Shall we? So from the beginning.
About the companies
Vitacost.com, Inc is an American e-commerce company based in Boca Raton, Florida, USA that sells vitamins, supplements and organic grocery products. Vitacost began operations in 1994 as a catalog retailer of third-party vitamins and supplements under the name Nature's Wealth Company. In 1999, the company launched Vitacost.com and introduced proprietary vitamins and supplements, which has since expanded to include food, beauty products and sports nutrition. Also Vitacost.com launched a cruelty-free specialty store showcasing beauty and personal care products that are independently certified by the Leaping Bunny Program, which is operated by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics.
They have their own Vitacost brand and off course other leading brands, over 2500 off them and they offer nearly 40 000 different products.
You can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google + , Blog and through e-mail subscription and get daily notifications about discounts, offers, sales etc... There is also VitaCost App (iTunes and Google Play).
They have retail store in Las Vegas.
iHerb.com was founded in 1996 and first they promoted the benefits of one product St. Johns Wort. They are based in California, USA. And since 1996 they made a long way from only one poduct to todays 35 000 products and 1200 brands that they offer on their website. Vitamins, supplements, herbs, bath and beauty, kids and babies, pets, home, healthy food....
Swanson is the oldest company among these five that we are comparing. Swanson is founded by Leland Swanson in 1969 under the name Swanson Health Products (SHP) in Fargo North Dakota, USA. By the 1979 Swanson already had 30 000 costumers. Wow!
They offer over 26 000 products ranging from vitamins and supplements to "eco-friendly" home cleaning products. The company has more than 20 Swanson-branded lines that cover the full spectrum of natural health products, as well as some OTC drugs and organic foods. They are members of NSF International and follow Good Manufacturing Practices.
The Swanson Health Products also have retail store located in downtown Fargo, North Dakota.
PureFormulas is founded in 2007 by Jose Prendes, Cuban American entrepreneur, in Miami, Florida , USA. They offer 40 000 + products ranging from dietary supplements, organic foods, beauty products, sport nutrition supplements and pet products.
PureFormulas has their own brand manufactured in the United States, in GMP-certified facilities that produce certified organic and NSF Certified for Sport products.
They have store in Miami, Florida.
LuckyVitamin it is owned by Wolf family and first it all started as "Pop-Pop" neighborhood pharmacy back in 1956 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. For 40 years, till 1995, they run drugstore business. After that in 1996 they opened family operated health and nutrition store. In 2002 the Wolf's opend Wellness Center right above their health and nutrition store. Further in 2005 they launched LuckyVitamin.com offering over 7000 vitamins and supplements to the United States. In 2011 they offered over 30 000 + products like vitamins, supplements, babies and kids, personal care and beauty, organic healthy foods, natural home and pet care, sport nutrition, herbs..... And in 2016 they started to ship internationally.
They have their own brands LuckyVitamin Gear, LuckyVitamin, LuckyEats Natural Foods, LuckyRoots Superfood, LuckyHerbs and LuckyFit. Plus 2568 other brands to choose from.
First of all BOGO 50% and BOGO buy one get one FREE.
BOGO 50% is always around. And BOGO FREE is not so offten but it is nice when it is.
Every day discounts 10%, 12%, 15%, 20% and more on selected products.
Great deals 10%, 12% or more of your comlete order or 5$, 10$, 15$ of your complete order.
Every day discount 10%, 15%, 20% and more on selected products.
Daily and weekly special deals on selected products.
BOGO FREE is always here. All day every day.
On sale now from 11% up to 70% off on selected products.
Deal of the day 10%, 20%, 30% and more on selected product.
On sale items up to 50% off.
10% off for service members, veterans and first responders, teachers and students with ID.ME
Monthly deals with 10%, 15%, 20% off and more 1$, 3$, 5$ off and more on selected products.
Buy 3 products and save 10% on selected products.
Special deals on PureFormulas products.
BOGO 50% and BOGO FREE.
Deals of the week.
10%, 20%, 30%, 50% off and more on selected products.
Also 5$ off 20$ order, 5$ off 50$ order, 10$ off 50$ order on selected products.
Lucky deals and specials.
First time buyer discounts! (and we all love that,right!)
First time buyer on VitaCost.com gets 5$ off 30$ or more purchase. If you want 5$ off here is the LINK.
If you shop for the first time on iHerb.com you can get here is the LINK to get 5% off your first order.
Also you can use this same link for 5% off for every next order you make on iHerb, not just for first time order. How cool is that!
For first time costumer on Swansonvitamins.com you get 10% on everything and free shipping on 50$ + orders when you register in.
Refferal program and links are only for US residents.
In PureFormulas you get 15% off your first order and here is the LINK to get that.
Also when you register you get 500 points ( means 5$) that you can use as discount if your order is over 50$. Nice one PureFormulas!
If you shop for the first time on LuckyVitamins with this 5OFFU you get 5$ off when you spend 49$+ on first order and free shipping (free shipping for US only).
Save more on first order (and on the future orders) through BeFrugal cashback you get 10$ welcome bonus when you sign in HERE!
VitaCost cashback is 4.5%.
PureFormulas cashback is 3%.
LuckyVitamin cashback is 5%.
Websites looks, responsive and customer service
Very well responsive website on tablets ( I use Android 5.1 and older one 4.2.2 on 10.1 inch tablets both 2 gb rom, 16 gb ram, quad cores and two desktop PCs one Windows 7 and one Lubuntu Linux). I can really easy browse through the site.
Right on the spot are Daily deals, Featured offers and Products.
Search bar is in right corner, you can't miss it. Also Shop by Departments, Featured Shops, Get Inspired and Deals are first that you see so it is really easy to find your way to desired products.
The main goal is to find quick and easy what you are looking for.And this website is offering that.
When you search through search bar for example Folate. Search immediately shows on the left related search words and on the right related products that have folate word in description. Very nice!
You can narrow down your search in menu on left side by category, specialities, brand, strenght, form , servings, flavor, rating, featured items and price.
Shopping cart is medium size one in right upper corner.
Colorful auto changing ads with background images that sometimes steal the whole ad. In the end you watch background images and not the ads.
Customer service at VitaCost is amaizing, just great! Helpful every time and fast responding. Once VitaCost send me the wrong product, not the one that I have ordered. I have contacted them through Live Chat and they gave me instant refund, no fuss no mess.
Also one very well responsive website on tablet.
In left upper corner where is iHerb name you have small box with country flag, language and currency. You can customize your shopping experience by choosing your country flag, language (10 different languages) and prices in currency you want (55 of them). Nice one!
Right on top of the website are categories New Products, Best Sellers, Daily and Weekly Spesials and Try and Save (trial pricing products). This whole section should have bigger letters so it is easier to spot on.
Search bar is big and very visible. I like that.
When you search for example Magnesium you need to click on "search" icon to start search. And then it shows all related products that have Magnesium word in it. On the left is the menu bar where you can narrow down your search.
Right beneath search bar are products and brands on discounts.
You can search through departments of Brands, Supplements, Herbs, Bath, Beauty, Baby, Grocery, Sport, Home, Pets and Conditions. Nice and easy to see this departments.
Shopping cart is also nice, big and visible in right upper corner.
Auto changing ads they are good, but sometimes is so much colors in it that is hard to read and see what products are in ads.
Costumer service is fast in responding on Live Chat and iHerb is also providing International Customer Service Team that supports English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, French, German, and Portuguese language. That is realy great! Go iHerb!
One simple and light design website. White, green and black colors, pleasant for eyes. Swansons colors.
Well responsive on tablets and desktop PC.
On the left side of the site is Swanson logo. And on the right side is search box with orange "Search" button. You can't miss it!
You can search through whole site or choose one of the departments to search.
If you search for example Zinc after clikck on "Search" button it shows all products that have Zinc word in it.
Also you can narrow down your search in menu on left side by category, specialties, brands, potency and form.
Right beneath logo and search box are departments that you can easly search through Swanson brands, New arrivals, Web specials, Swanson blog. And on the left side are Shop by categories.
Scroll down and there you have listed Best selling products with pictures and prices. On the left is menu bar where you can choose and narrow down your search.
Shopping cart is on right side, green small one with big red dot on it.
You can reach their Customer service also through Live Chat fast responding and kind service.
Light colors website, which I like it. It is not like some others site where colors are literally screaming at you and you can not see anything else beside bright glowing colors.
Easy browsing through the site on tablets and PC.
On top of the site are Speciality stores: Beatuy, Fitness, Food and Pet where you can easily find what you are intreseted in.
In the same line on right side are Favorites, Log in and small Shopping cart (to small IMO).
Beneath that is PureFormulas logo and big search box with orange search button. Nice!
When you search for example Calcium it lists right away (without hiting "Search") Most popular products from Doctor trusted brands with word Calcium in it.
And when you press Search button first it shows "About", we search Calcium, what calcuim is and its "Benefits". After that lists all products that have word Calcium in it. I like this "About" products information and "Benefits".
Underneath the logo and search box are departments that you can browse Brands, Categories, Discover, Customer service, Deals, Blog and Recepies.
What I also like on this site are nice big letters so you can easly read.
They have auto changing ads that are light in colors and slowly changing so you can easly read and see the products. Big plus!
Below ads are Recipes (which I like very much!) , Shop now and Gluten-free snacks.
What I like on PureFormulas is they have department called Doctor trusted brands.
Customer service on Live Chat is fast and helpful.
This is one colorful site!
It is tablets responsive but sometimes has lags when you browse. And when you look at it on tablet it has so much things that you can click on it that it draws your attention away. On PC works normally.
And so much auto changing ads and to fast changing. I have count 5 sections with it. A little to much. I know that it is all in advertising but you know....slow down.
On the right side is flag logo where you can customize your shopping expirience like on iHerb. A similare one. You can set country where to ship (33 countries) and language ( 10 languages).
There is nice search box with green "Search" button right in line with LuckyVitamin logo. Big and visible.
When you search for example Vitamin C right away it shows beneath search box Suggestions like vitamin c powder, vitamin c serum, Now vitamin c etc.... Then Brands and Categories like vitamin c formulas in Vitamins & Minerals etc....
And it lists all products that have Vitamin C word in it. Also on the right is small box where it shows in numbers how many products are listed and one interesting thing where it says Library and how many articles are about vitamin C on LuckyVitamin site. Very nice and informative!
On the left is menu bar where you can refine your search by Department, Category, Brand,
In the same line are reminder how much do you need to get free shipping and medium size Shopping cart in orange color and Checkout button.
You can shop by Department, Brand, Health concern, Specialty, Goal, Ingredient and Deals.
On the left side is menu with Our Departments.
And lots of, as I said earlier, auto changing ads. Colorful!
Customer service through Live Chat is also fast responding and kind.
Price comaparation, shipping prices, Autoship program and savings, rewards, cashback and payment methods
I have ad in the Cart products that I buy regulary;
- Nature's Way Alive Liquid Multi-Vitamin Citrus 30 fl oz
- Life Extension, Optimized Folate, 1000 mcg, 100 Veggie Tabs
- Carlson Labs, Chelated Zinc 30 mg, 250 Tablets
and now we are going to compare prices with shipping, autoship save, rewards, cashback and payment options on each site.
Cart - total price of the products in ViaCost cart is 44.13$. Without shipping cost, autoship save and cashback.
There is Shipping calculator when you go to your Cart and it is very easy to use.
Shipping cost - (international) to my country Croatia is 9.99$ DHL Global Mail ( you get tracking number). I always choose the lowest shipping cost.
International: They ship to 160+ countries.
Shipping within the contiguous US --FREE standard shipping is available for orders totaling $49 or more (or $25 or more of Vitacost brand or other select brand products) after any discounts have been applied. This offer also applies to APO/FPO addresses.
Outside the contiguous U.S -- Standard Shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and Canada is just $9.99.
Autoship program - if you choose Set & Save on product you want, yuou can SET auto-delivery schedule and SAVE 5% more on that product.
In your Account you have PromoPocket. Where you can find promo codes for products that are on discounts and also codes for 10%, 12% and more off your entire order.
Also VitaCost send their magazine very offten with orders you make and on the last page there is code for 10% off your next order you make.
Cashback - And with Befrugal cashback you can save even more. For VitaCost.com orders you can get 4.5% cashback on each order. Here is the LINK to get your BeFrugal cashback. And you get 10$ welcome bonus when you sign up HERE in BeFrugal.
Payment methods - on VitaCost are;
Credit cards associated with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB.
Debit cards associated with Visa or MasterCard.
PayPal where available.
Cart - on iHerb my selected items cost 37.31$ . That is without shipping cost, Autoship save, loyalty program and cashback.
Destination, shipping cost and shipping methods are right below products you selected and in your Cart. It is very easy to choose which shipping method you want.
iHerb ships to more than 150 international countries.
Shipping cost - to my (international) country is 14.58$. Because shipping weight is more then 1.8 kg the shipping cost is higher.
I have choose DPD All inclussive which means all duties, taxes and fees are prepaid! And I got EU (as European Union) Special Discount 11.05$ off my order. Full tracking details.
Also on iHerb you can choose option called, when you search for desired product, Shipping saver. And it lists all products that have Shipping saver sign. So your shipping cost are even lover and sometimes you get free international shipping.
I will show you on my last order from iHerb I got free international shipping. I was so excited!
Unfortunately on iHerb there is no Autoship save program.
But there is - Loyalty program - where you earn loyalty credit for every order you place at iHerb!
Loyalty credit is equal to 5% of the value of your order, excluding shipping charges.
Your loyalty credit will be applied towards your next order as soon as your current order has shipped.
Your loyalty credits are valid for up to 60 days from the date of your last purchase.
On iHerb there is also - Products Samples. There you can find products as low as 10 cents cost. But there is catch if you choose some product samples. And the catch is that your shipping cost is going up noticeably.
So do the math first if you realy need that 10 cent sample product and 2$ more on shipping cost.
Cashback - is not avaliable for iHerb.com on BeFrugal. Such a shame!
Payment methods - available on iHerb are;
PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, UnionPay, Discover Network, JCB, Diners and BC card.
Cart - in Swanson cart total cost of selected items is 51.01$ . That is without shipping cost, Autoship save and cashback.
Swansonvitamins ship interantionally to 180 countries.
Estimate shipping is right beneath products you selected in your Cart. It is easy to use. Just select your country and click on Calculate.
Shipping cost - to my (international) country is 10.75$ with DHL Parcel Priority. Full tracking.
Shipping cost within US starts form 4.99$ Standard Shipping.
Autoship program - there is on Swansonvitamins and it is called Easy Refill. You can SET the time how offten you want your favorite products to be shipped. And also you will get 10% off all Swanson brand items that you selected to be on Easy Refill program. Orders over 50$ have free shipping, US orders only.
This Easy Refill program is for available on United States domestic orders ONLY!
Also in section Your Account under My Account you have at the bottom My Member Programs where you can find My Coupons. Here you can select coupons for discounts.
Cashback - for Swansonvitamins.com is not available on BeFrugal (or any where else).
Payment methods - on Swansonvitamins are;
PayPal ( ONLY FOR US ORDERS!) , Amazon Pay.
For international orders payment methods are;
Credit cards associated with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diner's Club and JCB.
Debit cards associated with Visa and MasterCard.
Cart - in PureFormulas total cost of selected products is 55.86$ .
That is without shipping cost, Autoship program, PureRewards and cashback.
PureFormulas ship to 29 international countries.
Shipping cost - international shipping goes thru IBC Commercial E-Packet (CEP) International USPS shipping with tracking. And shipping cost to my internaional country is 31.75$.
Shipping cost for US orders goes from Free shipping for Standard shipping USPS or UPS and up.
Autoship program - you can select on eligible products and earn double PureRewards points.
PureRewards program - is where you earn points, redeem Dollar Rewards whenever you make purchase, review a product and/or successfully refer a friend to PureFormulas.com. And you can use that PureRewards when you go through Checkout to lower your overall cost.
Free Samples - Yes! In PureFormulas there is section of free samples. When you have choosed the product/s you like to buy and click on Add in cart, then you go to your Cart. And on the bottom are Free Samples where you can choose what free sample product you would like to be send with your order to you.
Cashback - for PureFomulas on BeFrugal is 3% for each purchase. If you want your 3% cashback and 10$ bonus for signin in on BeFrugal.com, here is the LINK.
Payment methods - on PureFormulas.com are;
PayPal ( for US and international orders).
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Network (only for US orders).
Cart - on LuckyVitamin my selected products cost 42$.
That's without shipping cost, Autoship program, LuckyRewards and cashback.
LuckyVitamin.com ship international to 33 countries.
Shipping cost - Since my country is not in this 33 country list, I cannot pay with PayPal but only through International Checkout. And shipping cost to my country is 74$. Way to high!
So I have selected Italy (because it is on 33 country list) and town Trieste, which is near my country, one hour drive with car.
Shipping cost to Italy, Trieste is 17.44$ with DHL Standard shipping. And tracking details also.
Shipping cost within the continental 48 U.S. is flate rate 5.95$ Standard Shipping and FREE for orders over 49$.
Autoship program - on LuckyVitamin.com. In Autoship program where you SET how offten you want your picked products to be send to you, there is also SAVE from 10 % and goes up. Depends on the brand product. On LuckyVitamin they call it Bonus Brands. They have big selection of products in Bonus Brands where you can on Autoship program save nice sum of money.
Rewards program - on LuckyVitamin it is called LuckyRewards. You will get points whenever you purchase a qualifying item. Qualifying items display their LuckyRewards value on the Additional Info tab on the product information page. Products points values are typically assigned at 1 point per dollar spent, however certain products may qualify for more or less points based on certain promotions, product availability and current pricing specials. Once you earn 500 points, you will automatically be sent a gift certificate promo code for $5.00 off your next order. LuckyReward gift certificate codes are valid for 60 days post-receipt.
Cashback - for shopping on LuckyVitamin.com thru BeFrugal.com is 5%. If you want to get your 5% Cashback of each purchase made on LuckyVitamin.com here is the LINK and grab your 10$ welcome bonus with that!
Payment methods - on LuckyVitamin are;
US and 33 international countries on the list can pay with PayPal.
Other countries can pay with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bank Transfer, Discover Card, JCB and Diners.
Don't forget if you are ordering for the first time from;
- VitaCost here is the LINK for your 5$ off 30$+ order
- iHerb here is the LINK for your 5% off your order (and don't forget that you can use this 5% off on every order not just for the first time so bookmark this for the future savings!)
- Swansonvitamins to get your 10% first order just register in.
- PureFormulas here is the LINK for your 15% off your first order.
- LuckyVitamin here is the LINK for your 5$ off 49$+ first order.
Small reminder for BeFrugal cashback you get 10$ welcome bonus when you sign in HERE!
- VitaCost cashback is 4.5%.
- PureFormulas cashback is 3%.
- LuckyVitamin cashback is 5%.
So in my opinion VitaCost and iHerb are the best for international orders. And right behind them is Swansonvitamins. And all of them are great for US residents.
I hope you like this article!