Buying Groups

When making purchases for your practice, you should highly consider joining a buying group. A buying group’s membership strength gives you immediate access to discounts and rebates from a broad selection of product and service vendors that you might not be able to obtain on your own.

Here are some things to consider when joining a buying group:

    • Range of vendor selection.

    • Volume incentive programs or additional savings and rebate programs.

    • Fee structure and straightforward billing procedures.

    • Helpful customer service and consultants.

    • Many resources to help you with running a business.


What is an ophthalmic buying group?

An ophthalmic buying group consists of a group of independent eye care professionals — optometrists, opticians and ophthalmologists — who join together to purchase products and services so that the best prices in the industry are secured.

Who can join an ophthalmic buying group?

Any independent practicing optometrist, ophthalmologist or optician can enroll.

Why should a new graduate or long-practicing doctor of optometry join a buying group?

By becoming a member of a buying group, you will have immediate access to a complete vendor selection, discount and rebate programs, consolidated billing and many membership benefits that assist you in creating and operating a successful practice.

What should a new graduate or long-practicing OD look for in a buying group?

When selecting a buying group, a new graduate or seasoned doctor of optometry should consider these factors:

  • Vendor selection: What vendors will the new graduate use or does the seasoned optometrist use in the practice?

  • Pricing, discounts and fee structure: Compare and determine which buying group will provide the overall maximum discount benefit to the practice.

  • Ownership: What makes the buying group different/ unique from other buying groups and how does its ownership support your profession?

  • Membership benefits: The volume incentive programs, continuing education seminars, customer service, online ordering, and practice management and networking tools offered.

What tips would you recommend to someone who is researching buying groups?

  • Check for “hidden fees.”

  • Check any contracts that require dollars from your practice to access discounts.

  • Ask for a vendor listing by product category.

  • Ask about incentive programs and membership benefits.

  • Ask if the group passes on the fully negotiated discount.

  • Ask how the buying group supports your profession.

Is there a membership fee to join a buying group?

Enrollment is free for most buying groups. Be sure to ask because some buying groups require you to be nominated in order to become a member, or require you to commit to a minimum monthly purchase volume.

COA's Preferred Partner

Healthy Eyes Advantage (HEA)

Telephone: (800) 959-2020 | E-mail: | Website:

Healthy Eyes Advantage (HEA) is the COA’s Preferred Business and Practice Solutions Partner, and has provided over $13 million in non-dues revenue support to date. With more than 10,000 members nationwide and 200+ vendor partners, HEA is the next-generation purchasing and practice solutions marketplace for independent eye care professionals in every stage of practice. An HEA powered practice gives you across-the-board best pricing, rebates and ‘members only’ programs, immediate access to the largest choice of product and business vendors, and CE opportunities throughout the year. There is no cost to join — and HEA’s ‘best fit’ options offer flexible programs that work for every size practice. Tap into the buying power, solutions and educational resources that only HEA can provide. Request a free business review to learn more about how HEA can power up your practice.