How to Make Money Buying Contact Lenses

When my insurance company and optometrist both duped me into paying an extra $60, I learned my lesson. Still, I needed a year’s supply of contact lenses, and the only way to get the $130 credit from my insurance company was to buy through the same provider, Hour Eyes.

I really hate that store. The first time I walked in, I was greeted and asked to hold on for a minute. So I stood there as the woman behind the desk wrapped her pencil in scotched tape for two minutes. Already, I knew I was going to get some great customer service.

Goal: Purchase 8 boxes of contact lenses (a one year supply) for as little as possible.

Expected Outcome: Pay as little as possible.

Knowing their policy on price-matching (they’ll match any price as long as there’s proof), I brought in my iPhone with the best price I could find for 8 boxes. But when I tried to get my entire order price matched and then have them price match the rest, I was left with 4 boxes covered by the insurance company and a bill of about $110 for the other 4 boxes, way more than I was expecting to spend.

Since I didn’t know what the best price I could find for 4 boxes, I went home and came back 3 days later, this time with the prices for both 4 and 8 boxes of lense.

I knew I just wanted to buy 4 boxes this time and I would get the rest online or later in the year (hoping I could stretch 6 months of lenses into about 9 months).

But the woman tried to convince me that I would get a discount if I bought 8 boxes. Knowing their price match policy for real this time, I told her it wouldn’t be worth it, but I asked anyway what it would come out to. She spent about 5 minutes doing some math that I couldn’t follow (adding discounts where they shouldn’t be and starting over about 4 times).

I knew I’d still be looking at a $100+ bill, so I just waited for her final number. $189.92. How she got there, I have no idea, it’s possible she price matched the entire thing, but I didn’t even give her that number. Since the insurance company would cover $130, that brought the total down to $59.92. Then she said I could take another $25 via mail in rebate because I bought 8 boxes of Acuvue lenses and Acuvue gives rebates for purchases of 8 boxes or more.

Of course, I already knew that, but I also knew that since I had an eye exam and this was my first time buying contact lenses, I would be getting a $60 rebate.

So I walked out of the store with 8 boxes of contact lenses, having paid $59.92, and I was going to be able to get a $60 rebate for my troubles.

The totals?

Outcome: 8 boxes of lenses (valued at $287.92 had I walked into the store and purchased without any rebates) for -$0.08. Yup, I made 8 cents on my transaction and I couldn’t be happier.

I’d like to thank the woman behind the desk for their shoddy math, Hour Eyes for employing people who don’t know their company policy, and Davis Vision for stealing my $60 a week earlier so I didn’t feel bad about getting my money back by just going along with it.

3 Responses to How to Make Money Buying Contact Lenses

  1. Now you just have to wait 37 weeks for the mail in rebate to come back

  2. krantcents says:

    Who was the genius who created rebates? I hate rebates, but I do like receiving the cash. I just don’t like waiting for it.

  3. Seth says:

    I work in an eye clinic and it sounds like they just didn’t know what they were doing. They didn’t even know how to tape a pencil (for some reason they are taping a pencil instead of just grabbing a new one).

    But one thing to note, don’t extend the life of contact lenses. They are meant to be worn a certain amount of time. If worn longer, they can cause serious eye infections or ulcers. It may not happen to you right away, but it will catch up to you eventually. Trust me.

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