Vitamine Shoppe vs GNC vs Piping Rock: Vitamin Stores Compared
Here’s a comparison between a few different vitamin shop options such you can find the one that suits what you value.
Vitamin Shoppe has a number of awards including the #1 Top Rated Vitamin Store rating from Consumerlab.com in 2015, and the circle of Excellence from Bizrate. The site is easy to navigate with “call,” “chat,” and geographic “stores” icons right at the top right for quick access to what you want. There’s a big orange “Reorder products” button to so that you can come back again and again and order what you want with one click.
- Free Shipping for Orders Over $25-This has to be within the United States, not counting the territories. This also has to be at $25 after you apply all coupons and promotions.
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee-You can return products to Vitamin Shoppe for any reason as long as you do it within 30 days. The product has to be unopened, and you’ll get a refund based on your form of payment unless you paid through PayPal, in which case you’ll get store credit.
- A+ BBB Rating-Vitamin Shoppe gets the highest rating possible from the Better Business Bureau so you can be sure that they deal with complaints effectively.
- “Values” Dropdown for Bargain Hunters-The big orange box marked “Values” in the top right of the screen lets you look for deals, many of them web-only. In particular you can find vitamins for under $10.
GNC is a vitamin store focusing on deals and low prices. You can even get a 15% coupon right away by filling out your name and email. This option is available from the red letter icon in the top left of the main site.
- Norton Shopping Guarantee-Click on the orange “Norton” icon to verify that GNC is secure on the day you shop if this is a concern of yours. The seal from Norton offers $10,000 in ID Theft protection and purchase guarantee of up to $1000 for mistakes or fraud.
- Lowest Price Guarantee Up to $100 Difference-The seal from Norton also means that if the price on the store drops then you get the difference up to $1000.
- Free 2-Day Shipping Trial-If you spend more than $90 on eligible items, you can get free 2-day shipping for 1 year. This also gives you free returns and return tracking.
- Member Price Program-The GNC Gold Card membership program costs $15, but it gives you more coupons and automatic savings on just about everything. Most vitamins in the store will cost a few dollars less with membership. So if you buy high volume per year for vitamins, this could be worth it.
- Bill Me Later for 6 Months-If you’re making a particularly large purchase of anything related to vitamins, such as stocking up for a year, you can use the BillMeLater option for paying the amount over 6 months without accruing any interest.
- Physical Locations-There are a number of GNC locations across the country, meaning that it’s likely there will be one near you no matter where you are if you prefer to order and pick up in person.
Piping Rock is definitely a bargain hunter’s paradise since they have deals that are much lower priced than on other sites pretty much constantly. There’s also plenty of variety despite the low costs including Antioxidant products, Co Q 10, all letter vitamins, Probiotics, and everything in between.
- 4.8 Stars with Google Trusted Store-This gives you $1000 of protection and help from Google with dealing with Piping Rock when it comes to any disputes. Piping Rock gets 4.8 stars from over 10,000 reviews through the Google Trusted Stores site.
- Timed “Crazy Deals”- If you see the red circle with “Crazy Deal” written in it, this often means that you get a deal that’s half price or less for a few days t a month at a time.
- Norton and McAfee Seals-If you’re particular about how a site is protected from fraud, Piping Rock has seals you can click on and check for up to date status from both McAfee and Norton. This includes encrypted SSL seals, identity verification, malware scans, and vulnerability assessments.
Head to Head
For an example of the pricing on Vitamin Shoppe, there’s the C-1000 Complex 1000 MG with 100 capsules that goes for just under $100. This is a vitamin C supplement.
Buying 100 capsules at 1000 MG of Vitamin C from GNC costs $9, making it cheaper than at Vitamin Shoppe. If you become a member with a GNC gold card, this drops by a few more dollars. The Gold Membership costs $15.
You can get 100 capsules of 1000 mg of Vitamin C for $4.59 at Piping Rock. This also includes bioflavonoids and rose hips.
Overall, it Piping Rock appears to have the lowest prices on vitamins like the Vitamin C 100 capsule bottle by a far stretch. It costs half as much as what GNC has for pricing.
Hang out on Vitamin Shoppe long enough and a chat screen will just pop up automatically. Click the orange “chat now” button and you can get live chat service right away. You can also get this whenever you want by clicking on the speaker bubble icon with the three dots right at the top of the page. The site offers every Vitamin in the alphabet, and many supplements as well such as Omega Fatty Acids, Antioxidants and others.
GNC also has a pop-up chat window for live chat whenever you want it. You can go there on your own if you click on the “Chat” button right at the very top of the main site.
Piping Rock seems a bit less invasive than the other sites since you don’t get any automatic live chat pop up. You can click on the “Live Chat” option in the top middle to get a simple form for sending a message, however. There’s also a 1-800 number listed at the top:1-800-544-1925.
Overall, Vitamin Shoppe has the high BBB rating and awards which means this customer support is probably the best, however. GNC is likely the best if you prefer to have in-person options since they have quite a few physical locations available.