Thanks for stopping by to check out my review of Vitamart, also known as Vitamart.ca.
Vitamart bills itself as Canada’s Health Store. It has a huge selection of vitamins and supplements for people and animals, plus natural skin care, cleaning products, food and snacks.
I did a mini review of Vitamart on my post Best Places to buy Cheap Groceries.
This will be a long review of Vitamart based on my experiences over the past 7 or 8 years, and I have not received any compensation for writing this. From time to time I provide reviews on products and companies I have dealt with to help my readers decide if this is something that interests them.
Not an affiliate
Disclosure: I am not an affiliate of Vitamart.ca. If you go to their website and make a purchase, I do not receive a referral fee or any other type of compensation.
A few years ago Vitamart had a link on their web page that they’re planning to offer an affiliate program and to click the link to be added to their list when such a program is offered.
Horse and dog supplements
I discovered Vitamart around 2015 when I was searching online comparing prices for Purica Recovery for dogs and they had the best price around, about $10 cheaper than other retailers, and free shipping for orders over $49.
So I gave Vitamart a chance to see how it goes.
It went well. My order was delivered by Canada Post within a few days. The whole process took less than a week.
Supplements for me
When I received my first order from Vitamart, they very cleverly included a pamphlet of women’s products by Lorna Vanderhaege. I wasn’t familiar with this product line, but I ended up trying a few products over the next few years. Mostly I used AdrenaSmart. I talk more about this supplement in my post Do You Have Trouble Falling Asleep and Staying Asleep?
My doctor recommended I take B-50 supplements, and after trying a few brands with hard to swallow capsules, I found Vitamart sold a product manufactured by a company called Now. The gel capsules are easier to swallow. I like to buy the bottle with 250 capsules because it lasts for a long time – one a day = nine months.
Unfortunately, more often than not Vitamart is out of stock in this size and I have to purchase it from Amazon instead. Sucks because it costs more money on Amazon, but at least the convenience of being in stock and free Prime shipping outweighs the inconvenience of waiting until Vitmart has it in stock again.
$38.99 at Amazon versus $29.97 at Vitamart. (Prices as of December, 2022.)
There are good savings to be had at Vitamart, so definitely check out their website to see if you can save money shopping there.
When I first started buying from Vitamart the shipping was free in Canada with a minimum $49 order. If I was buying Recovery for my dogs or MSM for my horses, I easily met the minimum requirements.
Today Vitmart has increased the minimum amount to $79 for free shipping in Canada. If under that amount, the shipping cost is $9.95.
Going back to the above example using Now B-50 supplements, if that is all I’m buying, I’m better off buying them at Amazon. Same price either way including shipping.
If you’re in the states, you have to buy $199 worth of products to get free shipping with Vitamart. Below that threshold, add another $19.95 for the cost of shipping. When I wrote the mini review of Vitamart on the post Best Places to Buy Cheap Groceries, the minimum order to the states was $149.
OK, let’s get to the nitty gritty. What’s the customer service like at Vitamart?
I go on Vitamart’s website, buy my products, go through the checkout, and receive my stuff a few days later. Pretty much hassle-free.
I’ve had a couple of conversations with customer service reps at Vitamart over the years, generally looking to see when Now B-50 might be coming back into stock (unknown) and one shipping screw up.
Whenever I receive an order from Vitamart, I get a handwritten note on my packing list thanking me for my awesome order. That’s a very nice touch.
When I first started buying from Vitamart, they used to offer free sample packs based on the total amount of the order. At check out, I’d be offered two or three sample packs. Unfortunately, I’d also get a pop up message saying if I spend another $25 or whatever, I’d be eligible for another free sample.
The kicker was I rarely added any free samples to my order. They were usually protein powder drink samples to mix with water. Not my thing. Then I’d get another message: “Are you really sure you want to check out? You haven’t chosen your free samples.”
The sample pack freebies are no longer available at check out.
Hours of operation
Vitamart used to show the hours of operation on their website, but they no longer do that. Or at least nowhere I can easily find. Seems like a poor business practice. Businesses should clearly post their hours on their website to as a courtesy to customers who want to contact a live person.
Back in the olden days when Vitamart posted their hours on the website, I believe they were closed on weekends. I don’t recall what their hours were beyond that.
Vitamart has a toll free number on their web page 1-877-500-2001. I phoned when I got home from work and got a recording saying they’re closed. Their recording doesn’t say when they might be open. Ha ha. Whatever Vitamart’s hours are, they suck if you live on the West Coast.
Vitamart’s Contact page provides no clues on their hours of operation. What they do have is a form to fill out. Yeah, everybody loves filling out those dreaded forms. Why not just a “send us an email” tab to click.
Keep reading to see why I’m forced to fill out their lousy contact form and how it goes for me.
I’d like to write a little more about Lorna Vanderhaege and the Smart product line. By the way if you shop at Lorna’s Smart Solutions website, you get free shipping in Canada with a minimum $30 order. Prices are about the same as Vitamart’s.
I really enjoyed the live webinars Vitamart sponsered and learning more about the Smart products.
There used to be a lot of good deals and freebies when ordering Lorna Vanderhaege’s Smart products. I don’t know whether that was Vitamart’s doing to get rid of extra stock or promotions Lorna was offering through Vitamart.
For example, order a Smart product, get a free book written by Lorna Vanderhaege. I believe I received a few copies of A Smart Women’s Guide to Weight Loss and a Smart Women’s Guide to Hormones. Sure, she’s plugging her own products but those books provide good general information on women’s health.
For awhile Vitamart had a promotion when buying Lorna Vanderhaege’s AdrenaSmart, to get a free bottle of Smile 5HTP. This was not a product I was looking to buy. Eventually I gave them a try, seeing as how I had a couple of free bottles sitting on the shelf. I ended up calling them my happy pills.
Vitamart leaves Edmonton
Earlier this year I received an email from Vitamart that they were closing their Edmonton store (warehouse?) to expand their Ontario facility.
Here in British Columbia, that news didn’t affect my life at all, other than it still says Vitamart Edmonton on my credit card statement.
I really didn’t pay much attention to the email, so my details are vague. Mostly it said this won’t affect the website and placing orders.
Please come back!
I haven’t placed an order at Vitamart in quite some time. Since before the email with the closing the Edmonton facility news.
On September 25, 2022, I received an email from Vitamart saying they miss me and I can get a 10% discount off my next order:
I was intrigued enough to check Vitamart’s website for the MSM I buy for my horse.
Out of stock.
Vitamart has an option to get an email notification when a product is back in stock. I’ve used that a few times over the years including that visit.
My latest order
I’m almost out of my horse’s MSM, so nearly two months later, I take advantage of the 10% coupon and order it plus a night cream I’m almost out of.
After I placed my order, I received an email from Vitamart that they’re happy I’m back. This time they call me by my name instead of “friend”.
Cheryl, we are so happy to have you with us again!
The next email from Vitamart came the next day when they said my order has shipped and I’ll receive it on November 16, 2022. Whenever Vitamart processes my order for shipping, they send an email with the Canada Post link so I can track it.
Tracking Number: 11.14.2022(Tracking sent via SMS/Text)
The link looks a little weird. I click it and it takes me to Canada Post’s website for tracking packages. But I don’t get results. All I get is a spinning blue circle, and eventually an error message.
Give it a try if you like. Click the link and then walk away and go do something else for 5 minutes. When you come back, you will see what I see.
Where’s my stuff?
The same day Vitamart emails me with the bogus Canada Post link to track my order, I also get a text. This is new. Vitamart has never texted me before. The text asks me to confirm my address. The address is correct. I click the link to confirm. For privacy, I’ve erased my address from the texts.
The following day (Tuesday) I receive a text telling me the order is shipped and on its way. What the hell? Vitamart already emailed me the day before that my order is shipped. Was that a lie?
Overall, I felt the text was a nice touch, but probably better suited for younger customers who are always on their phones. A waste of time for me because I’m not a phone person. I prefer to pull up the Canada Post website on my computer and track my package if needed. This time I can’t do it because Vitamart gave me a bogus link. Normally I don’t bother tracking my packages. Vitamart ships promptly and I always receive my purchase two or three days later.
The first text was a waste of time to confirm my address. Especially since Vitamart’s email from the previous day said my products had already shipped. Same address they’ve been shipping to for years.
The next day, Wednesday, I receive another text with the same old story. Order is scheduled for delivery and click to confirm my address.
What? Again? Have my products shipped or are they still sitting in the warehouse? What kind of morons am I dealing with here?
The morons in question are a company in Ontario called Flashbox for tracking orders. An extremely unfortunate business decision made by Vitamart to hire these dumb asses.
So far they’re doing a piss poor job. The last time I clicked the link they have no idea where my package is!
Here’s the history of my wayward package. Even though those liars at Flashbox claim they’ll “update me soon”, they’ve made no attempt to do so. Clearly they know my cell phone number because they send me texts. Do any of their employees actually know how to dial a phone and have a conversation with a real person who answers?
What has changed?
I’ve been ordering products from Vitamart since 2015. To the same address. No changes to where Vitamart is sending my stuff.
Canada Post has been around my entire life. They have their problems. Mostly storing my packages in their facility until they’re good and ready to deliver them!
I used to order easily over $1,000 in products from Vitamart annually, probably spending closer to $1,500. As my animals passed away and as my supplement needs have changed, or I’ve changed where I purchase from, my annual order is probably $300 the past two or three years.
Chump change. Not a customer of any significance or value.
Vitamart’s customer service has changed. And not for the better. I mean really. Why send an email informing my package has shipped and then a text the next day that my package shipped. Which day did it really ship? If it shipped at all!
Unfortunately there is the addition of this useless piece of shit company called Flashbox. This is the only change that I notice is screwing up my Vitamart purchase.
Why have they stopped updating me?
Because they don’t care.
I could have a million guesses about what has happened to my package. Maybe the truck carrying my package from Vitamart crashed while crossing the Alex Fraser Bridge and plunged into the Fraser River. But somehow I think that breaking news story would have been all over the local TV!
Censorship at Vitamart?
After purchasing products from Vitamart I receive emails to review the items. One of my earliest purchases from Vitamart was a weight loss product called Waist Away. The only thing wasted here was my money! I reviewed it and said it didn’t work. Don’t “waist” your money on this one. Ha ha ha!
Vitamart did not publish my review.
It was an honest, clean (no cursing) product review. I wanted to let others know I had no results. I got into it with customer service and eventually a heated email exchange with the owner, Mark Holowaychuk.
Of course he denied censorship of poor reviews and said they post all reviews, good or bad, so customers can read them and make an informed decision of whether this product is suitable for them.
I also wrote a nice review of Recovery for dogs.
As I was getting this post ready to publish, I logged into my Vitamart account and pulled up the page for my product reviews. See below and judge for yourself whether or not censorship is alive and well at Vitamart.
Even though Vitmart continues to send emails requesting product reviews after I make purchases, I don’t “waist” – ha ha! – my time.
Another review request
On November 27, 2022 I received an email from Vitamart asking me to do a review on the products I’m still waiting to receive.
I realize this is probably some automated email system, but it really bugs me that Vitamart has the nerve to request a review on products they have failed to deliver.
Do you like the part where Vitamart lies and says my feedback will live on their website?
As much as it pisses me off that Vitamart had the nerve to send this email, I had to laugh about my feedback living forever and ever on their website.
Clearly Vitamart lied about the order delivery date. Here’s my order details from the email when they charged my credit card.
On the evening of November 21, 2022, five days after the promised delivery date, I had to purchase the Purica MSM at a local store because my horse was nearly out.
Thank you Vitamart for causing me this inconvenience!
Give me a refund
After waiting two weeks and not receiving my products nor getting the promised update from those liars at Flashbox, I phoned Vitamart to request a refund.
But they were closed. Their hours of operation would be helpful on their answering machine or website.
Forced to fill out the form on the Contact page, I kept it short with my order number and that Vitamart failed to deliver my products so I had to purchase locally. I asked for a refund or if they prefer I put a chargeback in with my credit card company due to products not received.
They sent an auto response email to me and now I actually know what their hours are: Our business hours are Monday-Friday 8am EST- 8pm EST.
Pacific Time that’s 5am to 5pm. Great hours as long as you don’t live in Western Canada and work an office job. Not everyone wants to make personal calls on their employer’s dime during the workday.
On December 1 I received an email from Vitamart apologizing for my missing package and said they’d do a refund. And yes, a refund has been credited to my credit card. Thank you Vitamart for your promptness in doing that.
Vitamart said they’d look into what happened with my delivery. Great. Like I really care now! The only thing I didn’t like was the customer service person at Vitamart was too chicken to sign their real name. No reason not to identify themselves.
Review of Vitamart
If I did a review of Vitamart five or six years ago, it would be different than my review of Vitamart today. In case you haven’t figured out, a review of Vitamart a few years ago would be much better than a current review!
Unfortunately, the cons now outweigh the pros.
1. Good prices
2. Large product selection
3. Sign up for email notification for out of stock items
4, Products are usually quickly shipped
1. High minimum purchase for free shipping
2. Only random positive product reviews are published (skewed feedback from real customers)
3. Sales and special deals aren’t as good as they used to be
4. No more free samples at check out
5. Annoying emails for product reviews that are never posted
6. Hours of operation aren’t shown on their website
7. Have to fill out a form on Vitamart’s website to ask questions or solve problems
8. Affiliated with a piece of shit company called Flashbox for order tracking
I’m not ruling out purchasing from Vitamart in the future, especially if I’m aware of a sale on one of the Purica products I buy for my pets. However, I’m leery of using them as long as they continue this unfortunate relationship with Flashbox.
Do you shop from Vitamart or have you jumped ship?
Posted by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on December 11, 2022.