If you are among the approximately 45 million Americans who rely on contact lenses, you already know how expensive and confusing it can be to keep what you need on hand. Buying locally means being limited to whatever the nearest eyeglasses store has, and it involves having to make regular trips there for refills. It’s little wonder, then, that ordering contact lenses online has become so popular. The question, though, is where to find them?
A quick online search reveals that there are dozens of online retailers that offer prescription contact lenses. They vary in several ways, including how many brands they carry, their return policies, their ordering processes, and, of course, their prices. Therefore, it behooves you to do your due diligence before giving your business to one.
Read on to learn the basics about four of today’s most popular sources for online contact lenses to more easily find a solution that’s right for you.
Founded in 1995, Lens.com is one of the longest-running online retailers of prescription contact lenses. Their website leaves a bit to be desired in terms of functionality, but the ordering process is straightforward enough. While some online retailers offer upwards of 40 different brands, Lens.com offers an average of just 10, so it may not be for you if you are looking for a lot variety.
Ordering contact lenses online through Lens.com is easy and convenient. The company offers a generous return policy, and they match competitors’ prices too. With nearly 25 years in business, Lens.com has a long track record that is very reassuring.
Compared with many other popular online contact lens retailers, the process of ordering contact lenses through Lens.com isn’t quite as smooth. That’s only because the website needs some updating, and it shouldn’t be a problem for most consumers. Orders typically ship within 48 hours — which is among the fastest processing times in the industry — unless they are custom, though.
Lens.com will accept unopened, unused, and undamaged boxes of contact lenses from customers with no restrictions. Some online stores only accept them for a few months following purchase, so this is a big perk.
This company will match competitors’ prices, but they don’t provide an additional discount. Because they don’t offer free shipping or regular promos or sales, their prices tend to be on the higher side.
Like Lens.com, 1800Contacts.com — another major player in the online contact lens industry — opened for business in 1995. However, with around 40 different brands to choose from, it offers a much wider variety of options. Solid customer support, including online chat, makes it easy to breeze through the ordering process, and the company provides sales and specials on a regular basis.
1800Contacts.com offers one of the most streamlined ordering experiences in the industry. Thanks to convenient auto refilling and shipping, you can have your prescriptions automatically sent to you and enjoy a discount while doing so. You can even update your prescription with an online eye exam.
The ordering process on 1800Contacts.com is among the best around, but there is always live chat support if you run into trouble. You can easily customize your automatic reordering schedule to suit your needs, and you will receive a five-percent discount for availing yourself of this feature.
This company imposes no restrictions on returns. As long as the item is returned unused, undamaged, and unopened in its original box, you can return it for a refund even years later.
At first glance, it may seem like 1800Contacts.com’s prices aren’t very competitive. However, the company regularly offers specials and promos. For example, new customers receive 20-percent off on their first order. Students enjoy a 10 percent discount, and free shipping is offered on orders of $75 or more. Best of all, this retailer not only matches competitors’ prices, but it gives you an extra two percent off on top of that.
Coastal has been one of the premier online sources for contact lenses since 2000. The company goes out of its way to provide a user-friendly experience, and its website is among the best designed in the industry. They offer great discounts on bulk orders and products from more than 30 different brands.
A broad selection and a streamlined ordering process are among the top benefits of ordering contact lenses from Coastal. Free shipping is included with all orders, so you may find this site to be more affordable than others.
Coastal has clearly put a lot of work into their online ordering process, which is one of the easiest and most intuitive in the industry. Live chat is available in the unlikely event that you do experience problems.
Unfortunately, Coastal’s return policy is sort of its Achilles heel. You only have 30 days to return unused, undamaged, and unopened boxes of contact lenses for a refund. After that, you are stuck with them.
Thanks to its great bulk discounts, Coastal is one of the most affordable places to stock up on contact lenses online. Free shipping is included with all orders — which is a nice bonus. They also match competitors’ prices, but they do not offer an additional discount beyond that.
Coastal also regularly offers specials and promos. For example, they are currently offering new customers 15 percent off on their first order.
Rounding out the list is LensDirect.com, which was founded in 1992 and is therefore the longest-running retailer to appear here. This should give you some reassurance, and you should also appreciate nice extras like online eye exams and discounted auto refills. LensDirect.com offers around 18 different brands, which is middle of the road in terms of variety.
Non-custom orders ship within five days, which is a pretty quick turnaround time. You will save a trip to the store, and you should have your contact lenses in a matter of days. The company also offers discounts on automatic refills, and it regularly offers specials and promos to help you save.
There is nothing remarkable about ordering contact lenses through LensDirect.com. The process is easy to understand, but there aren’t really any bells and whistles, either. Once your order for a non-custom pair of contact lenses has been placed, you can expect it to ship out to you within five business days.
LensDirect.com allows you to return unused, undamaged, and unopened boxes of contact lenses for up to one year after purchase, which is a fairly generous policy.
This company’s prices are generally so-so, but you can usually save a lot by taking advantage of regular promos and sales. For instance, they are currently offering $15 off and free shipping on orders of $125 or more. They always offer free shipping on orders of $49 or more, and they match competitors’ prices.
As you can see, there are definite differences between today’s most popular online contact lens retailers. By understanding them, you can more easily zero in on a company that will suit your needs and budget best. Do your own research to determine the best source, and then place an order to start enjoying the convenience of having contact lenses delivered to your door.