Using a Groupon for LASIK?

Using a Groupon for LASIK?Note: This post was written by the previous owner of this blog in 2012.

I just received an e-mail in my inbox for a 59% discount for LASIK surgery. Originally costs $5,900, but is now at the rock bottom price of $2,399 for both eyes! I’ve been meaning to get LASIK, but wanted to wait and see the long-term side effects of the procedure. It seems to be a relatively safe operation with no long-term consequences, which makes me wonder if using a Groupon for surgery makes sense.

If you’ve ever seen the American sit-com The King of Queens, the main character, Doug, uses a coupon to buy LASIK for his wife. She eventually experienced complications to the surgery then questioned her husband about the doctor. She comes to find out that he used a ‘buy one eye, get the second eye free’ coupon and was angry that he used a coupon for surgery.  She ended up having to have the surgery done again to correct her vision.

LASIK is a lucrative and highly competitive procedure so many ophthalmologists are trying to cash into the demand for the procedure. It has been around for almost 2 decades and the procedure is pretty standard which makes me wonder about the differences between physicians.

Businesses typically offer coupons because they can’t sell the products at retail price. When was the last time you’ve seen a coupon for an Apple product? However, if the physician on the Groupon has an excellent rating, shouldn’t s/he be worth exploring? It’s not all about cost, but cost is certainly a consideration.

Would you use a coupon/Groupon for LASIK?

About The Author

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at I Am 1 Percent. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.


15 Comments

  1. Michelle

    I’ve thought about it before, but I feel like LASIK isn’t something I’d want to get a “deal” for. I would want a well capable physician.

    Reply
    1. iam1percent

      I think that’s my point. If the physician offering a Groupon is credible and has an excellent rating, is it a psychological thing to not pursue it?

      Reply
  2. Brian St. Pierre

    Would you use a coupon for a brain surgeon to get that lobotomy you’ve been thinking about?

    Seriously though, I’m *not* in the 1% and I’d definitely want to find a lasik surgeon through referrals (with an “S” — multiple people!). Then check his background — has he been in business for a long time? Thousands of successful surgeries? *Then* I’d haggle with the office about price.

    Reply
  3. PB

    I think part of the problem with using a groupon for LASIK is that you only have a small timeframe within which to make the decision to buy. I don’t think I would feel like I could adequately research a particular doctor or practice within the time frame.

    The other thing I would want to look into is how much the doctor normally charges. Who is to say the price isn’t inflated for purposes of making it look like you are getting a great discount? Although I suppose if you had already started doing research into LASIK in your area you may have a good idea of the going rate.

    Reply
  4. Leigh

    Personally I wouldn’t use a Groupon or any coupon really for LASIK – I would only go to a place that a friend used AND a place that offers a lifetime guarantee. I only have one set of eyes and I want to keep seeing with them for the rest of my life, thank you very much.

    Reply
    1. iam1percent

      What if I don’t know anyone in my area whose had LASIK? Where do I get a referral from? And do 1 or 2 referrals really tell me a lot about the physician? What is the physician on the groupon offered a lifetime guarantee?

      Reply
  5. PK

    Absolutely – with the right ratings.

    I know my house is a hugely different thing than my body, but the same concept applies. I find someone offering a deal on Craigslist, do some research (Yelp, Angie’s List, BBB, etc…) , and commit.

    I guess that would be cutting it close on a Groupon deal (or let’s get everyone to post their experiences on Yelp?), but I could see going to a well reviewed place (pun intended).

    Reply
  6. javier

    I wouldn’t use LASIK before, I’m a bit scared about it’s long therm effects.

    I wear glasses, and I’m fine wearing them. I would use contact lenses, but if I went through teenagehood without buying contacts I think I can go my late twenties without them. If I decide to leave my glasses I would use contacts, I don’t think risking your vision might worth it.

    And of course, if I was going to get a LASIK, specially being a 1%, my first priority would be the safety of the procedure, not the cost.

    Reply
  7. JT

    I’m also currently “waiting” to see the long-term effects of LASIK. Conveniently, I’m also watching it drop considerably in price as time goes on.

    I don’t see any reason not to use a Groupon on LASIK. The discount likely isn’t because the company is a second-rate provider, but because bringing one new customer in the door for LASIK costs a ton of money in advertising expenditures. (Jewelry is the same way, too.) The owner probably figures he might as well knock the ad costs off and see if it brings additional people at a lower price point. Nothing wrong with that, especially as a consumer.

    Reply
  8. ImpulseSave

    This is an interesting article because normally I would say NO WAY! Using a coupon for surgery seems like a really bad idea. However, when you think about it, it makes good sense because many insurance companies don’t cover the procedure so a coupon seems like a reasonable option to sell the costs. I would not be a good candidate for LASIK, so fortunately I don’t have to make this decision. However if someone else was asking my advice I would say to look for a good doctor and go for it!

    Reply
  9. Kas

    I was planning on getting Lasik this summer when I happened to open up my Groupon app and saw a deal for 2,500 for both eyes with 6 years of free touchups if needed. I was reluctant to use Groupon for eye surgery so I called the doctors office with a list of prepared questions. They told me that anyone that called was welcome to come in for a consultation first and that they would be offered the groupon price if they wished to proceed. I made sure the doctor was board certified, very experienced etc and felt comfortable that he was reputable. Had the surgery this past Friday and very pleased so far. Nothing wrong with a groupon for eye surgery if you do your homework on the doctor.

    Reply
    1. iam1percent

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I feel the same way. If you do your due diligence, there is nothing wrong with using a Groupon for LASIK

      Reply
  10. ML

    I’m wondering too. My experience was having brain surgery with HMO. Learned later that surgery is not something they would skimp on but details they will. Didn’t need to shave hair, others had same exact surgery did not, but it’s faster for doctor. He did not bother filling in holes/around square bone taken out with bone paste so indentations showed on forehead, had fixed 10 yrs later by plastic surgeon who said was a mess inside. They didn’t bother to either be careful or reconnect some blood vessels/nerves so whole head is still annoyingly numb and hair is less as not getting as nourished, again others do not have this problem, exact surgery. Problem is we don’t know all the little things that should be done that they may skimp on to save time/money. I would think the surgery would have to be as precise or they would not be in business long. But what is the list of steps that should be taken that we don’t know and may be missing.

    Reply
  11. TR

    Funny thing, I am looking for a groupon and find this site. Just want to say that I have been looking at Lasix for awhile now. I have had the free consults and am ready to do the surgery. My cost per eye for Mono Vision $2100/ea. Single Mom here and this will not cut it for me. So Groupon, Yes! Research Dr & facility, Yes! Why not get the break if you can.

    Reply
  12. rabbitoflalune

    I agree with the above. There is nothing wrong with using a groupon if the doctor and facility are credible. There is no reason they would do a “lesser” job on your surgery simply because you are using a discount *they* chose to put out there to bring new business in. It would be more costly for them to do a shoddy job and have the customer be unhappy (probably leading to bad reviews for them both online and through word of mouth – which is the most valuable currency in most situations nowadays) than to just give you their best and end up with a happy customer (who will tell their friends, and bring more eyeballs through the door). Just my $0.02.

    Reply

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