ‘how to save money buying glasses’ segment, and the last thing they said was to haggle with the sales person. Argue that the price should go down.”…
I don’t know about you, but segments like that infuriate me, on a lot of levels and for multiple reasons.
I’m not a “sales person.” I’m a Licensed Optician. Do not devalue my training, my experience, and my license. Thank you.
Glasses are a medical device, first and foremost. Their main purpose is to help you see clearly, thereby keeping you and those around safe. Should they look pretty and be affordable? Of course. They should also function properly, and should fit well. At the end of the day, they’re bespoke—custom made and fit, just for you. Sorry, but Zenni Optical just CANNOT do that. Actually, I take that back. I’m not sorry.
This brings me to measurements and dispenses and adjustments and repairs and troubleshooting issues—all day to day in the life of an Optician. If you want to haggle about pricing, or purchase your glasses online, should I now start to charge you for all of those things? At some point, it became a given that adjustments and repairs were free, anyplace, at any time, no matter if you’ve ever made a purchase in an establishment in your life, or ever intend to. It’s become an entitlement, and I’m not really sure why. Nosepads DO cost us money, as do screws, as do our time and our continuing ed and our brick and mortar full service offices. Do you work for free? Does your dentist or hairdresser or mechanic or IT person? Think about that for a second. I’m pretty sure if you ran into the local nail salon and asked them for a free fill for the nails you bought down the street, they’d look at you like you were crazy, as they should.
Haggle. This is coming from people who think nothing of spending 6 bucks a day on brown caffeinated designer water. The family in the segment claims to spend 1000 a year on glasses for the mother and a young child. This may or may not be an exaggeration; I can see it happening if the mother is picking high end products. But hypothetically, if they also get a latte a day, even only during the work week, they’re spending over 1500 a year on coffee, and aren’t haggling or complaining about that, or about so many other day to day expenses that are NOT essential medical devices. Also, there are certainly cheaper options. 1000 a year for two pair of glasses, one of them for a child, is a LOT of high end product. Glasses don’t have to be couture, and though all the bells and whistles are nice to have, they’re options.
Just something to consider on this rainy Friday afternoon.