Why are sunglasses so expensive?
Everyone who ever shopped for new sunglasses has asked this question: “Why are sunglasses so expensive?”. Perhaps not out loud, but the question certainly was there. Is there a good reason for these high prices? Are the materials used to manufacture them so very expensive? Or is it the cost of marketing them? Or is the reason a lot more simple and straightforward?
In this article we will explain why your sunglasses are so expensive. Is it really necessary? And what are your best alternatives if you don’t want to break the bank?
The price of your sunglasses depends on these aspects:
- Frame materials and quality
- Lenses materials and quality
- Licencing costs
- Marketing costs
- R&D costs
- Additional costs
- Profit margins
The cost of materials
A pair of sunglasses consists of a few basic elements, such as the frame (the front part), the temples (sometimes calles Ears), the hinges and the lenses. Of course there are other elements, sich as emblems and other parts and accessories attached, depending on the type and brand.
Choices in sunglasses frame quality
For all these elements you can make a choice in quality. Your hinges, for instance (that connect the temples to the frame), can be flexible or not. Flexible hinges can extend your sunglasses’ product life. The most common defect in a pair of sunnies is a broken or dislocated temple. If the hinges are flexible, it bends instead of breaks under pressure. Another example of added quality and cost for the hinges: they can either be attached to the temples on the outside or molded inside the temples. If it’s nicely integrated in the frame, it will again extend the product life. And it looks nicer, with a “high quality” look.
Choices in sunglasses lens quality
Then there’s the choice in lenses. Many lenses on this earth are manufactured by just a few companies. These companies are specialized in making any type of lens. Differences in material and coatings make the biggest difference in cost price here. Lenses can be made from glass (mineral lenses) and plastics (organic). And the coatings applied determine elements such as the functionality (polarized, colored) and durability (scratch resistant, anti fog).
Materials: the quality you pay for
For branded products the quality is almost always guaranteed. Lenses and frames are of high or high enough quality. This is because of regulations in most countries. And because consumer expectations require these products to be of high quality. So both the factories, as well as the brands take special care of the quality. However, if you buy a cheap, unbranded product on a market, online market place or on the beach during your holidays, you can be almost certain that your sunnies won’t last very long.
”Most branded products are of high quality”
”However, if you buy a cheap, unbranded product on a market, online market place or on the beach during your holidays, you can be almost certain that your sunnies won’t last very long.”
Then there are licencing costs. If you look at the most used search words related so sunglasses, these are often the eyewear brands. And it’s always the well known brands. Sometimes these brands are known from other products. And at a certain moment they expanded their assortment to sunglasses. But in many cases these now sunglasses brands are managed and marketed by big licencing companies who buy the rights from these brands for a certain period. They often buy the rights to exclusively make sunglasses with that brand name. You see that with famous car brands, clothing brands and even celebrities.
Marketing costs are pretty straightforward. More marketing often means more success. These costs will be calculated in the price for you as a consumer. How much depends on how successful and popular the brand is. Some manufacturers or brands work with celebrity endorsement and influencers. These costs can be significant and this can have a huge influence (pun intended) on the cost of marketing.
R&D costs are relatively low, because sunglasses are often made with standard elements that were designed and patented a long time ago. However, some brands and manufacturers innovate a lot more than others. For example, some brands manufacture shades for the US army. You can imagine that the quality and innovation expectations are high for a customer like that!
Like every company in any inductry, there are always additional costs such as overhead and office costs, legal, trademark registration, customer service etc.
That leaves one important element, which are the profit margins of the brand or manufacturer. If a brand is very popular, the pricing will be high. There is also a link between price and perceived quality of the products. Which means that consumers expect that certain products are higher priced. In such cases it is unwise to charge less because it can negatively affect the quality perception.
So why are sunglasses often so expensive? You now know the answer, but let me summarize for you. It depends on the quality of the parts and the brand. And many, many elements that influence both. So next time that you need new sunglasses, you have a few choices. But to enjoy your product for a long time, we recommend you go for a good pair of sunglasses. With high quality parts. That does not automatically mean they’re extremely expensive though. Check out our range of high quality, hand made shades. We don’t charge premiums for premium features. And for a significantly lower price you have a sustainable, eco-friendly product.
So, this concludes this article about why sunglasses are often so expensive. If you want to read more about this topic, click here. Are you interested in reading more about high quality sunglasses? And more specifically in shades that cost just half of what you expect based on the premium specs used? BEINGBAR shades are the ultimate conscious and sustainable sunglasses, made with natural materials. For people who make their own conscious choices. Click here to read more. Or visit BEINGBAR.com