Should You Buy Contact Lenses on the Internet or in Person?

A recent work re-location

So, I recently moved from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur with my job. I grew up in the States, but as an adult have taken every opportunity that involves more travel and adventure. Singapore was cool, it almost felt like I was in Europe at times, due to the laid back atmosphere and purposeful feel.

It’s a bit small though, and after a couple of years I was ready to move on. My employer has offices all over South East Asia, so at the risk of getting fired, I asked my boss about a re-location. To my surprise it was perfect timing, there was another slot in IT doing roughly the same job, in Kuala Lumpur… Nice!

KL is a bit different, you definitely know that you’re in Asia, with the hustle, bustle, noise and ethnic ‘scents’ in the air. Traffic is a lot worse, as is the humidity and pollution, well, it has been so far anyway.

I used to wear glasses, and now prefer contact lenses. Getting my lenses in the States was easy, there were plenty of optometrists and pharmacies and I never gave it a second thought. Singapore was the same really, I never thought about it.

Some things in life are ‘western problems’

When I arrived in KL though, I had a couple of bad experiences in a row. A wrong prescription, followed by getting given a packet that had it’s tamper seal missing. They wouldn’t even give me a refund, they told me that I should have checked before leaving the first time – how is that for customer service?

I had to decide, do I go back to wearing glasses? I don’t look good in glasses anymore! Do I keep searching for more places to buy my contacts? Do I mail order from the USA? Does Amazon deliver here?

Then I though, what if the prescription is wrong, or the package gets tampered with, and I have to return them overseas, how does that work? A new set of problems at the postal service?

At the same time, the extra pollution and humidity mean that I need to clean my contacts more often, or dispose of them more frequently. This I thought – what if I end up with fake cleaning solution and go blind. (Did I tell you that I’m a little neurotic?)

Perhaps glasses weren’t such a bad idea?

Especially if I can find come cool ones?

My solution:

I dusted off my old glasses, tried them on, and decided no, they weren’t for me. I still had my prescription, and some contact lens supplies I bought with me from Singapore. what I decided to do, was buy from a couple of local mail order places, and a couple of pharmacies too.

I compared pricing, packaging and the product itself. Literally with a magnifying glass!

Then, I realized that all of the products were authentic, and the best value, the most convenient purchase was with an online contact lens store right here in Malaysia.

They stocked my favorite go-to brands which are Acuvue and Air Optix. I could see that the delivered goods were identical to the ones I had from Singapore. In addition I knew that I could kick up a fuss or even visit them if there was a problem.

Buying inside Malaysia solved the import/postal office problems and saved on postage. It also avoided the potential incompetence of a store assistant giving you the wrong thing, or switching the product for a fake. That said, perhaps that’s down to the out of sight, out of mind thing that applies to restaurants lol.

Overall, the convenience and pricing of buying online makes sense to me, although I felt nervous buying a health product online. Now I’ve found a good source, I’ll just stick with them. remember, always be over careful when buying health or beauty products online. Better to be safe than sorry!

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