Advice on buying discount contacts online. Find trusted online contact lens retailers offering worldwide delivery either from the USA or the UK.
If you've arrived on this page you're probably wondering if it's worth ordering your contact lenses online. Is it safe? Do you actually save any money? Will you get any advice from an online merchant?
I order all my contact lenses online, mainly as I can't get hold of the comfortable lenses I need in Cyprus and also due to the prohibitive cost of contact here on the tiny island where I live. But millions of other people also order their contacts online at great discount prices.
Fifteen years ago, almost everyone bought their contact lenses through their optician but since the explosion of the internet, it's become easy to order discount contacts online.
You may ask why bother, if your optician is giving you a good deal anyway, for example, including all eye tests and examinations plus the contact lenses in one monthly fee. While competition from internet optical retailers has forced opticians to make prices cheaper, there are several good reasons for buying online.
Price is an obvious factor, especially on certain types of specialist lenses which may be hard to find.
Online retailers also offer additional discounts for first time buyers, for example 20% off at AC Lens on the first purchase.
Wider choice is another key consideration. Your optician may have only recommended one particular brand to you as that's what they stock, but if that brand doesn't suit your eye shape or you find the lenses make your eyes sore, you may be able to find a more comfortable lens elsewhere as most online companies stock just about every brand and type of lens available.
Lack of availability in your home country is the other main reason. I simply can't find the Acuvue lenses I need in my country Cyprus, so I now buy direct from the UK using Vision Direct. The only Acuvue lenses I could find in Cyprus were not the ones I need which have a high moisture content, so I'm happy to order my discount contacts online and get them delivered in a just a few days by DHL courier for just a few pounds more.
Here are some tips to ensure that you only buy discount contacts online from well established and trusted online contact lens retailers:
Only buy from large well-established optical retailers like AC Lens in the US or Vision Direct in the UK. These companies are approved by the FDA or the EU and have millions of lenses in stock so will be able to ship promptly, usually within a matter of hours.
Large retailers are more financially secure, so if you should need to return your contact lenses either because they are faulty or because your contact lens prescription has changed, then you will be able to get a refund.
If tempted by cheaper prices on a site you have never heard of (many young people looking for halloween contact lenses are drawn to these sites, for instance), ask yourself whether the site looks authentic. Many of these sites are literally run by one or two people from a small room and do not have back-up if things go wrong. You may also not be able to contact them directly if they do not answer your e-mails.
Check the return policy. It should give credit for any goods lost in transit and the company should be prepared to take unused lenses back and credit you if your prescription changes.
Most importantly, check the payment methods and when you pay, ensure that the little yellow lock appears at the bottom of your screen to show that the transaction is secure. If they accept Paypal, use this method, as then you don't need to worry about giving out your credit card details.