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Contact Lens Unilateral Pricing Policy - Fixed price; Max discount is $50 store credit !

unlvrebels 4,628 5,731 October 26, 2014 at 12:39 AM in Health & Beauty (10)
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Last Edited by johnny_miller November 13, 2014 at 07:27 PM
Today, I went for an eye checkup. I shopped around for contact lens and I was shocked to see the price of ACUVUE OASYS for ASTIGMATISM. It was $40 everywhere. A year's supply (8 boxes) would be minimum $320 before tax.

I did some online search and came to know that 35 million Americans use contacts besides the contact lens Unilateral Pricing Policy (UPP).

Are my lenses affected by UPP?
To date, the following lenses are under price restrictions by their manufacturer:

Manufacturer Product

Bausch & Lomb ULTRA
Alcon DAILIES TOTAL 1
Alcon Air Optix Colors
Alcon Dailies AquaComfort Plus Toric
Alcon Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal
Vistakon 1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST
Vistakon 1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST for ASTIGMATISM
Vistakon 1-DAY ACUVUE TruEye
Vistakon ACUVUE OASYS
Vistakon ACUVUE OASYS for ASTIGMATISM
Vistakon ACUVUE OASYS for PRESBYOPIA


------------------------

As of now, the best available options are:

1. Costco - $50 cash card for a year's supply
For a single box - you can get a cash card worth 10% of the price of box.
It is not advertised. The lady at the counter told me about this when I enquired about the cost of year's supply.
Price: $320 plus tax - $50 cash card; About $340 (assuming 6% tax) - $50 = $290.

2. Opticontacts- 3 offers ($50 store credit or $25 store credit or FREE glass + lens + shipping)
http://www.opticontacts.com/conta...atism.html
The webpage shows the price as $40 per box.
The webpage also says about bonus offers available at checkout (Add to cart to see it).

3. Vision Direct
Price: $40/box;
Annual supply: 8 * $40 = $320 plus $1.99 (processing) = $321.99

I feel that online sellers could lose a number of customers. However, online customers who use cashback sites such as Discover may still prefer online sites for additional discount.


Please update the WIKI, if you come across new information/deals/cashback, etc.,



OTHER CHOICES:
Assuming 6% tax.

1. AIR OPTIX FOR ASTIGMATISM:
About $155 (4 boxes - annual supply) plus $5 store credit;
About $140 savings compared to Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism!
http://www.opticontacts.com/conta...2OTCV.html


2. BIOFINITY TORIC
About $165 (4 boxes - annual supply) plus $5 store credit
About $130 savings compared to Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism!
http://www.opticontacts.com/conta...BITCV.html


3. ACUVUE ADVANCE FOR ASTIGMATISM
About $230 (8 boxes - annual supply)
About $60 savings compared to Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism!
http://www.opticontacts.com/conta...VATJJ.html
--------------------------------------------


Contact Lens Makers Work Together To Make Sure You Pay More
http://consumerist.com/2014/07/31...-pay-more/

Don't bother shopping around for your contact lenses
http://www.marketplace.org/topics...act-lenses

Contact lens discounter tells Congress that price floors will hurt consumers
http://www.reuters.com/article/20...6M20140730

U.S. Senate panel to look into price setting for contact lenses
http://www.reuters.com/article/20...9Z20140729

AOA president stands up for ODs and patients at Senate hearing
http://www.aoa.org/news/inside-op...ring?sso=y

Impact of Unilateral Price Policies: Some manufacturers have begun setting minimum prices for certain products. Find out what that means for you and your patients.
http://www.clspectrum.com/article...eID=111595


What's UPP, Doc?
Taking advantage of this new policy may provide much-needed growth for the contact lens industry--and your bottom line.
http://www.reviewofcontactlenses....t/c/48867/

----------------------------------------------


China Fines J&J, Other Lens Makers $3M In Antitrust Probe

http://www.law360.com/articles/54...rust-probe
http://optometrytimes.modernmedic...?page=full
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ch...ng-charges

------------------------------------------

J&J is the top U.S. contact lens maker with 47.1 percent of the market, followed by Cooper Companies with 21.4 percent, Alcon at 20 percent and Bausch & Lomb at 9.8 percent, according to Euromonitor International, a market intelligence company.
http://www.reuters.com/article/20...9Z20140729

-------------------------------------

Source: http://www.1800contacts.com/conne...policy-upp

What is UPP?

UPP stands for Unilateral Pricing Policy. It means the manufacturers of your contact lenses are mandating the minimum price they can be sold for. Because of this, we aren't able to offer any discounts, rebates, or incentives like we used to.

Why is this happening?

UPP allows contact lens manufacturers to dictate the price their contact lenses are sold for, effectively eliminating marketplace competition and your ability to shop for the best price. UPP will cause the price of contact lenses to increase drastically - in our case, up to 34%.

My price has increased a lot from my last order. Why have the prices changed?

We at 1-800 CONTACTS are committed to protecting your right to buy the quality lenses you expect at the competitive prices you deserve. We obtain all the contact lenses we sell directly from the manufacturer to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality product. When contact lens manufacturers mandate the minimum price for which their products can be sold, we aren't allowed to lower the price or offer any kind of rebates on brands affected by this mandate.

You used to beat any price by 2%. Why don't you do that anymore?

We have always stood behind our commitment to beat any price by 2%. While we continue this practice on a large portion of our inventory, manufacturer mandated pricing policies have forced us to discontinue this pricing benefit. We aren't allowed to lower the price or offer any kind of discounts or rebates on products affected by UPP.

You are the same price as my doctor. I thought you would be better.

The Unilateral Pricing Policy created by manufacturers sets the minimum price that contacts can be sold for, which restricts our ability to offer a lower price than doctors on those lenses. However, we do offer free torn lens replacement, 24/7 customer service, free exchanges if your prescription ever changes, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. So while our price is similar because of the manufacturer mandate, we still offer services that your doctor doesn't and at no extra cost.
-------------------------

Quote from superman19 View Post :
Under the UPP policy, the retailer is only permitted to offer free standard shipping or free overnight shipping. They are also permitted to offer up to a $50 store credit when an annual supply is purchase, but under the manufacturer's rules, they are not allowed to advertise this credit until the checkout.
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Last Edited by Stillglade January 2, 2015 at 05:43 AM
CURRENT BEST AVAILABLE DEAL

Instructions (works best with orders of 4 boxes at a time, averaging, e.g., $35 each on Oasys for Astigmatism):
  1. Go to www.contactsexpress.ca [contactsexpress.ca]
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select Currency --> USD
  3. Find your UPP-restricted lens type and add 2 boxes for each eye, total of 4 NOTE: some like the Acuvue Oasys have 24 packs now, so you only need one box for each eye (triggers lower pricing)
  4. At checkout, enter coupon code CXNEW for flat $8.90 discount
  5. Shipping is free, and you will be charged in U.S. dollars. (Warning: some stingy credit card issuers impose foreign transaction fees even when you get billed in U.S. dollars, merely because it's from abroad, so make sure yours is exempt.)

Tested with regular Visa: Success - NO foreign transaction fees were applied. Means seller has both US & Canadian processors/banks/domicile and not considered foreign to CC

Link to site with pre-selected US currency [contactsexpress.ca]
Graph of dollar conversion - the higher the cheaper this will be [x-rates.com]

219 Comments

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#3
Yeah it's pretty much just price fixing. Thanks for the info though.
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Quote from dreamexecution View Post :
Yeah it's pretty much just price fixing. Thanks for the info though.
What he said!

Considering contacts are little more than shaped plastic wrap, they really are grossly overpriced.
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#5
Quote from dreamexecution View Post :
Yeah it's pretty much just price fixing. Thanks for the info though.
I know Bose, Apple and few others do. But how can majority of contact lens manufacturers do this ? Can they win this ?
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#6
Quote from unlvrebels View Post :
I know Bose, Apple and few others do. But how can majority of contact lens manufacturers do this ? Can they win this ?
I wasn't prior to 2007 since it would be against the antitrust law. It's legal in this situation since the Supreme Court (in 2007) ruled that manufacturers can implement these price floor techniques when "free riding" occurs.

For example, a person goes into a high-end boutique and gets all their information about a product and then goes to a discount retailer - that free rides off of the advertising and expertise of the high-end boutique - and makes the purchase there.

In this case, it's the sore loser optometrist who is giving away the information and expertise about the contact lenses only to have the customer buy it from 1-800-Contacts at a lower price.
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Last edited by dreamexecution October 26, 2014 at 01:33 AM
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#7
Quote from dreamexecution View Post :
I wasn't prior to 2007 since it would be against the antitrust law. It's legal in this situation since the Supreme Court (in 2007) ruled that manufacturers can implement these price floor techniques when "free riding" occurs.

For example, a person goes into a high-end boutique and gets all their information about a product and then goes to a discount retailer - that free rides off of the advertising and expertise of the high-end boutique - and makes the purchase there.

In this case, it's the sore loser optometrist that is giving away the information and expertise about the contact lenses only to have the customer buy it from 1-800-Contacts for a lower price.
Wtf? The supreme Court is screwed up.
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Quote from fyu View Post :
Wtf? The supreme Court is screwed up.
Welcome to the real world and corporate America even owning the supreme court.
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#9
Quote from dreamexecution View Post :
I wasn't prior to 2007 since it would be against the antitrust law. It's legal in this situation since the Supreme Court (in 2007) ruled that manufacturers can implement these price floor techniques when "free riding" occurs.

For example, a person goes into a high-end boutique and gets all their information about a product and then goes to a discount retailer - that free rides off of the advertising and expertise of the high-end boutique - and makes the purchase there.

In this case, it's the sore loser optometrist who is giving away the information and expertise about the contact lenses only to have the customer buy it from 1-800-Contacts at a lower price.
Which is funny because the AOA president himself said that contacts are a medical device not just consumer goods. What next? You have to buy your drugs at your physician's office? They give you all the expertise on your medication and then you go and give CVS all your money when you buy your prescription.
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#10
Quote from dreamexecution View Post :
I wasn't prior to 2007 since it would be against the antitrust law. It's legal in this situation since the Supreme Court (in 2007) ruled that manufacturers can implement these price floor techniques when "free riding" occurs.

For example, a person goes into a high-end boutique and gets all their information about a product and then goes to a discount retailer - that free rides off of the advertising and expertise of the high-end boutique - and makes the purchase there.

In this case, it's the sore loser optometrist who is giving away the information and expertise about the contact lenses only to have the customer buy it from 1-800-Contacts at a lower price.
My optometrist charges me a contact lens fitting fee every year, I think that is fair for me buying it from someone else.
So even China gets it. Are we going to have to start buying our contacts from other countries? Has anyone check prices from Canada, etc.
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Last edited by FREEALTA October 26, 2014 at 04:30 AM
#11
Great article. No wonder I don't see any incentives from buying contacts anymore.
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#12
Boycott the manufacturers that do this and switch to different product.
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#13
i am looking for deal on total 1, any idea?

thanks
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#14
Yeah, even the Chinese authorities called out and fined these companies for this BS. Go 'murica.
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Last edited by dreamexecution October 26, 2014 at 06:19 AM
#15
JUst wear a brand that isn't under the UPP. fark Vista-kon-job and the others.
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