“They’re harping on branded products again?!”
We get it. However, we believe it can’t be overstated enough how detrimental it is for an independent ECP to buy identical-quality products for 2-3x the price, particularly when these brands are often “invisible” to the patient (i.e. optical labs/ generated lenses).
Think about your average lab job — the handful of go-to lenses your staff orders time and time again throughout the day.
Do these jobs average high two-digit ($XX) or low three-digit ($XXX) prices? If so, you’re dramatically overpaying right now for zero difference in performance vs. present-day house brands. With house brands, your practice could profit an extra $30, $50, or $100+ per lab order day-in and day-out, and your patient will experience the exact same quality, performance, and warranty as “industry-leading” brands.
No crazy marketing campaigns required, and no $XX,XXX equipment purchase needed either.
What about your optical’s AR pricing?
Many labs deceive doctors into thinking they’re getting the best lens pricing, but then absolutely destroy their profit margins by charging $25 – $30 for basic AR or $30 – $40+ for premium AR. AR that performs identically is available on today’s market for $10 (basic) and $15 – $21 (premium dipcoat).
Are you presenting multiple options to your patients when they insist on a branded lens?
A patient will oftentimes be open to trying something new if it’s $100 less expensive and you promise to “make it right” if not satisfied. If they encounter any nonadapt issues, they can bring the lens back, pay the extra $100, and get the brand they wanted in the first place.
Purchase price isn’t dictated by what you pay for lenses.
Purchase price is dictated by what the market will bear. If your competitors charge $200 – $300 for a high-performance progressive because they have to pay $150 – $200 for a branded lens, you should charge the same price even though you’re only paying $50 – $85 for equal-quality house brand lenses.
Look Beyond Full-Service Lab Costs
This extends beyond full-service lab bills. Even though they’re often an opportunity to reduce costs by 50% – 70%, these overinflated markups also extend to stock lenses if you edge in-house. If you’re paying anywhere near $15 – $20 per pair of poly or trivex lenses with premium AR, you’re overpaying.
Due to their branded markup, all of this rationale applies to frames as well. Those insights and cautions are thoroughly discussed in Step 5.