Advice on ordering supplements from US for delivery in UK.

Busson

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I am in the UK and am looking for an American supplier of vitamins and supplements.

My usual supplier (Health Monthly) imported supplements from America but went bust in January after Brexit.

Can anyone in the UK advise on their experiences buying from larger American suppliers such as iHerb, SwansonOnline, Vitacost, etc? If it's relevant, I'm looking to get items such as levo-carnitine, folinic acid and benfothiamine which are sometimes hard to find in the UK but I don't need B12.

I particularly want tracked delivery but some of the prices seem expensive. I don't want to deal with a small supplier because I lost money in a large order when Health Monthly collapsed.

I would be interested in any experiences and recommendations.
 
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pamojja

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Sorry to hear you lost money. I too ordered from HealthMonthly, but once the sold their whole stock partly for pennies just before Brexit I knew something is brewing.

I ordered for more then 10 years from iherb and vitacost what I couldn't get in the EU. Nothing ever lost. Though they do give great discounts if you watch out. In the case of my country (Austria) customs charges 20% import tax along with a €10,- handling fee. So any discounts are eaten up with the taxes.

Gladly there is now a new German shop rapidly growing a large palette of products, with much I before only got in the US: https://www.sunday.de/

Swansons I usually order from https://swansoneurope.com/. LEFs from https://www.lifeextensioneurope.com/benfotiamine-with-thiamine-100-mg-120-vegetarian-capsules during their special sales, especially during their endo of year discounts (up to 30% off). Sadly just saw their 250 mg/per cap Benfotiamin isn't awailable anymore. Due to silly EU rules last year they also reduced all their Pyridoxal to 20mg for any daily dose. (Sunday above to my resque..)

Anything available in cheaper bulk-powders I get from https://www.bulk.com/uk/catalogsearch/result/?q=carnitine, https://www.myprotein.com/elysium.search?search=carnitine or https://www.blackburndistributions.com/acetyl-l-carnitine-powder.html

Then there is the expensive https://www.supersmart.com/en/shop/anti-ageing/benfotiamine-supplement-0334, though they do also have it from time to time greatly reduced.

Probably any member from the UK, like @Hip, can give you more UK-specific experiences.
 

pamojja

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because I lost money in a large order when Health Monthly collapsed.
By the way, my last 2 orders from HealthMonthly (end of 2019 and beginning of 2020) both took 5 months to arrive. Containing also discounted short-dated supplements, which all as foreseeable were expired by the time they arrived.

That's even a larger fault with Sunday.de. Even though they don't announce and discount anything short-dated. On arrival one finds many products already expire within a year. So better don't order to much of any single supplement from them.

Something US providers iherb or vitacost never did. And the duration any shipment from them took was between 3-9 weeks (obviously customs always taking more time than dilivery itself).

Years ago SmartPowders lost one tracked parcel in NewYork, but ignored any mails and never replaced. KoncentratedK due to covid-chaos last year was the only exception of also only arriving after 5 month from the US. In the meantime its owner already provided a free replacement.
 
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Hip

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My usual supplier (Health Monthly) imported supplements from America but went bust in January after Brexit.
I did not realize that. I use to use Health Monthly all the time, because they were very cheap, but in the last year I stopped using them, as their delivery times were getting longer and longer. When a couple of orders I bought took two months to arrive, that's when I gave up with them.



Can anyone in the UK advise on their experiences buying from larger American suppliers such as iHerb, SwansonOnline, Vitacost, etc? If it's relevant, I'm looking to get items such as levo-carnitine, folinic acid and benfothiamine which are sometimes hard to find in the UK but I don't need B12.
iHerb in the US provide a fast service to the UK, around 5 days typically, low prices, and reasonable shipping costs. I use iHerb from time to time.

If you use the Hermes or DHL shipping from iHerb, then UK import tax is included when you place your order, so you will not receive any tedious and expensive customs bills to pay when your order arrives in the UK. Ref: here. Years ago, this was not the case, so you had to pay import tax to the courier on iHerb orders from the US. Much more convenient to have the import tax included at the time of placing your order at checkout.

Note: the iHerb 5% everlasting discount coupon WOW123 always works.


These days, I buy most of my supplements from Amazon UK, or from eBay. I like Amazon, as they are usually pretty fast, and have an extensive range of supplements.

You might find the Phoenix Rising Supplement Search page useful if looking for major cheap supplement suppliers in the UK, the US and other countries.



I particularly want tracked delivery but some of the prices seem expensive. I don't want to deal with a small supplier because I lost money in a large order when Health Monthly collapsed.
Ouch!
 

lenora

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Amazon is rather doubtful when it comes to a lot of products. I, for one, would include vitamins, supplements, etc., among them.

I use i-Herb b/c of its quality reputation.

I don't use Amazon as much as I used to (and we still use it a lot) b/c I've had personal problems with things as simple as Elta Sunscreen (recommended by dermatologists and sold in their offices). The container looked the same, slightly large if anything yet the product was not the same. It was obvious from the very beginning. It's easy to make good looking labels and bottles,..and even Elta came out and advised people that it wasn't their product. Since it's a Swiss company and its reputation is built on products for burn patients, this was a major concern to them.

This is going back at least 8 years and, yes, I wrote to Amazon, which very quickly returned my money, but the basic problem was never rectified. I've found it in other products since. Why a company this large can't deal with obviously counterfeit products is beyond me. I've noticed that more and more people are complaining about counterfeit merchandise. Good for them! By the way, I happen to like Amazon and use its services often.

So I would be very skittish about buying on Amazon just to save a very few dollars. Yours, Lenora.
 

Busson

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Thanks @pamojja @Hip @lenora for the very useful info. Much appreciated.

It seems iHerb is a favourite. However, for some reason, iHerb doesn't stock Swanson which is what I usually buy. I believe VitaCost also don't stock Swanson.

I learned today that SwansonEurope has suspended deliveries to the UK until they can get ontop of the paperwork required for Brexit. And I vaguely recall Swanson in the US https://www.swansonvitamins.com charges very high shipping costs.

Are there any other US suppliers I should be thinking of?
 

Judee

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I'm in the US so don't know if this would be helpful but I have used this website for some ordering. This page seems to be indicating they do international shipments:https://www.luckyvitamin.com/t-shipping ???

Oh, but they don't do Swanson. Sorry.

I have ordered Swanson on both eBay and Amazon USA. You could also check there.
 

Busson

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I took a look at iHerb UK on Trustpilot and the sheer amount of one star reviews looks much like Health Monthly's feedback just before they went bust. As many as 77% of reviews are only one star. Gulp! I presume iherb UK is actually iHerb US with a UK-looking site.

See https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/uk.iherb.com?stars=1

Trustpilot isn't always the most reliable of review sites and can attract those who want to let off steam but having said that, this isn't good. Maybe iHerb has become a Brexit casualty?

Vitacost (link here) is better with 47% one star reviews.
LuckyVitamin (link here) has only 26% one star reviews.
eVitamins (link here) comes out suspiciously well on TrustPilot.

Does anyone here have any experience with these?
 
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Hip

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I took a look at iHerb UK on Trustpilot and the sheer amount of one star reviews looks much like Health Monthly's feedback just before they went bust. As many as 77% of reviews are only one star. Gulp! I presume iherb UK is actually iHerb US with a UK-looking site.

See https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/uk.iherb.com?stars=1
That's quite shocking! I am surprised, since I've always found iHerb to offer a fast and inexpensive service. Never had any issue with them.

And if you read some of the 1-star reviews, most seem more like moans than major issues.

Yes, uk.iherb.com is the UK site for iHerb, but items are still dispatched from the US. Every country has its own iHerb site, so in France for example it will be fr.iherb.com. iHerb also have a depot in South Korea for dispatch to countries in that region.

The other ones you mention, Vitacost etc, are all well-known and quite large. iHerb has a wider range of products than most other sellers; they usually stock even the most obscure supplements. Amazon UK and US likewise.
 

lenora

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@Busson.....Why don't you try some inexpensive formula (say Vit. C) and go from there. You must be able to access good vitamins and supplements without having to have them sent from the U.S. After all, Germany is known for its vitamins and I hate to see you spend extra money ordering from here.

Others may have better suggestions. Does Boots sell vitamins/supplements? I would imagine their products would be good if available. Wishing you well. Yours, Lenora.
 

pamojja

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In the case of my country (Austria) customs charges 20% import tax along with a €10,- handling fee. So any discounts are eaten up with the taxes.
If you use the Hermes or DHL shipping from iHerb, then UK import tax is included when you place your order, so you will not receive any tedious and expensive customs bills to pay when your order arrives in the UK.
This is real progress: Now iherb also offers prepaid taxes to Austria. On the 10th of April ordered, arrived already today. Never anything arrived so fast within 11 days from the US. Shipping and taxes together making up 1/3 less what I usually paid to Austrian customs alone. And with a new order today free shipping. So now actually 2/3 less than the usual customs fees. :)