My Online Shopping Experience (Part 2): iHerb

Here I go again with another shopping entry. If you remember, I just wrote about my online shopping experience last week and I’m back with another online shop that I’m pretty obsessed about this week. I promise that The Pink Tarha is not sponsored by this online shop. Haha! (It would be neat for you to use my coupon code though if you purchase but you’ll be benefited by it too. Hahaha! More on this later.) I just like sharing my online shopping experiences especially here in Saudi Arabia where stuff and brands are limited and sometimes, hard to procure.

Are you one the Riyadhizens who’s looking for something specific in Saudi Arabia but can’t seem to find it? Are you one of the Riyadhizens messaging The Pink Tarha on where to look for a certain beauty, skincare, grocery stuff? Are you one of the Riyadhizens who found said stuff online but is worried about shipping fees? Are you one of the Riyadhizens who is always looking for a good discount? Are you one of the Riyadhizens who get so hyped up (eyes growing big, mouths hanging open) upon seeing promos? Well, you are my soulmate. My shopping soulmate! And here’s one website that you might like: iHERB.

Welcome to iHerb!
Welcome to iHerb!

iHerb is an online shop that ‘opened’ in 1996. It offers the largest selections of nutritional supplements, healthy products, skincare and beauty items which are mostly organic and eco-friendly. At first, they were promoting the benefits of the St. John’s Wort, a popular herb. That’s where they got the name iHerb. A lot of people love this online store for its quality, price, reliability, and convenience. And I like it too because it carries some of my fave brands: Real Techniques, Eco Tools, e.l.f., and Avalon Organics.

I first discovered iHerb in 2013. I ran out of my Calcium tablets and I was looking for it in pharmacies here in Riyadh. I have a specific kind of Calcium that I take and I was tired of explaining what I was looking for to the pharmacists here in Riyadh so I turned to Google! iHerb was the first result and so that’s it… my first purchase was a huge bottle of Calcium! How exciting! Hahaha! Anyway, during that time they don’t have the Airmail Premium option for delivery yet so I went for DHL. I needed my purchase asap anyway. It arrived after 3 days. Amazeballs.

When I came back from my vacation last July, I chanced upon iHerb again because I am currently obsessing on facial masks. One of the most effective masks that I read about is the Indian Healing Clay of Aztec Secret and it’s available in iHerb. (It’s usually sold out!) So I carted the item. Then, being a true shopaholic that I am (OMG, finally a confession haha!), I looked at all the other brands and products available and I saw all these e.l.f. products at $0.78 only. Whoah that’s just SR 3 a piece! Noooo way! Who am I to pass up this chance? I’d like to see it this way: the opportunity to buy affordable fave beauty products already presented itself. I grabbed it. It was there for the taking! Hahaha!

The Bath and Beauty pages are my faves.
The Bath and Beauty pages are my faves.

After more than two hours of going through some (just some because they have a LOT) products, I realized I already have nine products in my cart and I was already itching to cart out. They have an Airmail Premium shipping option now to Saudi Arabia which just starts from $4! It increases when the items in the cart increases because of the weight but not too much. In the end, I bought five e.l.f. products at $0.78 each (I should have hoarded more), one Eco Tools Buffing Brush ($6.99, one can never have too many brushes), one Reviva Labs Eye Firming Cream ($8.45, the most expensive in my cart… because I’m just preventing wrinkles #signsofaging), a pack of United Exchange Collagen Essence Facial Mask ($0.78, which I picked up at the Trials page), and finally, one Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($5.99, I still ended up with my original purchase, the item that started this all). I paid $10.20 for shipping. In total, I got nine items and shipping for $36.06. That’s SR 135.26! I’m amazed!

I ordered July 29 and the approximate date of arrival noted in the website is July 31. I know that’s kind of too good to be true but a shopper can dream right? So I really thought I’m getting it on the first week of August at the most. I waited, and waited, and waited. The tracking system of the Airmail Premium (which was Fedex) wasn’t being updated so I was getting worried. I think I messaged iHerb 3 times haha! Their customer service though is good and pretty helpful. It finally arrived August 23. Whew, that’s almost a month but I’m not complaining because the moment I opened my box… ahhhh instant happiness! Haha!

My package has arrived! Keep calm, my heart.
My package has arrived! Keep calm, my heart.
Well packed with bubble wraps to prevent them from being juggled too much.
Well packed with bubble wraps to prevent them from being juggled too much.
My iHerb haul has landed!
My iHerb haul has landed!
What I got from iHerb
What I got from iHerb

You bet you can read my reviews of these products in our Beauty Bet. So far the only thing I haven’t tried in my box is the Healing Clay. Haha, but I will soon. Anyway, I realized that most of the stuff I bought are skincare and beauty products. I haven’t even seen the Grocery tab in iHerb. I joined this Facebook Group of people obsessed with iHerb to find out what others are buying and what works for them. Most of them enumerated items in the Grocery section and I was like, “There are food items there?!” Haha! Coconut oil? Kale chips? Raw honey? Apple cider vinegar? Organic maple syrup? Raw chia seeds? Red rice? Organic quinoa? Raw shea butter? I swear even items that you didn’t existed are there! So if there’s an organic supplement, herb, bath and beauty, grocery, and even baby products you can’t find in Riyadh, you can probably find it in iHerb.

Food items! Yey!
Food items! Yey!

iHerb is also big on promotions. There are special offers every day. I was disappointed to miss their 20% off promo on Real Techniques last July but here’s some good news! They’re having 20% off on all Bath and Beauty items this week (until September 16)! Uhmn yes, my cart is filling up fast again. But I swear I always think things over and go through my carted items. I add and subtract and add and mostly subtract until I come up with products that I think I need (okay, inserting some simply wants from time to time).

If you’re purchasing anything, you can use my coupon code ZBW692 to get 10% off your orders. When you sign up, you’ll eventually get a coupon code of your own and you’ll earn rewards when others use it. If it’s your first time to order, you can check out the Free Items here. Special deals, clearance items and limited time offers can be checked out here.

Overall, I’m giving iHerb a rating of 4.5 stars. I love it! It has the best overall value, it carries a lot of leading brands, huge selections of products, carries brands for the whole family, expiration dates of products are available, easy to navigate website, varied shipping options (depends on how fast you need the item), rewards program, and a greener, healthier way to shop! What’s not to love? My wallet may be having second thoughts though haha but I’m sure it understands. 😉

iHerb.com

W: http://www.iherb.com?rcode=ZBW692

FB: https://www.facebook.com/iHerb

Twitter: @iherb

IG: @iherbinc

19 comments

  • hi! just want to know how much the shipping costs? 😁

    • Depends on the weight of your order and the kind of shipping you’re going to choose. For example, on my haul above, I paid around $10 for shipping via Airmail Premium of FedEx which took around 3 weeks to arrive. There’s a DHL option which is more expensive.

  • HIIII!! I am new to your website.

    I wanted to find out if you faced any problems at customs to get your supplements because I read on the food and drug authority website that individuals cannot import/purchase online any kind of vitamins or supplements without the approval of the food and drug authority. I was really bummed about it because I want to purchase cosmetic grade L-Ascorbic Acid powder which is basically vitamin c and a few other items from the US. Could you please offer some kind of advice? Do you know if I could visit the Food and Drud Authority office (subject to the availability of a ladies section) and ask someone there? Thanks Janelle

    • Hi Immi, when I ordered my Calcium supplements in 2013, I received it with no hassle. I’m not sure if they changed their policies now because I haven’t ordered any vitamins or supplements via online websites recently. I also don’t know if you can visit the FDA office. Maybe you can try to call them first at 00966112038222. Hope they can help you out. 🙂

      • Hi Janelle,

        Thank you so much for your message. I really appreciate it. I am still a little bit unsure if I should order because there are a few of my friends ordering together to save on delivery chargers so my order is like 600 riyals. Which is clearly above the USD 100 allowed for individuals.

        I am not sure if I will be charged customs fee at the port. Do you have any idea? Or do you know how I can find out? I called up DHL and Aramex customer services, and they are no good. They didn’t give me any kind of helpful information. Have you ever purchased something online and had it imported that was of this value, if not from Iherb? Thank you for your help

        Immi

  • Hey could you tell me where you picked your stuff from when it arrived here? I read somewhere you never receive it on the address you gave, you have to go to the customs office. Also, did you pay import duties and taxes? And lastly, did you have to get approval from SFDA before importing your calcium supplements?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hello, since I usually address my packages to our workplace, they get delivered to our company’s Mail Room and they deliver it to me or I go to our workplace’s mail room to pick it up. It will probably be better if you get your own P.O. Box if you’re into online shopping so they don’t get lost in the process. I don’t pay any import duties and tax. And no, I didn’t get any approval from the SFDA for my calcium supplements before.

      • Thanks for your reply Janelle. Just a few more questions – what courier service did you choose and how long did it take?

        • During my first transaction, I chose DHL and it arrived after 5 days. But nowadays, I choose their Airmail Premium (they use Fedex Mail) and my packages arrived 20 days after.

  • Did they give you a call on your mobile before the order delivery? or just dropped it at the mailbox without calling

  • Hey how much was the DHL brokerage/handling fee?

    • It depends on how much the weight of your orders will be. The standard rate is published in their order form. It will go higher if you put more products in your cart.

      • Well, I never found the brokerage charges on their website. I get it the weight determines it but I need a ballpark figure. The last thing I want is to pay a handsome amount for it. You could just tell me how much you paid. That’ll do. Thanks.

      • Btw, I am not talking about the shipping charge. Brokerage charge is when they clear your shipment through the customs and we have to pay that when the shipment is delivered.

        • I didn’t pay anything to get the package. It was delivered to me as is. No other fees.

        • Hi ABC,

          I am also looking to purchase from Iherb and although my order doesn’t contain any supplements, the value is 600 riyals (there are a few people ordering at once). I want to find out about the clearance fee or duty as well. Were you able to get more information for it? Thank you

          Immi

  • i’m just wondering if you paid extra fees for duties or taxes when the shipment arrived KSA.

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