Updated: Nov 2, 2018
With the rise in popularity of online shopping along with increased health consciousness in society, a counterfeit market in the wellness space has been born. Amazon is known as the largest online retailer in the world and with that reputation, as well as level of trust, people are used to the high level of convenience it provides and they're switching all their purchasing needs over to it. (I know because I used to be one of these people!)
I would buy what I thought were 'reputable' brands of supplements from Amazon, and would wonder why I didn't feel any different! Then last fall I was made aware of how dangerous it is to buy vitamins, supplements, and essential oils this way, when reports started coming out about vitamins being filled with sawdust and powdered vegetables. Later in this post you will see large retailers like GNC, Target, and Walmart are making counterfeit supplements, looking to make profit at the expense of quality.
I know, it's a complete backwards time we live in and that's why there needs to be a high level of conscious consumerism.
After briefly looking into doing Fulfillment by Amazon as part of my business, I learned that there is barely any quality assurance at all, and most of the goods are coming from out of the country from China or India, where it's cheaper to produce. Anyone can start selling vitamins at the click of a mouse, and we know that vitamins that are not of the highest quality or traceable in their manufacturing process are indigestible and therefore completely ineffective and a waste of money.
Here are the top 4 reasons not to buy supplements and essential oils on Amazon or big retailers.
Take a look at the prices for doTERRA essential oils on Amazon and you'll see they are marked up by about 25%. You won't get the wholesale price from purchasing through a Wellness Advocate that actually works for the company, nor do you get points back through the Loyalty Rewards Program. If you're looking to save money (which most of us are) this is not your best option.
Each purchase you make is going to accumulate points in your account that work similarly like an air-miles program. These points are then used towards free product and shipping. Just like air-miles, they accumulate over time, so it would be wise to ensure you are getting discounts on your products in the long run, over short term gratification of getting a product on Prime 2 day shipping.
The quality of this product that is not coming directly from the company is a whole other even bigger question, and that's what I'll touch on next. Where your money is going to also comes into question, are you supporting someone whose values and ethics are questionable at best? (I'll touch on this next)
Having almost started a Fulfillment by Amazon business, I understand how the business model works. To put it simply, products are manufactured outside of the U.S. (typically in China and India to get a lower price), and then flipped at a higher price to sell in the U.S. I was actually going to source essential oils and sell them through Amazon, however there was no way to ensure the quality of what I was getting because that's not a quality assurance testing step in the fulfillment process. I instinctively knew something felt so wrong about it and thank God I was introduced to doTERRA by my friend right at this time!
There are people who are looking to make a profit off of a well-known and high level of quality good, in a billion dollar industry (yes, you heard that right essential oils are a billion dollar industry), so to get a piece of the pie they are reusing bottles and filling them with cheap filler solutions and sealing the cap before reselling, so they can make a profit by selling on Amazon.
Essentially the doTERRA essential oils you find on Amazon are most likely counterfeit.
You may get one bottle that is okay, and then one that isn't, there's no way of guaranteeing what quality you'll get (or where it's coming from) without shopping from the source.
I used to buy essential oils on Amazon and I can tell you they were not pure and actually highly toxic. After getting doTERRA's Lavender and comparing to the one I had gotten on Amazon, the one from Amazon smelled like cheap soap. I also didn't notice any difference in my mood.
Authentic doTERRA essential oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade quality, this is the gold standard of quality testing they developed with an independent third party, because there is no regulation in this industry. It's an 8+ step test carried out by a third party testing facility, and the results are available to the public on their website Source to You. This third-party testing ensures you can safely use their oils internally, topically, and aromatically.
No other essential oil company out there is this transparent by making their testing results available to the public. doTERRA is backing up their claims, and this is what you want to look for in any reputable company, not just the promises they make in writing.
Here's an example of what test results came up when I looked up my Wild Orange bottle. There's a video when you do it yourself that explains how to read the testing report.
* Here's the kicker. The same cannot be said for doTERRA oils that are sold on Amazon because the testing process is not folded into Amazon's business model. You're buying from an unknown person essentially, who is not affiliated with the company. You're putting your trust into an individual you don't know for things you're using in and on your body. You're putting this in the air you breathe and on your largest organ your skin, you want to be sure it's no toxic (obviously).
Please do not do this!
The same thing goes for supplements! There is a counterfeit supplement issue happening in the U.S. with some of the key criminals in this being large retailers like Target, GNC and Walmart.
I know, not the best thing you want to hear, however we are so fortunate in this age of information that we have access to this..
I started learning how unsafe it is to buy vitamins and supplements on Amazon after one of my orders was half way shipped and I cancelled everything. Please be vigilant, research and read this article written by a man that worked for the FDA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Special Agent, on how unsafe it is buy vitamins on Amazon and eBay.
They have been found to contain cheap fillers like powdered vegetables and houseplants, or ingredients that could pose a threat to people with allergies, officials said. Like I mentioned earlier, there's absolutely no way to trace for sure where they are coming from in the world or how they are being made.
Here's another article on the fillers that are being used in American supplements.
Even big retailers are key players in the counterfeit supplement issue that's happening in the U.S., read here about how Walgreens, Target, and GNC are accused of adulterating supplements.
For instance, nearly all the "vitamin C" sold in vitamins across America right now is derived from GMO corn. This is not meant to scare you, it's meant to empower you with information.
Again, people are looking to make a profit and there are people that are not willing to spend a lot on their vitamins, so this how sellers are offering cheap prices. The fact is, it costs money to make vitamins. So be extremely weary of low price vitamins! These “bargain” vitamins and capsules are worthless at best, and at worst may cost you and your children your health, and possibly your lives.
I was ordering for the convenience, there's nothing convenient about it if it's not even working how it's supposed to. And that's what I found with the herbal supplements I did get from Amazon, I didn't see any noticeable results at all. Abstain from this and do your research before you buy your vitamins, that’s the only real way to beat the criminals and achieve life-long health.
Here are some tips on how to do this:
– Find out what standards are used to test the quality of the ingredients and the final products of the supplement companies you want to patronize. Reputable companies will have an informative label on their supplements and will have more information about their testing measures on their website.
A good example of this is doTERRA, take a look at the ingredients that are in every single product in doTERRA, specifically the wellness supplements, here. You'll notice they are all disclosed and that they are plant based ingredients.
Probably the most important aspect that upholds the rest of these negative consequences. It simply comes down to a matter of your investment (you vote with your dollar) are you investing into a business that doesn't have ethical business practices and that doesn't disclose it's testing or manufacturing procedures to the public? A business that doesn't have integrity, and does not care about how this negatively impacts the consumers bodies and lives that take them? Or would you rather support a sales rep in their small business that actually makes their living in sharing natural health and wellness solutions to people? That person could be your family member or friend, and they are committed to providing people with natural health options in the most transparent way possible.
That's why doTERRA had to be a network marketing model.
They could easily have sold their products in retail and made a fortune, however as more and more large retailers and corporations are cutting corners, network marketing is keeping the level of trust you have with someone you know over a corporation with shareholders interest at the forefront.
doTERRA is privately held and debt-free, meaning: they are not at the mercy of shareholder interests and this is how they are able to maintain the highest level of quality assurance and ethics in all that they do.
When it comes to your health and quality of life, you want to be extremely discerning as to what you're putting into your body. You want to be 100% sure what you're putting in is of the highest quality, produced in a sustainable way, tested for safety, and unadulterated. This is only guaranteed when you buy direct from a reputable company.
That's why I partnered with doTERRA and why I swear by their Life Long Vitality daily supplement system along with the rest of their plant based and essential oil infused supplements. In fact, the Life Long Vitality system consists of 3 supplements that cover all your daily needs. That's right, only 3!
Before taking these I was buying individual supplements and piece mailing them all together ($250 total) - so much more expensive and ineffective because I was getting them on Amazon or at Target.
Even though it's famous for it's essential oils, the supplements are the top selling product in the company and they come with a 30 day money back guarantee. All of the ingredients are available online here and you can see that they are all natural plant and herb materials, it comes at a total of $79.50 for the 3 supplements and while you might think that's expensive (like I mentioned earlier it does cost money to make quality supplements) it would cost $250 if you bought all the vitamins you need separately.
There's a vegan version I take which replaces fish oils with essential oils from plants, I love that!
It also comes at no cost to you to try them - if you don't like the vitamins you can return them. That's how confident they are that they work. Their other line of supplements (like pro/pre-biotics, digest enzymes, immunity softgels) are incredible affordable and equally effective, with most being in the $20-$50 range.
No customer support and education:
When you buy counterfeit doTERRA essential oils on Amazon you won't receive any customer support from the live chat or phone service doTERRA offers. They are also not liable if you have an issues with the product because it did not come directly from them or their Wellness Advocates.
The information needs to come from vetted sources and doTERRA as well as my team offers a library of resources available in an online membership program. We also offer an Essential Life textbook when you sign up with a kit, as well as a personal wellness consult and access to monthly member events exclusive to our team in Boston.
We offer continuing ed support so that you know how to use your products in the best way.
I think you'll find that there are not too many companies out there today that are willing to put ethics first, and be completely transparent about their products, how they're made and what impact that has on people, their health being the most important asset they own.
Do your research and spend your money only at companies that deserve this level of trust! And if you are ready to try trustworthy and effective essential oils and supplements at wholesale prices do check out the site here.