Lending Club Blog

Smart Shopping for Glasses and Contacts

One way we often end up overspending is by overvaluing convenience. At times, we don’t even realize we’re doing this. A trip to the eye doctor can fall into this category if we blindly purchase our glasses and contacts from our eye doctor, without considering alternative sources.

You probably chose your eye doctor because of a recommendation from a friend, insurance provider, or similar. Those recommendations were most likely driven by the doctor’s skill or personality. It’s highly unlikely that anyone made the recommendation because of the low cost of glasses and contacts provided at the doctor’s office. In fact, choosing a doctor for that reason would probably be a bad idea.

When it comes to choosing providers, particularly those that care for our health, we want the best ones for that need. Once we’ve made the choice, we assume that if the doctor is good at what he or she does, that the prices charged for secondary services should be good as well. Unfortunately that is rarely the case.

Glasses and contacts should be handled just like any other type of purchase. Comparison-shopping, both in person and online, can save you considerable amounts of money. It may be more convenient to just use your doctor’s office to fill your prescription, but that convenience comes at a price. Some people feel like they might insult their doctor if they take their prescription elsewhere. To me, making a good financial decision is more important than a potential insult. Most doctors realize that you come to them for their care, not the products they sell in the lobby. In many cases, they don’t even see you through that portion of the visit, so you can tell the other office staff that you will be evaluating different options for filling your prescription.

You can still look at the products and prices offered by your eye doctor. In fact, this makes a great baseline for your price comparison. Once you realize that you can get a similar, or exactly the same, product for much less elsewhere, you’ll be glad that you made the effort.

Friday, August 29th, 2008 at 7:36 am

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