There’s hardly a “best” place to buy according to your needs. It requires time to find the right place for your contact lenses. So, where’s the best place to buy contact lenses? This guide will help you in pointing out which factors to focus on, and save your research time.
The first thing to do is to ignore the idea of best price, and the best place. Focus on assessing the alternative sources available offline and online. People, while purchasing tends to find the best overall value. Secondly, focus on the value rather than price. Value is more important in the case of contact lenses because it involves a mix of product and professional service.
Follow these steps while deciding where to purchase your contact lenses.
Insurance coverage plan
Check whether if you have a health insurance plan including eyesight lens coverage and benefits regarding them. Usually, there are some scenarios: You get percentage discount (e.g. 10 percent off) at mentioned retailers or eye care specialists (ECPs). Or you get an annual allowance for contact lens exam and contact lens cost price.
Consider this one option out of other, the prices at prescribed retailers might be competitive to others or not.
Evaluate value of sources
Leave the price factor at this point, and weigh the pros and cons of different sellers of contact lenses.
Eye Care Practitioner – It is just an assumption and more of a preconceived thought that optometrist or ophthalmologist charges higher prices. Whereas, many eye doctors offer competitive prices if you buy contact lenses in bulk (e.g. one year supply). Apart from that, there are other advantages of buying your lenses from your eye doctor which includes:
- The stock is available if you need contact lenses immediately, or becomes available. Thus, saving you shipping days and charges hassle.
- ECPs have websites where you can select and order your contact lenses, and there are plenty of ways to attain your order including mail, pick in person, or free shipping (for bulk order).
- Sometimes, they offer goodies like free cases for storage and travel-size eye care products.
- In case, if your contacts do not seem right, arrived impaired or damaged. They can exchange them immediately free of cost.
Also, being your eye care specialist, he or his staff may answer your queries regarding your contacts when your next eye exam is due, or renew your prescription.
Optical Chains – Contact lens storehouses like DanielWalters and LensCrafter usually have in-house optometrists or on affiliated premises. The benefit of such stores is that they provide an extensive eye exam and lens fitting on the spot, and also provide you with the supply of lenses. Or if you have a valid copy of your prescription, they may be able to sell you immediately depending on your brand, lens attribute, or size, if they have in stock. These stores, give an advantage to bulk buying, in-person purchase, and are available at weekends and evenings.
Wholesaler – Stores like WalMart and Target usually have their own optical departments or leased by major optical chains. They provide same benefits as of optical chains.
Online – Buying online comes with the risk. You can order any time of the day but you won’t get them instantly. If you want them urgently extra shipping charges apply.
Prices Comparison and rebates
The comparison of prices can be a complicated task. Do not presume that prices on the internet are always cheaper than ECPs and Optical chain stores. Do the following:
- Visit or phone call several optical chain of stores and ask price quotes. If you are a member of clubs like CostCo then include them as well.
- Ask about contact lens prices at your ECPs office or during follow-up visits.
- Check prices on the websites like lensragedotcom
Do not forget to ask rebates on the price available. Also, you may have to buy in bulk to take advantage of rebates. When you consider rebates, you may get the best value.