How much do you really know about the websites you’ve been purchasing you vitamins and nutritional supplements from? If you’re like most Internet consumers, the answer to that question is, “Not very much.”
The simple fact of the matter is that anytime you’re putting something in your body (food, medicine, whatever) you want to be assured the place you’re purchasing from is really reliable. Supplements that are counterfeit, or made with sub-par ingredients, can do more damage than good, especially if ingested over a long period of time.
Here are a few tips for determining whether or not your online vitamin retailer is on the up and up.
You’d expect any web retailer to express enthusiasm about the products they’re selling on their sites, but there are limitations. Consumers should always be on the lookout for product descriptions that make hard and fast medical statements, especially if they’re not backing them up with published research.
Legitimate vitamin and supplement retailers know that making fantastic claims they can’t back up is not a good, long term business strategy. After all, making false claims in advertising, especially unsubstantiated medical claims, can lead to expensive fines and even criminal charges.
Lots of Information
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) keeps a close eye on the vitamin and supplement business, so legitimate retailers are very careful about the claims they make about the products they sell. This doesn’t mean that they’re hiding anything from their customers, quite the contrary.
Trustworthy vitamin retailers provide customers with plenty of information that helps them make informed purchases. This normally comes in the way of studies from accredited research institutions. These reports may seem dry and formal to the layman, but if you hang with it, they’re normally full of great information.
Before the Internet became the dominant information source on the planet; anyone who wanted to research a vitamin retailer was faced with a pretty tough task. Besides a few consumer advocacy groups like the Better Business Bureau, the pre-Web generation didn’t have many options for sorting out frauds at all.
Fortunately for us, finding out more information about retailers, especially web-based vitamin retailers is very easy. Beside simply Googling the company name, there are plenty of health and wellness forums where fellow supplement users share their experiences with various retailers.
Some of these communities are extremely active and their members are almost as knowledgeable as professional researchers. If there’s a vitamin retailer out there selling shoddy products, these guys are the first to know.
You want to be a little careful when reading reviews and forum postings to inform your vitamin buying decisions. Just steer clear of posting that seem too extreme one or the other and stick with the well reasoned postings. (And feel free to chime in with your own opinions!)
Buying vitamins and supplements online can have you hundreds, even thousands of dollars over an extended period. It’s all a matter of finding the right retailer. Just don’t believe everything you read out of hand, and take the time to find online vitamin retailers you can really trust.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Brian Cook writes for Pureformulas.com, a trustful online vitamin retailer.