Jun 27, 2018
When I came to Japan, I brought as many pairs of contacts as I could. I was terrified of going to the optometrist in Japan because I didn't know the process, and my language skills were weak when it came to anything medical.
Fast forward a few years, and I have finally run out of my supply. Because my language skills have not improved much (and because I'm lazy) I decided to check out Amazon for a contact refill.
Now, in the US, the FDA is pretty strict about contact lenses and prescriptions surrounding them. While there are workarounds for this, in general, you need a recent prescription (within the last two years) to order, among other things.
Growing up with those strict laws instilled in me, I was nervous about making a purchase. However, after speaking with a friend and fellow expat about how they got new contact lenses, she suggested I check out Amazon.
This was perfect for me, considering the voucher system here at City-Cost. Checking out Amazon, I was surprised to see that there was an entire bustling marketplace of contact lens sellers there! You could find colored lenses, plain ones... anything you'd want!
Now, the importance of the power and the diameter are important to make sure that it'll fit on your eye properly. Luckily, instead of sorting through Amazon's entire catalog, you can use the search refinement tool on the sidebar to help you find the lens for you.
Lucky for me, my eyes aren't very sensitive or dry, so I can take almost any lens brand. So, I just ordered the cheapest brand, which was Bausch & Lomb, a relatively popular and well-known brand. My prescription is a bit strong (-6.00 in both eyes), so I'm not sure how that affected the price. I paid 1,280 yen for 6 lenses (3 pairs in total).
The process was as simple as buying anything else off of Amazon. I just put it in my cart, pressed purchase, and that's it! There was no place for Amazon to check my prescription or anything. They just trusted that I was buying the right prescription and that was it.
My contacts weren't covered under Amazon Prime, but it still came within three days. Judging from the box, it seemed as though it was a third party seller from "Lens Apple" just selling though Amazon. I haven't checked out Lens Apple, but if their prices are even better, I may be buying from them next time...
I'm always so surprised and a bit disappointed by how big the boxes are in comparison to the actual product being shipped. But, my lenses came perfectly in tact and, I guess for medical-related things, I'd rather be safe than sorry.
I couldn't open the box properly, but my lenses came and everything looked perfect! I mean, I wasn't expecting anything bad to happen or for them to be tampered with, but it was nice to see.
I was so happy with my purchase. The price was right in the range that I was hoping for and the lenses were great quality. The convenience from Amazon was also much appreciated. So, if you know your prescription, you should definitely consider buying lenses online the next time you need a refill!
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I only found this out myself recently too, and it was such a nice thing to find my contact brand/prescription online! I was surprised though, because it's the same in Australia - pretty rigid and you'd need someone to verify a prescription.
That's funny, my husband Just told me it's not as strict here and staff in the glasses shops don't need to be qualified as an optometrist because a prescription isn't required. (I mentioned that the staff told me my prescription was the same, but I must have 'old eyes' because I can't see up close as well as before.) I don't do contacts and have astigmatism, but it's worth checking to see if I could get glasses on Amazon as well (when I'm more confident about my prescription).