Amazon has a digital back door to all the ISO 17025 labs!
They routinely check the original COA without ever talking to you. Did you think that your COA from your lab was confidential? Think again. It’s not. You signed your rights away when you became an Amazon Seller.
Ask your CMO to have their 3rd party lab email you the COA directly and/or establish your own account with an ISO 17025 lab and send your own samples to them.
There are two ways for you to get supplements into the Amazon system:
Amazon does not have a digital back door to your GMP certified manufacturer.
GMP certifications are very tricky, especially from NSF. NSF issues the same certification for warehouse facilities, distributors and manufacturing facilities, so seeing a PDF of an NSF certification is absolutely useless!
We don’t know why NSF does this! Since it’s infinitely simpler to operate an NSF compliant warehouse, a great number of factories now only hold a warehouse certification while claiming manufacturing certification! The only way to check what certification they have is to go to www.NSF.org and look them up as follows. UL certifications are more straightforward, still don’t even dream of accepting their PDFs, instead go to UL and click the “+” sign next to “Retail Certification Program (RCP)”, then you should see your manufacturer listed there!
So the long and short of it is to NEVER TRUST PDFs! Amazon does not and you should not either!!
Talking about trust. Why trust your CMO? You are better off picking your own samples from your CMO and sending them under your own account to the lab! Many CMOs have been proven to send a “known sample” a practice called “SwapLabbing”. Your entire investment is easily compromised if you trust the CMO to collect their own samples. Often you cannot send someone to pick samples so it gets tricky. In that case when you receive your products pick 2 bottles per pallet and send up to 12 bottles to your lab, ask them to blend the entire content and come up with a composite test, then when they test from that composite blend you should receive a representative COA indicating actual average potency.
Of course you should talk to your CMO about overages, absolutely all raw materials should have overages from 5% to 50%. Don’t skimp on overages!
Potency tests are one of the most expensive tests, ranging from $350 to $700 per test. This is why so many contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) simply tell you they performed the test and that it’s included in the price of the product. As a result, Amazon is full of supplement brands that aren’t truthful about the potency of ingredients in their products. Manufacturers are taking advantage of brands in a variety of ways:
Here are the results from a potency test for CoQ10 sold on Amazon. 10 brands were tested in 2020 and 8 brands were tested in 2021-22. The results were astonishing.
No brand met label claims
One brand had less than 1%
Most had 6% or less!
Did you know lead is the single most common contaminant in botanicals?
Supplement brands are routinely getting in trouble for too high of an exposure to lead.
The California Proposition 65 cost brands from $50,000 to $100,000 per demand and some over $1.5 million! What is interesting is that some brands have been fined more than once.
Therefore always have your botanicals tested for the most frequent four contaminants, per FDA recommendations, Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, and Arsenic should be tested.
It would be devastating for your brand to be caught up in this. Not meeting potency can de-platform your brand from Amazon. Higher than allowed levels of lead can land you in a world of trouble with Proposition 65, resulting in massive fines of over $100,000 for a small business. Higher than normal levels of microbes can make people sick. If you suspect your supplement either does not meet potency or has a higher amount of microbes and/or heavy metals than is allowed then contact us!
The potency issue has recently become more and more public, because of research like the one above. We are fast reaching a boiling point where a massive amount of media attention will be directed on this. We predict many brands will be exposed as frauds and all Amazon supplement sellers will be guilty by association. Even good brands!
You can easily increase your value proposition by reformulating your existing formula to be enteric coated and formulated to release over a period of 4 hours in the intestine. Call us for details.
Seriously, with the way things are going, with all the fake supplements now sold on Amazon, customers are appreciating total transparency. Prove to your clients your product is made in a GMP certified factory. Test your supplements with VeriGMP and use their services to 3rd party verify the test results! Their quality icons would look good on your supplements! Go to www.VeriGMP.com to check them out!
How often do people look at the top of your product? They look at the top of the lid and see nothing! Put your message on that unused piece of real estate! We insert round top labels for free! Ask us for details!
Don’t you love it when you finish a cup of coffee and see at the bottom of the cup “well done!”? A secret message can be surprising and delightful. It’s an experience! You can include a special message and or a QR code on an advertising insert inside the lid. This is an effective way to connect to your customers and encourage customer interactions. Have your customer unscrew and hold your offer in your hand every day of the week. Include a call to action, like this:
Attention: We don’t recommend you give free products for reviews, but if you want to do that then don’t make that offer on the outside of your bottle. The best place for such a message is under the cap! It’s still risky and before you do that there are many other ways to increase reviews.