Legally, all opticians need to hand over a copy of their contact lens prescription to patients even if the patients do not choose to buy from them. So, you’re free to purchase your lenses online. This if done correctly can turn out to be significantly cheaper than purchasing offline. However, it all boils down to getting the very same lenses as per your prescription but in turn paying less for them. It is also important to note that reputable online retailers or sellers will not sell lenses without you first providing a copy of the original prescription. Also, your prescription shouldn’t be over a year old.
There are some sellers that get past regulations by shipping over the lens from overseas. But if you decide to buy from overseas then you lose your consumer rights in your native country so you’re not protected if something goes wrong.
Get your eyes checked up regularly
If you’re purchasing your lenses online then it’s very important that you get regular checkups. These follow up appointments with a practitioner that specializes in contact lens will make sure that the lenses you have are right for your eyes. However, the number of checkups you’ll need will mainly depend on your current situation.
One of the upsides to purchasing lenses from your contact lens optician is that aftercare will usually be included as part of the package. But if you decide to take your business online you’ll have to pay for aftercare separately so, the savings you get from purchasing online should outweigh this fact. So, as a rough guide checkups can cost between $20 to $50, add this to the price of the lens you are deciding to purchase online.
Wear your own brand
If you purchase the shop’s own PureVision or Systane contact lenses for instance, you may think that you’re stuck with this store. That said there are many own brand stores that in fact just re-package versions of otherwise big manufacturer’s products. So, in fact you can save even if you compare it with prices of big brand versions instead of just your own brand. This is why it makes good sense to switch from your own brand to a big manufacturer’s brand because you’ll still getting the same quality but at a lower price.
Understand your rights as a consumer
As someone who is buying contact lenses on http://www.lensesonline.co.nz then you have a legal right to return them within seven working days which starts from the day that you receive the goods, even if there isn’t any fault. But there are many exceptions to this rule and one of these is that if you’ve ordered personalized goods or goods specifically made to your provided specifications. So, in some countries the law is not yet clear if contact lenses should be looked at as customized goods or ones that can be used by anyone.
Generally if the lens is according to a general set of prescriptions and not tailored to a specific set of defined rules then the purchase can be returned. But if the prescription happens to be unusual or the lenses were manufacture specifically for you then you do not have cancellation rights.
Beware when purchasing from overseas sellers
There are a number of online sellers that operate from across the continent. While there is no doubt that they are cheaper, but there are extra charges that you’ll pay and your consumer rights do not apply. Here is a list of what you can expect to forfeit:
- You’ll have to pay import duty and delivery will take over a week.
- The lenses may not be as reliable and you in some cases may not be able to get your money back.
- You also forfeit your rights as a consumer.
Should you trust all online contact lens sellers?
According to the law an online seller needs to have a few optical professionals who are a part of the selling process. So, you should ask the seller who should also be a registered optician, and then check his or her name against the medical association’s database. In the case of Australia overseas sellers like ones from New Zealand are often governed by the same law but may have a different database you may check. The license number of the website will give you a good starting point.