Nobody Move. eBay Lost A Contact Lens

from the contact-lens-scandal? dept

Okay, obviously, misusing a contact lens can do some amount of damage, but doesn’t it seem like a bit of overkill to only let doctors sell them? Some US states have banned online contact lens selling, as well — but it is apparently completely illegal in the UK. However, people still try to sell contact lenses online in the UK, and they often use eBay… so now eBay is facing a lawsuit and large fines for allowing contact lens sales to continue. No matter how you feel about people buying and selling contact lenses online, you have to wonder why this is an issue that eBay would get in trouble for. It’s not eBay doing the selling. They’re just the platform provider. If the courts want to go after the sellers, that could be a different story, but going after eBay itself is misguided.

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Comments on “Nobody Move. eBay Lost A Contact Lens”

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Flamsmark (user link) says:

Re: Re: Prescription Required

This article refers to the UK. We don’t have your FDA here, eBay is as liable for people selling contact lenses illegally, as it would be for people selling restricted drugs or arms illegally.

Whether you think they should be responsible for those things is another question, but they are still just as responsible for that as for this.

MeFly says:

Re: Re: Prescription Required

Stupid – The topic is selling – do you need a license to sell a car – no, unless you are going to set up a dealership. Yes you can sell a car on ebay. The license with a car come into play when you are going to drive it and thus potentially harm others. There are people who are now BLIND because they didn’t properly care for their eyes – they didn’t go to a EYE DOCTOR!

adam says:

Re: Prescription Required

people buy contacts to see. they already have a prescription
and have had the first pair fit by an optometrist. i see nothing wrong with having them show up at my door. i can buy a pair of glasses and wear them for twenty years and no one will complain about me not seeing a optometrist every year, so why should they about contacts. if they are comfortable and work who cares let me police my own eyes.

Mousky (user link) says:

Re: Dirty lenses anyone?

The free market does solve everything. If you are stupid enough to buy contact lenses without first going to an optometrist or an ophthalmologist to get a prescription, oh well. Why is it the job of the government to protect stupid people? The free market is a wonderful thing when logical and enforceable rules are place.

tom says:

what the??

i have never seen such bad comments to a tech dirt artical… in a while…

You need to put yours in and re-read your title: CONTACT (you have conact — missing a T)

doesn’t help the thread.. if the only thing you can do is spot out misspellings you shouldn’t bother posting anything.

A license is needed to drive it, but not to buy it.

i don’t know what state you’re from but most do require a license. who in there right minds would sell a car to someone who can’t even drive it?

ebay should definitely not be held responsible for this kinda thing. the person selling it should.

people are just “lawsuit-crazy”. people with power or just your average joe can sue almost anyone for anything nowadays.

hey my friend bought a motorcycle on line and got hurt riding it. can he sue ebay because of that?

Carlton Noles (user link) says:

Contact lens resposibility

If your bud comes over to your home and is selling illegal drugs off your back porch or an employee is selling them in your place of business you most certainly will suffer consequenses. If you allow people to knowingly conduct illegal business transactions on your property (real or virtual) you are an accomplice or at the very least complicit. If you cannot be criminally charged you may well be sued or majorly inconvenienced by dealing with the BS.

Contacts, eyeglasses, monocles and binoculars says:

How stupid is this???

Contact lenses carry the prescription on the package. There is no reason why an online shop cannot provide what a store can in this case. I’ve ordered contacts both ways and the only difference has been the price. Optometrist, etc don’t need to actually see my prescription if I show them the box my contacts came in. IF they suggest a new eye exam, it’s cause they want my money, not cause they’re concerned about my eyes. The drug analogy is totally ridiculous; no one is hurt physically by who I order from. The only possible negative health effect would be if I didn’t get regular optical checkups and perhaps my prescription was out of wack. Hell, the last optometrists shop I ordered contacts from has done a good job (?) informing me by mail when I should order new contacts and get a new exam. This is only about the money. I can’t imagine optometrists and by extension their shops having a significant lobby, so I’ll just guess that this is connected to the states trying to tax internet sales. It’s only the beginning…

Anonymous Coward says:

Its the $$$ stupid!

I can go to Mexico and buy whatever sort of pharmaceuticals I want, legally, at a drug store, without a prescription usually for much less than the cost of my co-pay in the US. The same drugs, made by the same manufactures – in some cases BETTER pharmaceuticals than I can get in the US, WITH a prescription. Mexico is not the only country in the world with such reasonable laws.

If Mexicans can handle this sort of freedom without killing themselves regularly – why can?t Americans – a supposedly ?free? people? Are Americans so much stupider than Mexicans that we can?t handle – or be trusted with – our own health? (Probably.)

Or is there some other reason the government wants to stick it?s grimy little paws into our business?

All we are talking about is a prescription – not changing the quality of the medication – only our access to it. Which in a ?free? country should be ?free? shouldn?t it?

There is NO reason to need a prescription to buy 99.999 percent of the medication that is available in your local pharmacy.

The same goes for contacts.

mayeyeseeyou says:

Re: Its the $$$ stupid!

Some of you need to check out your information. First of all, Dr’s are not the only people allowed to sell contacts, opticians can also in most states. Secondly, contacts have base curves and diameters and not all contacts fit all eyes. They can be too tight causing problems and just the opposite, too lose and scratch your cornea. Just like anything else, SIZE MATTERS. And size changes. You don’t go to get an eye exam just for vision, you go for over all health. And those thinking MEXICO has BETTER laws…….. move there! As for the law suit, you buy stolen merchandise- you can lose it right? I say that ebay get WARNED and not let people sell things that require Rx’s.

Auction Guy Free Auction Listings (user link) says:

I agree, all responsibility should be on the user who listed the auction. If we start holding website responsible for everything that a user contributes it would be an outrage by webmasters. Are we to hold myspace responsible for all the rapes that take place when someone is lured into meeting off line? Where would this end?? When it come to keeping track of hundreds of million listings I’d imagine its hard for ebay to keep track, but they should clean up the site.

vie says:

Re: C'mon people

I have just had my listing to sell my unused lenses on ebay removed, being told it is illegal. I had no idea, but the funny thing is THREE YEARS AFTER THE COURT CASE EBAY STILL HAVE A CONTACT LENS CATEGORY….people are listing them, then having them removed. So they are taking listing fees under false pretences.
If its illegal why is there still a category to sell them in? LOL the worlds gone mad.

x13green says:

Re: Re: Re:2 C'mon people

My daughter ordered lenses from Optical Insitute on 6Feb2010. Just recieved them this morning. Not the best deal around but with 7 months till her next insurance paid for office visit it sure beat the $100 fee the Eye Dr wanted. UnitedHealthCare has a 1 checkup per 2 years so.

Over Christmas break the high school band went to Diseny World for a week. My daughter didn’t have a spare pair with her so I asked our Eye Dr for a script to get a pair from WalMart. NO deal he said she’d need an exam first. Explained the trip and need for a set ASAP. Still no deal, what a friend! Got a old aquintence from LA to call a relative in Munich…faxed a script to WalMart in Orlando and she got a 6pack of Oasys lenses about 6 hrs after I asked for the favor. Screw the AOA, for a money grubbing law. Not sure what the law is in Europe but having the 1 year rule in the US is pathetic. If you have a script and have been fitted and have no problems? Another scam brought to you for (your own good) by the US healthcare industry that’s NOT BROKEN?.

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