The Dangers of Buying Supplements on Online Marketplaces
We all love a good deal, especially if we think we’re finding the perfect item at practically a steal. Why pay more when you can get the exact same thing at a ridiculously low price? It seems too good to be true, right? We hate to say it, but the truth is that yes, it is too good to be true, especially when it comes to bariatric supplements. Even worse, unwittingly buying supplements from online 3rd-party supplement suppliers can waste your money and even wind up hurting you. Read up on the dangers you face when you purchase bariatric supplements from these 3rd-party supplement suppliers at online marketplaces:
What Is an Online Marketplace?
First, let’s talk about what an online marketplace is. These are places on the Internet that buyers – mainly consumers, not businesses – visit to purchase products from various sellers, including many 3rd-party sellers. In an online marketplace, there are many buyers and sellers trading through the same website (think Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Rakuten, and other similar sites). Additionally, buyers are able to purchase a variety of products without ever needing to leave the website (or app, if they’re buying via their smartphone). There’s nothing wrong with buying items from these online marketplaces; however, you need to be on guard for any 3rd-party supplement suppliers pretending to be a legitimate company.
Counterfeit Lookalikes Can Easily Be Sold Online
You know the expression, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably duck,” right? This logic can be applied correctly in a lot of different scenarios, but sadly, not when it comes to purchasing supplements off third-party marketplaces. That’s because there are sellers masquerading as legitimate companies selling their products to unsuspecting buyers. It’s frighteningly easy to make products that look so similar to the real things. It’s even easier for scammers to create a fake “storefront” that mimics a legitimate store.
This isn’t just geared toward vitamins and supplements – other fake household products are easily sold at third-party marketplaces as well, including shampoo, toothpaste, batteries, and more. Often, these items will be sold at much cheaper prices, which obviously look attractive to would-be buyers. You may think you’re getting a deal, but you’re throwing your money away on a counterfeit item or on useless, expired products.
Unestablished Companies Can Make and Sell Products Through Third-Party Marketplaces
You read that right. Shady sellers that have no bariatric background whatsoever can create fake products (or even steal old, expired products) and sell them online to unsuspecting buyers. This is due to something called commingled inventory. Here’s how it works: these third-party sellers send in their products to be stored in a warehouse. When you, the buyer, want to purchase that item, the item will be shipped directly to you.
Why is this a problem? Unfortunately, online marketplaces often treat all items with the same SKU as identical, even if they’re actually not. This makes accountability and quality control virtually nonexistent, which can be downright frightening, especially if you’re in search of supplements or vitamins.
Products from Third-Party Supplement Suppliers Can Harm You
That’s because these online markets very rarely test their products. Worse yet, the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements in the way it regulates pharmaceuticals, which are extensively reviewed and go through several steps to get approved. It’s up to the companies themselves to put the time, know-how, and money into creating and testing their supplements. Since the accountability is next to zero, this is a recipe for disaster. Companies can slap any label on their bottles, claiming it meets bariatric patients’ unique needs or extending (or even forgoing) the expiration date. These fake products at best will just not work – at worst, however, they can greatly harm your health.
How You Can Buy Your Supplements Thoughtfully
It can be difficult to know what to trust on the Internet, and it definitely makes it your responsibility to conduct thorough research before hitting the “purchase” button. Who has time for that? Take the weight off your shoulders and try these tips instead:
- Buy direct whenever you can. This will take a load of worry off your mind. Whenever possible, buy your supplements from the company themselves. You may also purchase supplements from the company’s online marketplace page as well, but just ensure that it’s the real manufacturer and not a fake storefront.
- Buy from reputable sources. This does require a little initial research, but once you find reputable companies to rely on for your supplements, you won’t need to worry. A trustworthy company will more than likely be domestically based, will provide contact information, and will have a customer service number. If a company you’re researching doesn’t have that, you’re best to avoid them altogether.
- Make sure the products are thoroughly tested. Unregulated and untested products can be very dangerous. You’ll want to determine the standards a company uses to test the quality of their ingredients and products before you make a purchase. A reliable company will provide plenty of information upfront, whether on the product’s label or somewhere prominent on their website.
- Question the cost. If you find supplements at a steal, you need to ask yourself why it’s so inexpensive. The truth is that it costs money to create quality vitamins and supplements like protein powders and herbal blends. If you stumble upon a cheaper alternative, avoid it.
- Trust your intuition. If something feels off to you and you can’t quite put your finger on why, or if a sales representative dodges your questions about the products, you’re better off trusting your gut and saying no. Why risk your health?
Don’t Take Chances. Trust ProCare Health!
We can make it easy for you. We at ProCare Health care about your health, safety, and money, which is why we use independent third-party testing of each batch of our bariatric vitamins. We are also transparent and upfront about all of our testing and take the time to test every single ingredient in our supplements. Our excellent quality and dedication has earned us high praise from Consumer Labs and has made us a leader in testing. Treat your body right – trust ProCare Health for all of your bariatric supplemental needs!