Contact lenses ordered though your doctor can cost you a small fortune. That is why more and more people buy their contacts online. However, buying online doesn’t automatically mean saving. To get the best deal from online contact lens shopping, you need to know a few insider secrets.
Secret 1: Find out if they really sell cheap contact lenses
Most companies that sell contact lenses online give you big discounts, compared with prices in a doctor’s office. However, online prices vary as well. We can’t name a company that sells all contact lenses cheaper than other retailers, because different companies have best offers for different brands of lenses. When you have your prescription, compare prices for your lenses at several retailers.
Secret 2: Check the shipping charges
A definite disadvantage of online contact lens shopping is shipping charges. Shipping costs also vary from company to company. Some retailers deliberately offer you very low prices on contacts lenses, while their shipping charges are astronomically high. On the other hand, there are retailers that offer free shipping on all orders (usually only within the USA), but their prices are usually significantly higher that others.
Your best bet are companies that offer free shipping on large orders. Since contact lenses don’t spoil and take very little storage space, it makes since to buy several boxes at once and save on shipping.
Secret 3: Further discounts might be available
Speaking of large orders, some companies will give you significant additional discounts or rebates, if you buy a year’s supply of lenses. If you can afford to buy a year’s supply, you can definitely get the lowest price. Some companies even offer both – lowest price per box if you get many (usually 8) boxes, plus a rebate.
Rebates have two disadvantages, though – you have to wait before you get your money and they are usually only available to US residents. So be sure to read the fine print – rebates usually apply to selected items and are only good for a limited time.
Secret 4: Find out when your lenses will arrive
It is important to select a retailer that ships your contacts within a couple of days of your order. This information should be clearly stated with the shipping charges and conditions. In this respect, larger companies are better than small ones – they have all lenses in stock, while small retailers have to order the lenses for you. If your have a rare prescription and order from a small retailer, your lenses might take several weeks to arrive.
Secret 5: Read reviews on that retailer
For you as a customer it might be difficult and time consuming to compare several retailers and select the best one. One shortcut is to read the reviews of other people, who bought lenses from any given company. Also, there are websites that compare online retailers for you, providing you with independent and unbiased reviews of the best merchants.