Aug 04, 2017 Olympic Eyewear
The Financial Times’ Jude Webber recently penned an interesting piece talking about some of the frustrations of living in a country that is very big on technology yet still runs its economy primarily on cash payments. Webber lives and works in Mexico. In her article, she wrote about running into trouble paying highway tolls while traveling outside of Mexico City. In a somewhat amusing anecdote, she talked about using her sunglasses and a bracelet as collateral for tolls she intended to pay on her way back into town.
As a wholesaler of discount sunglasses, Webber’s story got us thinking about something. Through conversations with our own customers, we have learned that some people treat their sunglasses like gold. They buy a pair from a retail outlet and then protect them like they are the most important possession in the world.
That’s good for us because it provides an ongoing market for us to sell inexpensive, bulk sunglasses to retailers. It is good for our retailers as well. Still, we cannot help but wonder what motivates some individuals to be so passionately protective of their wayfarers or aviators. We have a few ideas.
1. It’s an Image Thing
The first thing that comes to mind is personal image. In an era of social media and subsequent narcissism, it could be that people are so obsessed with image that they cannot imagine what would happen if that image were shattered. A unique pair of sunglasses that contributes to a person’s image would obviously be a critical accessory. It could be that people who treat their sunglasses like gold are afraid of not having them on hand when their image is at risk.
The average Joe or Jane on the street would probably not fall into this category. These are individuals like high-powered celebrities and influential business leaders who rely on their personal image to get things done.
2. It’s a Financial Thing
Here’s a second thing to consider about those who treat their sunglasses like gold: they have invested quite a bit of money in their sunglasses and don’t want to lose them. That’s a legitimate concern. Sunglasses can be expensive, even models that are considered ‘discount’ sunglasses. A customer spending $50 at retail would not take that same $50 and flush it down the toilet, so why would he or she be careless with the sunglasses purchased with that money?
3. It’s a Medical Thing
We would be remiss in our responsibility if we didn’t mention legitimate medical needs for wearing sunglasses. For example, both U2 lead singer Bono and NFL coach Tony Sparano wear sunglasses for legitimate medical purposes. Bono suffers from glaucoma, so his eyes are very sensitive to light. As for Sparano, he suffered a serious eye injury as a teenager; not only does he have to wear sunglasses all the time, he also has to keep the lights in his home dim.
When sunglasses are worn for legitimate medical reasons, it would only stand to reason that the wearers would consider them more valuable than gold. A good pair of sunglasses adequate for meeting medical needs can be hard to come by. Once you find a pair, you don’t want to let them go.
We have sold a lot of inexpensive, bulk sunglasses during the years we have been in business. In that time, we have heard stories of retail customers seemingly obsessed with their purchases. But when you stop and think about it, there are legitimate reasons for treating sunglasses like gold. We have only scratched the surface with our three suggestions.