Money saver: Find second-hand glasses in France

Second-hand glasses are a rapidly developing market in France, allowing you to find designer frames at low prices

Second-hand glasses are a rapidly developing market in France
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Gone are the days when you had to spend a fortune if you wanted a stylish pair of glasses.

Today there are significant discounts to be had by offering a second life to a stranger’s glasses, thanks to a start-up based in the north of France.

Zac collects second-hand frames, 40% of which it repairs, cleans, fits with new lenses, and then sells to customers at cut-rate prices.

A further 30% are given to humanitarian projects and the rest are used for training.

The company works with people with disabilities to recondition the glasses.

They are sold for between €29 and €99 at the Zac shop in Vieux-Lille and the company also has partnerships with opticians in Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon and Caen.

There you can find secondhand glasses with corrective lenses, as well as sunglasses and glasses that filter blue light.

Purchases can be reimbursed by your mutuelle.

Read more: Does France’s ‘100% Santé’ scheme cover glasses without a mutuelle?

You can also find out where to recycle your old glasses at

Second-hand glasses are a rapidly developing market in France.

Another young start-up, Seecly, puts people with old glasses in contact with potential buyers.

Sales take place online, then the glasses are sent to the company’s workshop in Aix-en-Provence to be repaired, disinfected, fitted with the buyer’s prescription lenses, and finally shipped to the new owner.

The company even offers a virtual fitting room, where you can digitally try on different models by using your webcam.

Prices are up to 70% lower than they would be new, and the glasses are eligible for reimbursement if the buyer has a prescription.

If you have old glasses in a kitchen drawer you would like to sell, Seecly takes a 15% commission.

Since 2020, people in France with a mutuelle have been fully reimbursed for new glasses once every two years, or every year for children under 16.

To be eligible for the 100% Santé scheme, the frames must cost no more than €30.

Opticians must provide a choice of at least 17 adult and 10 children’s frames in two colours eligible for full reimbursement.

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