Have you ever ended up being dissatisfied after paying good money for a poor product? Or may be you had to deal with outrageous shipping and handling charges? Or, racked up 100s of dollars in expenditure related to an autoship program?
In this case, you’re in a growing crowd. Millions of people share your pain.
More consumers are shopping for products online than ever in the history. The majority of the products are not seen in person before someone makes a final purchase, which generally leaves them dissatisfied when they receive the product. In case of health supplements, the story is even worse.
There are some things that you can do to make sure you are not only purchasing a quality product, but that you can return it if not completely satisfied. Browsing online consumer reviews will help you to assess if a product is worthy of investing in and if the organization behind the product is consumer-friendly.
Are you aware that, based on the Fraud Watch Network‘s findings, “reports of consumer fraud have increased by over 60 percent since 2008, and online scams doubled from just over 20 percent of all fraud in 2007 to nearly 40 percent in 2011?” Actually, fraudsters rob more than $525 million from hardworking Americans each year. Obviously, ripping-off unsuspecting consumers seems to be a big business.
Criteria of products reviews
We evaluate every product based on its ingredients and specific details. If it’s a health supplement, we find out if the supplement has itself undergone a clinical study or only its ingredients have gone through studies individually. (This sometimes is a huge difference).
We list the Pros and Cons of the products.
We take the aggregate reviews of the product from several places on the internet like the ecommerce websites eg. Amazon.com , Walmart.com, consumerreports.org, online forums, review websites by experts, personal experiences by experts and bloggers etc.
Then we categorize the reviews under :- Expert review or User review.
In the process, we try our best to weed out fake reviews, especially taking into account that certain marketplaces like Amazon are now flooded with fake reviews. Here is a guide on how to spot fake reviews on Amazon.
After weeding out fake reviews, and taking into account the “Aggregate” ratings from different websites, we get our final review approved by experts like medical doctors and Finally we assign an overall rating to the product.
Health supplements might seem like cutting-edge science, but they have already been available for centuries. From the sugar pills of Hahnemann, to the notorious snake oil salesmen of the early 1900’s, we’ve been adding to our diet with exotic-sounding supplements and products which offer to make amazing improvements to our lives.
There are numerous supplements currently on the market. We counted much more than 20 distinct multivitamins alone at the local supermarket the other day, and there have been at least 10 other types of supplement to choose from.
There was krill oil, which is apparently better than fish oil, promising to decrease inflammation, promote heart and brain health, and generally make my life better. There was blackcurrant concentrate, promising “pure and potent bioavailability” which sounds pretty damn cool. There were so many more.
However, the latest studies show that many health products and supplements sold online might not work.
And yet people are wasting billions of dollars every year on health supplements.
It’s important to understand why supplements don’t work. It’s not that none of them have an effect on your health — many of them do. Iron supplements (to illustrate) have been proven to support women who are menstruating feel significantly less tired and work out more. You will find numerous conditions (many of them caused by malnutrition) where a health supplement could make you feel better, or even help you to be healed.
But that isn’t what a supplement is whispering to you when you pick it up off the shelf. Most people don’t browse the aisle for the best pill to give to their HIV-infected 5 year old. Dietary supplements are sold to us all on the basis that they will improve our health, wellbeing, and ultimately our lives.
The issue is when a handful of small studies demonstrate a small benefit for people taking a supplement, the industry begins pumping out the new miracle cure, along with a huge advertising strategy in their frequently poorly-regulated space. Doctors (and pharmaceutical companies) have an interest, and so much bigger studies are done which come back negative.
10 years later, and the evidence is forgotten because we all “know” that those fish oil tablets are good for us.
And we spend billions each year on that false belief.
We’re not telling you to stop taking your supplements.
What we’re saying is one should access the potential of each health supplement through objective reviews.
One of the best ways to get information and unbiased views is to turn to consumer reports or consumer reviews. Over the years you have seen many of these types of consumer reviews in magazines especially when it comes to cameras, computers, electronics or sports equipment. People offer up their opinions, good or bad, on the product that they bought and you can sift through these to find the pros and cons of the items you’re shopping for.
If you can’t find the reviews you need in a magazine or a newspaper there are a number of web sites that can be helpful on the Internet. Websites like Consumerreports.org or e-commerce sites like Amazon allow people to post their reviews or opinions on products for people like you and me to read and to use in evaluating a product we are about to buy.
But, as we said earlier, beware of fake reviews on Amazon.com
And before you take anything, see a doctor. That’s what they’re there for, after all.
Product Features and Comparisons
Shopping for something new can be an exciting adventure. But it also can become a nightmare when you are presented with a lot of products that have a variety of features or options and you’re not sure which would be the best ones for you. For example, elliptical trainers can have a variety of stride lengths, user weights, built-in workout programs, levels of resistance, type and size of display, heart rate monitors or any number of other features. Which ones would be best for you and your situation? How can you find out?
Most of the time you simply visit a local sporting goods store and the sales person goes over the different features and makes his or her recommendation as to what he or she thinks you need. Many of them are professional of course but a number of others are more interested in selling you a high-end product with as many features as possible in order to make the largest amount of money. Whether it really works for you in your own particular situation may not necessarily be true but it does work well for the salespersons pocketbook.
The secret to making a good purchase decision, of course, is to look for reviews that give you both the pros and the cons of a product. And you don’t only want to know the technical details of a product either. You also want to find out about factors like the products reliability, about its ease of use and about the warranty and what happens when you go to the seller or manufacturer when you have a problem.
It doesn’t do you any good to have a product with all the bells and whistles that you need and you can’t get reliable service when it breaks down in the first week. In some cases you may find hundreds of reviews on a particular product and you want to scan through all of those reviews to make sure that the product that rates four out of five stars doesn’t have a major flaw that pops up every so often for a consumer. You want to know what happens when that problem does pop up and how the manufacturer responds to it. If the consumer has to jump through hoops to get a problem rectified do you really want to take the chance with that product?
At SportsResource, we try to provide an aggregate rating of the product generated from several consumer reviews which can help you to make a proper buying decision.
Our reviews and reports can save you a whole lot of time and money if you use them wisely. And once you do make a purchase, be sure to return to the website that helped you out with consumer reviews and add your own personal reviews and viewpoints on the product to help out other consumers to make wise buying decisions.
Senior Medical Reviewer
Dr. Aleksandar Grbovic : Senior Medical Reviewer
David is a NASM certified personal trainer, NASM certified fitness nutrition specialist, fitness workshop leader, and health and fitness writer featured in No Time Wheysted, Workout Labs, Body Vision, and Amino Z. David brings to SportsResource, over 12 years of experience in the fitness industry along with a vast knowledge of exercise science, human bio-mechanics, proper nutrition, and motivational techniques.