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Old 14th May 2024, 08:41   #1
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Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

I am currently in the US on a business trip. During my stay here, I'm considering purchasing a pair of Ray-Ban Aviator polarized sunglasses. They are priced at approximately ₹17,000 in the US. However, I have noticed that the same pair costs around ₹13,000 in India. I am curious to understand the reason behind this price difference. Could anyone provide insight into whether there is a variance in quality, such as first-grade versus second-grade, or if the difference in price is solely due to location? If the quality remains consistent and the only disparity is in price, I will wait and make the purchase in India when Iím back.
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Old 14th May 2024, 09:35   #2
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

I'm a big collector of sunglasses, and 90% of my collection is from reputable stores in India. Can vouch for the top quality . Buy them from India.

Trivia: A majority of the brands you see in a typical sunglass shop are either owned by the same company, or officially made by the same company for other brands. Yep, Luxottica owns Rayban, Oakley, Vogue and officially produces sunglasses under licence for almost every sunglass brand you can think of (Prada, Versace, Armani, Chanel, D&G etc.). Hell, Luxottica even owns the Sunglass Hut chain of stores too!

My favourite store is Turakhia Opticians on Linking Road. They have an online store too.
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Old 14th May 2024, 10:18   #3
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?



Edit: more or less what GTO said

Last edited by greenhorn : 14th May 2024 at 10:21.
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Old 14th May 2024, 10:29   #4
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

As someone connected to this line of business, the simple explanation is margins.

There is usually no difference in quality. The products are typically manufactured in the same factory, usually in China for most brands and Europe (mainly Italy, sometimes France, Germany etc.) for some higher end brands.

But in developed markets gross margin on optical products are extreme high relative to India in order to compensate for the much higher share of indirect expenses they have to bear. For example you can hire an optometrist with a diploma for a very reasonable salary here in India, but in some western countries they require as much as 8 years of education and their remuneration alone would be significant.

You should definitely buy from India if you are planning to come here. Plenty of NRIs and even many foreigners do just that.
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Old 14th May 2024, 10:39   #5
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madhukarmohan View Post
I am currently in the US on a business trip. During my stay here, I'm considering purchasing a pair of Ray-Ban Aviator polarized sunglasses. They are priced at approximately ₹17,000 in the US. However, I have noticed that the same pair costs around ₹13,000 in India. I am curious to understand the reason behind this price difference. Could anyone provide insight into whether there is a variance in quality, such as first-grade versus second-grade, or if the difference in price is solely due to location? If the quality remains consistent and the only disparity is in price, I will wait and make the purchase in India when Iím back.
US model works on high MSRP at normal times and discounted products available during sales seasons, via coupons and other means. During holiday season end of last year, I had seen specific Aviator models available for sub-$100 prices; this on reputable website(s). Couldnít get one as I didnít have anyone coming from the US. Currently the same models on those websites are priced at full price.
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Old 14th May 2024, 10:45   #6
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

When discussing sunglasses in the USA:

Ron White: why does a pair of sunglasses costs more than a 25 inch color television set?



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Old 14th May 2024, 11:02   #7
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

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Originally Posted by Noctis View Post
The products are typically manufactured in the same factory, usually in China for most brands and Europe (mainly Italy, sometimes France, Germany etc.) for some higher end brands.
Many are manufactured in Rajasthan as well by Ray Ban Sun Optics India, both for the domestic market and for exports.

Last edited by Sheel : 15th May 2024 at 12:36. Reason: Typo.
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Old 14th May 2024, 11:05   #8
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

Not just sunglasses and the US, other items like apparel and footwear are also more expensive overseas, for the same brand same model. Like Ninjatalli said, equations do change if there's a sale going on (but we do get some offers here as well).

Recently, I was visiting Mexico and had to replace my pair of Crocs as the old one gave up. Bought from a Crocs outlet and I paid around 1.5 times the listed price in India. I did take a look at RB Aviators at their duty free shop and didn't see any price advantage there as well. Similar experience buying clothes from other countries.

Last edited by ashis89 : 14th May 2024 at 11:07.
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Old 14th May 2024, 11:21   #9
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

The overhead costs there compared to India are much more. Similarly many consumer white goods, FMCG products and more are priced higher.

There could be even difference in quality in some cases. If you drink Pepsi or Coca Cola here these are priced at around Rs 20 to 25 (250 ml) here. The same are priced at on an average at $1.30 -$1.40 for 12 ounces (591ml) in the US. But the US made soft drinks are better to taste. Not sure if the "better" or "not better taste" is "better" for health.

But for frames and spects (eyewear), India is an exporter of these products to the developed as well as developed countries. In 2022, India exported $25 million in eyewear. The main destinations of India exports on eyewear were Canada ($9.21M), United Kingdom ($3.7M), France ($3.22M), Singapore ($1.48M), and United Arab Emirates ($1.33M).

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 14th May 2024 at 11:22.
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Old 14th May 2024, 11:53   #10
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

Not directly linked to the topic, but not completely off-topic either. This came up during a conversation with a close family friend who worked in the apparel industry in US (at one of the top brands).

He mentioned that even in the US, for any brand there will be different versions of the same product. For example, if you take a navy blue Lacoste Polo T-shirt, the company makes multiple versions of the exact same shirt, with the exact same SKU and Product Code. Only folks involved in the distribution and labeling will be able to tell them apart, but not others.

The lowest rung of these are shipped to budget retailers like Walmart, Target, Macy etc. The more premium rungs are sold to higher end retailers. So while you may think you are getting cheaper stuff at discounted rates, they are not the exact same product. Not sure if that is the case here.

Disclaimer: This information (while from a completely trusted source) is a few years old, so things may have changed. Just thought of sharing.
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Old 14th May 2024, 12:14   #11
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Many are manufactured in Rajasthan as well by Ray Ban Sun Optics India, both for the domestic marker and for exports.
By luxury brands I meant the likes of Tag, Tom Ford etc. While there is manufacturing/export in India, a significant amount of designer frames at this range are still imported.

Last edited by Noctis : 14th May 2024 at 12:21.
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Old 14th May 2024, 13:35   #12
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madhukarmohan View Post
I am currently in the US on a business trip. During my stay here, I'm considering purchasing a pair of Ray-Ban Aviator polarized sunglasses.
If you are buying from the US, check out the Maui Jim glasses. Hard to get them in India and the quality of these glasses is unmatched.
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Old 14th May 2024, 20:12   #13
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

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Originally Posted by sreerknair View Post
If you are buying from the US, check out the Maui Jim glasses. Hard to get them in India and the quality of these glasses is unmatched.
I picked up a pair about 6-7 years ago from Lulu mall in Cochin and was cheaper as compared to what I had seen in the US for the same model. The glasses are super.
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Old 14th May 2024, 20:19   #14
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

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Originally Posted by Garth View Post
I picked up a pair about 6-7 years ago from Lulu mall in Cochin and was cheaper as compared to what I had seen in the US for the same model. The glasses are super.
Ah then I am wrong about its availability in India. Thanks for the information.
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Old 14th May 2024, 20:59   #15
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Re: Same sunglasses are cheaper in India than the USA | Why so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinayak View Post
He mentioned that even in the US, for any brand there will be different versions of the same product.
Don't know if it is really true or just a placebo, I have also felt that the products sold abroad are of better quality and have lasted longer. My first pair of Rayban sunglasses, Macbook Pro, iPad, etc bought from the US have all lasted over a decade.

PS: I see a difference even in the cleaning cloth provided with my US Rayban vs the Indian one (I was cleaning both a little while ago).

Last edited by Axe77 : 14th May 2024 at 22:18. Reason: As requested.
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