Like cheap contact lenses? You won't like this
Major contact lens manufacturers are setting price minimums for some of their products, which critics say will eliminate consumers' ability to find discounted lenses.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
Shopping around to find a good deal on contact lenses is a thing of the past, for some lenses anyway.
Three of the top four contact manufacturers have set price minimums for some of their lenses, a controversial move that prevents discounts for consumers.
We've noticed that three of the top four companies -- Alcon (aka CIBA), Bausch & Lomb, and Johnson & Johnson -- have already adopted resale-price maintenance policies for some of their products. And the fourth, CooperVision, might not be far behind. The four account for 97 percent of all contact lenses sold in the United States.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel recently met to discuss whether the contact manufacturers' new pricing methods amount to anti-competitive behavior.
"The only winners with this pricing strategy are manufacturers, high-priced retailers, and doctors, who would no longer have to compete with discounters," CR said.
Contact lens makers said instituting uniform prices may actually result in some cheaper lenses. One company said it's combating "showrooming," where people find out about lenses from their eye doctor but then buy them from online discounters, according to Reuters. It's estimated that 10 percent of contacts are sold online.
My contacts are manufactured by Alcon, one of the proponents of price floors. I typically buy my contacts once a year through 1-800 CONTACTS. After shopping around for the best price, I found that 1-800 CONTACTS offered the cheapest lenses. Now I have to wonder: Will that still be true in the future?
What do you think of contact lens manufacturers' price-floor plan?
More from Money Talks News
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
The Fed's latest statement confirms that it won't be coming to the rescue of depositors soon, but these institutions are worth following anyway.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'