Should You Do Private Label Eyewear?

Etched-private-label

Etched by Zyloware

We received this email from Eye Design Alliance, who calls themselves a ‘modifiable eyewear’ company for eye care professionals. They offer ECP’s customizable one-of-a-kind unique eyewear in Buffalo Horn, Goat Horn, and Block Acetate, that you can offer to your patients. All which got me to thinking about Private Label eyewear. Should you or shouldn’t you consider do private label?

For this purpose, I am defining private label, as optical products you buy directly from either a distributor or a manufacturer and put your ‘name’ or your own label on it. It is similar to putting your name on eyeglass cases or accessories.

When you think private label, think Kirkland (CostCo) Do you really think that Costco makes all that private label themselves? No.. they negotiate with vendors and come up with a price and minimum and voila,

Advantages;

Disadvantages

  • It’s your stock and you own it. No returns, no exchanges
  • You have to warranty the frame and lenses.
  • Minimum orders
  • No brand support with vendors
  • Larger inventory
  • Will insurance cover it?
  • Packaging? Cases, clothes etc.

What to consider:

  • Know your market and demographics.
  • What are you trying to achieve? Branding, product control, show-rooming?
  • What are your goals for this product category?
  • Who is going to make the product
  • Look at your competition, how do you compare with them?

Who has Private label? 

You can google private label eyewear and many manufacturers will come up whether they are distributors or you want to go direct to the manufacturer, usually in Asia. You can also ask your current suppliers if they have a private label program. Some will, of course there are minimums. The advantage of going direct to a current supplier, is they can support breakage.

Lenses  The following companies offer either private label or in-house lense fabrication.

  • Fast Grind (Super Systems) all in one surfacing equipment. You can name the lenses anything you want!
  • VisionWest: offer private label Hoya Lenses
  • QSpex– In house lens fabricating system. Again you can name the lenses anything you want.

Clip On’s

Frames

No matter what you should do ‘Private label eyewear accessories.

  • Modern Optical– Cases and microfiber cleaning clothes,
  • Stormin Normans Cases and microfiber cleaning clothes, lens cleaners
  • Rons Optical– Cases and Microfiber clothes, lens cleaners
  • Hilco – Cases and Cleaning clothes, lens cleaners
  • Nanofilm – clothes and lens cleaners,

 

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Comments

  1. THE MEB says:

    I have been out of the loop for 5 or so months. That being said, why have Nanofilm and Hilco been crossed off this excellent article?

  2. They are on the list, but the links were broken so it shows the line through them.

  3. Cathy,
    I appreciate the article and introduction about my company EDA. I wanted to clarify a couple of things about the disadvantages of Private Label.
    Disadvantages
    You have to warranty the frame and lenses. – We offer a life time warranty on private label / and our other branded collections.
    Minimum orders – EDA does not have minimum buy in’s with private label. The Optician is in control of making the decision for what best suits their practices needs, not us. 🙂
    No brand support with vendors – EDA is different than most companies as we can help promote the brand with private label marketing.
    Larger inventory – Once again there are no buy in requirements with EDA.
    Will insurance cover it? Yes, to date we have not received any issues with our private label customers billing insurance. Just make sure to select “other” when billing insurance.
    Packaging? Cases, clothes etc. With EDA this is included at no additional cost to our customer. Did I mention we will laser engrave any private label at no additional cost?

  4. Great post! Thank you for sharing such great info!

  5. What a great article, I’m looking for these options right now – but minimums is my biggest problem with some companies – I don’t want to order 200 pairs if I’m not sure how it’ll work with my patients. Smaller batches would be better. Looking into EDA right now! 🙂

  6. Hello Cathy! I just found your article! Better late than never! I am the sales director for SHO EYEWORKS and we offer an easier approach to Private Labeling. We are not your traditional “Private Label” provider. We have added to your advantage list including pre-selected classic design (sho-eyeworks.com: 100 current styles can be found under classics by SHO) , high quality manufacturing, and a quick turnaround (can take less than a week), and have eliminated all but 1 disadvantage on your list. “You own it!” Which I don’t see necessarily as a disadvantage. Taking ownership and being committed to the most important brand (yours) in your shop is the key to success! Below you’ll see the list of disadvatages that we offer now as advantages. Cheers!

    Edward

    You have to warranty the frame and lenses. (we offer 2 year warranty)
    Minimum orders (no set minnium orders required only recommendations)
    No brand support with vendors (we offer custom POP, customer service, and online catalog)
    Larger inventory (We stock all inventory in th US and many new releases throughout the year.)
    Will insurance cover it? (Yes! )
    Packaging? Cases, clothes etc. (We provide cases and cloths)