Patient Purchases Frame From Frames Direct For $50 Less

Patient Purchases Frame From Frames Direct For $50 less, Should you charge For Your Time?

We recieved the following comment from an optician and thought we would throw it out and see what others may think.

‘Essilor’s purchase of to help with “brick and mortar” optical’s, as they say “the devils in the details. I recently had a lady who had been all over town to purchase the right frame. She came into my store found 4 frames and decided on one. The following Monday she called and had found the frame $50. less through and need her Pupillary distance. I felt as though I should at lest charge her for my time. What do you think?

My response:

Are you asking about charging to take a PD or charging for frame selection?

If you are talking about taking a PD, at one time I would have said yes, charge them for your time. Unfortunately and or fortunately, you can’t be sure what this person will post on online ratings social media programs such as YELP, even Facebook or Twitter, if you do not offer to do it for free. If you are willing to take that risk, I would charge for your time.

Or tell her that she can get her PD on Frames Direct. If she trusts enough to buy online, then she should trust enough to get her PD online.

If you are talking about charging for your time on frame selection- I would say no. I’m sure you have many times been in a store bought something and taken it back. It is the cost of doing business. If she took the frame and it didn’t come back in re-salable condition, charge a re-stocking fee.

This woman is obviously a coupon shopper, and coupon shoppers are notorious for not being long term loyal customers. If you feel that even though you lost the sale, but she would comeback and or refer friends, don’t charge. If she is is a one time person that you may never see again- charge.

This is not just PD’s, is seg heights, frame adjustments, poor prescriptions and more. What I think is important that you have a statement the patients sign saying you are not responsible for products not sold in your eyecare office and if they return a frame you will charge a re-stocking fee.

It is a decision that you have to make based upon your knowledge of the patient, longevity, referrals and what they may say about you online.

I am throwing this out to our readers perhaps they have other suggestions!

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  1. The question is why did Essilor buy FramesDirect and why did they deny buying it, until late last Friday.

    Do you really think Essilor bought it just to help out the ECP’s? Bullpoop!
    Essilor wants a new market to bilk money away from ECP’s. It is a farse to set up your own online website to compete with yourself.

    I agree, tell that patient if they want to buy a custom pair of glasses online, let FramesDirect figure out their PD

  2. Uh, farce is spelled with a “c”…

  3. That is all you have to say? No opinions good or bad?

  4. No he simply follows me to be my personal spell checker. I like it!

  5. Jayendra Chheda says:

    firstly dont give her the PD readings than where is the question of charging

  6. To Lenschic Get a dog instead . The dog will be more loyal & follow you more closely. That is why they have spell check. 2ndly, I can understand one of the big frame companies buying FramesDirect, but now you know why so many Drs & Opticians are now finally learning who is really concerned with growing their businesses with a true partnership in mind. And it’s not Luxottica, or Marchon or the big E. Smaller niche companies are where your allegiance should be. If you are selling the same products as everyone else….lenses or frames, it is a price war. Set your self apart & work a little harder to find those companies who bring new & DIFFERENT products to you. It will make you a better merchant & a better retailer & protect not only your profit margins but also your image.

  7. j_clayo2 says:

    The whole buying glasses online thing concerns me…
    In the past year, I have had a handful of patients choose to purchase their glasses online, and most of them have come in after the fact to complain. Their first instinct is to blame it on the Rx, (of course it wasn’t their bad decisions that caused problems.)our office takes the time to check the glasses and explain to the patient why they are not seeing well. All at no charge. It seems to be a no win situation for all of us. We still retain our patients for the exam, but our optical is spending more time trouble shooting these problems, and not seeing a penny for our efforts.

  8. Here is another solution: Any eyecare office can build their own website and sell products online. You can do it in a website format or even a blog format. It does take a some time to set it up, but if a patient is shopping on line for eyewear, your office can be their resource- they can order from you at the same price. You don’t have to necessarily stock the product either. With same day shipping from vendors, it is easy to get product and reship it out from your office.
    The question still arises- Should you charge?? – Do you think you would lose patients if you charged them for adjustments and trouble-shooting?

  9. Give her $50.00 off the frame. You are saving the sale and still making a profit on the lenses. Remember customer service????

  10. E.Strider says:

    Here is how my office handles these situations. If a pt wants their PD for the purpose of buying online, we will take the measurement and let them have it, but we charge a fee for “Rx Verify.” In addition to giving the measurement, we offer to check the prescription for accuracy once the glasses are delivered.

    Yes, the PD is a part of their medical record, and they’re entitled to receive it. But to perform an exam and get a copy of a glasses prescription, the patient pays the doctor a fee. That is to be expected. Our techs don’t have any reason to take a PD, so it’s not a normal part of the exam record, and we charge a separate fee for this “procedure.”

    I’ve had to do this a couple times within the last few months, so it’s getting more common. But I’ve never had a person balk at paying for their measurements. They know what they’re doing to us by purchasing their glasses online, and we handle the situation professionally.

  11. Great tip- and it’s nice to know how your patients accept this.

  12. Save the sale dude. Surely you have run some sort of coupon somewhere. “Ma’am your never going to believe this, but today is you’re lucky day. We have a $5@ coupon that went into the mail today and we would be happy to apply it to you’re purchase. Plus we’ll include all the measurments you need and any adjustments forever. Then tell you’re friends about our great service and how you felt sorry for me because I’m ugly and my mothe dresses me funny”. Everybody laughs and you make some money. Never be defensive always think how do I turn this around and make it work for me.

  13. More good advice! Thanks for responding

  14. I don’t know what frame she was considering buying, but their are damn few frames that I wouldn’t sell for $50. less than my printed price. If one one my sales optician let someone walk out the door for $50.00, we would talk, and maybe not very long. Now, of course, there may have been other discounts that you offered and didn’t tell us. But, if you want to pay full price, buy a used car, not eyeglasses.

    I know, you’re pissed because she took your time, took full advantage of your inventory and advise and then took you to the cleaners.

    Please everybody, remember this opticians plight the next time you recommend an Essilor lens; and remember how may labs Essilor ruined.

  15. I still find it hard to agree with e. strider’s comment. Charging to verify an RX takes only a minute. If you are busy with other patients, let them leave their glasses and call them after you have verified them at your convenience. This way you are not pushing a future potential customer away, or their friends,who they will tell how great you were by taking the time to do something nice for them…AND,,if the glasses end up being made wrong, where do you think they will go to buy their next pair??? hmmmmmmm

  16. To Jamie Hansel:

    “To Lenschic Get a dog instead. The dog will be more loyal & follow you more closely. That is why they have spell check. 2ndly”

    First of all Jamiers, your sentence is so poorly constructed, it reads as if the dog has something to do with spell check.

    Second, speaking of spell check secondly is spelled like that (not 2ndly as you spelled it.) I know this because I used spell check.

    It is sad that you are part of the Essilor herd, having drunk so much Kool-Aid that you have become blind.

    Don’t complain when Essilor drops their online price so low for lenses, that your patients simply buy online because you can no longer compete against your “partner.”

    I define a partner as someone who supports you, not screws you over. I guess in your head a relationship has a different definition. What will you do when Comfort drops to $99 online?


  17. How about a sign That Says “Minium Charge 10.00 orre4pairs and services not covered by Warranty” Would that not cover you to charge and not to charge?

  18. So what ur saying is, if someone walks in for an adjustment that hasn’t purchased glasses from you, you would charge them $10?

  19. Yes, that would be good- I think you should let people know that your time is valuable.

  20. I think you should think about today’s economy and stop being so petty. Charging for your time that is so “valuable”? oh pahleassssse!!! Who do you think people will come to for their eyewear needs? Someone that charges for an adjustment, or someone that was kind enough to take the time and help them out at no charge????? Put yourself in their position. Where would you go???

  21. We should give patient’s their PD. We cannot perform the refraction without it- it is part of the exam. If you went to a MD for a prescription would he with hold part of it because you were not purchasing from him? -I think not!

  22. A PD is NOT part of any medical/optometry exam? Where do you work in this “measurement?” Between the tonometer and the auto refractor?

    The PD is taken ad part of the buying, measuring of glasses.

    Get a clue!