If you and I have ever met, you would know that I consider myself to be a smart consumer. When I want to buy a pair of headphones I’ll spend HOURS (sometimes weeks and even months) learning more than anyone should probably know about the subject, while always maintaining a bubble of scientific skepticism to ward off attempts to fill my mind with all kinds of marketing garbage that 9 times out of 10 does little more than distort the honest truth. Fortunately (or unfortunately), my wife tends to be no different. Our idea of an exciting evening is to spend an hour or so discrediting the anthropocentric view of “why vitamins are good for us” over a non-alcoholic beverage. Don’t say it, I know you find it electrifying.

The other day I was in a department store that shall not be named and saw vitamin D on sale for $9.99! WOW! $9.99! On Sale! That’s almost not worth thinking about! Just get out your wallet and pay the nice person at cash! Don’t think! Just pay!

Indeed $9.99 is a low barrier of entry to most consumers. “What the heck, what can I lose for $9.99” is what most companies are expecting you to say to yourself. What you don’t realize is that in this case you’re being taken for a ride and paying way more than you should, but for that price what are the chances that you’ll analyze it and break it down? Highly unlikely in fact….that’s where we come in. 

Let’s do a quick analysis of this so called “cheap” vitamin D shall we.

Product “X” as we’ll call it in this case had 100 capsules at 1000IU of Vitamin D each. That’s a total of 100,000IU per bottle, or approximately $1.00 per 10,000IU. Not only was product “x” on sale to create the instant illusionary assumption of value, but it was also a budget brand with a cheap label, clearly designed to exude its “budget” aroma.

Now let’s take our professional branded vitamin D softgels at their normal non-sale price. Let’s gloss over quality differences for now and just stick to the numbers for simplicity. Our product “Y” at $8.69 has 180 capsules at 1000IU of vitamin D each….so far so good. That’s a total of 180,000IU per bottle or 48 cents per 10,000IU. That’s HALF the price of the cheapo on sale stuff and it’s a professional brand known for its attention to quality control and manufacturing with more effective non-medicinal ingredients and delivery methods.

Allow me to take this one step further. We have Vitamin D drops from yet another professional brand called product “Y”. The bottle costs $16.99 and contains ~1200 drops at 1000IU each. That’s 1,200,000IU of vitamin D which works out to nearly 1.4 cents per 1000IU. That’s right, 14 cents per 10,000IU. We’re talking about product that is nearly 7x less expensive than your budget "on-sale" department store brand.

Supplements are complex products that have the luxury of hiding behind a veil of technical complexity and mathematical jargon and rarely is there a linear relationship between price and quality or benefit. Value is simply a way of maximizing the benefits of a product per dollar spent, and in this regard you may be shocked to find out how much you’re overpaying. I’ve learned my lesson years ago when I got rooked with a fancy tube amplifier for my fancy headphones. Thankfully, my mistakes have made me a smarter consumer, and that same line of thinking is applied to everything we carry at Full Circle.