Kool-aid

Sorry for the lack of posts last week.  Some big changes are taking place in my life that required my attention.  Good things ahead for the future.  I just have to wait a bit now.  Updates to follow in the next week on that.

The other change was that I quit GNC.  I am no longer drinking their special Kool-Aid and have found better options for supplements than they can ever provide.  GNC’s prices were SO high, that even WITH my discount, I was still paying $10-30 more for product than it was regularly priced at our competitors.  Stores like Vitamin Shoppe, Max Muscle, and online sites like bodybuilding.com and netrition.com offer better selection, unbiased customer service and a better private label product, so I’ve decided to focus my purchases with them, rather than overpaying at GNC.

The hardest obstacle for me to overcome was GNC’s private label product.  GNC products are have a consistent reputation for having a moderate quality mix (they’re usually way behind the industry on ingredients) and a VERY poor taste.  I heard how horrible GNC’s protein was every single weekend, and attempted to convert people over to better tasting proteins like Optimum Nutrition every time.  GNC sales associates are required to pitch GNC’s products and required to tell you how superior it is compared to other proteins, but the fact is, their protein formula is outdated and the flavor is so bad, it scares most people away from drinking protein as a whole. Pricing is the other issue.  Currently, their Wheybolic 60 protein (which has the horrible taste and outdated formula) is $72.99 regular price for 3lbs.  A better tasting and similarly formulated Dymatize protein is $56.99 for 2 lbs..but at Vitamin Shoppe, a 4lb tub of that same Dymatize protein is $37.99.  Huge savings..AND Vitamin Shoppe has a healthy reward program that pays you back at the end of the year for buying stuff with them.  Max Muscle doesn’t have the reward program, but they have great pricing, great sales, and an amazing private label pre-workout and protein product line.

Their pre-workout drinks at GNC also get a bad reputation for having poor taste and minimal results and the only thing that is saving the company is their vitamin quality.  They really ARE good vitamins compared to Centrum/One A Day, etc., but they’ve jacked up in-store prices on everything (to make their private label product seem like a savings compared to the artificially inflated prices of the brand name stuff), so finding good product at a great price is difficult at GNC.  They’ve also removed many of the national brands from their stores in hopes of pushing their own private label product.  Max Muscle has a ton of private label items in store as well, but it’s much better quality, WAY better taste, and a much better price.  GNC does have the “beat ’em by a buck” signs up stating they’ll match any competitor’s product price by a dollar, but the process is SO cumbersome, many people don’t take advantage of it.

GNC has a loyal audience, and I respect that.  I’m not here to take any customers, I’m only stating what I discovered while working for them.  My whole goal with working for them was to give the customers the best product for the best price.  If that meant sending them elsewhere for a better deal, then that’s what it meant.  My approach to being healthy was to give the customer the information they need to make the best decision for their goals, then let them make their own decision.  I wasn’t a “pushy salesperson” (a common reputation for GNC employees), and in the end, I realized I couldn’t be that person for GNC, so I left.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I hope things run smoothly.  More posts to come today!  Let’s get caught up!

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