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With more and more people shopping from home, you might have started thinking about ordering your contacts online.
There are a lot of online options for buying contacts, but since its start in 1995, Lens.com has been around longer than most.
We know what you’re thinking: Does this mean you should shop with them? How do their prices compare? What does their site actually offer?
We’ve compiled the answers to help you decide.
Lens.com advertises itself as an affordable way to purchase your contact lenses online and have them shipped to your door.
Lens.com sells contact lenses from many major manufacturers.
They offer contacts from major brands like:
- Air Optix
One thing Lens.com doesn’t carry? Glasses. There are no prescription glasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, or even frames available on the site.
Lens.com does offer online vision tests — but these actually aren’t recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
The AAO states that you should never use a home vision test to order contact lenses, and you should instead be fit by a professional trained to make sure your lenses fit properly. This can help you avoid complications such as corneal ulcers.
Do online vision tests work? Learn what they can and can’t do.
The short answer? An online vision test may check the sharpness of your vision, but it can’t tell you anything about your eye health.
These home tests aren’t a replacement for a checkup from an eye doctor. Experts recommend to never use online tests for contact lens prescriptions.
Prices of contacts vary depending on brand and product. For example, a box of 30 can be anywhere from $20–$100, and there are often sales or discounts to use.
In general, the prices are very competitive.
You should be prepared to pay shipping and handling on any purchases, though. This obviously will increase the cost from the advertised amount, so you’ll want to be prepared for that. (More on this below.)
Lens.com is a website-based service, so you order on the website and the contacts are mailed to you shortly after.
In order to receive contacts in the mail, you’ll need a valid prescription. While the company offers their online exams, the AAO recommends avoiding these for contact lens prescriptions, so you’ll want to have an up-to-date prescription from an eye doctor.
If you’re having trouble navigating the website, Lens.com has a help email, toll-free phone support number, and chat windows built into the site.
Before sitting down to place an order, you should gather:
- Your current prescription (This can be found on the prescription from your eye doctor or on the side of your contact’s box.)
- Your eye doctor’s name and phone number
How to order from Lens.com
Ordering on Lens.com is a pretty straightforward process.
You can use the navigational toolbar at the top of every page to locate your prescribed brand of lenses. Once you choose a brand, all you need to do is input your prescription and click the order button to put your order in the shopping cart.
Clicking on the cart icon, you’ll enter your doctor’s name and phone number along with your payment information.
Lens.com will follow up with your doctor’s office to confirm the prescription, and your contacts will be shipped shortly thereafter.
There are contact lens brands and manufacturers that offer rebates for purchases through Lens.com.
To get these rebates, you:
- Order the lenses as described in the rebate on Lens.com.
- After your order ships, access the rebate center on Lens.com to print rebate forms and the appropriate invoice.
- Fill out the appropriate forms and mail them to Lens.com. (The mailing address will be on the rebate paperwork).
- Allow 10 weeks for processing. Then, you can expect a Visa Prepaid Card to arrive in the mail.
Interested in taking advantage of the rebates? Make sure to read the fine print!
You’ll need to order contacts that exactly match the deal within the specified time frame. Use the rebate as soon as you can. It’s easy to forget or not be able to find the information you need the longer you wait.
One thing to note about Lens.com is that only certain items ship free.
For the United States, standard 5 to 7 business day shipping costs $7.95. If you need your contacts a little faster, FedEx Second Day delivery is $14.95. For contact emergencies, next day FedEx shipping is $20.95.
Another thing is that FedEx delivery options are only available in the continental United States, though international shipping is available.
Lens.com has a money-back guarantee. In it, they state that they’ll refund your purchase price if you’re not happy with your purchase, but they also say that the box or contact vial must be unopened.
Under their hassle-free return policy, Lens.com promises to pay for the return shipping on unopened and unexpired boxes of contacts. You’ll need to contact them first before returning the lenses, so they can make sure everything is processed efficiently.
According to their return policy, after the lenses are received you should expect your refund to be processed to the original payment method in 2 to 3 business days.
Although they’re not a member of the Better Business Bureau, Lens.com has received a B rating from the organization.
According to the BBB, in the last 3 years Lens.com has responded to and closed 177 complaints. (32 complaints have been closed in the last 12 months.)
Alcon filed a lawsuit against Lens.com, Allied Vision Group, and National Lens LLC in 2018 claiming that the companies were selling products in old packaging or that were discontinued.
In the past there has also been a trademark dispute with 1-800-Contacts, but this probably won’t affect contacts available to buy.
If you’re interested in exploring your contact lens buying options, you may also consider 1-800-Contacts. This site offers a lot of the same services, free ground shipping, and many of the same brands as Lens.com.
They don’t carry as many options, so depending on your prescribed contact brand this method of ordering may not work for you.
You can also consider buying directly from your local eye doctor, optometrist, or ophthalmologist. This may be as convenient as ordering online, depending on the office. Many eye doctors will order your contacts for you and can have them shipped directly to your house or to the office for pickup.
Because they already have your prescription on file, it’s usually fairly easy to place the order, and they can often handle billing your insurance. It may cost the same or a little more than an online option.
Especially if you intend to buy in bulk, Lens.com is an affordable option. They offer a wide range of contacts and have been in business for a long time.
If you only want to buy a few contacts at a time or are looking for the best possible buy on your exact contacts, you may want to search around a bit before placing your order.
Also, since expedited shipping can add up, if you’re in need of some new contacts ASAP, you may want to go with another option that offers this service for free.
If you do order contacts online, make sure to check the packages carefully to see if you received the correct lenses, they’re not expired, and that the packaging is new and unopened.