OptiContacts is an online eyewear retailer that sells a wide selection of eyewear at various price points.
While it has some interesting elements to its model, like its autoship option for contacts, reviews for the site are average, and there is a relatively large amount of reviews that note hidden fees.
Basics of OptiContacts
OptiContacts is an online eyewear retailer that emphasizes its selection of contacts but also sells glasses and sunglasses. They are a North American retailer that promises fast shipping and easy returns, with a price match guarantee.
Pros & Cons of OptiContacts
Described more later, OptiContacts has an autoship option for contacts that can allow a customer to save on costs through both a percentage discount and free shipping. The company also advertises a price match guarantee on every order, so one can theoretically always get a competitive price from OptiContacts through that policy.
One relatively unique element of the site is their eco-friendly line of frames. These frames are made of sustainably sourced materials like recycled metal and regenerated nylon.
While not unique to OptiContacts, their return policy is somewhat lackluster, requiring that returned products be unused and in their original condition and packaging.
In our research, we also noticed a strange element of their selection sorting tool where some frames were free with code provided right under the product but, when sorting by price, those same frames were not listed as the cheapest option. The way different lens options modified the price of glasses was somewhat obscured by the formatting of their buying pages, making it difficult to compare what different types of lenses cost.
By far the most troubling part of the company’s model are reports of hidden fees offsetting seemingly good deals, with those fees only made obvious late in the purchase process.
OptiContacts sells contacts, glasses, and sunglasses in a variety of styles. Their “glasses” section lists 438 results at the time of writing, their “sunglasses” section lists 278 results, and their “contacts” section lists 116 results.
Frames come in masculine, feminine, and kid-friendly styles and at a wide range of price points. Lenses come in many different forms you can choose from, including extra “air-thin” lenses, impact-proof lenses, blue light-blocking lenses, and more. Most lens options are at least anti-scratch coated and anti-reflective coated.
The company’s contact options are relatively extensive, with most major brands available and many different types, including these:
- 1-week or 2-week disposables
- Monthly disposables
- Extended-wear lenses
- Colored lenses
Costs & Returns
Frames from OptiContacts are priced between $19 to $456, with some frames currently free with a discount code advertised in the listing of certain cheaper frames. Sunglasses frames are at approximately the same price point, ranging from $8 for their cheapest frames to $549 for their high-quality, premium frames.
Lens costs vary in price, from very basic non-upgraded lenses adding nothing to cost to their air-thin light-transitioning lenses adding an additional $169 to an item’s total cost. Through their “Curated for You” option, the lenses we were recommended during our research came with an anti-reflective coating, anti-reflective coating, and a UV protective coating, and they cost $39.
Contact options seem to be placed at a relatively standard price point, hovering around $25 to $35 per month of normal use that one will get out of the purchased contacts for most options.
Standard shipping is advertised as free for orders over $99, but we couldn’t find how much standard shipping cost for orders under $99. It seemed standard shipping was free even for cheaper orders. If you want your order faster, 2-day shipping costs $14.95.
The company has a fairly basic return policy, with customers able to return unopened, unmarked contact lens boxes within 30 days for a credit card refund. Frames can be returned in that same window if unused and in their original condition and packaging for an exchange, store credit or refund.
What You Need to Know Before Ordering
Before ordering from OptiContacts, you will need to know your prescription. This can be done with a reputable online vision assessment like the one offered by OptiContacts (discussed more later) or by seeing an eye professional in person.
You will also likely want to make an account with the company, which is free, to take full advantage of the discounts they offer and their convenience features.
OptiContacts offers an autoship service, allowing a customer to get contact lenses on a schedule for a discount compared to buying contacts “as needed.” The discount slowly increases over time up to 15% off the total cost of an order. Shipping is also free on most autoshipped orders.
What Types of Discounts Are Offered?
In addition to the autoship discounts offered, OptiContacts also sometimes advertises a discount code on their site that gives up to 30% off one’s first contact order. We also saw a variety of frames on sale, with some having discount codes listed under their listing that made the frames free.
The company also has a price match guarantee, although the specifics of that guarantee weren’t obvious from a cursory examination of their site. It was noted under their autoship service, so it may be that the guarantee is specifically for contacts or contact auto-ordering, but it’s worth contacting the company if you like their services but find a better deal on similar products elsewhere.
As is true of most online eyewear retailers, OptiContacts will generally be considered out-of-network. This means you’ll need to submit a form to an insurance company to get your costs reimbursed.
The company has a straightforward guide on this process on their site. Be sure to research how your specific vision plan handles out-of-network coverage before making an online purchase.
Does OptiContacts Offer Online Vision Assessments?
OptiContacts offer online vision assessments for people between the ages of 18 and 55 who have healthy eyes. This service is available in 35 states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Importantly, this service requires a prior eye prescription and it isn’t a complete vision exam. It is solely to renew and adjust an eye prescription for glasses or contacts.
Overall, OptiContacts is well reviewed, averaging 3.8 stars on sitejabber, but we noticed a wide skew in the reviews given. For example, 810 of the 2,289 OptiContacts reviews on sitejabber were 3 stars or less, with 410 being 2 stars or less. That means more than a third of reviews could be considered fairly negative, with one common complaint being deceptive pricing with added “handling fees” that, if true, we didn’t see mentioned anywhere on OptiContact’s website during our review process.
Multiple reviews mention the deals provided by discount codes seem to be offset by additional fees. One customer stated that their added fees jumped when they found a better discount code than the one they had originally intended to use, making their final total unchanged between the two codes.
Alternatives to OptiContacts
EyeBuyDirect and Zenni are two solid alternatives to OptiContacts when considering any online eyewear retailer. Very well reviewed, both sites offer fairly good deals and a large variety of products.
An article from The New York Times suggests that EyeBuyDirect has a superior selection and consistent quality compared to its competition, making it their team’s favorite.
Is OptiContacts Worth It?
At first glance, OptiContacts seems like a standard eyewear retailer worth considering, but its reviews are troubling if the practices they sometimes describe still occur. If OptiContacts truly offers deals to customers only to offset those “deals” with hidden fees, this is troubling for potential customers.
Return Policy. OptiContacts.
Create An Account. OptiContacts.
Use Your Vision Benefits! OptiContacts.
Vision Test. OptiContacts.
The Best Places to Buy Glasses Online. (December 2022). The New York Times.
Last Updated May 24, 2023
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