With all the big box retailers and commoditization of contact lenses, optometrists are having to lower their prices to compete. This got me thinking, “How do most optometrists price contact lenses?” In retail, such as selling clothing in Nordstrom or furniture at IKEA, items can be marked up 2-3x their wholesale cost. Back in the good ol’ days, contact lens pricing was similar. Now, it is difficult to mark up contact lenses 2-3x due to the competition.

Some ways to help capture patients:

  • Train staff to offer annual supplies first, before splitting the order into a certain number of boxes
  • Use rebates as a selling tool
  • Offer discounts on glasses or sunglasses with a purchase of contact lenses
  • Use services like Lens Ferry to capture annual supplies, while patients pay a low monthly fee to receive their contact lenses
  • Use unique brands or private labels that patients cannot find at big box outlets

How do you calculate the mark up on your contact lenses?

Do you use a certain formula and apply to all brands? What about UPP items? Do you use the recommended price or is yours even higher? What about older products that have been around since 1980’s? Do you price those items higher to try and move patients out of older technology?

How often do you recalculate your contact lens pricing?

In our office, semi-annually has worked well. Keeping up with the newest contact lenses and adding them to the price sheet will always require constant management, but this offers us the opportunity to re-evaluate certain contact lens prices fairly often to make sure we are remaining competitive in the market.

Curious to see how many of you price your contact lenses. Do you have any advice on what has or has not worked well? Private practitioners are especially interested in this topic. Thanks for your insight!