Where and where not to buy high quality supplements.
Plus some of my favorite sites and brands revealed.
The downside of Amazon being one of the most visited shopping websites is this: Bad actors enter the scene to make a quick profit.
Let me introduce this post by acknowledging that I know how convenient it is to order from Amazon. I live in a physically remote area. I don't have Vitamin Shoppe or Sprouts or Natural Grocer's nearby anymore. And I love where I live, but it's a reality, that I rely on online orders for supplements. Amazon is so convenient for moms short on time and energy. You search for what you need and three clicks or less later, you know it'll head your way quickly.
But who are you really buying from?!
Established companies have websites, responsive customer service, and offer testing and Certificate of Analysis (COA) up freely to ensure product quality, and to build trust with you- their customer.
Brand new sellers on Amazon with flashy designs and fancy (or super generic) labels raise red flags for me. When it comes to supplements I default to: "If it's too good to be true, it's probably fake. Trust your instincts more than the marketing speak."
A more in depth article about fakes in general on Amazon: https://www.howtogeek.com/331228/how-to-spot-fake-and-scammy-amazon-seller/
Now, where to buy then?
Here are websites clients of mine, lots of other parents and I have purchased supplements from over the years:
www.Pureformulas.com (Easy to locate info of allergens!)
www.Iherb.com (ships to a lot of countries worldwide.)
www.Vitacost.com (Ships quickly if you live in the SE, or around Nevada. They have two shipping centers.)
www.SwansonVitamins.com (great for Midwesterners, good in-house-brand products, super efficient customer service)
www.luckyvitamin.com (liquid ALA source, if you would like to buy it premixed)
Good Brands with a solid track record:
Solaray (Vit C and E)
Nordic Naturals (easy to look-up of COAs of product batches through their website)
I'm sure there are others that are legit websites and safe brands. So these are by no means the only places to acquire legitimate products, but I hope you have a better idea what to look for from a supplement seller now:
A proven track record of having been in business for some time or genuine ties to the community it nerves,
real customer service responses,
no errors in the writing about the product or on the product label,
COAs that are easy to access or request, and a legitimate website.
Here a word about third party sellers from Kirkman's directly (message from earlier this month to a Alan, who gave me permission to share this information):
After a bad experience with a 'distributor' making their page look like Kirkman's but sending him leaky bicycle tubes, Alan wrote to Kirkman directly to ask about amazon sellers of their products. This is the reply he got:
Please purchase our products from our Authorized Reseller on the Amazon Marketplace. The seller's name is Pure Essence.
We also still have a few listings under our seller name: Kirkman® Official Site. If you purchase from this seller, you are purchasing directly from us. We charge shipping, however.
Finally, there are still a few resellers on the Amazon Marketplace that have stock of our products and may still be selling what they have left. The transition to only allowing one authorized reseller just occurred in May 2022, and the previous resellers have been allowed to deplete their remaining stock by continuing to sell on Amazon. Some of the most well-known and helpful resellers are Emergent Enterprises, KINARA, Buy Boxer, Vitamins To Go, iHerb LLC, Sporting Doc, and BIGFLY.
HTO Nevada, Inc. d.b.a. Kirkman
6400 SW Rosewood Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Who are your trusted supplement sources?