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Cheap Supplements & Vitamins: Is Ordering Online the Best Way to Buy?

Updated on April 22, 2011

In this Article You Will Discover Where to Buy Online Vitamins and Supplements at the Cheapest Prices.

I have personally purchased vitamin supplements from each of the companies reviewed on this page and will continue to do so. This is a “Real World” review based on my own personal experiences.

Article Index:

  1. Top 3 Online Stores to Order Cheap Vitamin Supplements
  2. What to look out for when Ordering Vitamin Supplements Online
  3. What Vitamins & Supplements are almost always Cheapest to Buy Online
  4. Quality Brands of Vitamin and Supplements Manufacturers

You are not going to find quality vitamins at the local Walmart, Costco, or Sam’s Club. If you are happy with the vitamin brands they carry then this article is not for you. Too much junk filler in the products they sell. A Vitamin Supplement should have very few ingredients except for the “active” ingredient.

Top 3 Online Stores to Order Cheap Vitamin Supplements

I buy a lot of Vitamins Supplements online – in some months $100’s (I bundle food items like oatmeal, protein powder, organic peanut butter, etc.). So I have a lot of experience price shopping for the best Vitamin Deals.

  1. All Star Health – this Huntington Beach California company runs a store, offers almost every brand of supplement I like, and will ship your entire order no matter how large for $5.95. The shipping is very quick. Not only do they pull orders within 24 hours (usually less), they come very well packaged and you are sent tracking information right away. And the good news is that across the board they are almost always cheaper than my #2 recommended source iHerb. No sales tax on purchases outside of California.
  2. iHerbCoupon Code: MOL070 gets you $5 off your first order and has no expiration date… don’t forget to type it in at checkout. I’ve been buying from iHerb for years. Prices have gone up a bit recently so you don’t get as good of deals unless you really stack your order to the free shipping threshold which is $60 I believe. iHerb also has a VIP Discount that reduces your cost 2-4% depending on volume. iHerb sells a lot of food items so you may find yourself doing some of your grocery shopping for Organics online. iHerb is an Internet Operation only, they do not offer telephone orders, but they are legitimate and operate out of a 360,000 sq foot warehouse in the California Desert community Moreno Valley. No sales tax on items outside California.
  3. Vitamin Shoppe – these guys have a lot of selection, although I don’t care for their own brand items. Shipping is free over $99. Items ship from the East Coast although they have stores local to me. And that’s also their biggest downside is the Sales Tax added on. You also have to really watch prices on a per item basis, sometimes they are really good deals, and then on other items not so much.

What to look out for when Ordering Vitamin Supplements Online

There are a lot of Vitamin and Supplement Stores online, but many of these “Stores” are nothing more than websites for drop shippers. I don’t have a lot of confidence in operations that do nothing more than take an order and drop ship from who knows where.

The first thing I do when I check out an online store of any kind, and especially for my online purchases of vitamins and supplements is look for the “contact” tab or link. I want to know if the company has a real PHYSICAL ADDRESS. Does this company that is advertising their vitamins and supplements have a place I could drive to and make a purchase if I lived in the local area? If not then I will almost always just skip them by.

The second thing I look for before ordering any product online is the “shipping” button or link. I want to know their policy about shipping, how long will it take to get to me, and what will it cost? If a company hides their shipping information until after you enter all your personal information into a shopping cart then I’m outta there pronto. I’m not interested in their so called low prices only to be jacked later at the check out with obscenely high shipping costs. I also want to know who they ship with and what it costs extra for faster shipping. You might be surprised to know that it’s often only a dollar or two more to get expedited shipping. Expedited shipping can be a big deal with vitamin and supplement purchases because you don’t want you packages banged up or sitting in hot trucks or warehouses for days on end. I have made this mistake before.

The third thing I look for on any vitamin or supplement website is a search feature. Can I type in what I am looking for and find it quickly and easily. I’ve been so many websites that do not have a search feature and it takes forever to find what I want/need. It’s simply not worth my time to spend an hour or two sorting through list after list of every product imaginable. And yes there are sites that I’ve encountered that really do take forever to find all your products. This makes comparison shopping very difficult. How hard is it in this day and age to implement a search feature?

Here are a number of other factors that will determine if I buy my vitamins from a company online. What is the cut off point for free shipping? If I know I’m going to spend $50 and not $100 and my two orders are similar between company A and company B I’ll usually go with the company that has the lowest threshold for shipping. Lets face it vitamin supplements are expensive and it’s pretty easy to reach a thresh hold with most companies. So if you are within a few dollars of the free shipping you might as well find one small item to throw into the cart to get the free shipping. In some cases it’s like getting that item for free.

What Vitamins & Supplements are almost always Cheapest to Buy Online

Whey, Egg, and Protein Powders. These are very expensive in the local Health Food Stores and you can save as much as $10-$20 per container by ordering online.

Nutiva Coconut Oil – this is in my opinion the best brand of true Extra Virgin Organic coconut oil. It’s delicious and can also be used as a moisturizer. It’s very expensive for me locally. The key to ordering Coconut Oil is to order it in the late fall, winter and spring. It melts at about 76 degrees and you run the risk of a package rupturing and spilling if you order in the dead of summer when it sits in hot trucks on the way to delivery. Nutiva also makes an excellent Hemp Oil.

Fish Oil Supplements. While there are a lot of good brands my preference is for Carlson Labs.

Green Powders – Garden of Life, Barley Greens, Organic Grasses… whatever your preference in green powders they are almost always cheapest online.

Any Organic Name Brand – Go ahead and price Garden of Life or New Chapter Organics a the local health food store, whole foods, or what ever store you have nearby then compare their prices to any of my Top 3 choices above. If you don’t find a substantial savings by ordering online I would be very surprised.

There are a lot of other supplements I’ve purchased online over the years as well… too many to list actually. But those above are those which you will quickly save the most on by ordering online vs purchasing at a local store. Plus you’ll usually find much better brands by buying your supplements at much cheaper prices online. However there is no discount if you don’t get what you order or have to return items on your own nickel. You must find reliable trustworthy suppliers. I have done this by trial and error, but you don’t’ have to… I can tell you exactly who I purchase from and why… and I’m just about to.

Quality Brands of Vitamin and Supplements Manufacturers

Vitamins are not regulated by the FDA so they can make no health claims on their labels. As such they are not held to the same standards and are largely self regulated. This could change and while you might think it would be a good idea – it would be disaster. Why? Most of the vitamin companies do not have the massive amounts of money it would take to get FDA approved on even a single item. They couldn’t afford hundreds of millions of dollars for approval to market a simple generic like Vitamin C. So lets hope this never happens. However there are many ethical vitamin manufacturers and independent groups like Consumer Reports do from time to time test Vitamins. Sadly many of the ingredients in today’s vitamins come from China where regulation and testing is incredibly lax. In fact 90% of the World’s Vitamin C comes out of China and is corn based. As you discover the health benefits of certain supplements and begin your own research you’ll arrive at your own conclusions for what Vitamins and Supplements are the “Best” for your own body.

For now here are some of my preferred brands in no particular order:

  • New Chapter
  • Garden of Life
  • Nutiva
  • Jarrow Formulas
  • Doctor’s Best
  • Douglas Labs
  • Sedona Labs
  • Jay Robb
  • Healthy n’ fit
  • Carlson Labs
  • Dr. Bronner
  • CountryLife Biochem
  • Bioenergy Life Science

This list is not inclusive but just an idea of whom I consider to offer good quality for the money.

Comments Welcome: Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or share your own online vitamin and supplement ordering experiences. I’m not a Doctor but I do a lot of supplement research and of course nothing here is designed to cure or treat an illness or disease – what works is up to what you believe right?

What Bitamins to Buy and Whom to Buy from Online?


Submit a Comment

  • ologsinquito profile image


    4 years ago from USA

    I don't tend to take Vitamins, although I have had to add Vitamin D this winter. All I take are herbal and whole-food supplements, and everything I buy is online.

  • profile image

    Jane Arden 

    4 years ago

    This is certainly a hub for bookmarking. You cant have enough advice when ordering online. We have to be so careful,. Voted UP and awesome.

  • suziecat7 profile image


    7 years ago from Asheville, NC

    I have purchased Nutiva products online among others. This is a very informative Hub - thanks.

  • MikeNV profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Henderson, NV

    There are 1,000's of brands and most brands are just farming out the production of their vitamins to another company. For example Dr. Weil who is very well known and respected has his brand manufactured at the same facilities as Twinlabs. So you have to ask yourself if Dr. Weil is a name you trust and he in turn trusts Twinlab why not just buy Twinlab? I guess it depends on the formulation.

    The one thing I would truly like to see happen is for Congress to enact a law that REQUIRES vitamin manufacturers to list the SOURCE COUNTRY of their ingredients. Other than that it's in our own interest for Congress, the FDA, etc. to stay out of the industry and let the marketplace do it's job. Thanks for the comment.

  • BlissfulWriter profile image


    7 years ago

    This is good info. With so many vitamins out there, I find it really difficult to know which ones have good ingredients in it and which ones not.


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