On March 1, 2012 I ordered from LuckyVitamin.com supplements for international shipping: 2 bottles NOW 120 caps 200mg Resveratrol, 6 bottles GOOD 'N NATURAL Ultra Teen Multivits and 1 bottle CHARANTEA Ampalaya. I was charged US$93 for the merchandise and US$73.22 for the shipping through INTERNATIONAL CHECKOUT.
I received my package on March 12, 2012. As I was scrutizing the items, I noticed that the 6 bottles of GOOD 'N NATURAL Ultra Teen Multivitamins are expiring on June 2012. The rest are expiring on 2014.
Yesterday, I emailed both LUCKYVITAMIN.COM and INTERNATIONAL CHECKOUT regarding the merchandise. I got this reply from LUCKYVITAMIN.COM:
"Unfortunately, we can not guarantee any specific expiration date due to an always rotating inventory. While most of our products have an expiration date of 1-3 years away, we can only guarantee that all food items will be at least 1 month away from expiration and other items will be at least 3 months from expiration (these are the minimum guarantees that are offered to us by our suppliers and manufacturers).
If the expiration dates on the products you received do not meet your requirements you may return the product for a refund."
Whereas I replied...
Therefore, you must indicate CLEARLY what you've written in this email on your website as a word of caution to your customers, especially international buyers like me.
You see, I got 6 bottles of RUBBISH. Our family pediatrician said that the ULTRA TEEN vitamins I got must not be consumed beyond 6 weeks from now to keep my kids on the safe side.
This is NOT the first time I ordered supplements from America. The shortest expiry I got is 1 year. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I GOT MERCHANDISE THAT EXPIRES IN SUCH SHORT PERIOD OF LESS THAN 3 MONTHS.
Anyway, I'll be charging this from experience...if that's the case, and for the protection of other international buyers, I'll gonna start blogging this experience in social networks as a word of caution to avoid sneaky websites like LuckyVitamins.
Meanwhile, INTERNATIONAL CHECKOUT had this to say as written in their email response:
"12 March 2012 We have received your RMA request on this order #1571823 for a return of the Good N Natural - Ultra Teen - 120 Tablets for Good N Natural - Ultra Teen - 120 Tablets (later expiration) instead. Your total cost for your ex change will be $48.68 USD priority shipment or $33.61 USD standard shipment; please just let us know which you would prefer. This amount is calculated as a fee of $26.42 USD to cover the cost of the new shipment out to you plus a fee of $7.19 USD to cover the cost of the domestic shipping to and from the store (and $15.07 for priority). Once we receive your return shipment here in our depot, we will charge your credit card. Please return the items with any original boxes, packaging, and with the tags attached. Since we are not responsible for lost shipments, we recommend using a traceable and insured method. Once you have shipped your return, please email us the tracking number. Ship the return to the address listed below so it reaches our depot BY NO LATER THAN 4 April 2012 and make sure to write your RMA number on the outside of your box. Ship to: International Checkout, Exchanges/Returns Dept., RMA #E571823, 7950 Woodley Avenue, Unit C., Van Nuys, CA 91406. PLEASE NOTE: IF THE ITEM IS NOT RETURNED SO THAT IT REACHES OUR DEPOT ON OR BEFORE 4 April 2012, THE STORE WILL NOT ACCEPT THE RETURN. IF THIS OCCURS, WE WILL BE UNABLE TO PROCESS YOUR EXCHANGE OR TO ISSUE A REFUND. TO AVOID THIS, PLEASE SHIP THE ITEM BACK AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. Thank you! TW"
And my reply is....
Thank you for your approval.
Perhaps it is more equitable if I just give you my 2 cents---International buyers are obviously exposed to spending high shipping costs if we end up exchanging supplements that expire within weeks. It's a ripoff that Lucky Vitamins does not indicate the expiration dates of their products. In part, I am also disappointed with your lack of effort to protect your international customers. For this reason, this will be my first and last transaction with you guys and Lucky Vitamin.
I find it ridiculous that I would be spending almost $50 shipping cost to change items worth less than $15.
From this nasty experience, I am calling the attention of the general public, especially international buyers, to be wary of sneaky sites that ripoff their customers by sending old merchandise.
What is appalling in my experience is the fact that LUCKYVITAMIN.COM is sparingly sending HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS with short expiry to helpless international buyers like me whose option is to spend exorbitant shipping cost if we want their items exchanged. This must be their way of ridding themselves of old stock, i.e., shipping them to helpless overseas buyers.
I even suspect that this is a ploy between LUCKY VITAMIN and INTERNATIONAL CHECKOUT so that I'll gonna end up spending extra for shipping. Very nifty....
As a regular buyer of supplements from the internet, I advise buyers to stick to AMAZON and EBAY where they clearly indicate everything about the merchandise they're selling and that includes the expiry date of the supplements they are selling.