One of the easiest ways to enhance the revenue of any optical office is to incorporate lens tinting.

The in-house lens tinting process is quick, easy, and the profits it provides can be substantial. Even if you don’t have finishing equipment on the premises, you’d be wise to add lens tinting capabilities. Licensed optician and optical manager Mike Kennedy, LDO, with Berlin Eye Care, West Berlin, NJ, discovered this many years ago.

Kennedy tints about 40 pairs of lenses per month on average. This filters down roughly to a minimum of 10 solid tints, 15 gradient tints, and 15 ultra-violet (UV) treated lenses per month. In order to have these jobs completed at the lab, average finishing costs go for about $4 for every solid tint, $6 for gradients, and $5 for application of UV protection. Instead, Kennedy tints these lenses in his office. Because of this, he has a significant savings on his lab bill.

The “Lab Bill Savings” table (below) highlights Kennedy’s potential savings for a hypothetical month’s worth of tinting. If he had sent all of these orders to his finishing lab rather than tinting them in-house, he would have paid an additional $205 on his finishing lab bill. By taking care of these lenses in his tint unit, he realizes an extra net profit of $194.25 for the month. Multiplied by 12 months, this additional savings provides his practice $2,331 in added revenue a year, rather than paying $2,460 to his lab for the tinting work.

Using the same tinting type distributions, the “Tint Profitability” table (below) shows how profitable tinting can be for your office (note that the retail and wholesale charges reflected in this table are reasonable estimates and are not what Kennedy charges for them or billed for). The table lists a monthly example highlighting the retail profit savings a tint unit can generate. Using these assumptions, your net revenue savings after one month is over $600, which can justify the purchase of a tint unit…and in just one month. Quarterly profit totals $1,842.75 and annual profits reach $7,371 in potential savings.

If you’re not tinting lenses in-house, you’re turning your back on some of the easiest profits available in an optical office.

Francis G. Gimbel, Jr. is an optician and manager of the PENN Optical Department at the University of Pennsylvania.


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