I’ve been receiving many inquiries about ordering in iHerb lately and so I wanted you guys to get the info from a Riyadhizen obsessed on ordering from iHerb. ME. Haha! If you haven’t read my iHerb experience entry, please go here first. After my order written in that entry, I have ordered a few more times (told you, obsessed haha). My answers to this frequently asked questions will be based on my own experience okay?
1. How much will I pay for shipping fees?
It depends on what shipping and delivery option you choose. DHL, of course, is way faster. It only takes 4-5 working days for them to deliver the package. I choose DHL nowadays when ordering from iHerb because 1. I’m way too excited to receive my purchases (not to mention my lack of EQ to wait sometimes) and 2. the SR 30 fee I pay whenever I go over SR 150 on my orders (which is usually the case) which I consider cheap already because hello, DHL! They also have the Airmail Premium that has a flat shipping rate of SR 30.30 for orders of USD 80 and above. It will take 10 to 20 business working days to have your package delivered to you. There’s also Airmail which is cheaper at a flat rate of SR 15.15 but it will take your package 30 days or more to reach you and there’s no tracking option. Their UPS option is more expensive than the three I already mentioned so I don’t consider it; also, they don’t deliver to P.O. boxes which is what most of us use here in Saudi Arabia.
2. Are there additional fees to be paid after I have paid my iHerb purchases and shipping fee?
As far as mine went, I didn’t pay anything apart from the price of my product orders and the shipping fee. There are reports and reviews that you can read online telling us that some customers are shocked to find out that they need to pay a fee, maybe customs or taxes, upon delivery of their iHerb orders. I didn’t experience any of that sort here in Riyadh (and I hope I won’t be experiencing that ever). The additional fees might apply to other countries only.
3. How fast will my iHerb order get to me?
It depends on the delivery option that you chose. I used the Airmail Premium twice last year and they used FedEx for it. And in my experience with those two packages, FedEx was unreliable in updating their tracking page. Even looking at their page for my orders last July and September 2015, it’s still not updated. It’s still “in transit to destination country” even if I received them a long time ago! Haha! Anyway, it took them more than 20 days to deliver these to me. One of the them, the July package, was the problematic one. I kept on asking where it is on iHerb’s customer service because it was promised to arrive at an earlier date but I waited a month for it to arrive. The ones I ordered and shipped by DHL, on the other hand, arrived less than a week as promised. I ordered February 26, 2018 and my package was delivered on February 29. Friggin’ 3 DAYS folks! I’m amazed! They also keep their tracking page updated.
This order is just this week. I ordered it last April 17 and it’s here by April 21. FOUR DAYS! Frakkintastic!
4. Does iHerb directly deliver my package to me?
It depends on the shipping option and delivery method you chose. If it’s DHL, they will contact you and know where you are specifically and then give it to you personally. They need you to sign for the package. Sometimes, if it’s Airmail, it passes through the Saudi Post and land on your personal P.O. box if you have it or goes to your Mail Room in your workplace if you used your workplace address.
5. Are products in iHerb original?
Yes, they are! Products from iHerb are genuine. iHerb is a California-based discount distributer of natural products and they take pride in being the largest distributor of over 35000 deeply discounted brand name products all over the world.
6. Can we order medicines and vitamins from iHerb?
One of my very first orders in iHerb was for a bottle of Schiff Super Calcium soft gels and I didn’t have any problems with receiving it. It wasn’t stuck in customs; it wasn’t hard to get it. I think that as long as they’re your regular kind of vitamins, then it’s fine. And that if it’s obvious that it’s for personal use only (and not bought in bulk), they won’t be as strict. If you’re in doubt, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority is just a tweet away. You can inquire with them. You can also check their registered drugs and herbal list and look for a similar kind of medicine in that list with the one you’re thinking of buying. If something like it is there, then it’s probably okay to order it from iHerb.
7. Can we order food stuff from iHerb?
Well, yes! I have ordered a few cocoa mix and chocolates and candies from iHerb and I didn’t have any problems. Of course items with ingredients that are prohibited in Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be ordered. Better be safe than sorry. So no to ingredients of pork, nutmeg (in seeds or any kind), alcohol (as in alcoholic beverages), etc. In general, you can check out this Import Guide for KSA from DHL. They have a list of prohibited and restricted commodities there that you should keep in mind when ordering outside KSA.
8. Is there a weight limit of items that can be ordered from iHerb?
There is a recent email from iHerb about the recent restrictions of DHL orders coming to Saudi Arabia. When I read this, I immediately wrote this entry because I also want readers to be updated. So from now on, customers in Saudi Arabia can only place one order per month, with a maximum weight of 15 kilograms (33 Lbs). I’m not sure if you can order many times more if you’ll be using their Airmail options. So iHerb’s suggestion is to order as many as possible in one go so you don’t suddenly remember items you need after you’ve placed your order for the month and not be able to order them. Also, to consolidate all your orders along with your families and friends. Seriously, how many are you ordering that you need to ask about weight limit?! Haha! Oh yeah, filling those balikbayan boxes huh.
9. Does iHerb go on sale?
Yes, iHerb does sales and they have it often. Either in some of the categories or the whole site. I usually wait for the 20% off sale site-wide. But they also have sales here and then for categories like beauty or for specific brands. They have a Specials page where they announce deals on some of the products or brands. They also have a Clearance page where products are on sale up to 60% off. Awesomesauce. If they don’t have a discount on the items you want, then you can always use the discount code ZBW692 to get 5% off your first order. You want something for free? Then check out their Free Products page for first time customers!
10. What are your favorite stuff in iHerb?
It’s really hard to start in iHerb if you don’t have anything in mind to buy because they have thousands of brands and a gazillion of products! And all of them are organic, cruelty-free, good stuff! You’ll be lost in there if you don’t have somewhere to start. Even now, I still consult vloggers and bloggers on what are their fave products in iHerb because I might be missing something you know? Haha! I started with mostly beauty stuff. Then I tried skincare products. Then I gradually checked their Grocery category and bought a few food items. If you don’t have anything particular in mind to buy in iHerb, then here are my suggestions:
a. e.l.f – The Eye Lips, Face brand is one of my favorite makeup brands. It’s super affordable, even when they’re not on sale. Most of their lip glosses, highlighters, lipsticks, etc. go for USD 1 only. There was a time I ordered them for US 0.78 cents! I mean, c’mon! If you want to try e.l.f, get their Studio Prism Eyeshadow, Baked Blushes, and High-Definition Powder. They shadows and blushes are super buttery and pigmented. I was devastated when I discovered that my order of Studio Prism Eyeshadow was missing in box. Huhu. (Devastated talaga para sa eyeshadow?! Lol.) So far, it’s my first time to experience a missing item in my box. I have another bottle of Now Foods Sweet Almond Oil in my box though that I’m pretty sure I didn’t order but it doesn’t make up for the makeup that’s missing yannow!
b. Real Techniques – The best makeup brushes I’ve ever owned! Affordable and do their job effectively! I know that Real Techniques brushes are available in pharmacies in Riyadh but they’re quite expensive there. What’s a mere 4-5 days of waiting if I can save up to SR 30 to SR 50? For example, their Core Collection, a set of four brushes that creates a perfect canvas of your face, is SR 68 in iHerb (it even goes as low as SR 54 if you chance upon their sales which is quite a regular thing in iHerb). That’s SR 31 lower to the SR 99 prices in Whites or Boots or Limited Edition KSA. Savings right? If you’re thinking of getting RT brushes, go for the Core Collection (I’m in love with their buffing brush), Powder Brush, Blush Brush, and Expert Face Brush.
c. Now Foods – I love the selection of oils of Now Foods. It has a lot of benefits for the skin and the hair. I’ve tried their Sweet Almond Oil (SAR 15, 118 ml) and I like how moisturizing and light it is. It doesn’t feel greasy on the skin and it’s even good for massage. Now Foods have pure coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, apricot oil, shea nut oil, evening primrose oil, rosehip seed oil… and almost all kinds of oil! My order of Avocado Oil is here. They also have essential oils that I haven’t tried but look promising. Now Foods also have their skincare branch which is called Now Solutions and if you’re going to get something from this brand then go for their Hyaluronic Acid Firming Serum which I love. You can check out my review of this product here.
I ordered other stuff like Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Clay (the one that started this iHerb obsession), United Exchange Collagen Facial Sheet Masks, etc. but I have’t used them as much for me to elevate them to “faves” levels. I’ll get back to you on these. As for the food items, I haven’t tried a lot but here are the items I purchased before and a mini review on each one:
d. Yummy Earth Organic Candy Drops – I ordered this because I am a big fan of Tried and Tested and Shu An, the host, included these fruit candy drops as one of her favorite sweets in one episode. So I ordered it (yeah I’m pretty much easy to influence when it comes these things lol). They are truly fruity and juicy. They tasted really sour at first but I eventually liked the flavors. It’s like morphing my favorite fruit juices into a teeny tiny candy. They’re healthy too.
e. Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix – I’m not really into this because it’s a bit bland for me but my husband loves this! He drank five of the six sachets in this pack. He’s so into the marshmallows in his drink. I find them a bit too small. If I want mallows on my chocolate or coffee, I will go and buy the mini white marshmallows from the brand Campfire and put a lot of them on top of my drink. Haha! Anyway, he likes this because it’s warm and sweet. It is a bit comforting and strongly reminds me when I was a kid and waiting for balikbayan relatives to send these kinds of drink packs in their balikbayan boxes.
f. Chocolove – I’m pretty sure I’ve seen these chocolates here in Riyadh but I couldn’t remember if I tried them already. Read some good reviews on them so I picked some of my fave flavors to try. These chocolates also have poems inside so they’re made for the ones you love. I love myself so that pretty much counts right? Haha! I’ll share this to the husband, don’t worry. And I’ll let you know how these taste!
I hope that I solved some of your dilemma in ordering from iHerb. If you have questions, you can drop your comment below or message us in our Facebook page. If you want to use my coupon code so you get 5% off from your first-time order, then please do so. Just enter ZBW692 on the “Apply Rewards Code or Promo Code” tab. I get a rewards fee in my account and you get the discount. Win-win! 😉 Anything for your shopping needs ladies and gents! LOL. Have a great weekend! 🙂