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Old 17.12.2010, 12:31
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Where to get contact lenses?

I have a prescription from a Swiss doctor and know exactly the lenses that I want. Where can I find the best price? Is there anywhere to order online? I am in Basel with ready access to chains like Visilab, McOptik, Koch Optik and the like.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 17.12.2010, 13:16
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

I use http://www.contactforlenses.com/ as they're the cheapest I can find for my brand and the service has always been good.

Delivery is usually 5-10 business days but they ship in individual packets that are below the customs limit without extra cost.

You will have to email them a PDF of your prescription.
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Old 17.12.2010, 13:30
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

I got them from discountlens.ch
got them in 3 days, and good price as well.
(They dont ask for prescription)
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Old 17.12.2010, 13:37
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

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I use http://www.contactforlenses.com/ as they're the cheapest I can find for my brand and the service has always been good.

Delivery is usually 5-10 business days but they ship in individual packets that are below the customs limit without extra cost.

You will have to email them a PDF of your prescription.
Wow, great prices,!
how much do they charge for shipping ?
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Old 17.12.2010, 13:37
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

www.mclinsen.ch - website in English as well as German, no prescription required, lenses usually here within 48 hours (although perhaps not during Christmas post). Highly recommend.
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Old 17.12.2010, 13:40
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

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Wow, great prices,!
how much do they charge for shipping ?
I think its £4.95.
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Old 17.12.2010, 14:41
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

I love English Forum! Just ordered my lenses from the UK site contactforlenses for a great price! Thanks!
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Old 02.01.2011, 23:09
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

Following a previous similar thread, I also used Contact for Lenses and was really pleased with the cost too .. however, they did try to tell me that I needed to send them copies of my passport and one other formal document to prove my identity (but no request for any sight of my prescription however ..) ... I replied immediately saying I have ordered stuff from the web for years and have never yet had to send copies of my passport in order to do so, to which I immediately got a phone message saying "sorry for the mixup, lenses have been dispatched"; Can't help feeling someone was trying it on in the office ... but just a warning to anyone else using this site or any other internet purchase ..
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Old 04.01.2011, 01:50
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

http://www.linsenmax.ch/
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Old 10.07.2012, 09:25
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

I just got my contacts from Contact for Lenses delivered. They didn't post the boxes separately to avoid custom tax. They bundled the lot in one package and so customs would not post them to me unless I sent a copy of my order confirmation. I got a 49.75CHF customs bill which I will of course have to pay. Which in term makes my order more expensive to buy on line as to buying them here in Switzerland.

Hm. I dont think I will be using them again.
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Old 10.07.2012, 11:34
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

Swiss services like discountlens.ch and lensvision.ch are cheap enough that you should never have to order from abroad in the future.

I am always stunned by the mark-up for contact lenses in shops like Visilab. Softlens 59 lenses, for example, are 25 francs online and 70 francs at Visilab. I don't even want to know what the Air Optix I use (~50 francs online) cost across the counter, probably over 100. How can people allow themselves to be ripped off like this?
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Old 10.07.2012, 13:27
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

swiss online prices have come down.. a lot

i previously posted to recommend 1800contactlens.com in the US but last week for the first time in 10 years I bought from linsenmax.. paid a bit more but less hassle with the shipping
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Old 10.07.2012, 14:38
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

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Swiss services like discountlens.ch and lensvision.ch are cheap enough that you should never have to order from abroad in the future.

I am always stunned by the mark-up for contact lenses in shops like Visilab. Softlens 59 lenses, for example, are 25 francs online and 70 francs at Visilab. I don't even want to know what the Air Optix I use (~50 francs online) cost across the counter, probably over 100. How can people allow themselves to be ripped off like this?


Visilab employs Opticians, payroll factors in to costs for such places, as it should.

So. Warehouse prices from warehouse (aka buying online), professional prices for buying from professionals. High prices perhaps, but hardly fair to call it a "rip off".
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Old 10.07.2012, 14:46
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

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Visilab employs Opticians, payroll factors in to costs for such places, as it should.

So. Warehouse prices from warehouse (aka buying online), professional prices for buying from professionals. High prices perhaps, but hardly fair to call it a "rip off".
So I should pay 50 CHF more just because instead of receiving the box in the mail I enter a shop and an "optician" hands it to me?

I don't think so.
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Old 10.07.2012, 14:56
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

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Visilab employs Opticians, payroll factors in to costs for such places, as it should.

So. Warehouse prices from warehouse (aka buying online), professional prices for buying from professionals. High prices perhaps, but hardly fair to call it a "rip off".
And I greatly appreciate all the services those professionals offer like eye tests, custom fabrication of glasses, etc. However to sell me that box of contact lenses all they have to do is reach over, pick it up, hand it to me, and take my money. A supermarket teller could do that. Why can't you get contacts in other shops like reading glasses, anyway? Most people know their correction and can get them online. They don't make the contact lenses, their only contribution is effectively having a monopoly on stocking them. I realize that in stores a mark-up is to be expected, but one that effectively triples the price of an already high-priced product, with no modification to speak of on-site, pretty much fits the definition of rip-off in my book.
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Old 10.07.2012, 15:22
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

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And I greatly appreciate all the services those professionals offer like eye tests, custom fabrication of glasses, etc. However to sell me that box of contact lenses all they have to do is reach over, pick it up, hand it to me, and take my money. A supermarket teller could do that. Why can't you get contacts in other shops like reading glasses, anyway? Most people know their correction and can get them online. They don't make the contact lenses, their only contribution is effectively having a monopoly on stocking them. I realize that in stores a mark-up is to be expected, but one that effectively triples the price of an already high-priced product, with no modification to speak of on-site, pretty much fits the definition of rip-off in my book.
Contact lenses are a bit more fickle than glasses, though, aren't they. If your glasses aren't right the worst that can happen is that the frames rub your ears or the lenses give you sub-par vision and maybe a headache.

If you buy contact lenses off your own bat and you have an unknown condition you could really damage your eyes.

My optician changed my contact lens type about 18 months ago because he noticed there was some damage (does in-growing cones sound possible? PegA). If I'd been buying them online, I wouldn't have bothered to check anything like that.
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Old 10.07.2012, 15:32
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

I assume most people know to get an eye test once every few years to make sure their correction stays the same and that their eyes are OK, but it's all left up to the responsibility of the individual. I don't recall them ever being particularly worried about me being super-duper sure what my correction was or about last time I had an eye exam whenever I used to buy a box of contacts from them for 70 francs a pop. They were just happy to take my money and send me on my way.

Once we're dealing with custom lenses for people with special conditions that require consultation it gets tricky, but there's no excuse for them to charge what they do for basic contacts. And something tells me the mark-up doesn't go to offset the cost of everything else.
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Old 10.07.2012, 15:34
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

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And I greatly appreciate all the services those professionals offer like eye tests, custom fabrication of glasses, etc. However to sell me that box of contact lenses all they have to do is reach over, pick it up, hand it to me, and take my money. A supermarket teller could do that. Why can't you get contacts in other shops like reading glasses, anyway? Most people know their correction and can get them online. They don't make the contact lenses, their only contribution is effectively having a monopoly on stocking them. I realize that in stores a mark-up is to be expected, but one that effectively triples the price of an already high-priced product, with no modification to speak of on-site, pretty much fits the definition of rip-off in my book.

The reason why you shouldn't be able to (but actually, I just noticed today, in Müller in Germany that you CAN) simply buy contact lenses off the shelf like reading glasses is because you are putting them ON YOUR EYE. There are different curvatures and diameters of the lens which are based upon measurements taken of your eye by the professionals.

If you get glasses with too steep a base curve compared to what you're used to, you may not notice it at all, or it may make you dizzy and a bit nauseous for a bit while you get used to the changed light angle. IF, on the other hand, you get contact lenses with improper curves, they can slip around or even worse, dig into your eye.

Another part of the prescription for the lenses has to do with how "permeable" the lenses are - how much oxygen passes as well as how much moisture they retain. For some people, this isn't a big factor, for others it is vital to the health of their eyes.

It is one thing if you've got a prescription already and are smart and FOLLOW IT EXACTLY, alas, there are only too many people who are not that smart and will buy something "close enough" if they can't find what they're looking for or buy something to try it out without even being tested in the first place. As someone who has seen the results of such stupidity, it really cuts when people spread ignorance about this.


While you are right, nine-times-out-of-ten, when you go into an Optician with a prescription in hand (or as done here, an old box), all s/he h as to do is look at it and give you whatever it says, hopefully the Optician is taking a look at you, looking to be sure that your eyes look healthy. The way things are done here are very different from what I'm used to, so it is hard for me to say really what's going on - but hopefully, if some idiot with an infection comes in to get new lenses (the idiotic thing being simply wanting new lenses rather than getting their problem seen to), the Optician will notice and put a halt on things. THIS is why you pay more.


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If you buy contact lenses off your own bat and you have an unknown condition you could really damage your eyes.

My optician changed my contact lens type about 18 months ago because he noticed there was some damage (does in-growing cones sound possible? PegA). If I'd been buying them online, I wouldn't have bothered to check anything like that.
Unfortunately, it's been long enough that such details are hard to remember with assurance, but there are several eye conditions for which contact lenses may be changed to help relieve the issue, and others which improper contact lens fit may be causing the issue.
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Last edited by Peg A; 10.07.2012 at 15:41. Reason: avoid double post
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Old 10.07.2012, 15:50
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

next time you are shopping in Germany, France or whatever border country you live close to just get them there. You will get your test for free and pick your lenses-up next time you are back for shopping AND get your tax back at the border. I did it. and saved 60% vs. Swiss prices. Did same for glasses, sunglasses.
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Old 10.07.2012, 15:50
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Re: Where to get contact lenses?

I don't see myself spreading misinformation and would never think of defending people who buy contact lenses that don't correspond to what their eye measurements and required hydration level are. I'm assuming most people are responsible adults who know what lenses they require and know to get a check-up once every few years. If an in-store markup of 200% is some kind of idiot tax, I believe I've earned my right to not pay it.
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