Half of my family of eight needs corrective eyewear. As of this writing, two wear glasses and the other two wear contacts. One other family member should be wearing glasses, but s/he is in denial about her/his age and is content to squint and hold that teeny, tiny print at arm’s length for a few more months at least. Because she’s NOT THAT OLD.
Anyway, glasses and contacts can give your wallet a beating. So I’ve been looking for less expensive solutions. Recently I wrote about how purchased glasses online for Sam and Samson and saved a bundle. Now Belinda is in need of new contacts, so the search began anew.
While I have purchased contacts online for a number of years, I have found that with regular online purchases — just like insurance — it’s a good idea to review the available options every few years to see if there are better sources.
Below is a chart with a price comparison of the various online contact lens sources I considered. After my research, I chose Discount Contact Lenses.
[Update: January 2011 I found a company that — at least at this time — provides even better prices on some of the lenses Jessica wears. When comparing, include Vision Direct in your list!]
If you’ve never ordered prescription eye glasses or contact lenses online, it’s a simple process:
- Make sure you have your prescription handy. (Get this from your optometrist. In most states they are required by law to give it to you on request.)
- Go do the online company.
- Select the brand/style you want.
- Enter your prescription information.
- Enter your eye doctor’s name and phone number.
- Complete the sale.
- The company contacts your optometrist to confirm the prescription.
- The company ships your selection.
When checking prices, be sure to include shipping. This can add a great deal to the cost. Some companies offer free shipping when a minimum purchase price is reached. I’ll also include some links below to some current specials.
|Discount Contact Lenses||$93.80||Free ship over $99|
|AC Lens||$97.80||Free ship over $99|
|Lensmart||$107.96||Free ship over $99|
|Contacts America||$103.80||Paid shipping|
|Just Lenses||$103.80||Paid shipping|
|1-800-Contacts||$135.96||Free ship over $50|
I just ordered eight boxes of Acuvue Oasys lenses for Belinda from Discount Contact Lenses. The cost per box was the same as the four I initially intended to buy, but purchasing eight qualified for both free shipping and the $10 discount listed above. (An additional savings of about $16.95.)
If you intend to use a listed rebate, be sure to check the details carefully. You must send in a separate rebate certificate directly to the manufacturer (the online companies do not process these). There are multiple restrictions. Even though we purchased within the rebate period, we did not qualify for the $75 rebate because Belinda is not a first-time wearer of these lenses and we did not qualify for the $25 rebate because her eye appointment was more than 90 days ago.
The contact lenses are scheduled to arrive between May 11 and May 13. I’ll update this post when the order arrives to describe our experience.