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Thread: What is going on with lens price fixing?

  1. #1

    Default What is going on with lens price fixing?

    I've always ordered Acuvue Trueye 1-day lenses (90 pack), and I've always gotten them for around $60-70 a box from retailers like visiondirect.com. This month, when re-ordering my lenses, I see that they are offered at $82.50 everywhere (1800contacts, visiondirect, walgreens, amazon...). Retailers will not accept discount codes or even match competitors' prices. VisionDirect calls this policy their 'LOWEST PRICE'. ("This item is already offered at our Lowest Price. We do not allow this item to participate in any discounts or special offers.") When asking a Visiondirect.com representative about this:

    Taylor : Hello, thank you for contacting Vision Direct. My name is Taylor How can I help you today?
    Me: what does "LOWEST PRICE" mean ?
    Taylor : Thank you for your Inquiry.
    On 07/31/2014, the manufacturers of many contact lens brands advised that we cannot discount the price of their lenses. Lowest Price lenses are the products effected by this policy, so we are unable tot discount them.
    Me: but you dont have to listen to them
    Taylor : We do have to listen to the manufacturers, Ian. If we violate this policy, they will withdraw their contract from us, and we will no longer be able to provide their contact lenses.

    What the heck is going on here? Why are prices of contact lenses being fixed at certain higher rates?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2,420

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wiivile View Post
    I've always ordered Acuvue Trueye 1-day lenses (90 pack), and I've always gotten them for around $60-70 a box from retailers like visiondirect.com. This month, when re-ordering my lenses, I see that they are offered at $82.50 everywhere (1800contacts, visiondirect, walgreens, amazon...). Retailers will not accept discount codes or even match competitors' prices. VisionDirect calls this policy their 'LOWEST PRICE'. ("This item is already offered at our Lowest Price. We do not allow this item to participate in any discounts or special offers.") When asking a Visiondirect.com representative about this:

    Taylor : Hello, thank you for contacting Vision Direct. My name is Taylor How can I help you today?
    Me: what does "LOWEST PRICE" mean ?
    Taylor : Thank you for your Inquiry.
    On 07/31/2014, the manufacturers of many contact lens brands advised that we cannot discount the price of their lenses. Lowest Price lenses are the products effected by this policy, so we are unable tot discount them.
    Me: but you dont have to listen to them
    Taylor : We do have to listen to the manufacturers, Ian. If we violate this policy, they will withdraw their contract from us, and we will no longer be able to provide their contact lenses.

    What the heck is going on here? Why are prices of contact lenses being fixed at certain higher rates?
    Retail pricing on contact lenses like any retail/wholesale item is subject to volume discounts. Manufacturers offer big bulk purchase discounts for retailers whether they are online or a brick and mortar store. Contact lens pricing to customers is non standard and can be lower or higher in pricing depending on the company selling the products. Contact lens pricing is highly marked up and usually companies that purchase lenses in high volumes usually reflects the discounts or lower pricing back to the customer. Id say shop around and buyer beware and make sure the company's price match policies are true and honest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    748

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    "The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will meet on July 30,2014 to discuss the minimum sale price of contact lenses imposed by 3 of the 4 major contact lens manufacturers in the USA market.

    In 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that manufacturers can set minimum sale prices in some situations."


    This should be interesting. Alcon has set the minimum price for a box of the new Air Optix Colors at $84! Sellers are prohibited from offering them at a lower price.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamrocker View Post
    "The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will meet on July 30,2014 to discuss the minimum sale price of contact lenses imposed by 3 of the 4 major contact lens manufacturers in the USA market.

    In 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that manufacturers can set minimum sale prices in some situations."


    This should be interesting. Alcon has set the minimum price for a box of the new Air Optix Colors at $84! Sellers are prohibited from offering them at a lower price.
    Where did you see that about the Senate?

    This is absurd. Isn't price fixing illegal?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    748

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    http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/pricing-polices-and-competition-in-the-contact-lens-industry-is-what-you-see-what-you-get

    Grrr...I see this silly site still doesn't let you insert links!

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamrocker View Post

    Grrr...I see this silly site still doesn't let you insert links!
    This is absurd and I can't see how this benefits anybody but the manufacturers. And the do-nothing Congress will do nothing to stop them.

    The manufacturers and doctors recognize that people are increasingly using the internet to find discounted contact lenses (VisionDirect, 1800 contacts) rather than buying them at inflated prices from doctors or high-priced retailers.

    Gross.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    27

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    This is strange for sure I just started wearing contacts again after stopping for 2 years due to crappy contacts that I had problems with..... funny though I don't see this being the case for the Biofinity that I wear none of the CooperVision lenses say lowest price on them.

    Here's a tidbit I found on the site I buy my extra boxes from:

    Rebate: ACUVUE PRICE FIXED PRODUCT - CANNOT BE SOLD FOR LESS!

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