When recommending Zenni Optical in the past, I’ve always pointed to the fact that they very do little advertising and have low overhead as reasons they can provide eyeglasses at a much lower price than competitors located in malls, high-rent shopping centers and other locations.
These new Zenni Optical TV ads I’ve seen recently seem to partially blow that theory out of the water. But not really.
The most important thing is that Zenni still provides online prescription glasses starting at $6.95 — the same price they charged several years ago when I got my first pair. You might think this is a gimmick or a loss leader, but there are dozens of choices at that price, and there are many more choices for just a little more.
The low power reading glasses I’m wearing now were Zenni Optical $6.95 glasses that I had upgraded with an antiglare coating to make them work better at the computer. With shipping, I still got the glasses with the upgrade for less than $17. And they look great and have lasted for years. I use them every day too.
And it still makes sense. Zenni Optical has a single plant and a single staff that handles all orders. They’ve located it where it’s most cost effective and economical for them. Most of those places in local malls and shopping centers have a staff of at least four or five people and often a dozen or more in hundreds of cities across the nation. And each location must pay rent, maintain an inventory of products, deal with theft and pay all those employees, including at least a couple of well-trained and well-paid opticians per location.
I’m glad that Zenni Optical is running TV ads now and is still able to offer the low prices that I’ve enjoyed for years. I hope they can continue to do that. But whether they run any ads or not, they’ll always be my top choice for online prescription glasses because they can provide high-quality glasses for only a fraction of what local places charge.