• Report: #765528
Complaint Review:

Safilo USA

  • Submitted: Mon, August 15, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, January 30, 2013

  • Reported By: Manager — Chicago Illinois United States of America
Safilo USA
801 N. Jefferson RD. Internet United States of America

Safilo USA Solstice Sunglass Boutique Boutique Sun Glasses Biggest Ripoff Yet Parsiphany, Internet

*Consumer Comment: The Sad Truth

*General Comment: The Truth

*UPDATE Employee: Solstice Sunglasses is a Ripoff

*UPDATE Employee: This statement is completely false

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Having worked for Safilo USA / Solstice Sunglass Boutique have had first hand knowledge what and how they are ripping off their consumers daily in all their stores.

Not standing behind their warranty is just the start of the big ripoff. 

I believe it was Time magazine that stated a good pair of drug store sunglasses are equal or better than designer glasses for $ 9.99 - $19.99 per glass.

A big difference from the prices by Solstice. Manufacturers invoices were often for $ 23.00 to $ 35.00 per glass by Carrera, Gucci, Dior, Prada, Coach, Tom Ford etc. yet Solstice Boutiques sells their glasses for           $ 350.00 up to and above $ 650.00 on these same glasses. Nice Profit Margins !

Think they have a big enough mark-up? I would guess so. Don't you agree? 

Just beware when you visit their 160 some stores - 
If you buy from them........ buyer beware you just got s_ _ _ _ _ _!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/15/2011 05:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/safilo-usa/internet/safilo-usa-solstice-sunglass-boutique-boutique-sun-glasses-biggest-ripoff-yet-parsiphany-765528. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

The Sad Truth

AUTHOR: intelligentsia - (United States of America)

I do not think that the markup, big or small, is the major issue that should be discussed. The prices, in fact, are unfair. Luxottica and Safilo are able to keep their prices so high because they dominate the eyewear marketplace.  Traditionally, their businesses have cannibalized much smaller companies.

Due to the recession, there are many smaller, independent companies that now sell glasses for way less than any store owned by Luxottica or Safilo. What is more, their lenses rival those of both companies (e.g. CR-39, scratch resistant, impact-resistant, acetate frames, etc...), and the glasses cost a fraction of the price (I am not naming any, but interested parties easily can do the research). It is also very naive to assume that the high prices are somehow indicative of the quality of labor used to produce the sunglasses. Luxury brands are just as guilty of using sweatshops as cheap, knockoff brands. Chinese immigrants and illegals comprise up to 25% of the population in Italy. Where do you think they go for work? Read this article: 

Anyone who believes "the Truth" (above) is a fool, or just another brainwashed, deluded retail worker who is drinking the "Kool-Aid." 
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#2 General Comment

The Truth

AUTHOR: Dfnk - (United States of America)

First of all I work for a competitor of Solstice and have no reason to defend them.  This person has majorly distorted what the sunglasses cost for the retailer to buy at wholesale.  The only brand that this person mentioned that can be bought for the prices they said are Carrera.  Carrera also does not sell at the high prices this person quoted either.  They sell for just over $100.  Second of all sunglasses bought at a drug store are now where near the quality of what Solstice sells.  The drug stores can buy these sunglasses that sell for $9.99 to $19.99 for about a $1 from China.  When you buy these cheap sunglasses at the drug stores you are most likely supporting some of the worst factories that treat their workers poorly.  I think this person is a disgruntled employee and has really distorted the truth.  The markup on most sunglasses brands is far less than most clothing sold at a department store. 
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Solstice Sunglasses is a Ripoff

AUTHOR: intelligentsia - (United States of America)

Mr. Talmage's claim that Solstice Sunglasses has the best warranty in the industry is quite untrue. On numerous occasions, customers attempt to return inferior products to Solstice Sunglasses (e.g. screws fall out, the frame breaks, etc.. after just a couple days for $300 sunglasses?!) Hence, the sunglasses are not "of the highest quality and construction." In fact, the sunglasses are sometimes discounted and they are returned to the vendors after a period of time, when the company discovers that there was a defect. In my opinion, this may even pose a health and safety hazard. Why aren't they required, liked toy and appliance manufacturers, to report these defects and give customers their money back?

Solstice requires that all sunglasses be returned in the original condition. As such, the salespeople clean the sunglasses and inspect it for any imperfections. Afterwards, they will tell the customer that the sunglass cannot be returned. Many customers make the informed decision to shop at their competitors, Sunglass Hut and Ilori. These stores not only frequently offer customers amazing coupons, but also have a sunglass replacement program. Even if, a customer breaks a sunglass, Sunglass Hut and Ilori will replace it at 50% of the original price. So, Mr. Talmage's claim about having the best warranty is inflated and delusional.

What is more, there is some truth to the ideas espoused within the former, "insider" statement. For instance, Mr. Talmage attempted to persuade customers that their designer sunglasses are high quality, by saying that the sunglasses "are made in Italy." So what?! In consumer research, we refer to this as customer "cosmopolitanism", "halo effects" and "country of origin effects" (look it up on Wikipedia or Google Scholar for more depth).

Marketers and retailers use the romantic image of Italian, countryside artisans to dupe customers into thinking that a "made in Italy" stamp, in fact, conveys a hand-made and one-of-a-kind product. But have you ever read "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster" (Dana Thomas, 2008) or a similar title? Researchers have shown that luxury goods are no longer hand-made in Italy and France. In order to reduce costs and drive up sales within the masstige market, luxury brands have mostly switched to factory manufacturing (especially for bon a fide masstige items like sunglasses and fragrances). Safilo and Luxottica, indeed, own factories in Italy.

Truth be told, the masstige market will continue to be successful until the U.S. economy recovers. At that time,  patrons will begin to purchase "real" luxury goods once again, and the hype over sunglasses and fragrances will be extinct. I hope that these companies are prepared to innovate within the next few years; otherwise, their retail businesses will also cease to exist. Thus, I agree with the original post. Solstice Sunglasses is a ripoff!
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#4 UPDATE Employee

This statement is completely false

AUTHOR: Rick - (United States of America)

I am the COO of Solstice and I can verify that this is a completely false statement.

First and foremost Solstice is a retail company and we purchase our sunglasses at a wholesale price the same as most traditional retailers. We do purchase from our parent company Safilo and get a small discount on those brands. Over 50% of our products come from other manufactures like Luxottica and Maui Jim.

We also offer our customers the best warranty of any other sunglass retailer and we stand behind our product. If your Sunglass cannot be repaired we usually replace it.

The other comment about a drugstore sunglass being the same quality and giving you the same protection is also not true. You do pay a premium for designer sunglasses just as you do for other designer items but most of our high end designer sunglasses are made in Italy and of the highest quality and construction. If you visit our stores you can find basic sunglasses from $59 up to the luxury brands over $250.

Thank you,

Rick Talmage Chief Operating Officer Solstice Marketing Concepts LLC
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