Selling Contact Lenses Safely And Legally
Increase Sales and Customer Confidence While Complying with Federal Regulations
Offering theatrical and color change lenses in your store can be a large customer draw. Over the past few years the desire to create different characters and effects by changing the eyes has become more and more popular.
And the demand for theatrical contact lenses in North America has risen dramatically causing a massive surge of lenses being imported into the U.S. But are these lenses safe? Or even legal?
In 2004 the FDA enacted a law that classified ALL contact lenses, even non corrective halloween lenses as a medical device. And that every pair of contact lenses sold must have a valid prescription or permission from the customers eye care professional to legally sell them under Federal Regulations.
But this didn’t stop greedy importers who flew cheap lenses in from abroad in small packages and sell them online or show up to trade shows misleading retailers about the laws.
If you have ever seen companies like this at trade shows or conventions you may have heard from them the following:
- These are non prescription lenses so anyone with healthy eyes can wear them.
- They have been approved by the FDA so you can legally sell them
- You can have your customer sign a waiver and that makes these legal
All of those statements are NOT TRUE and can get you in serious trouble!
But you can offer quality lenses to your customers, increase profits all while doing it safely and legally under Federal Regulations.
The first question we hear from new clients is often “Are my customers really going to fill out the paperwork?” The answer is YES! You will find that your sales will steadily increase over time and customers will become more loyal and appreciate that you are taking these steps to make sure they are safe!
Of course there still will be some that think the laws shouldn’t apply to them and will buy their lenses online or from gas stations. But you will find that overall your customers will appreciate that you want to make sure that they are being sold properly.
VerifyMyLenses.Com provides each store with personalized training for all managers and staff on how to sell contact lenses safely and legally. Our system has a built in learning center explaining the federal regulations in clear and easy to understand language.
Our system is easy to use and understand. Even new hires can be up an running in no time. We built this platform to be simple and straightforward as well as powerful. The system takes away all of the guesswork during the verification process. Red X for Denied and Green Check Mark for Approved!
Through your distributor or contact lens manufacturer we supply you with all of the tools you need for your store or website. The system can be as simple as forms faxed to us or as high tech as touch screen tablets given to your customers so they can fill out their info!
VerifyMyLenses.Com helps your business stay in compliance with Federal Regulations on contact lens sales. Please check with your state and local municipalities to see if any further requirements are required to sell contact lenses in your area.
VerifyMyLenses works directly with manufacturers and distributors of contact lenses. We investigate each brand thoroughly to make sure that they are cleared by the FDA. This way you know that the lenses you are offering at your business are cleared and legal.
Because there are so many lenses being imported into the U.S.A. and Canada that have no FDA clearance or blatantly misinform by printing “FDA APPROVED” on their packaging we can only work with brands we are certain are legal.
If you would like to use our service please contact your lens distributor or manufacturer and tell them you would like them to be a part of VerifyMyLenses.Com.
Open Letter To Retail Stores
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is Scott Smiledge. I have been retailing various products in our brick and mortar store and online since 1993. I wanted to tell you first hand of my experience with the consequences in not fully complying with the federal contact lens regulations.
In 2009 we were investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for violations pertaining to the contact lens rule. When we received the paperwork we were in a little bit of disbelief. The government was mounting a civil case against me and my business. It’s very important that you understand that it was a civil case. This means they were coming after me both professionally AND personally. My savings, home, car and kids college funds were all fair game.
The process took nearly two years to put behind us. Resulting in a settlement that cost my wife and I over $100,000 in fees and attorney costs. On top of this they also made me sell my car and give them the proceeds. It was the most grueling and devastating experience of my lifetime. It nearly put us out of business and in financial ruins.
Don’t assume that contact lenses are not a big deal. That anyone can buy them. And most importantly. Don’t assume that you won’t get caught. One thing I learned early on in this process is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. The fines can be up to $16,000 per violation!
Since then we still sell contact lenses. But we do it the right way and make sure all of our paperwork is correct. We noticed that sales continued to be steady and customers appreciated that we took the extra steps to make sure their lenses were safe and verified.
Read more about the case against us on the FTC website.
Don’t be fooled by distributors that tell you that the lenses are FDA Approved and you can just sell them to anyone. There are waves of illegal lenses that are snuck into the USA everyday. Make sure you are selling lenses the right way. There is great money in contact lens sales so don’t be put off by the regulations. Your customers will thank you for it.
Vampfangs / 321FX Studios