iHerb Online Marketplace: Unpacking the Negative Reviews (2024)

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iHerb is an online wellness retailer that ships vitamins, supplements, and natural care products worldwide. See what reviewers say.

iHerb Online Marketplace: Unpacking the Negative Reviews (1)Share on Pinterest

iHerb is an online retailer that primarily sells nutritional supplements and vitamins. The retailer also sells:

  • self-care products
  • baby products
  • pet food
  • groceries

iHerb advertises itself as a one-stop shop for trustworthy products made with carefully sourced, natural ingredients.

Based in Irvine, California, iHerb acts as an international distributor for major brands, such as:

  • Nature’s Bounty
  • Eucerin
  • Doctor’s Best

It also carries several exclusive, in-house supplement brands, such as:

  • California Gold Nutrition
  • Lake Avenue Nutrition
  • Ultamins

The e-commerce site can ship your order to more than 185 countries, making it a go-to for wellness consumers worldwide.

Let’s go over what customers say and what you can expect when you order from iHerb.

How it works

iHerb is similar to most other online stores in that you add products to your online shopping cart before checking out and then paying for your order. The retailer frequently offers coupon codes and limited-time discounts on different categories of its products.

iHerb offers free shipping within the United States with orders over $30. If you’re shipping internationally, your shipping cost, as well as the time it takes to get your order, can vary widely.

To get a comprehensive view of iHerb’s products, prices, and customer service, we:

  • read through hundreds of online reviews on verified independent websites, such as Google and the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • checked out what people were saying about iHerb on forums like Reddit
  • asked Healthline employees who have ordered from iHerb to document and share their firsthand experience
  • interacted with iHerb’s customer service to get answers to common questions from customers

Autoship & save

You can choose to have your items automatically shipped to you every 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 months. A refill of your product will likely arrive within the time frame you have selected, and you will be charged automatically without placing a new order. Customers who choose the auto-shipment option can save 5% on every order.

Can you change or cancel your iHerb auto-shipment?

You can cancel or modify your subscriptions whenever possible, provided the next order has not yet shipped.

Sales, deals, and offers

iHerb offers customers a 20% discount the first time they place an order. The retailer also frequently offers promotion codes on certain product lines and almost always has a sale.

iHerb doesn’t have the best reputation online. The company is accredited by the BBB, and its BBB listing gives iHerb an A+ rating. However, customer reviews on the BBB aren’t as favorable.

Most of iHerb’s BBB complaints center on missing shipments and refund difficulties. Some customers say that an order was reported as delivered, but it never arrived. Others report missing shipments that were then refused a refund. These experiences seem to be the exception rather than the rule, but it has affected enough customers to have caused a negative reaction.

Customer reviews for iHerb may show a more in-depth picture of what it’s like to order from the retailer.

Many customers on skin care, nutritional supplement, and other independent forums said they were happy with the service that iHerb provided and that they had been using it for years.

iHerb’s app has 4.8 out of 5 stars on the App Store. Some of the reviews are about the app itself, but others are about the customer service and product offerings from iHerb. Most customers seem pleased with their experience.

In reviews on the BBB website, things aren’t so rosy.

Customers commented on:

  • shipping issues
  • delayed shipments
  • missing shipments
  • poor customer service

Some say they had been charged without ever receiving the product, and others had been refused a refund. At the time of publication, an average of 66 reviewers gave iHerb a 1.88 out of 5 stars.

Keep in mind that people writing reviews on consumer rating sites like Trustpilot and BBB reviews rarely intend to rave about a service. A bad experience can make folks likelier to write a review.

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Healthline editor Parisa Syed reviewed her experience of buying Culturelle probiotics on the iHerb website. She found the website challenging to navigate at first but eventually found what she needed.

“When I first went to iHerb, I was a bit overwhelmed by the homepage. It was pretty ‘in my face’ and seemed outdated and clunky. I didn’t know where to start, so I used the search bar and typed in ‘probiotics.’ From there, it was much easier to navigate and narrow down my choices by using the filters on the left side. It’s pretty comprehensive…almost to the point of it being a little bit too much,” Syed said.

“Once I found a couple products, I did my own research (read a few HL articles on VMS), and chose my probiotic (Culturelle). I added it to my cart and noticed that they offered a 20% off special if it was the first time ordering from the site. I used the code, and my price dropped from $36 to $29,” Syed said. “Filling out the information was easy, and since my order was over $25, my expedited shipping was free.”

She said she ordered the product on April 11 and received it on April 13. It “came in a standard box, and my probiotics looked great.”

Syed recommends the website “for someone who doesn’t know where to start looking for vitamins or supplements but has an idea of what they want.”

iHerb offers a 60-day return policy on the majority of what it sells. If you purchase one of iHerb’s in-house brands, such as California Gold, that policy is extended to a 90-day window.

When you decide to make a return to iHerb, you need to go through a process that’s a little different from other stores.

Customers who wish to make a return must submit a “return request” ticket through the iHerb customer service portal. A representative will review the request and determine if it’s approved. If the request is approved, a prepaid shipping label will be provided for you to return the product to iHerb.

In some cases, iHerb will not require you to send unused products back and may simply issue a return.

International customers are not eligible for return shipping, which is important to know if you’re ordering from outside the United States.

iHerb offers free shipping for orders that are more than $30. The order should ship and arrive at your home in 1–3 business days if you’re located in the United States.

International shipping gets a bit more complicated. In South and East Asia, orders take 3–10 days to arrive. In the Middle East, the estimated delivery time is 8–12 days. Customers in South America wait 21–25 days, and customers in Europe might have to wait for 7-14 days for their order to arrive.

iHerb has several warehouse locations used to ship out products. The retailer doesn’t contract out to third-party sellers to fulfill orders. Everything iHerb ships out is from its own inventory, which is a quality control measure not every e-commerce site has.

Vitamins and supplements

iHerb offers thousands of vitamins and nutritional supplements under hundreds of brands. These brands include:

  • Swanson
  • Bluebonnet Nutrition
  • SmartyPants
  • One A Day
  • Vitafusion
  • MaryRuth Organics
  • Nature’s Bounty
  • Life Extension
  • Nature’s Way
  • Jarrow Formulas

iHerb branded products

iHerb carries more than 20 brands that are available exclusively on its website. These brands include:

  • California Gold Nutrition
  • Mild By Nature
  • Ultamins Vitamins
  • Radiant Seoul
  • Idealove
  • Lake Avenue Nutrition
  • Super Nutrition
  • Nature’s Gate
  • Vitables
  • Gummiology


iHerb carries products from hundreds of skin care and cosmetic brands, including many Korean beauty brands. Face masks, cleansers, toners, and moisturizers are popular products on the site. Some brands iHerb offers include:

  • E.L.F.
  • Neutrogena
  • Andalou Naturals
  • Doctor’s Best
  • Stridex


iHerb carries a wide range of sports supplements, including meal replacements, whey powders, protein bars, and pre-workout shake mix. Some popular brands carried by iHerb include:

  • Sports Research
  • Muscle Tech
  • Life Extension
  • Hydroxycut
  • Garden of Life
  • Quest Nutrition


iHerb carries baby products geared toward parents who are concerned about toxic ingredients. The retailer offers feeding accessories, children’s vitamin drops, and baby hair and skin care products. Popular brands that iHerb carries include:

  • Nature’s Way
  • Gerber
  • ChildLife Essentials
  • Nordic Naturals
  • Aveeno
  • Zarbee’s


iHerb carries aromatherapy soaks, essential oils, deodorants, soaps, shampoos, and conditioners as part of its bath product offerings. Brands for bath and body that iHerb carries include:

  • Eucerin
  • Aveeno
  • SheaMoisture
  • EOS
  • Olay


iHerb isn’t a full health food store, but it does carry some grocery items, including tea, baking flour, beans and lentils, cereals, and breakfast foods. Some popular brands you can find on iHerb include:

  • Yogi Tea
  • Bob’s Red Mill
  • Simply Organic
  • Eden Foods
  • Organic Valley


iHerb sells cleaning supplies, baking accessories, and laundry detergents that are marketed to those worried about chemical contamination in those types of products. Brands you can find at iHerb include:

  • Therapy Clean
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
  • Seventh Generation
  • Biokleen


iHerb carries pet probiotics, pet nutritional supplements, pet shampoos and grooming tools, and pet treats. Popular brands iHerb carries for cats and dogs include:

  • Burt’s Bees
  • kin+kind
  • Earth Rated
  • Zesty Paws
  • Arm & Hammer

iHerb offers a wide range of products, so it’s difficult to say if some people should steer clear of the retailer. If you frequently run into shipping issues when you place online orders, or if you often need to ship orders internationally, you might want to weigh your options before ordering from iHerb.

iHerb offers so many different brands, so it works better if you know exactly what you’re looking for and have already done the research on what you want to use a product for and how much it usually costs.

iHerb doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar store, and customer service can be hard to get in touch with, so it’s probably not for you if you’re looking to try certain supplements for the first time.

You might consider using iHerb if you:

  • appreciate the convenience of ordering several types of health products or supplements in one place
  • frequently have trouble finding specialty health items at your local store
  • are looking for an inexpensive way to purchase health and nutrition supplements online
  • are interested in receiving regular refill shipments without the hassle of remembering to reorder every few months

The products that iHerb sells are like the ones you would find on the shelf of any health food store or vitamin supplier. The products’ expiration dates are listed on every product page, so you can see for yourself how fresh the product is before you order it.

As far as safety goes, it’s wise to stay in touch with a healthcare professional if you’re using nutritional supplements as part of your routine. While the products themselves may not be unsafe, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to use them.

iHerb’s in-house brands don’t have public safety complaints at this time.

But it’s also worth noting that iHerb’s own product testing showed a lead level in capsules of its branded products that’s close to the 0.5 micrograms per day legal limit in the state of California.

Consumers who are concerned about heavy metals may want to look closely at the labels and testing info that iHerb provides since other products with lower lead levels are out there.

iHerbGNCVitamin Shoppe
Products offered• vitamins
• supplements
• self-care
• baby supplies
• pet food
• health food
• groceries
• vitamins
• supplements
• self-care
• vitamins
• supplements
• self-care
Shippingfree in U.S. over $30free in U.S. over $59free in U.S. over $35
Return policyupon approved return request, full refund for unused, unopened product within 60 days (or 90 days if iHerb in-house brand)full refund for unused, unopened product within 30 daysfull refund for opened or unopened product within 30 days
BBB reviews*1.88 out of 5 stars1.0 out of 5 stars1.05 out of 5 stars
International shippingyes, nearly everywhere in the world
yes, with some limitations
Subscription service discountyes, 5% off for auto-shipmentsyes, 10% off for auto-shipments (called GNC Routines)yes, 10% off for subscriptions

*accurate as of April 2024

You can get started with iHerb by placing items in your cart, choosing a payment method, and placing your first order. You’ll then have an account at iHerb that you can use to place more orders in the future.

iHerb doesn’t take insurance for the products on its website. In some cases, you may be able to use funds from a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA).

iHerb does use industry standard practices for keeping user data private and secure, including SSL encryption for your payment information.

iHerb’s current privacy policy indicates that it doesn’t sell your data to third-party subsidiaries, but it may track your online activities to offer personalized product recommendations to you — as many other e-commerce sites do.

iHerb is an e-commerce website that offers a wide variety of products to purchase. The retailer occasionally offers great deals on products that are difficult to find when you’re shopping in person. But there are cases where what’s offered on iHerb is less expensive at another retailer.

People in the United States who are looking for fast, free shipping on natural products that aren’t always easy to find may be most satisfied with iHerb.

If you’re interested in trying iHerb, you can get started here.

iHerb Online Marketplace: Unpacking the Negative Reviews (2024)


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