An Australian Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements Online

Buying vitamins and supplements online is becoming an increasingly popular thing to do. The ease and relatively low prices of being able to buy your Vitamin C, Omega-3 fish oils, herbal supplements, joint supplements, multi-vitamins and so on can’t be ignored and it’s something more and more people are choosing to do.

And because of the sheer number of people buying their supplements and vitamins online we often get asked questions like ‘Where to buy the cheapest online vitamins?’, or ‘What should I look out for when buying vitamins online?’ and so on. To that end we thought we’d put together a tip sheet to help give answers to some of the most pressing questions for folks buying supplements online.

6 Tips for Australian shoppers Buying Vitamins and Supplements Online

1/ Always read the label, front and back. If you’re buying your vitamins and supplements online, don’t buy from any website where you can’t zoom in on the label or get a clear view of the back of the label. Check out the ingredients, the marketing claims and any other pertinent information.

2/ Check out the manufacturer’s website. A recent explosion in what’s known as ‘private label’ supplements has seen literally thousands of new supplement lines finding their way onto shelves – not just here in Australia but all over the world, both online and in bricks and mortar stores. Private label supplements are where anybody can order a batch of supplements or vitamins from a vitamin and supplement manufacturer, slap their own label and branding on to the bottle and start selling. This doesn’t mean the product is unsafe or inferior in any way (they must meet the same health and safety regulations as any other herbal, vitamin or supplement supplier), it just means that you might not be dealing with a large health company like you imagined, but rather a small, home-based business.

3/ Don’t believe reviews of the product unless it’s from people in your social circle. Most reviews of anything (travel, hotels, food, products, apps and yes, even vitamins and supplements) are gamed. (Even negative reviews can sometimes be faked by a seller’s competitor in order to cause the seller harm). If more genuine customers took the time to leave honest reviews this problem would be heavily diluted, but they don’t. So if you want to take in to account the reviews on a particular vitamin or supplement a good guide is to focus on the middle-of-the-road reviews (i.e. 3 stars out of 5) for any particular product or service – including vitamins and supplements.

4/ Check the expiration date. All vitamins and supplements that you buy online should make the expiration date very clear. Most online supplement sellers have a policy not to offer products within a certain expiration window, but just double-check for your own sake. If your vitamin or supplement is being offered at a discount price make sure it’s not because of a pending expiry date. Beyond this date doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t take the vitamin or supplement, but you’re buying these things for your health so you may as we get the freshest vitamins you can.

5/ For repeat orders take advantage of vitamin and supplement subscription savings. Some companies, like Amazon's Subscribe and Save (details here), offer discounts if you sign up for a subscription of the product. If you’re going to be taking supplements every day this might make sense (once you’ve decided on the right supplement for you).

6/ Because of the nature of the products (i.e. pills and tablets) always buy from stores that you know and trust (you can trust all the stores on this website) and ensure that the packages are clearly marked with good documentation about what the product is. There’s no drama in buying vitamins and supplements online and importing them into Australia for your personal use, but there’s no need to be causing Australian Customs any extra headaches by bringing in dodgy bottles in suspicious packaging. Stick with the tried and tested for your online vitamin shopping and you can’t go wrong.