HMI Buying group - Optometry's Leading Buying Group For Over 20 YearsBUY SMARTDeep Discounts, Superior Service, 100% Billing Accuracy, Over 250 Top Suppliers

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Frequently Asked Questions
HMI customer service representatives are available to answer your questions
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST at 800.932.3535, but you may
find a quick answer in the responses below. If not, please don’t hesitate to call.
What Is An Optical Buying Group And How Does It Work?
What is an optical buying group?
How does an optical buying group work?
Why HMI ?
How much can I save with HMI Buying Group?
What is HMI’s administration fee?
Why do some buying groups offer better discounts than HMI?
How does HMI make money without an administrative fee?
If I can get a better discount by purchasing directly from a supplier,
why should I buy through a buying group?
How To Join
What does it cost to join HMI Buying Group?
How do I join?
How long after I return my application will I find out if I have been accepted
as a member?

If I have bad credit (or no credit), can I still join HMI?
Placing Orders
Will my HMI membership change the way I place orders?
Do I need to set up an account with each supplier?
If I have more than one location, do I need separate member account numbers?
Does my sales representative still get credit for purchases I make through HMI?
If I am currently a member of another buying group, or if I buy direct from some
suppliers, do I have to switch all of my accounts over to HMI?

How do I get the most recent catalogs from suppliers?
Supplier Policies
If I have already purchased from a supplier that requires a minimum order to
establish a new account, do I need to meet that minimum again?

Am I allowed to have multiple accounts with the same supplier, i.e., a direct
account and a buying group account?

Why do the prices for some contact lenses vary from one supplier to another
on the HMI price list?

How do I find out about the policies on shipping, returns and handling of
contact lenses before placing an order?

How do I get trial lenses?
Billing Questions
Do I pay HMI or the supplier directly?
What are your payment terms?
Does HMI charge sales tax?
Does HMI honor special payment terms offered by my suppliers?
What if I have a coupon from a supplier?
If I purchase a product with my HMI account number and then need to return
the product, where should it be sent?

If I return a product to the supplier that I purchased direct (not with an HMI
account number), do I get credit through my HMI account?

How long does it take to process credits from suppliers?
Do you accept credit cards?
What is iDrafts Electronic Payment Services?
What if I can’t pay?
Who do I call if I have a problem with my statement?
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What Is An Optical Buying Group And How Does It Work?
What is an optical buying group?
The old adage of strength in numbers is true. An optical buying group brings
together eyecare professionals to combine their purchasing power. Collectively,
our members do a large volume of business, which allows HMI Buying Group to
negotiate with manufacturers and distributors for lower pricing on products that
you use in your practice every day.
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How does an optical buying group work?
Buying group membership gives you advantages that may be impossible to obtain
on your own. When you join HMI, for example, you — along with thousands of other
independent practitioners — are able to buy contact lenses, frames and other
optical supplies from major vendors at prices that make you more competitive with
the chains and other superopticals.

Unless you have a very large optical operation, your individual negotiating power
with suppliers is limited. On the other hand, if you belong to HMI Buying Group,
you will receive discounts based on the purchasing power of the entire membership.
It costs you nothing to join HMI and there are no administrative fees.

Another advantage that many practices find just as important as discounts is
consolidated billing. HMI consolidates all of your monthly purchases on one
easy-to-understand statement. That means less paperwork for your staff and an
easier time reconciling your accounts.
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Why HMI Buying Group?
How much can I save with HMI Buying Group?
Our members save anywhere from 5% to 55% depending on the suppliers they use.
Typically, our members save an average of about 20% monthly.
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What is HMI’s administration fee?
ZERO. One of the advantages of being a member of HMI Buying Group is that there
is no administration fee to add back or calculate each month, which saves you time
in reconciling your statement.
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Why do some buying groups offer better discounts than HMI?
Despite what you may have heard, most buying groups receive identical discounts
from suppliers. Some buying groups list that entire discount on their price list
because it looks better, but then add a substantial administrative fee to every
purchase you make. At HMI, the discount we quote is the one you get. We don’t
believe in administrative fees because they complicate the billing process, are
sometimes misleading, and often cost the member more money. Some groups
even add an administrative fee to taxes and handling charges. Others keep the
fee on items that are returned. Both of those policies cost you money.
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How does HMI make money without an administrative fee?
We pass most of the discount we receive from suppliers on to our members,
keeping a small portion to pay operating expenses. All buying groups must make
a profit to stay in business and if they pass along the entire supplier discount, as
some claim to do, their profit must come from somewhere else — usually an
administrative fee. Buying groups that pass along the entire discount they receive
from a supplier are perceived as offering better pricing, but when an administrative
fee is added, the prices you actually pay are significantly higher than the discounts
quoted. We don’t believe that’s in the best interest of our members.
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If I can get a better discount by purchasing directly from a supplier,
why should I buy through a buying group?

If you can get a better deal from an individual supplier by going direct, you should
do it. Just be sure that you can meet any required minimum purchases each month
(without being forced to buy more from that one supplier that you would really like to)
or you may lose your entire discount. Purchases from other suppliers should still go
through your buying group.
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How To Join
What does it cost to join HMI Buying Group?
Membership is absolutely free. There are no membership fees, minimum purchase
requirements or administrative fees.
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How do I join?
It’s easy to apply for HMI Buying Group membership. You can click ‘How To Join
in the menu at left (or on the HMI home page) to complete an online application.
We will process it and call you once it’s been approved, usually within 24 hours.

Or, if you prefer, simply print your completed application and supplier authorization
for billing, and fax toll-free to 800.501.6858 or mail to: 3530 Manor Drive, Suite 6,
Vicksburg, MS 39180.

If you need assistance or would like to join by phone, call Jackie Dotson, Member
Services, at 800.569.0681.
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How long after I return my application will I find out if I have been
accepted as a member?

The turnaround time is usually 24 hours. You will be notified by phone upon approval
and you can start ordering immediately.
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If I have bad credit (or no credit), can I still join HMI?
Depending on your individual circumstances, our credit department will do
everything possible to assist you with opening an account. Call to discuss your
needs and we will work with you.
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Placing Orders
Will my HMI membership change the way I place orders?
No, you will continue to order directly from suppliers (just be sure to use your
HMI member number/supplier drop-ship number when ordering) and the suppliers
will ship directly to you. All suppliers bill HMI monthly for your purchases and we
consolidate your monthly purchases on one statement. You receive full discounts
as long as your remittance is received by the 20th of the month.
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Do I need to set up an account with each supplier?
Although a few supplier account numbers are pre-assigned by HMI, 90% of our
suppliers prefer to establish a new account when you are ready to order. When you
place your initial order, just identify yourself as an HMI member to ensure your new
accounts have been set up to bill through HMI Buying Group. A small percentage
of suppliers require additional credit information and/or will give you special
instructions for establishing a new account.
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If I have more than one location, do I need separate member account numbers?
Only if you want to keep the billing separate. Otherwise, you can have one account
number with different drop ship locations.
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Does my sales representative still get credit for purchases I make through HMI?
Yes. You can order from your sales representative or directly from the company.
Just be sure to inform your sales representative that you are a member of HMI
Buying Group to ensure your discounts.
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If I am currently a member of another buying group, or if I buy direct from
some suppliers, do I have to switch all of my accounts over to HMI?

No, only the accounts you wish to bill through HMI. Keep in mind, however, that it
saves your staff time if they receive just one bill each month. So, unless there are
significant additional savings, you may want to bill everything through HMI.
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How do I get the most recent catalogs from suppliers?
Just call the supplier and they will be happy to send you a copy. You can also click
on ‘Supplier Directory & Links’ on the HMI home page to go to the supplier’s website
to view current products and/or to request the most recent catalog.
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Supplier Policies
If I have already purchased from a supplier that requires a minimum order
to establish a new account, do I need to meet that minimum again?

In most cases, no.
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Am I allowed to have multiple accounts with the same supplier, i.e., a direct
account and a buying group account?

Most suppliers have the technology to set up more than one account, allowing you to
choose how you wish to be billed. However, there are a few suppliers that will only
allow you to have one account. In those cases, you will need to decide if you wish to
have your purchases billed through your buying group account or billed direct.
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Why do the prices for some contact lenses vary from one supplier to
another on the HMI price list?

Price isn’t always the only consideration in choosing a manufacturer or distributor.
Our members have their favorite suppliers, so we offer a diverse selection of the
nation’s leading suppliers of contact lenses, frames and other products.
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How do I find out about the policies on shipping, returns and handling
of contact lenses before placing an order?

Because policies differ, you should contact each supplier before placing an order.
In some cases, you will find this information in their catalog or on their website.
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How do I get trial lenses?
Trial lenses are available directly from the suppliers.
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Billing Questions
Do I pay HMI or the supplier directly?
You will pay HMI for any supplies purchased with your HMI account number.
Each supplier from whom you have purchased (using your HMI member number/
supplier drop-ship number) each month will send us an invoice. HMI will consolidate
your invoices and send you a monthly statement. Payment should be remitted to
HMI by the 20th of each month to ensure your discount.
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What are your payment terms?
To receive full discounts, payments are due in our office by the 20th of each month.
Your statement is available online at www.hmibg.com by the 7th of each month.
Mailed statements are also sent by that date.
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Does HMI charge sales tax?
HMI does not charge sales tax unless you are located in Mississippi. Some of our
suppliers do charge sales tax and that will be passed on to you unless you are tax
exempt. If you have a tax-exempt certificate, please forward it to the suppliers so
they can adjust their records accordingly.
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Does HMI honor special payment terms offered by my suppliers?
Yes. If a supplier has offered you any special terms, they will be honored by HMI.
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What if I have a coupon from a supplier?
Please forward coupons to that supplier for credit. They will notify us and any savings
will be reflected on your HMI statement.
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If I purchase a product with my HMI account number and then need to return
the product, where should it be sent?

Returns should always go directly to the supplier from whom they were purchased.
Any products sent to HMI will be returned to the member.
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If I return a product to the supplier that I purchased direct (not with an
HMI account number), do I get credit through my HMI account?

Usually, returned products that were purchased directly from a supplier will be
credited back to you by the supplier, not by HMI. If a supplier does issue a full credit
through the buying group, that credit will normally be applied against your account
balance. NOTE: Products should never be returned to HMI Buying Group, even if
they were purchased with an HMI account number. They should always be returned
directly to the supplier.
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How long does it take to process credits from suppliers?
We process all credit memos the same billing cycle they are issued from the supplier.
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Do you accept credit cards?
Visa and MasterCard electronic transactions can be made to HMI Buying Group
through the iDrafts Electronic Payment Services gateway. They will validate card
numbers, expiration dates and bank account/routing information — as well as obtain
authorization from card issuers and banks, provide confirmation to members and
forward payment information to HMI Buying Group for same-day posting.

iDrafts charges a small convenience fee for processing electronic transactions.

When you click the ‘iDrafts Pay Now’ button, you will be redirected to our
secure, third-party payment processor, iDrafts Electronic Payment Services. Just
enter your banking or credit card information and click ‘Submit Payment’ to
complete your transaction. You will receive 2 confirmation e-mails: 1) iDrafts will
send you an e-mail confirming that your payment information has been submitted
and 2) We will send you a confirmation once payment has been processed and
applied to your HMI account, usually within 24 hours.

iDrafts eliminates concern as to when payment will be received and when funds will
be withdrawn from your account — now you control both. And, if you prefer… you
can enroll in iDrafts ‘Automatic Payment’ option to have your account drafted the
same day each month. Just call 800.322.3815 to request a fax-back iDrafts AutoPay
enrollment form.

For more information click here.
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What is iDrafts Electronic Payment Services?
Convenient, secure and easy-to-use, iDrafts lets you pay your statement online
anytime, anywhere.

A single-source provider of electronic payment solutions since 2002, iDrafts partners
with businesses to offer reliable processing services via a secure and simple-to-use
gateway.

The iDrafts payment gateway validates card numbers, expiration dates and bank
account/routing information — as well as obtains authorization from card issuers and
banks, provides confirmation numbers to customers and forwards payment
information to payees for same-day posting.

iDrafts allows you to pay when it’s convenient for you — including non-business
hours — and gives you the flexibility to better manage your cash flow as well as the
opportunity to participate in rewards programs offered by your card issuer.

Try iDrafts today — no more checks to write, no payments to mail, no postage.
For more information click here.
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What if I can’t pay?
Please call our credit department to make payment arrangements.
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Who do I call if I have a problem with my statement?
You may speak with any of our knowledgeable customer service representatives at
800.932.3535, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. central standard time.
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