Review of Puritan’s Pride

Continuing my reviews of popular supplement companies, today, I want to review Puritan’s Pride in detail. This review is based on my experiences.

Overview

Puritan’s Pride is the mail-order, factory-direct, division of NBTY. Besides Puritan’s Pride, NBTY also manufactures Nature’s Bounty, Vitamin World, Rexall, Sundown, Solgar, and American Health products, some which are sold in supermarkets.

I have ordered from Puritan’s Pride since the summer of 2000, when I started getting into health again after a rather unhealthy hiatus, in which I ballooned up to 200 pounds. I had ordered from Lee Nutrition and Nutrition Headquarters in the mid-1990s, but by 2000, both companies were out-of-business, so I went looking for an alternative source of inexpensive supplements. Since 2000, I have ordered from them probably 30-40 times, so this review of Puritan’s Pride is based on quite a bit of experience. Some of the items I am familiar with include, B-Complex 50, Multi-Enzyme, and Fish Oil with Garlic.

Quality

Puritan’s Pride guarantees their products, and when tested by independent labs, all of Nature’s Bounty’s products, including those of Puritan’s Pride, perform very well. I feel very confident that Puritan’s Pride products are high quality. I haven’t had any quality problems with any of my Puritan’s Pride products.

Product Selection

Puritan’s Pride has a decent selection of products, most for great prices, although they seem to be slow to get some of the newer, cutting-edge products, and when they do, the price is often higher than their other products.  I wish they offered more multi-vitamins without iron, and with lower levels of Vitamin A (both of these concerns reflect newer research about supplementing with Vitamin A and iron). In this regard, their products seem kind of old-fashioned.  I am guessing most people with find what they need from Puritan’s Pride. I wish they had Bromelain 2000 GDU product, but I can easily get that elsewhere. Puritan’s Pride bought Doctor’s Trust a few years ago, and unfortunately, did not continue DT’s fine line of products.

Value

Puritan’s Pride always runs sales, and the key to getting the absolute best deal is to know which sale is running. I have never seen products sold for full price, so the deal you get depends on the sale they are having. They tend to have the following sales, listed below. I have placed the percentage savings off their regular price in parenthesis:

Buy 1, Get 1 free (50% off)

Buy 2, Get 3 free (60% off)

Buy 1, Get 2 free (67% off)

60% off

70% off

60-80% off

Rarely does Puritan’s Pride offer 70% off sales, or the 60-80% off sale (in which some items are 80% off, but not many). This means that the best regularly-offered deal is the “Buy 1, Get 2 free” special, which almost always runs every summer, and sometimes during other times of the year. Thus, I tend to stock-up from Puritan’s Pride products in the summer.

They also offer discounts on top of their other sales, so be sure to check and see what promotional offer is running concurrently with the advertised sales.

Puritan’s Pride does have several other sites, besides puritan.com, in which other sales sometimes run concurrently with the sale on puritan.com. These include puritansale.com, doctorstrust.com, vitamins.com, and puritancatalog.com. For awhile, puritansale offered 70%+ off many products, making it the best deal available, but unfortunately, most products on that site now are 50-60% off.

While I used to order almost all of my supplements from Puritan’s Pride, they have raised their prices on many products recently, and stopped offering some of their best sales as often as in the past. For this reason, I go to other sources for my supplements these days, since I wrote my original review.

Shipping

Usually the entire order is shipped out quickly, often arriving in a little less than a week. They always send out shipping notices via email, with tracking numbers. This makes keeping track of orders very easy.  A few times I have had to wait for back-ordered items, but very rarely. Typically, the back-ordered items are shipped out within a 10 days.

Service

Customer service is excellent and friendly. I have called them and emailed them in the past and they have always been helpful. I even emailed one of their representatives about the strength of their enzyme products (enzymes are measured by both activity and weight, and Puritan’s Pride only lists enzyme weight on their products), and she kindly contacted their scientists to find out the information I needed.

Overall

I used to consider them my primary supplement company, but now that belongs to Swanson, because Swanson currently seems to offer more variety and better prices. However, Puritan’s Pride offers high-quality products for a great price, and are well worth checking out if you think you are paying too much for your vitamins.

DNE Vitamins Review

About 6 months ago, I posted reviews of popular supplement companies, but I thought I would post more expansive reviews in a series of posts over the next few months. Today, I want to review DNE Vitamins (aka D&E Vitamins) detail. This review is based on my experiences.

Overview

I have ordered from DNE 3-4 times over the last five years. Two of these orders have been fairly large, and in the last year. Some of the products I have ordered include their Time-Release Vitamin C 500 mg, and Bromelain 2000 GDU. I consider DNE one of my regular suppliers of vitamins.

Quality

According to their guarantee, they have quality controls set up to ensure potency and purity. However, I haven’t seen their products verified in independent lab tests, so I can’t speak of a more objective way to guarantee their products are what they claim. The bottles are well-sealed, and seem well-made. All the bottles have child-proof lids. I have only noticed a few minor quality issues. First, the Bromelain tabs are a little flaky. Second, in one case, the label on the bottle did not match what was listed online (or what was listed on the other bottles I got of the same product!). This was fish oil, and I only buy fish oil with a little Vitamin E present to prevent oxidation. A few of the bottles did not mention Vitamin E. I suspect they did contain the vitamin, but it wasn’t mentioned.

Product Selection

DNE has a pretty wide selection of supplements, including some sports supplements I wouldn’t ever take, but I suppose there is a market for that sort of thing (but how many caffiene supplements can one company actually carry??). They seem to get new products regularly, and carry  national brands to supplement lack of selection in their own brand, Nature’s Harbor. From my perspective, they could use higher dose Vitamin D. Right now, all they have is 400 IU strength. Considering many companies are now offering 5000 IU pills, offering only 400 IU seems out-of-date.

Value

DNE’s regular prices are competitive. However, they occasionally have sales, which provide even lower prices. They had a “buy one, get one” sale last December on their own brands, and a “50% off” sale just recently that covered every item. These sales make DNE’s prices incredibly low, and more competitive than most other companies online. For example, I recently ordered their Resveratrol product. The cost? With the recent 50% off sale, it ends up being $1.00/g. I was paying roughly $3.33/g from Puritan’s Pride. I also got free shipping! The sales are announced by regular e-mails I get from DNE. I highly suggest signing up.

Shipping

DNE has been a little weak in this area.  Shipping has sometimes been slow. I placed an order on June 17, and it didn’t ship until June 26 (they said they had just switched to “a new mail system,” because it was supposed to ship June 19). Even though the main DNE website lists various components of my order as “in stock,” they aren’t, which means almost half of my order is even further delayed. When I placed an order in December, I waited over a month for the final part of my order to get in-stock and ship. They now seem to send out emails when an order ships (and you can check online if the order is back-ordered or shipped). This is a new feature, and must be a component of their new mail system.

Service

Customer service has been excellent. I have called a few times, but I usually just chat online. The customer service representatives have been very nice, warm, and friendly. Mary and Joan do a great job!

Overall

DNE Vitamins is a great source of supplements, with very low prices, especially when they run their best sales. The quality seems good, but sometimes the number of back-ordered items can be frustrating.

A Review of Some Supplement Companies

While I do not believe that supplements make up for an unhealthy lifestyle, and that they should be used strategically and smartly, I do believe that they have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. Shopping for supplements can be confusing, and in some cases, prices are radically inflated from one company to the next. Below is a list of the supplement and vitamin companies I like, and order from. I am a very picky shopper, especially when buying supplements, because some companies sell ordinary ingredients at inflated prices simply because they give their products fancy names. Don’t be deceived. The companies’ prices listed below are reasonable, and they are generally reliable. I hope these reviews are helpful, and help you find cheap, high quality supplements.

Puritan’s Pride – This is by far my favorite company, with excellent prices, and high quality (as demonstrated by independent tests). Their selection is good, although sometimes they are slow to get specialty products. They have a “sale” site, Puritan Sale, with even better prices.

DNE Vitamins – I first learned about DNE in 1994, and I have ordered from them sporadically since then. They recently had a great sale on their own products (Nature’s Harbor). Their products seem to be of good quality, although I haven’t investigated if their products have been independently verified. They ship out pretty quickly, although I am still waiting on a back-ordered product. I am not a huge fan of some of their products (myriad caffeine pills, ephedrine, etc)

Healthy America – For awhile, I ordered supplements from Healthy America, but they stopped having great sales, and don’t have as many product choices as they once did. I have generally been satisfied with their products, although the quality of a few was low. For example, a B-Complex product (they no longer sell it) looked like it had soaked in water even when it was freshly opened. Their website seems to be rarely updated.

Vitamin Shoppe – I discovered Vitamin Shoppe probably about 4 years ago, and I like their prices on certain items, although they are kind of high on some things (like Omega-3). Since they have an online store, and have stores in many areas, ordering is convenient. They are also a partner with Citi Card, so I get a rebate when ordering using my Citi credit card (to get this you have to go through the Citi reward website).

Wonder Labs – I just discovered Wonder Labs a few weeks ago. I placed an order recently for some Christmas presents for my dad. I mainly discovered them because I was looking for a generic version of Wobenzym. Doctor’s Trust used to have a good generic version of Wobenzym called Movenzyme, but now that Puritan’s Pride owns Doctor’s Trust, they no longer have the product. Wonder Labs has a (kind of) equivalent product, called Proteolytic Digestive Enzymes, which is actually stronger per tablet than Wobenzym, although I don’t know if it is enteric coated like Wobenzym.

Vita Cost – I have known about this site for awhile, but just re-discovered them recently when looking for some brand name supplements for my dad. They have some great deals on brand names, but the best deals are their own brand, NSI (Nutraceutical Sciences Institute), which actually sounds pretty pricey. Their Co-Enzyme Q10 prices are great, and so are some others. They ship out the same day if you order early in the day!

Vita Glo – Of all the brand name supplement companies, I like NOW Foods the best, because they are quality supplements with reasonable prices. The best place I have found to get them is Vita Glo.