Getting glasses or contacts online is cheaper, right?

The internet has provided us with access to information and purchasing options like never before.  However, certain things need to be taken with a grain of salt.  As purchasing eyewear online gains traction, we need to look at an apples-to-apples comparison to dispell some myths.

Let’s start with contact lenses.  If you were to buy a year’s supply of Focus Dailies, it would cost you $520 at our office (and you would get a $100 rebate).  At clearlycontacts, the price is 529.11 (no rebate).  Air Optix:  us, $220 ($35 rebate), them $189.55.  Acuvue Oasys:  us $260, them $233.91.  As you can see, the prices are very comparable.  What you won’t get from the online service is the security of knowing that your contacts have been evaluated for proper fit and strength.  Your glasses prescription does not always directly translate to contact prescription.  Also, if you get an infection, and you purchased your contacts elsewhere, there will be a fee for every visit (and you’re looking at a minimum of 2).  Whereas these would be covered if they were purchased in office.  How’s your savings tally after 3 visits @ $60 each?

How about glasses?  They advertise at 38$ online.  Good deal, right?  Well, you need to check if that frame is discontinued.  If so, and the dog or the kids get a hold of them (which happens more often than you think), you can’t get parts.  And some things just need to be tried before purchasing.  A frame may look good online, but not suit your face.  And if they arrive, and sit crookedly, who’s going to adjust them for you?  Is it fair to the optometrist/optical that will do the work for you to do it for free?  Would you work for free? 

And just to close, lets go to apples-to-apples again.  An Anne Klein frame with standard prescription and coatings, is $217.84 at coastal contacts.  In our office, it would be $50 more.  But you would get the service of having them properly set, and the back-up knowing that if something were to happen, we’d be able to fix it.  And all of our lenses and frames come with a 2-year guarantee, at no extra cost.

Just keep in mind that if something is too good to be true, it usually is, and will end up costing you more in the long run.