- 1 What is iHerb?
- 2 What Shipping Options Are Available?
- 3 Is iHerb Reliable?
- 4 What Kind of Products Can You Get?
- 5 iHerb Coupon for Maximum Discount
- 6 How Do You Get the VIP Discounts?
- 7 More Tips and Tricks for Shopping on iHerb
- 8 What Have I Bought From iHerb?
- 9 Links to Some of My Hauls
What is iHerb?
iHerb is a US-based supplement, health and beauty product, and grocery shopping site that ships to Singapore. They carry a wide range of products at that you can usually also find in Singapore, but are much cheaper than prices in SG. iHerb has been around since 1997 and is a pretty reliable site. I have been shopping with iHerb since 2009/2010 and in this review, I will share everything I know including about iHerb, some of the best products to get (with price comparison to local stores and other shopping sites!), plus tips and tricks for shopping on the site. I’ll also link to all my hauls at the bottom of this page.
What Shipping Options Are Available?
iHerb has three modes of shipping to Singapore — SingPost, DHL or UPS.
By SingPost – 1 Week Shipping @ US$4: Most of the time, you’ll want to use SingPost because it’s the cheapest option. They are good for orders that are below 6.35kg costing less than $200. Shipping with SingPost usually takes about 1 week to arrive after I place my order. Below is an order shipped with SingPost:
- What happens if you miss a SingPost delivery? This recently happened to me so I thought I’d share my experience. If SingPost is unable to deliver your iHerb parcel, the parcel gets sent back to your nearest post office and the postman will leave a note or card with instructions to collect the parcel. Typically, you’ll be able to collect the parcel at the SingPost branch stated in the note/card on the next working day and you’ll need to bring along some form of identification. Below is an example of what the tracking looks like if you missed a delivery.
By DHL – 3 to 5 Days Shipping @US$8+: For items that exceed the iHerb-SingPost’s shipping limit, or if you want to get your stuff faster, use DHL. Parcels shipped with DHL usually arrive in 5 days or less after I place my order. However, it is a lot more expensive than SingPost. Prices start at 8USD and go up 1USD per 1lb (around 450 grams). There is no price limit but if you hit 400SGD, you’ll have to pay 7% GST. DHL can ship a maximum of 150lbs (68kg!) of stuff.
By UPS – Nah, you can just skip this: UPS is more expensive than both SingPost and DHL and takes a longer time compared to DHL so I have no idea why they even have this option available. Nobody is going to use it =X
Is iHerb Reliable?
Yes, they are pretty good. I actually went and counted all the orders I’ve made up till today: From 2009 – 2015, I’ve made 38 orders costing $3800++ in total (If you’re wondering how the heck I spend so much on one site, it’s because I used to buy and resell stuff from iHerb). Of these, I’ve only had to ask for partial refunds for a few parcels with total refunds at less than $50. Every time I wrote in for a refund, I was fully-compensated for the price of the damaged item. Customer service was always polite and helpful.
“Wah, items will leak one ah?” I think if you shop online and have items shipped to you, there’s bound to be damage now and then. But if you count the total value of my order (over $3800) vs. the amount that was damaged (less than $50), nearly 99% of my orders were fine and even the 1%+ that were not were refunded quickly.
In case you need to get a refund, here’s a step-by-step guide.
What Kind of Products Can You Get?
I’m all for cheap stuff from China but food, beauty products and baby stuff are three categories that I won’t be getting from TaoBao. Fortunately, iHerb sells lots of these at very reasonable prices. Some of them include:
- USA cosmetics and skin care brands such as Physician’s Formula, Ecco Bella, and Burt’s Bees
- USA hair care brands such as Avalon Organics and Giovanni
- Organic groceries and snacks such as Eden Foods and Now Foods
- Gluten-free food and snacks such as Organ, Lundberg, and Bob’s Red Mill (some products)
- Baby food and bath products such as Happy Baby, Plum Organics, Earth’s Best and Earth Mama Angel Baby
- Vitamins and health supplements such as Now Foods and Healthy Origins
- Whey protein and other bodybuilding products such as Jarrow Formulas, Optimum Nutrition, and Naturade
- Pet supplements, shampoos and treats such as Zuke’s, Ark Naturals, and Pet Naturals
Obviously, with thousands of different brands on iHerb, the above are only a few of the examples I’m familiar with.
Table of iHerb’s Prices vs Local Prices
I’ve bought lots of stuff over the years and noticed they were much cheaper on iHerb. Below is a table of a few products you can find locally, their retail prices and their prices on iHerb. I’ll be compiling a larger list on another page soon!
|Brand||Product||Local Price (SGD)||iHerb Price (SGD)||Your Savings|
|Avalon Organics||Avalon Organics Tea Tree Scalp Treatment Shampoo||$13.90||$10.28||26%|
|Avalon Organics||Biotin B-Complex Therapy Thickening Shampoo||$22.90||$10.76||53%|
|Avalon Organics||Avalon Organics, Hand & Body Lotion, Lemon||$16.90||$11.24||33%|
|Avalon Organics||Avalon Organics, Scalp Normalizing Shampoo, Tea Tree Mint Therapy||$22.90||$10.76||53%|
|Giovanni||Giovanni Natural Mousse||$14.90||$7.97||47%|
|Giovanni||Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner||$14.90||$7.08||52%|
iHerb Coupon for Maximum Discount
Update April 2017: You now get 5% off your first order. To take advantage of this, make sure you use the coupon / code NEV841 and order at least 60USD so you’ll get free SingPost shipping.
The maximum discount you can get for your first order is $5 (all prices mentioned in this section are in USD) with the iHerb discount code NEV841 — the same coupon will get you a $5 discount no matter how little you purchase. Click here to apply your discount automatically (a $5 when you have something in cart) So technically, you can buy a $5 item and use NEV841 to get the thing for free. However, you still have to pay a fixed shipping fee of $4. My recommendation is to buy at least $40 and go for the $10 discount because that’s like 25% off. After your first order, you won’t be able to use any discount code so why waste it! You should see the following in your shopping cart when you have applied the discount correctly.
How Do You Get the VIP Discounts?
iHerb has now changed their VIP discounts to loyalty credits. Every time you place an order, you receive 10% of the value of the order as credits. These credits can be used to offset your next order and will expire in 60 days if unused.
Besides the above first-timer discounts, there are also VIP discounts for customers such as these rates: 5% off if your order is under $60 10% off if your order is between $60 to below $120 12% off if your order is between $120 to below $240 14% off if your order is over $240 During promotional periods, they may also change the discounts to an even better rate or offer these VIP discounts to non-VIP customers. So how do you become a VIP? If you’ve been shopping on the site for some time and have accumulated a minimum spending of $2000, you’ll automatically be upgraded and the discounts will show up in your shopping cart.
More Tips and Tricks for Shopping on iHerb
- Check out their Specials page before you hit the buy button. They have weekly offers on various brands every Wednesday (US time) or Thursday SGT with 20% off for the brands on offer
- If you’re shipping by SingPost and haven’t hit the weight limit, you might want to check out their Trials page to get trial-size (sometimes full-size) items that are super cheap
- Some items have additional discounts when you buy in bulk quantities of
4 or 122 and above. Buy together with friends or stock up on such items to get a better deal
- Download their app so you can check prices on the go. Great for making price comparisons at local supermarkets and other stores
- To prevent getting hit by GST, don’t let your orders go over $400 (including shipping costs). Split orders up if needed
iHerb puts a sticker on the outside of your parcel with the items purchased. Don’t buy anything you don’t want your postman (and others) to see! (lol)Parcels are now labelled with “Health and beauty supplements” instead of specific items.
What Have I Bought From iHerb?
I usually get skin care and beauty products, gluten-free pasta, and snacks on my orders. I’ve also ordered stuff like household cleaners, washing powders, protein bars, and so on. I’ll do a mini showcase soon but if you’d like to take a look at some of the things I bought recently, check out my hauls in the next section 🙂
~ Coming soon ~