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Finances & Money Frugality

Purchasing Contact Lenses Online

This is a guest post by Marcus DeVries.

Purchasing contact lenses can nowadays be done either through your local eye clinic or through the web. As most of you know, obtaining lenses online has grown in popularity, as you can take advantage of price comparison guides that help consumers save money. However, it is a good idea to take a closer look at the online market to see how the consumer can benefit from shopping online, while still maintaining the same level of security you would get from your local eye doctor.

First, remember that you will still have to get a prescription if you are buying your contact lenses online. Go see an eye care professional that can examine your eyes and give you a prescription with the required contact lens size and strength, which you can then send off to online retailers for them to save on file. Remember, usually eye doctors are required by law to give you a copy of your prescription, so you should be able to avoid issues such as the ones discussed in this blog before.

For those that have done this in the past, you will know that it is not unusual for the doctor to try and sell you contact lenses in connection with the examination.

Eye care professionals have always been regarded with high authority and trust, which means that their clinics can easily market and sell their own brand of contact lenses to consumers. However, not many people know that their products have actually been bought from manufacturers, then repacked and re-priced specifically for these clinics. And so, to the naive consumer, it could seem that their lenses can only be bought at the clinic. However, this isn’t actually true.

Their monopoly has been shattered and the market place is now open for more retailers, due to an increased awareness of the online market. This has, for obvious reasons, led to increased competition, thus lowering the price for the consumer.

However, as with all things there are both advantages and disadvantages to buying contact lenses online.

Advantages to Buying Contacts Online

Convenience

Buying your contact lenses online is of course extremely convenient, as you can do it from the comfort of your home. Simply send your prescription, the name of the prescribing doctor and your personal information, and click buy. That is all you have to do.

Price

Online resellers have the advantage of being able to store a large amount of contacts, meaning lower prices for the consumers. Comparison guides have also led to people being able to be more in control. These guides will compare the best daily prices for nearly every brand of lenses available on the market, providing the consumer with the best choices and options, and thus saving them quite a bit of money. Consumers can, at a touch of a button, compare the best offers from the major retailers, such as 1-800 Contacts, Coastal Contacts, and Vision Direct.

Selection

There is a wide variety of contacts on the market today and as a real-life reseller, it is impossible to have every brand, and type, in store. When using online stores or comparison guides, however, you will be able to find exactly the lenses you want at a reasonable price.

Disadvantages to Buying Contacts Online

Waiting period

Your prescription will be filed at the reseller but it still can take some time for the delivery to arrive, meaning some time-planning is involved. Also, prescriptions are only valid for one year and when they expire, you will have to get a new one from your eye doctor and send it to the online retailer again.

Giving out information

It is not unusual for people to still be unwilling to give out their credit card information on the web. If you are shopping at a major reseller you will not have to worry as they are extremely secure. Shopping at the smaller websites can still be secure but do some research beforehand.

Reputation

It is always a good idea to look up a website’s reputation before doing any business there. You do not want to pay for a product that gets lost in the mail, or from a company that goes out of business shortly after your order.

Summary

What it all comes down to is the feeling that you’ve made a safe and
secure purchase, at a reasonable price. The eyes are arguably the most
sensitive and most important organs of the human body. Taking care of them properly comes at a price, but that price doesn’t have to be cripplingly
high. However, if you experience any discomfort or vision problems as a
result of contact lenses, wherever the purchase, please visit your eye
doctor immediately.

About the author

Clever Dude

2 Comments

  • I agree with the said disadvantages of ‘waiting period’ as it is not a product that falling to ‘want’ category than ‘need’, a point about waiting period is not required.

    Also, when buying online, we are not able to see the product as original. We are getting the picture of the product and when it reaching to us, there will be possibility to have some kind of changes than what showing in the picture.

    Any thoughts?

    Sherin

  • Here’s something to keep in mind, just from my own experience…

    I got my original contact lenses from my eyedoctor, so I already knew they were good when I switched to online shopping. However, technically speaking the ones I get online aren’t strong enough (I have a -11 prescription and astigmatism besides). Unfortunately, the ones I really need aren’t available online yet, and they cost easily twice as much to buy them through my doctor. The ones I get online are good enough, though (only about a half a point off my prescription).

    The average person shouldn’t have any problems, but with eyes as bad as mine, you have to be pretty savvy!

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