Sources for buying contact lenses
Currently, contact lenses are provided by various types of retailers, mainly because a lens prescription has been an independent medical service. With a valid, up-to-date prescription, customers can buy contact lenses from eye care practitioners, local optical stores, warehouse clubs, and online stores and so on. A top consideration should be given to the overall value of the lenses, including product availability, customer service, convenience, bundled products, professional services and price. All these factors should be taken into account when a customer tries to get a comprehensive evaluation of a specific source.
Do enough homework
Customers should do some researches on the advantages and disadvantages about different lenses channels. You should always evaluate your personal needs and check your lenses from any of these sources. Attentive preparation can always ensure a good wearing experience and lowest price. Before selecting a source, you should first check your insurance for any benefits of contact lenses. Your insurance plan provider may have cooperation plans with some brick-and-mortar retailers, ECPs, or special lens providers and offer certain discounts. But a careful comparison is also needed since you may get a lower price from other sources.
ECPs, optical chains and online sellers
Many people have a preoccupied mind that lenses from ECPs are expensive and inconvenient. However, one advantage is that they may also provide bundle products such as office visits and lenses care solutions, which bring down total expense. And some ECPs also offer competitive lenses at large quantities. If you already have a valid prescription, you can go to optical stores for lenses at generally more acceptable prices. This is an in-person transaction, which means more safety for some people than buying online. These stores also provide eye exams and lens fittings. Some optical chains also open optical sections in mass merchandisers such as Sears and Target, and offer same benefits. Buying contact lenses online offers extreme convenience and the most competitive prices. Some people do not like this channel because of the risk issue and extra shipping time.
Calculate carefully the total expense
After knowing the available sources of contact lenses, the second task is to compare the prices offered by them. Remember that the total expense involves several items, namely, lens price, solution fee, and potential a rebate. It is necessary to make a carefully calculation. Some assumptions may not be exactly right, e.g. online lenses are cheaper and applying cheap lenses from a particular source into all of its other brands and types. You should be clear of the prices offered by all sources: the replacement lens prices from ECPs, optical store prices and online prices as well as potential rebates. As mentioned before, an ECP may charge more for lenses but offer free lens solutions. So, do not focus only on lens prices. In addition, there are mainly four types of rebates: seller rebate, manufacturer-offered rebate, first-time wearer rebate and exam and lenses bundled rebate. Even though you can enjoy only one of them, always factor in them for a potentially lower expense.
Follow exactly the lens prescription
Some lens manufacturers may provide private-label brands for large ECPs or optical chains. In this case, you may be provided with an alternate brand name without violating related laws. In other circumstances, the lens brand and specification should be strictly the same as your Rx describes. There is formally a dedicated item contained in a contact lens prescription that specifies an exact lens brand. It is also important to follow the other prescription items like lens diameter and color.
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