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The Consumer's Guide to Buying Vitamins Online

Pretty much everyone knows vitamins help support your overall health. Eating a healthy and balanced diet does help you meet the daily recommended amount of vitamins.

However, there's a good chance you're still lacking some vital vitamins and minerals, which is exactly where supplements come in. FDA-approved and recommended by physicians, vitamin supplements are a great way to support your overall health and well-being.

The downside to vitamin supplements is searching the shelves and trying to find the right ones, but thankfully, there's an easier way - you can visit an online vitamin store instead. You simply type in what you're searching for, a list of your various options pops up, and the vitamins you choose are even delivered to your door.

But how do you know which online store to trust and use? Here are a few things to consider before you start ordering your vitamins online.

Only Buy Approved Brands

How do you know if the vitamin brand is approved or one that's best avoided? Look for the seal from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), as this seal of approval means that the vitamins are safe for human consumption.

It means that the brand has met all of the FDA's strict requirements regarding safety and efficacy, which means you're getting precisely what you're paying for.

Check for Third-Party Approval

Third-party approval is another safety measure that helps ensure you're getting exactly what the product label states. While a third-party certification doesn't trump FDA approval, it's another product quality indicator.

These certifying organizations work to verify the product contains the ingredients listed on the label in the correct amounts. For example, if your multi-vitamin label states there's 5mg of Iron in each tablet, the third party will run tests to verify this claim.

Some of the common third-party certifiers to look for include NSF International, US Pharmacopeia, Underwriters Laboratory, and Consumer Lab. There are others, but these are the most well-known and widely regarded.

Is the Vitamin Manufacturer and/or Online Store a Member of a Trade Association

While this typically isn't something that most consumers search for, but it's a good indication of the product's quality. You should also check to see if the online vitamin store is also a member of an accredited industry association.

The membership indicates the company's commitment to the quality of its products and supporting fair trade in the industry. With the vitamin industry experiencing rapid growth, you want to ensure you're supporting a fair and reputable company.

A common trade association active in the vitamin/health and wellness industry is the Council for Responsible Nutrition, or CRN for short. You should be able to find a listing of any memberships in a trade association on the vitamin store website. The vitamin manufacturer's webpage will also list any association memberships.

Carefully Review the Online Store

You can learn a lot about a business just by looking over its website. For example, a poorly designed website is typically a pretty easy-to-see red flag since this can mean the online store doesn't care about its brand image or doesn't have the necessary capital to create an immersive online store, and both can indicate the company isn't concerned with product safety or quality.

On the other hand, a slick webpage doesn't automatically guarantee the online store is selling the best quality vitamins. The attractive website may be a marketing ploy to draw consumers in. So, how do you know if you're dealing with a reputable online vitamin store? A good place to start is with the company's information page.

Are they a member of a trade association? Are their products FDA-approved and third-party tested? If you can't find this information, chances are the answer is no.

Oh, and don't forget about the consumer reviews, as your fellow shoppers are a great source of information. Find out how the company responds to consumer complaints - do they ignore complaints or try to rectify the issue?

What about the delivery process? Do orders arrive on time, or are there complaints about late packages showing up at customers' doors months after they place an order? Knowing this information will help you decide if this is an online store you want to do business with.

Support Your Health and Order Your Vitamins Online

Yes, it's easier to order your vitamins online, and you may even get to take advantage of noticeable savings. Online products tend to be cheaper compared to in-store items, as most online stores have a significantly lower overhead than brick-and-mortar outlets.

However, before placing your order, make sure to do some research - this way, you know you're getting high-quality vitamins from a trusted source. Buying trusted vitamins from a trusted source is a great and easy way to keep an eye out for your health.

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