So, do you thinking about buying contact online? Purchasing contact lenses online can be very practical: it takes just a few clicks of your mouse or taps on the screen of your tablet or phone. However before you purchase contacts online, think about whether it’s actually the best alternative for you.
How to Buy Contacts Online
If you’re planning to buy contacts online, the first thing to understand is that there are dozens of Internet contact lens sellers. However they are not all created equal.
Even when a website looks reliable, it’s often hard to understand who is behind it. Internet contact lens sellers vary from well-known business like 1-800 Contacts and Walmart to back-room operations without any full-time personnel.
Although smaller operators may publish attractive rates on their websites, they may not offer the service and selection you’re trying to find.
Some have little or no inventory and may buy lenses from the producer only after you put an order.
Using Online Contact Lens Shopping Sites
You can compare online prices for contact lenses using price-comparison websites such as Google Shopping, BizRate, PriceGrabber, Shopping.com and Yahoo! Shopping. Getting in a trademark name will bring up listings with costs, as well as links to sellers.
The drawbacks: All places to purchase contacts online not be consisted of, and listings might not show recent price modifications, specials, rebates or availability. Likewise, the per-box rates listed may consider high-volume discount rates (such as for a year’s supply of lenses). If you are buying only a three-month supply, you may need to pay a greater per-box price than what’s shown on the price-comparison site.
Comparing prices for contact lenses online can be challenging, due to the fact that often rates include rebates, and sometimes they don’t. Likewise, include shipping expenses in your estimations, as these can vary substantially among online contact lens suppliers.
A benefit of price-comparison websites is that they might present you to get in touch with lens sellers that you would not otherwise have actually found. Plus — and this is a huge advantage — they often consist of user reviews to help you evaluate unknown sellers.
Comparing Places to Buy Contacts Online
When evaluating online contact lens sellers, size matters, for two reasons:
- Big contact sellers typically have more lenses in stock, so they might be much better able to deliver your lenses rapidly. For instance, 1-800 Contacts, the biggest online contact lens seller, says it keeps an inventory of more than 15 million lenses.
- Large contact lens sellers might be more stable business. You want to be sure that the company you purchase from will be in business tomorrow, in case you have to return or exchange a product or you have trouble with a charge card transaction.
The company you decide to buy your replacement contact lenses from does not have to be substantial. You simply wish to ensure you’re not doing service with a basement operation.
And bear in mind that if you have an unusual contact lens prescription, even a high-volume seller may not stock your specific lenses. Considering that contact lenses can be found in thousands of combinations of power, curvature and size, no company can stock every prescription.
Put any company you’re considering buying from to this test:
- Do they accept telephone orders? This is a sign of a true “mail order” company (believe L.L. Bean and Lands’ End) and not just a single person with a site.
- Will my order ship ASAP? Smaller, low-volume companies may equip only the most typical prescriptions. If they need to obtain your lenses after you buy them, delivery time may be longer than you anticipate. During the ordering procedure, a seller worth working with ought to inform you if the item is in stock and offer you a ship date. (Important note: An online or mail-order seller must, by law, call your eye care practitioner (ECP) to validate your prescription (see how to buy contacts without prescription). The law says your ECP’s workplace has 8 company hours to respond. If your ECP does not react within 8 hours, it is presumed that the prescription is valid and the company might deliver the lenses without verification. But this legal requirement may delay the shipping of your lenses by a day or 2.)
- Do I trust this company with my credit card details? There is always some risk in purchasing from companies you have no experience with or have actually never ever heard of. Completely research any company you are thinking about buying from with shopping websites that offer complete satisfaction scores and verbatim user evaluations. The Better Business Bureau is another useful resource, which tracks complaints against a company and how they were resolved.
- Is customer care easily offered? If there’s a problem with the contacts you purchase online, it’s good to know that you can quickly get immediate attention. A trusted seller needs to supply a toll-free telephone number and a site contact type. Even if you order online, attempt the telephone number: if you get an answering machine, it’s most likely a back-room operation.
- What’s the return policy? If you buy a year’s supply of lenses and your prescription changes, make sure the company will accept the unopened boxes for credit. Likewise, ask the company what occurs if your delivery is damaged in transit.
- Does the site have an “About Us” page? It needs to offer trustworthy details about the company, its people and its history, and not simply an unclear statement about how they want to serve you with a huge choice and fantastic service.
- Is the purchasing process secure? When you reach a page to enter individual information, examine the URL of the page at the top of your browser. It needs to begin with “https://” rather than “http://” if the page is secure. Also, a padlock icon — locked, not open — must appear in the status bar or in other places in the web browser when you are going to a secure page.
Where to Buy Colored Contacts Online
Purchasing color contacts is no different from buying clear contact lenses, and you need to be just as specific about where you purchase colored contacts online.
Even if you have twenty-twenty and you desire theatrical or special-effect contacts with no restorative power to merely alter the appearance of your eyes, these lenses — just like contact lenses that fix vision issues — are considered medical devices by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and can not be sold in the United States without a contact lens prescription from a certified eye care expert.
Comparing Online Prices for Contacts
After assessing online contact lens sellers for trustworthiness and customer care, you’ll wish to make sure you pay the right price for your lenses. When comparing prices:
- Compare the overall cost, consisting of shipping and handling charges. You might need to include products to a shopping cart, and after that click to the “checkout” page, to do this.
- Try rates larger quantities (such as 8 boxes instead of two) to lower or remove shipping expenses. The majority of websites will prompt you to do this anyway.
- Check the math in your shopping cart before completing your order. Ensure you understand all the charges, and if a charge is not itemized, discover why.
Lastly, factor in rebates, and possibly compare prices with standard “brick-and-mortar” optical stores and your eye doctor’s office.