Buying contacts online - Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to order online
- Select your contact lenses
Use the search box in the header or links to the product brands on the home page to find your lenses
- Select your prescription
Use your prescription or the box of your lenses to find the parameters you need to input
- Check expected dispatch times
The inventory status of your lenses (ie, ready to ship or will ship in x days) will appear on the product page.
- Click “Add to Cart”
- Then Checkout - here you fill in your information for delivery
After you complete your order, we will follow up with a confirmation email and your order will be shipped.
Alternately, you can contact our customer support representatives for clarification or assistance.
2. New to contact lenses
If you already wear prescription glasses but are thinking about wearing contact lenses, you will first need to see an optician who will help select your brand and set your lens parameters. Most people can wear contact lenses without a problem, but your prescription for glasses should not be used to buy contact lenses. For further information, please see our blog post on beginners to contact lenses.
3. New to online buying (of contact lenses)
Most people buy contact lenses online because buying online is cheaper and much more convenient for them. Other good reasons to buy online include free shipping for orders over £40, 24/7 availability and an active lifestyle that makes it difficult to visit stores in their opening times. Please read the guidelines below to make sure your experience buying online is a good one.
If you already wear contact lenses, identify your brand using the search box in the header or brand links on the home page. Alternatively, you can also compare lenses on our extended search page. You do not need a prescription to buy from eOpticians.co.uk.
You will need certain parameters from your prescription or the packaging of your lenses to buy lenses online, such as BC (Base Curve), PWR (Power or Dioptre) and other parameters (for toric, multifocal or bifocal lenses). If you do not have this data, you have the right to call or visit your optician and ask for your personal data (or just buy another box of lenses to see their parameters). Your personal data is yours.
You should only buy contact lenses online when you know what you need. That is after you have been fitted with the right lenses and you feel comfortable wearing them. In the best case, you buy contacts online to replenish stock of your usual lenses.
There are certain situations when you are better off buying from an optic shop. These include times when you need a vision test as you do not see well with your current lenses. Also, seek consultation when you experience any kind of discomfort wearing your current lenses. We do provide basic advice online about the potential causes of discomfort but are unable to examine your specific case that in some instances may require a specialist. Disadvantages of buying online may also include slow delivery if your lenses just ran out.
Many users of contact lenses also appreciate the freedom to try other brands than the ones their opticians typically recommend to them. (Opticians may be financially incentivized by the contact lens manufacturers to recommend certain products.) We would like to encourage responsible behavior and suggest you typically see an optician for a new fitting when you change brands, especially if you wear toric lenses or need to change your dioptres. However, we also support empowered customers with information so that they can make their choices independently. Some of our users decide to change their brands independently, using our extended search (comparison) page. They typically seek to (i) increase their wear comfort by buying a newer type of spheric lenses in the same dioptres; (ii) saving money by opting for a cheaper brand in the same dioptre; and (iii) buy daily lenses to do sports, go on vacation, go out, etc in addition to keeping the same monthly lenses they typically wear.
4. Payment options
We currently accept the following forms of payment:
- Visa, Mastercard and Maestro cards (credit and debit cards)
- American Express cards (via Paypal)
5. Shipping options
We offer free delivery for all orders over £50, anywhere in the world, using postal delivery. Our lenses are shipped as registered mail and will be delivered to your home by Royal Mail. 80% of the orders are dispatched on the same day and delivery takes an average of 5-15 working days.
We are looking to add faster courier delivery soon.
6. Do you need my prescription?
You can buy contact lenses from us without sending or showing a prescription to us.
By placing an order on our website, you are confirming that you are in possession of a valid prescription that is less than 12 months old. You hereby confirm that the information you are providing is valid and exactly as prescribed by your eye-care professional. Yet, we do not require you to present that prescription to us.
7. Understanding Prescriptions
First of all, please note that prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses are not the same. If you only have an eyeglasses prescription, you will still need to arrange for a new eye test with your optician or optometrist for contact lenses. This will prevent potential discomfort by buying the wrong lenses. Also, the fitting procedure and wearing trial lenses for a few days make sure your eyes get used to the lenses you chose. Afterward, you are free to buy your lenses online.
You can use data from your prescription or box of lenses to place an order online. If your optician did not give you a copy of your prescription, please note you have the right to ask for it. Alternatively, many buyers use the box of their current lenses to place an order.
Your prescription usually includes the Base Curve, Diameter, Power (or sphere) and Brand of your lenses. If you have astigmatism, then there is also a Cylinder and Axis value. If you need correction for presbyopia, then Addition and Dominant figures are present on your prescription. Your parameters will be written separately for each eye. These parameters may or may not be the same for both eyes. In most cases, the same brand is prescribed for both eyes. Finally, your prescription may include an 'expiry' or 'validity' date (ie, date for next eye check, usually in one year).
- Base Curve (BC): determines the type of fit is required for the lens to meet the curve of your eye;
- Diameter (DIA): determines the width that best fits your eye; written in millimeters;
- Power or Sphere (PWR / SPH/D): shows if you are long or short-sighted and how much correction your eyes need. If you are long-sighted your diopter will begin with a + (plus sign) and if you are short-sighted it will begin with a – (minus sign). The higher your power, the stronger visual correction you need.
If you have if you have astigmatism ('toric lenses'):
- Cylinder (CYL): shows how much correction you need for Astigmatism and how severe this is. The cylinder value is always preceded by a minus sign.
- Axis (AX): is the angle of the correction needed to correct the irregular curvature of the eye, which we know as astigmatism. The Axis is a number between 0 and 180 degrees.
If you need correction for presbyopia ('multifocal or bifocal lenses'):
- Addition (ADD): determines the level of correction you need to be able to see clearly at a close distance. Most contact lens brands refer to this as High, Medium or Low (or as a number between 0.50 and 3.00).
- Dominant: If you wear multifocals or bifocals, your lens correction is determined by a dominant and non-dominant eye. The dominant eye is usually marked with a “D” and the non-dominant eye with an “N”.
You can also find the same parameters on the box of your contacts.
8. What to do if my product is not listed?
Just send us an email at email@example.com to find out if we are able to deliver your lenses. Most likely, we are.
9. How does the address verification work?
Our system runs a background verification of the postal address you type in on our checkout page. We use 3rd party databases to validate shipping addresses. In most cases, your address is confirmed immediately and once you place your order, it will be shipped immediately.
In some cases, the background check returns an error. The primary reason for this is that your address may need to be corrected. If you identify what needs to be corrected, please return to the address fields and re-type the information there.
In other cases, you will see that your address is correct and yet an error message is shown. In that case, our background check could not match your address to addresses in the database, even though your address may still be correct. If this happens, all you need to do is just re-confirm that your address is correct by selecting the option “My correct address is what I typed above.” After this, you can proceed to place your order.
10. How to correct details of an order
If you placed an order in error (i.e., wrong product, parameters or shipping address) and already paid for it, we can still correct it for you. Please contact our customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 808 164 9400 with the order number from your confirmation email.
If we have not yet shipped that order for you, we can then update your order details in our background systems and ship the right product to the right address. If we had already shipped your order, we can re-send the correct order immediately and wait for our first parcel to come back to us afterward.
If you have not paid for your order and would like to change what you order, just place a new order and don’t worry about the previous order (which will be canceled automatically).
11. How to cancel an order
You can “‘cancel” an order that has not been yet dispatched. If you already paid and realize that you want to cancel your order, please contact us at email@example.com. If you have not paid yet for your order, just place a new order and the old one will get canceled automatically.
You can “get a refund or resend” for an order that was dispatched to you already. For this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will ask you not to accept (ie, refuse) delivery of your first shipment when the mailman arrives. Instead, please feel free to place a second order anytime (ie, immediately) and we will also dispatch your second order as soon as we can. Finally, when we receive back the first package we will refund you immediately via the same payment method you used to pay us.
12. Payment in cash (cash on delivery)
Payment in cash (cash on delivery) is not an option that we currently offer in the UK.
13. Refund procedures
After we shipped your order, the sale has taken place but you still have the right to request a refund or exchange the items. We also offer a 30 days’ money back guarantee for all contact lenses, contact lens solutions, and eye drops.
To return an order, you can submit your request by following the instructions on our website, or by contacting us by email at email@example.com. For the refunds to take place, the products must be unopened, unused, and the package must not be damaged.
Returning the items is at your costs. We will refund the original costs that you paid for the products. We usually execute the refunds within 2 working days or less via the same means of payments that you used for the initial transaction. It is possible that we will withhold reimbursement until we have received the goods back or an evidence that you have sent back the goods.
14. Communication you will receive after placing an order
When you place an order on our website, our system sends you a message confirming your order and containing all the details of your order (such as order number).
If we ship your order within the next 24 hours, you will not receive another notification about expected dispatch times. However, if your order will only be sent later, we will send you an email notification with the estimated dispatch day of your order.
When we ship your order, we will also send you an electronic message confirming that we have dispatched the product to you. In this message, you will receive a tracking number to track your package online.
1. Shipping costs and average shipping times
We offer free shipping on all orders over £50. There are no hidden fees or changes. We currently ship all our orders with registered mail which will be delivered by Royal Mail to your home address.
We dispatch most orders in 24h as we have most products in stock. If your lenses are out of stock, we will then notify you by email about the expected day of dispatch. (You can also see if we have your lenses in stock, and what the dispatch time is likely to be, by inputting your parameters on the product page and reading the inventory status notification there.)
After dispatch, postal delivery takes between 5 to 15 working days on average. When we dispatch your order, you will get an email with your tracking number for online tracking.
2. Where is my package?
When we dispatch your order, you receive an email from us with your tracking number so that you can track your order online. The approximate delivery time is between 48 hours or 5 to 15 working days after dispatch depending on the warehouse your order was dispatched.
If you didn’t receive your order in this period, please contact your local post office to see if they have your package. If they are not able to tell you where is your package, please contact our customer service at this number: +44 808 164 9400 or at this email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. How do I return goods?
To return any item purchased, contact us through our customer support either via email: email@example.com. and we will take it from there!
All boxes must be unopened, unmarked and in their original condition. Costs to return the items are borne by you. Once we receive the goods in good order, we will refund the amount you paid or send you an alternative order if you so prefer.
4. Global shipping
We offer free shipping for orders over £50 with delivery to the UK. For other destinations, the shipping cost will be displayed at checkout
Buyers from outside the European Union need to comply with their local import regulations. This may also mean that duties or taxes may need to be paid locally. Please check your local regulations to find out about that rules of your specific country or territory.
5. How online tracking of my order/parcel work
When the order is dispatched, you will receive an email with the tracking code to track your parcel online. We provide an end-to-end, yet ‘partial’, tracking in the UK as explained below.
We currently ship all UK orders by postal delivery (and ship to any domestic UK or overseas address for you). We may ship your order from any of our European fulfillment centers and via various postal service providers. The information returned by the tracking system will include:
- dispatch status of your order from our warehouse and outbound logistics;
- arrival to the UK postal distribution center; and
- successful delivery at your address.
Tracking of UK deliveries, however, is unlikely to return data on the status of parcels between the main UK postal distribution center (ie, Heathrow) and your shipping address. This has to do with technical incompatibility between various postal tracking systems. Please note this does not apply to deliveries to most overseas addresses where we offer full visibility at each step of the delivery process.
The final status in online tracking should be “successfully delivered”. You will see this status the day after the delivery happened. Normally, you should sign for delivery or the mailman should have left the parcel in your mailbox. If you see the status is “delivered” but you have not received the parcel, then the mailman must have left the parcel with your neighbors or in the “safe place” you designated. All deliveries are signed for, so we can check for you who has your parcel.
If the mailman has attempted delivery of your parcel but did not find you at home (and could not leave the parcel at a ‘safe place’), then he must have left you a notice. Pick up your parcel from your local post office by presenting the notice to them. A list of all UK post offices can be found here. If you suspect that your parcel should have arrived but you did not receive a notice, you may also contact your local post office directly.
Please bear in mind we send your parcel with insurance (“registered mail”) that requires the mailman proper administration of successful deliveries (including proof of delivery). The postal operator will have to refund the value of the parcel if the parcel is lost. This insurance comes at no additional cost to you.
Also, note that we ship free of charge for orders over £40 to non-UK addresses but the delivery procedures may be somewhat different. Typically, the standards of the local (often state-owned) postal or courier operator that we use in your country apply.
If you haven’t received the package after the estimated date of delivery, or have any other question, please get in touch with us at +44 808 164 9400 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. About eOpticians.co.uk
eOpticians is one of Europe’s largest contact lens retailers. Our aim is to make eye care accessible and affordable to everyone on the globe.
We started selling contact lenses in 2011 and currently have online shops or physical presence in 25 European markets. We also offer global shipping and have shipped to more than 50 countries to date, including exotic places such as Fiji and Bolivia.
We currently stock inventory in the United Kingdom and Hungary and will ship your orders from any of these locations. (The fulfillment center of choice depends on your order and our stock in that location.) We will give you details of our stock on hand, together with estimated shipping times, during the online order process on our website.
We are more than happy to help. Contact us with any question or suggestion at +44 808 164 9400 or at hello@eOpticians.co.uk.
2. Do you have an optic shop in the UK?
Sorry, we do not. We are an online-only retailer in the United Kingdom. We offer free shipping though on orders over £40, to make it super convenient to buy from us.
3. What to do if parcel arrived damaged?
If your order arrives damaged, please contact our customer service team on +44 808 164 9400 or email us at email@example.com with your order number and a picture of the damage. You also have the liberty of simply not accepting delivery, in which case the courier will return the parcel to us.
We will send a replacement order free of charge or fully reimburse you for any faulty package.
4. How come you are so cheap?
We offer the most affordable prices in the United Kingdom for our products and constantly update our prices to make sure we remain the cheapest in the market. In addition to selling at low prices, we also offer free shipping on all orders over £50.
How come this is affordable for us? Actually, contact lenses should be cheap. You just have been paying too much for years to cover the high fixed costs of your old optician. We have systematically scraped away most of our operational costs through automation, process redesign and massive purchasing volumes. We believe any retailer could afford to be as cheap as we are; they simply choose not to in order to maximize profits.