The Hidden Dangers of Buying Supplements on Amazon and eBay

The Hidden Dangers of Buying Supplements on Amazon and eBay

Buying Supplements on Amazon and eBay… is it worth the convenience?  In my opinion, the short answer is no – but there are a few exceptions and work-arounds.

When it comes to buying supplements, convenience and affordability are often at the top of our priorities. Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay have revolutionized the way we shop, providing easy access to a wide array of products, including dietary supplements and herbs. 

However, when it comes to choosing and purchsing supplemnts, safety and quality of these supplements should always trump convenience!

In this blog post, I’ll expose the hidden dangers of purchasing supplements from these platforms – but I’ll also share the little-know way you CAN safely buy supplements directly from Amazon, in some but not all cases.

Affiliate disclosure:  This article contains affiliate links* which means I may make a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you!

Counterfeit products

While I’m all about purchasing supplements that are third-party tested (since the majority of the supplement industry is otherwise mostly unregulated), it defeats the purpose of choosing supplements that are third-party tested if you’re purchasing through third-party sellers on Amazon.

(This is because Amazon third-party sellers aren’t regulated at all!)

For that reason, one of the biggest concerns when buying supplements on Amazon or eBay is the risk of purchasing counterfeit products. 

These online marketplaces host millions of third-party resellers, making it nearly impossible to regulate every item listed. 

Unscrupulous sellers take advantage of this, flooding the market with fake supplements that mimic popular brands but lack essential ingredients or, even worse, contain harmful substances. 

Consuming counterfeit supplements can lead to serious health consequences, as we can’t guarantee their purity or safety.

Lack of quality control

Light, heat, and time unfortunately all degrade the potency of herbs and nutritional supplements. 

Purchasing from companies with quality control regulations matters! You’re best off ordering dietary/herbal supplements that have been stored in a cool, dry, dark place, versus in direct light or in too-hot warehouses for too long.

When purchasing supplements directly from reputable manufacturers or authorized retailers (such as FullScript, my private online dispensary where you can get a lifetime discount of 15% off the retail price of all supplements), you have a better chance of ensuring quality control. 

Order supplements through my Fullscript store.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case on Amazon or eBay. The absence of stringent regulations and legit quality checks on these platforms makes it easier for old, subpar or expired products to find their way to unsuspecting customers. 

Ingesting low-quality or expired supplements may lead to adverse reactions and may not yield the desired health benefits.

Adulterated ingredients

Studies are revealing that many supplements sold on online marketplaces are actually mislabeled, contaminated with unauthorized and potentially harmful substances.(1, 2

The manufacturing process for supplements is often complex, and slight deviations can lead to severe health risks. 

When you buy from less reputable sources (such as third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay), you risk exposing yourself to products that contain undisclosed ingredients, allergens, or even dangerous chemicals. 

These substances can interact with medications you may be taking or cause allergic reactions, putting your health in jeopardy.

Inaccurate product information

In an online marketplace filled with various sellers, product information may not always be accurate or reliable. 

Misleading claims and false promises about supplement efficacy are common occurrences. Moreover, customer reviews and ratings can also be manipulated by sellers to promote their products. 

Recently, one of my clients ordered aloe vera juice on Amazon – but when she went to try it, she said it looked, smelled, and tasted just like water. (While I’m glad it was just water, this is still totally not okay!)

This misrepresentation can lead consumers to make ill-informed decisions, choosing supplements that may not be suitable for their individual needs, or even potentially unsafe for consumption.

Expired or near-expiry products

Yet another concern with buying supplements from these platforms is the possibility of receiving expired or near-expiry products. 

Sellers may try to offload products that are approaching their expiration date, leaving unsuspecting buyers with less potent or potentially harmful supplements. 

This is especially concerning when dealing with vitamins and minerals, as expired products may lack the desired potency and fail to provide the intended health benefits.

Frequently asked questions

What about herbs?

Ordering herbs on Amazon is something I did in the past, before I knew about the risks and downsides of buying supplements on Amazon and eBay.

If you’d like to order herbs online, it’s best to order them directly through the company website or via FullScript.

Best online herb stores

You may also like to check out my favorite online herbal stores:

Mountain Rose Herbs - Organic Herbs and Spices

What if the supplement company has an official Amazon store?

This is the only case in which it would be considered safe to buy supplements on Amazon.  You just need to know what you’re looking for.

For example, products will contain a small hyperlink prompting you to “visit the (Company Name) store” – and then you need to actually CLICK on (don’t just look at) that link to verify this is being sold via the company’s official Amazon store.

(If you click on the link to the “store” and it doesn’t take you to the company’s official Amazon page, it means you’re dealing with a third-party seller.)

Screenshot of how to verify the seller of a supplement product on Amazon - Click on the link to visit the store

That is a lot of work, so I did some “heavy lifting” for you!

Best official Amazon stores for herbs and supplements (list with links)

Below is a list with my affiliate links* to the official Amazon stores of dietary and herbal supplement companies I love and endorse as a functional registered dietitian and holistic nutritionist(As an Amazon Associate, I may make a small commission from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you.)

You can safely order supplements on Amazon via the above links which have been verified as the supplement companies’ corresponding official Amazon stores.

(If you happen to notice any Amazon affiliate links in my blog articles linking to supplements, rest assured it is via the company’s official Amazon store – not a third-party seller!)

Still, we don’t know exactly how long or at what temperature these supplements are being stored in Amazon warehouses. 

Plus, some of the supplement companies I love and use as a customer (such as Mountain Rose Herbs*, OrthoMolecular, FODZYME*, FullWell, and Texas Medicinals to name a few) don’t have an official Amazon store.

If it isn’t too much of an inconvenience, ordering products via Fullscript or directly through the company website is generally a safer bet! 😉

Final verdict

While online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay offer convenience and vast product selections, purchasing supplements from these platforms can pose significant risks to your health and well-being. 

The lack of stringent quality control, counterfeit products, and inaccurate information make it unsafe to rely on these sources for supplements. 

To ensure your safety, it is essential to buy dietary supplements from reputable sources, such as authorized retailers or directly from well-known manufacturers. 

The only exception would be if your supplement company of choice has an “official Amazon store” – in which this would be specified and hyper-linked under the product listing.

Prioritize your health over convenience, and always seek professional advice before incorporating any new supplement into your diet. Your well-being is worth the extra effort and caution!

If you’d like to purchase supplements online safely and have them delivered right to your door, for a lifetime discount of 15% off + free shipping for orders over $50, feel free to do so via my private online dispensary, Fullscript (here).

Order supplements through my Fullscript store. Best of luck in your health endeavors, either way! 

XO – Jenna

PS:  Please share this article, so those you care about can learn and make more informed choices about their health!

4 thoughts on “The Hidden Dangers of Buying Supplements on Amazon and eBay”

    1. Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT

      Hi Lou Ann, great question!
      A few of my favorite brands that make Ubiquinol products are OrthoMolecular, Pure Encapsulations, and Nordic Naturals.
      FYI – These are all available via my Fullscript dispensary for 15% off, along with a dozen other brands that I like.
      Please feel free to check them out at your convenience and let me know what you decide to try. I hope this helps!

    1. Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT

      Hey Sandra! Renadyl is available in the online dispensary; however, I’m not able make custom or general supplement recommendations outside of 1-1 consultation which includes a full nutrition assessment.
      Plant Powered Kidneys is an online kidney nutrition practice which offers 1-1 consultation for kidney focused nutrition goals!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *