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Nobody wants to get ripped off and we all want to save money where we can, but is the lowest price ever good value? Increasingly, we are seeing companies selling glasses on the promise of low, low prices. The thing they never tell you is that this inevitably leads to compromise. But, as the saying goes "There is no such thing as a free lunch"!

Don't get me wrong, there is a place for lower priced glasses - after all, you wouldn't wear your Sunday best to do the gardening - but when it comes to your everyday eyewear you really should be investing in the best you can afford.

It is always important to consider that the price you pay for your eyewear is not simply covering the cost of the goods, but factored into it are all the other costs of operating an optical business.

So, what are these companies compromising on?

1. Quality

As with anything, when it comes to your eyewear, you get what you pay for. Cheap frames are prone to losing their shape quickly, compromising fit, which in turn reduces optical performance. We also find that low cost frames quickly start to lose their colour, either through fading or paint chipping off. We work with some of the best independent brands that use higher quality materials, utilise better manufacturing techniques and are obsessed with producing the very best eyewear that will last for years.

2. Styling Advice

When you invest more in your eyewear, you are not only paying for better quality products, but better quality service. Shops that sell cheap eyewear need to sell a lot, they therefore have less time to spend with each client. Often staff have little to no training in eyewear styling. You are usually left to choose your own frame from racks of hundreds of frames, with little to no help or advice. Many people find this overwhelming, and give up pretty quickly, adopting a "that'll do" attitude. At Clapham Optical we take our time, we are trained eyewear stylists and our mission is to make you look and feel awesome in your eyewear.

3. Visual Clarity

Something we see said a lot online is that lenses only cost a few pence to manufacture. While this is true for some, it is not true for all and cheap lenses will lead to compromise. From sub-standard materials, to basic lens designs, thick and heavy lenses and low quality or missing coatings, all of this reduces the clarity of your vision. We only work with the best lenses. Our lenses cost us many times more than the very cheapest, but they are worth it. All of our lenses are glare free and scratch resistant (guaranteed!), we use very few stock lenses, preferring to have them custom made for optimum thickness, weight and fitment. We utilise HD technology for superior clarity and our varifocals are better designs, giving lower distortion and wider fields of vision.

4. Aftercare Service

How often have you experienced a great level of service and care from a retailer, right up to the point where you hand over your money, to then find that they become disinterested thereafter? For those operating in the low cost end of the industry, the goal is to make a sale quickly, then move on to the next customer. They don’t really care about long term satisfaction or customer retention. Buying online? Then forget it, there’ll be virtually no aftercare service when your glasses need adjusting, break or are not giving the vision you need. Our clients mean everything to us, they are part of our family and we are in it for the long game. That is why we never charge for minor repairs and adjustments, it’s why we guarantee our frames for a minimum of 2 years and our lenses are guaranteed against defects and scratching for 2 years and it is why we have our no quibble, 60-day ‘Love Your Glasses’ guarantee.

5. Clinical Expertise

When you buy glasses from low cost retailers you are missing out on a wealth of clinical knowledge and experience that the best opticians have to offer. Buying online or from unqualified and unregistered spectacle retailers can be hugely compromising. In order to keep prices low, they have to keep costs low and this means doing away with the opticians altogether! They save money on staff costs, expensive equipment and space taken by consulting rooms. Our philosophy is different and we want the best for our clients. We invest in the best equipment and highly experienced and qualified staff - both ophthalmic and dispensing opticians. This is the only way to ensure you are receiving the best care and best corrected vision.

So, while you may be able to buy glasses elsewhere and save £100 or so, is this really worth the compromise? I would argue that that investment of £100 is well worth it for the better quality, better service, better experience, better vision and long-term satisfaction that you will receive from a leading independent optician such as Clapham Optical. If you want to discover more about the services and products we offer, and how this can be of benefit to you, please call or email to arrange an eyewear consultation. There is never any pressure or obligation to buy, just a relaxed, honest conversation about your needs.

Nick

Owner, Optician & Stylist