Fashion

Does ‘Repair Warranty’ Justify Pricey Sunglasses

If you are the kind of person willing to spend nearly $200 on a pair of sunglasses, what would you expect in return for the price paid? It’s a legitimate question considering the fact that some designer brands can easily eclipse the $200 mark. If you are expecting better quality, then so be it. Do you believe that the higher price also constitutes some sort of ‘repair warranty’ in the sense that the manufacturer would pay to repair or replace the glasses if damaged?

The impetus behind all these questions is a recent court case instigated by a lawsuit filed by a Texas man against a Florida-based designer sunglasses brand. The case revolves around the company’s claim that they sell their sunglasses with a no gimmicks warranty. In fact, the company’s own literature states:

“Backed for life. The best in the industry. No gimmicks. No disclaimers. Just an unwavering confidence in our product.”

According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, the plaintiff understood that any repairs necessary to his glasses as a result of accidental damage or normal wear and tear would be taking care of for a nominal fee. The plaintiff seems to believe said warranty is just a gimmick.

Not a Nominal Repair Fee

The plaintiff in the lawsuit spent just under $180 for a pair of designer sunglasses in 2015. He bought them under the impression that the company’s warranty protected him from significant financial loss in the event the sunglasses wore out or broke.

Several months after purchasing the sunglasses, they broke as a result of normal wear and tear. The plaintiff returned them to the manufacturer for repair. Instead of charging a nominal fee, the company assessed a charge in excess of $63 – plus additional charges for shipping. The lawsuit contends that the price of repair was not nominal given the fact that it was 40% of the cost of a new pair.

It is now up to a court to decide the definition of ‘nominal’. As for the average consumer who would spend so much on a pair of sunglasses, an obvious question needs to be asked: does any repair warranty, either implied or spelled out in detail, justify such a high price for any non-prescription eyewear product?

Less Costly Brands

There is nothing wrong with a brand selling designer sunglasses for upwards of $200 if customers want them. That is the beauty of capitalism. But is it really necessary to spend that kind of money to get a pair of high-quality shades? After all, there are plenty of other less costly brands offering at least equal quality.

Olympic Eyewear, a Utah-based company that designs its own brands and sells them wholesale, says that it is possible to get a good quality pair of sunglasses for less than $100. In fact, $50 or $60 is reasonable as well. If you are going to pay a $60 charge to have your $200 pair of sunglasses repaired, what have you gained? You might just as well buy the less expensive brand and replace it if it ever breaks.

Consumer demand is the mother of retail. Companies like the one behind the Florida brand exist because consumers want their products. That’s great. And if the Florida company had backed up its no gimmicks warranty with the proper customer care, the man suing them might be able to justify spending so much on his sunglasses. The way it looks now though, the price was too high. He will just have to wait to see how the court will rule on the definition of the word ‘nominal’.