Zenni Optical: Chinese eyeglasses
I discovered the secret to Zenni Optical’s low low prices. The eyeglasses are made in China. This is not mentioned anywhere on the website. The only hint is a picture of their factory floor where you may notice that all of the workers are Chinese.
If you pay extra for the faster shipping, which I did, then they ship your eyeglasses directly from China. I presume that the slow shipping is so slow because the eyeglasses are sent in a bundle from China using a cheap and slow method of shipping and then re-mailed from California (but I’m not certain about that).
This makes sense. I bet that Chinese opticians get paid a fraction of what U.S. opticians get paid.
You save a lot of money by ordering from them. I am sure it would cost me FOUR TIMES as much for eyeglasses if I bought them locally in Manhattan, even when you take shipping into account.
Am I a traitor to the local economy for wanting to save a few hundred dollars? Every big corporation is taking advantage of cheap Chinese labor costs, so why shouldn’t I?
Another advantage of Zenni is that they don’t require a verified prescription. I believe that with this trial lens kit at Amazon.com you would have everything you need to diagnose an eyeglass prescription, which you could then order from Zenni Optical, saving yourself hundreds of dollars. (However, if you are over the age of 40, they say you should get glaucoma air-puff tests every two years, because glaucoma has no other detectable symptoms until it damages your eyesight and it’s too late.)
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This blog post demonstrates how cheap Chinese labor impacts skilled high-prole occupations like opticians.
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A Google search reveals that Luxottica, which has a MONOPOLY on eyeglass frames, is making its frames in China. What a HUGE MASSIVE markup they have thanks to a monopoly. Talk about value transference!
Most of the lenses are now being made in China too. Essilor, for example, manufactures in China.
The lens fitting work is done locally. The optician orders lenses from a supplier, and then they cut them to the frames. That’s local high-salary labor.
So Zenni saves money by doing away with middlemen like Luxotica and Essilor (who just manufacture in China and then rip off the consumer with huge markups), and additionally by moving the labor cost of cutting the lenses to the frames to China as well.