Buying Vitamins And Supplements Online? How To Spot Counterfeit Products

The biggest investment, so the saying goes, is in your health. And with a good diet, physical fitness, vitamins, and supplements, one can achieve this. However, one can be drastically impacted by counterfeit products as they contain illegal compounds and dangerous chemicals.

Due to transportation, customs, and overhead costs, many brands are relatively more expensive, making the majority of pricey items vulnerable to copying and black market resale. But how can you tell the difference between real supplements and phony ones when there are so many on the market? We got you covered.

Here are a few simple ways to tell the difference between real supplements and fake ones:

1. Be Mindful Of The Labels

Do your homework first because fake supplements and vitamins usually have strange fonts, incorrect colors, misaligned logos, misspelled words, and even an improper tagline on their package. Additionally, counterfeit supplements list several substances that aren't present in authentic supplements.

To avoid falling for fake product scams while buying vitamins online, do some research on the ingredients used. The supplement is false if it contains extra ingredients or if anything is missing.

2. Scan The Product Barcode

Among the most reliable indicators of legitimacy is the barcode. If you scan a legitimate brand barcode, it’ll take you to its website where you can read about the brand's history, which increases the brand's validity. Luckily, barcode and QR code readers are now supported by mobile phone apps, and it takes only seconds to complete the task.

3. Check Whether The Packaging Is Approved By Regulatory Authorities

It should be noted that before supplements are dispatched for distribution, they go through rigorous testing and several quality checks. Knowing if a product has the seal of approval from bodies in charge of regulating health standards is crucial.

4. Look For The Seal And Package Integrity

The item is most likely fake if you check the seal and discover that it has been tampered with or the seal on the package is irregular and loosely attached. Note that the product is also fake if there’s no seal because seals are sometimes absent from goods produced by counterfeit businesses.

Another physical sign to watch out for is the brand names on the seals because the original seal has a brand name endorsed on it. If the packaging is plain or light, it’s a fake supplement.

5. Verify Lot Number

Several vitamin and supplement brands offer online services for validating lot numbers while in others, you may call their customer service center and present your lot number to have the legitimacy of your product checked. As counterfeit goods would have the wrong lot numbers, consumers can confirm by checking and verifying the number.

6. Consider MRP Sticker Versus MRP Tag

A fake supplement will typically have an MRP sticker adhered to it, so be on the lookout for that. While an MRP tag with a hologram is present on original supplements, The MRP tag and hologram together make it simple to recognize the product as being original.

7. Identify Brand Hologram

Another method of differentiating a real from a fake product is to study the brand's hologram. Visit the supplier's website to see what the original hologram looks like. Holograms are utilized as authenticating symbols all across the world. The majority of well-known brands have a 3D hologram that is hard to fake so it’s unlikely that a fake supplement would have an authentic hologram symbol as the necessary technology isn't available to every business to create and duplicate the hologram.

8. Run A Simple Water Test

For powdery vitamins and supplements, you can determine whether they’re genuine or counterfeit by combining a spoonful of the substance with water. In contrast to an authentic product, a fake one will leave some powder or residue behind in the glass and have an unpleasant aftertaste and strong smell. False supplements are also difficult to dissolve in water and require a vigorous shake to blend, as opposed to genuine supplements, which mix with ease.

Additionally, genuine supplements have a smooth texture while counterfeit ones have an uneven texture. These straightforward tests are powerful and efficient.

9. Beware Of Side Effects

There’s a probability that the supplement you’re taking is phony if there are negative effects such as increased blood pressure, racing heartbeat, or irregular heartbeat because most of these counterfeit vitamins include active substances. Hair loss and acne on your arms or back are also physical signs that can show that the supplements you’ve ingested are fake.


All in all, health awareness and well-being are growing; however, instead of improving your health, consuming fake supplements only enriches the fraudulent businesses. They not only hurt your health but also have a negative impact on your wallet, so follow the above guidelines to help you distinguish between real supplements and phony ones. Since investing in one's health comes first, when shopping online, always purchase supplements from reputable brands and authorized dealers.