I hadn’t seen my friend Jack in many years. In fact, the last time he was in New York Bill Clinton had just taken up residence in the White House.

In the intervening years, Jack went from not wearing glasses to being a full-fledged presbyope who wore a nice pair of gold wire rims outfitted with progressive lenses. When I asked him if he had a backup pair, he told me not only did he own one pair, he owned several. However, it turned out that Jack’s multiple pairs all had single-vision lenses of varying prescription strengths. One pair was for reading, another for close-up work, a third for watching TV. When I suggested that he could simplify his life by getting another pair of general purpose progressives and a pair of computer lenses, he scoffed and said he was fine with his three different single-vision lenses. It was inexpensive, too, he argued, since he was reusing his old frames. On top of that, his optometrist went along with the idea.
Now Jack has always marched to his own drummer, so I wasn’t too surprised by his reaction. But it made me wonder how many other people have found similar solutions to their vision needs.

For many people, it comes down to price. Some folks are just unwilling to buy a second pair, even if they would benefit from the comfort and better vision they would get with upgraded lenses.

The answer is to sell second pairs at such attractive price points that even the die-hards can’t refuse them. Offering a value-priced frame and lens package for a second pair is an effective way to overcome price objections.

As for Jack, I’ll try to convince him that the money he spends for three separate pairs of single-vision lenses is about what he’d pay for a good, basic progressive or computer lenses. Now if I can only get his optometrist to agree…

—Andrew Karp