Warren Buffett once said “Price is what you pay; value is what you get”. In other words, the price is just numerical. Price tells you little about an item, but value is fundamental, it tells you what something is worth or more to the point, whether the price you paid was justified. Value will vary from person to person, but I think we can all agree that, for example, a car purchased for a low price that breaks down frequently, is uneconomical to run and costs a lot to maintain gives poor value. Where as a more expensive car that is trouble-free and gives great economy represents great value.

This is how I think when deciding what products and services to offer at Clapham Optical. Getting this right is critical to giving our clients a great experience. As an independent business we have hundreds of designer frame ranges to choose from. Dozens of lens manufacturers telling us their products are the best and what seems like an endless array of equipment that can examine eyes in many varied ways. My job is to navigate this minefield and select the few items that truly give great value for money.

While writing this I Google’d ‘expensive glasses’ and came across a pair of Chopard sunglasses that cost $400,000! Yes, they feature diamonds and some 24kt gold trim, but I doubt anyone could claim they offer great value. Conversely, I am aware of frame ranges where the shipping cost is greater than the price of the product. Again, this can never be considered good value due to their inevitable poor quality.

I recently saw a bottle of water labeled as ‘Artisan Water’ at 3-times the price of other water. As I was considering price vs value I thought I’d get a bottle, to see if it’s better than the others. The answer, predictably, was no. It tasted exactly the same. Not great value.

What value means to us

At Clapham Optical we consider value above price. If you just want cheap glasses then we are not the right place for you. Cheap means cutting corners, low quality, poor service and a high volume of customers. This results in a rushed experience. So what does value mean to us? We expect our fashion eyewear to last a minimum of 2 years and remain free from any manufacturing defect (in fact, uniquely, we guarantee it). We demand that our glasses fit as well after 2 years as they did the day you collected them. They must fit perfectly and look great. The lenses must provide the best vision, be easy to care for and remain free from scratches for 2 years (again, we guarantee it). To do this we must be very selective about the products we recommend, the way we present them and how we help our clients discover their perfect eyewear.

So our prices may be a little higher than our big-chain competition - although often this is not the case - but we are confident that when you consider the whole experience at Clapham Optical, from the day of you consultation and for as long as you still have your glasses, that you will not find better value.


Owner, Optician & Stylist