In the past 10 years the nutritional supplement market has exploded with new and innovative products. Some of the most popular products today are memory, anxiety, and depression supplements. There are a lot of great ingredients out there that are helping lots of people. What we’re going to talk about in this article is how to find a quality Brand you can trust.
Increasingly, people are turning to big online retailers like Amazon or Jet for cheap personal care products and supplements, but “you get what you pay for.” There is a false sense of security when buying an ingestible on Amazon, but the reality is Amazon does NOT test the products sold in its marketplace and the sources of the supplements can be vague or non-existent. In addition, more and more people are reporting counterfeit and expired products are shipping from various Amazon and eBay sellers.
Unfortunately, the Internet is full of fake review sites, counterfeit products, and misleading information. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the online supplement industry.
1. Is The Product Bottled In The US?
Being bottled in the US is the first thing you should look for in a product. If you can’t tell by the label, contact the company and ask. Products that are bottled in the USA, in a reputable FDA registered pharmaceutical lab (not in someone’s kitchen), meet GMP guidelines. This is the standard the FDA has set for procuring and manufacturing supplements. You can be sure that what is listed on the label is what is in the products.
A lot of wise consumers ask where the raw materials are sourced. Raw materials are procured from all over the world. This is unavoidable. Rest assured that when a FDA registered lab imports these ingredients they are tested vigorously for toxins, heavy metals, GMO material, and more.
If it’s bottled outside the USA, stay away! Very little gets inspected at the port of entry. Who knows what is in that bottle.
2. Does That Company Have A Relationship With The Better Business Bureau?
Ideally a company should be accredited by the BBB, it’s relatively inexpensive to do and it shows that the company is not trying to hide from its customers. BBB Accredited businesses submit to an audit conducted by the BBB, which verifies all vital information on the business and makes it public to the consumer. It also publishes any complaints that may have been made about that company.
A legitimate BBB badge will be clickable and take you directly to the BBB website. If this is not the case, the company may be illegally using the BBB shield and should be reported to the BBB immediately. This is a huge red flag. You can also go directly to the BBB website and search for the company, to verify its accreditation.
3. How Long Has The Product Been on The Market?
As mentioned before, if accredited, this information can be verified on the BBB website. Most companies offering a “free trial” do not stay in business for more than a year or two before the bank shuts down their account due to chargebacks. If a product has been on the market for a long time, then there will be more information as to whether or not the product is effective or has negative side effects. Good quality supplements will stand the test of time and have the hundreds of 5 star reviews from verified customers.
4. Should I Order Supplements on Amazon?
When ordering from the Amazon’s Marketplace, BBB information may not exist. Amazon does not take responsibility for their sellers or their policies. According to Amazon’s policy, supplements sold directly by Amazon are not eligible for return. When possible, deal directly with the company who makes the product. Many companies will offer some type of return policy when you order direct. If you find a product that is only sold on Amazon, you might want to reconsider. This company may not be able to process their own transactions due to past fraud (Free Trail Scams) or counterfeit products.
5. Customer Service is Key
There are no guarantees that a product will benefit you in the same way that it may be helping others. For a variety of reasons, what works for one person may not work for another. Everyone’s needs and body chemistry are different and therefore results can vary. You may have to try a few different products before you find what works best for you. It’s also important to understand that sometimes a negative customer review can be misleading. The most important thing to be concerned with is how that company handles issues when they do arise. You want to find a company that has a phone number listed. There are countless companies that do not list a phone number or address. Stay away!!! If you have questions, call or email the company before you order. This will give you a feel for how the company conducts itself.
Bottom Line: Do your research before you put out money for a product that you plan to ingest. Most supplements are safe for the average healthy individual, but can be dangerous when mixed with some prescription medications. If you have any medical concerns, speak to your doctor or pharmacist before beginning any new supplement regimen.