Buying contact lenses online

The internet is the preferred choice for people when buying lenses which are usually done so for reasons of convenience and cost. This tends to apply to most areas of their life with many people doing all their purchasing online.

There is no doubt that the internet saves time and money but in the case of contact lenses, it is worthwhile spending some time to choose the most suitable lenses for you.

Bear in mind that the most appropriate lenses for you may not be the cheapest.

Most people who need contact lenses choose to buy them from an online contact lens supplier in the hope of saving some money but there are a few things to consider when doing this.

Whilst the cost is important it is not the only factor and should not be the main driver behind your decision. You want to purchase a set of lenses in accordance with your prescription, suit your lifestyle, fit well and are comfortable to wear.

The other option is buying contact lenses in store

Compare different brands and prices

As with anything you buy it is a good idea to shop around and compare prices. The price will include packaging and shipping costs, delivery times and options for a refund. Plus there is the fact that you usually pay more for single wear lenses such as daily disposables as you are paying for the ease of use and convenience. But weigh this up against the price of cleaning solutions which are necessary if you purchase reusable lenses such as monthly disposable lenses.

Check your eye prescription and obtain advice

If you choose to buy your lenses online then you will be doing so without any contact with your optician or another eyecare professional. So it is vitally important that you have an up to date eye prescription and arrange eye tests/contact lens checks on a regular basis. The optician can advise you about suitable types and brands, which includes the pros and cons.

Ordering contact lenses online

This is usually a straightforward process but nevertheless, it is important that you take care when doing so to ensure that you have ordered the right set of lenses.

Browse and then select your lenses

Browse through a selection of lenses and on different sites. Once you are satisfied that you have found the lenses you require then place your order.

Check online form

Check that you have completed all of the online form and ticked the correct boxes. Double check everything before you make your purchase.

Check the security of the site

If you are paying by credit card then check that the site has a ‘secure server’. By that we mean that there is a security icon, e.g. a small padlock on the screen which denotes a secure server.

To be extra safe you can always make a note of the name and address of the company you are buying your lenses from and a contact phone number if possible. This is useful if you need to contact them if an issue arises.

You should be sent an email confirmation once you have placed your order. Retain this as proof of purchase. Check your order after delivery

Once your order arrives, check that you have received the correct lenses and also check the expiry date. If anything is wrong then either contact the company or return the lenses if necessary.

What you need to remember is that if you develop a problem with your lens then it can be more difficult to resolve if the optician you consult has not prescribed them.

Other issues to consider

What else should you consider?

Think about the availability of the lenses: if you run out of lenses then how easy is it to order more of these? What happens if they are out of stock?

Check their returns policy: if you are sent damaged lenses then how easy is it to obtain a refund and replacement lenses?

Consider whether it is better to purchase a large volume of lenses, for example 6 months supply rather than buying them each month.

Think about customer service: if you have a problem then you want your query dealt with by a professional and sympathetic company. If they appear uninterested or unhelpful then go elsewhere.

Weigh up the pros and cons of buying in store or online.

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