Shopping for Supplements Online
During this age of online shopping, it is becoming increasingly important for consumers to stay vigilant. The risk of being duped by counterfeit third-party sellers is ever-growing. In 2019, 2.5 percent of global trade was commandeered by counterfeit and pirated products (Grebow, 2021). Imagine not knowing whether a product you are using is legitimate or a third-party knock-off. These impersonators could be incredibly dangerous, particularly for consumables, as they could contain substances that are harmful or toxic when ingested.
Counterfeit products aren't anything new, but the percentage of counterfeits has spiked over the last few years. This is especially true within the wellness industry, namely supplements. For anyone who buys their supplements from a third-party retailer, such as Amazon, E-Bay, or third-party sellers on Walmart.com, just know that you could be purchasing a counterfeit. When buying wellness products, such as supplements, your best and safest option is always to buy directly from the manufacturer.
The Dangers of Counterfeit Supplements
When buying vitamins online, authenticity is important not only for safety but for efficacy. Sometimes, counterfeit means a fake or inauthentic imitator, but not all the time. Counterfeit can mean a variety of things when it comes to consumables. For supplements, “counterfeits” could also mean products that were at one point considered genuine, but are not expired, detective, or otherwise unfit to be sold (HHC, 2018). Unfortunately for consumers, marketplaces such as Amazon allow anyone to sell the products they want without any official verification or quality control. This means that if you’re purchasing from an Amazon listing, you might be getting the vetted product directly from the brand, or you might be getting a fake or expired product without having any knowledge or control over the situation. While many large-name companies do use artificial intelligence programs to screen sellers, counterfeiters slip through often enough to cause concern.
For example, if we were to look up 'fish oil supplements’ on Amazon, we instantly see ten different options and companies, all selling the “same exact” product. But which of these companies has the legitimate product and quality control standards that you need? There’s no way to know for sure. And while many legitimate companies distribute fish oil, this crowded marketplace allows a counterfeit to slip in undetected (Schultz 2019). They also have ways to make the product seem more appealing by putting a sale price on it or upping or lowering the quantity while leaving the price as is. They can do this because they are selling an illegitimate product that does not have the same value of the original.
Whether it's daily vitamins, or more intense sports supplements, you want them to be safe!
The Growing Problem
These counterfeiters can sell mass quantities of their products by labeling them as sale items. The publication, 'The Dangers of Buying Fake Supplements Online & Where You Can Purchase Safe Supplements' notes that you should always question a suspicious price tag, whether too high or too low for the product and quantity offered. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Many publications suggest going through the reviews left by previous customers, but this can be just as tumultuous. Reviews can be left by anyone even if they are not an actual customer. Companies also frequently pay individuals to create false reviews to inflate the company's reputation on marketplaces such as Amazon. While companies may invest in AI to combat counterfeit products submitted for sale, it isn't always able to recognize a fake, and things are only getting worse. AI can look for certain patterns, but so many third-party sellers have learned how to imitate legitimate retails and frequently squeeze past scans.
These subpar imitations not only negatively impact the consumer, who is receiving a lesser product, but this phenomenon also harms the brand. Each counterfeit product negatively impacts the manufacturer, creating false reports on the product's quality. This can diminish return customer rates, leave behind negative reviews, and cause overall damage to the reputation of the company.
Making Sure Your Products Are Safe and Genuine
Make sure your product is SAFE and GENUINE. In order to completely eliminate the risk of subpar or illegitimate products, some brands have started manufacturing their own products in-house in order to have complete control over the production and quality control of their items. Buying directly from the manufacturer is really the only fool-proof way to avoid counterfeits. When you go straight to a brand, you know that you are receiving the exact product that you intend to purchase.
Buying directly from a brand can help keep your products stay safe, secure, and sanitary!
Manufacturer-sold products allow for fewer chances of the product becoming compromised before getting to the customer. It often goes straight from their warehouse to your doorstep. It might also be best to avoid buying your supplements in bulk and through third-party providers, as they are red flags for potential counterfeit products.
Buying Directly From the Manufacturer
There are plenty of online distributors and manufacturers, like FINAFLEX that offer safe and secure online retail for their products. We manufacture our own products in house, so you can feel safe when purchasing from our site, as opposed to the risk of looking to Amazon for your supplement fix.
Buying directly from us is also a great way to save! We frequently run exclusive deals and offers that can’t be found anywhere else!
Best of all? You can trust the quality of a FINAFLEX product, not only because it’s sold directly by us, the Manufacturers, but because we have the certifications to back it up! Our facility is 3rd Party GMP Certified, meaning that our procedures, equipment, and ingredients exceed the current standards!Thinking of going elsewhere for your FINAFLEX fix? Don't be fooled by online supplement stores that carry the same supplement by many different brands, as this can indicate a subpar verification standard. There is always a risk, no matter the third-party website unless it is the manufacturer's website.
The Key To Safe Supplement Shopping!
Counterfeit supplements can lead to health complications that could dangerously harm or even kill you. Is saving a dollar on Amazon REALLY worth that risk? We suggest doing your homework and shopping smart when it comes to what you put in your body. A growing percentage of faulty products still slips through on big retailers, allowing malicious outside contamination. This information is intended to serve as an important warning to consumers everywhere. Stay vigilant and buy from reputable and direct supplement companies. With counterfeit on the rise, the safest option is to cut out the third parties and buy directly from companies like ours, where we can guarantee the quality of our products. For more information, you can check out our website and look at how easy buying direct can be!