Review of Thrive Market – Can Thrive Market actually save you money on Organics?

Published on September 7, 2015 By Lauren
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    Have you checked out Thrive Market? Find out if they can actually save you money on organic foods!

    Last month, I posted about joining a CSA as a way to eat healthy and still try to save money. Obviously, there are still items you need to pick up at the store that you can’t get from a CSA, but sometimes it can be hard to find good deals if you have specialty items (organic, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) you’re looking for.

    I know I can score great coupon deals if I am willing to hit up several stores in a week, but sometimes I don’t have the time or energy to visit one store, let alone several. One day I was looking for the cheapest way to buy some castile soap, and I stumbled across a website called Thrive Market, and I have been really excited about every since. I wanted to do a Review of Thrive Market and try to evaluate if the savings are really there!

     

     

    rsz_thrive_home_page

    Here is my review of Thrive Market:

    Thrive Market claims that you will never have to pay retail prices again while shopping on their site. Here’s a basic overview of how it works:

    • You can do a 1 month free trial, using only your email to register.
    • You will receive 15% off on your first order (right now there is a code for 25% off).
    • You get free shipping on an order over $49.

    rsz_welcome_save

    After your free trial ends, if you love Thrive, you can join for $59.95 for a 1-year membership. In the FAQ section on the website, when asked if the membership is truly worth the fee, here is Thrive’s reply:

    “In our humble opinion, absolutely! At average discounts of 35% to retail, with just $110 worth of purchases on Thrive Market, you will have made back your initial membership fee. That means that if you’re an average American family of four, buying just 25% of your monthly groceries at Thrive Market will pay back your membership fee in under one month.”

    rsz_1free_gift

    Here are some perks I love:

    • You earn money to spend at Thrive if a friend signs up through your referral link.
    • I have seen several times where Thrive will offer freebies that automatically get added to your cart if you place an order.
    • They keep adding new products all the time.  We’re thrilled about the huge selection of pet products that were just added!
    • Thrive sends out recipes and articles that are really helpful.  They just sent out new recipes including a vegan Chocolate-Covered Frozen Bananas and shared articles about the power of bone broth and about oil pulling.  These are topics I was excited to read about!

    Ok, so it sounds great, but what are the prices really like and how do they compare to the items you might already be buying in the stores or with coupons?  I tried to combine some of my shopping needs with those of some of my friends who also have specialized dietary needs. Here is a comparison of 20 items you can find on Thrive.  I compared to Wegmans, a place where you can find anything, and Aldi, a place that’s always affordable and expanding their specialty diet selection.  Aldi either did not have all of the items or did not have them searchable on their website.

    rsz_bragg

    ItemThriveWegmansAldi
    32 ounce bottle of Bragg Liquid Aminos$5.95$7.99
    16 oz bag of tortilla chips (blue or yellow corn) gluten free$3.95 (.25/oz)$2.69 (.17/oz)Simply Nature 9 oz bag $1.69 (.19/oz)
    Sea salt:

    26 oz pouch, coarse

    26 oz Hain, fine

    $5.65

     

     

    $2.05

    15.2 oz $5.99

     

     

    $2.19

    Gluten Free Soy Sauce (Tamari)20 oz

    $3.95

    10 oz

    $2.99

    Organic Sesame Oil 12.7 oz$5.25$8.99

    rsz_ghee

    ItemThriveWegmansAldi
    Organic Coconut Sugar 16 oz$4.654.99
    Purity Farms Ghee13 oz

    $10.95 (.84/oz)

    7.5 oz

    $7.49 (.998/oz) ($1.00/oz)

    Barbara’s Puffin Cereal (non-GMO), peanut butter$3.95$3.99
    Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, organic, raw, unfiltered, 16 oz$2.95$3.99
    Annie’s shells and cheese$1.95$1.65 comparable item no longer available

    rsz_bak_mix

    ItemThriveWegmansAldi
    Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats, Old Fashioned,

    32 oz

    $5.45$6.49
    Arrowhead Mills Baking Mix, All Purpose, Gluten Free, 28 oz$5.65$6.99Live G Free, 16 oz, 2.79
    Lundberg Family Farms Rice White Basmati California2 lb, $5.454 lb, $7.99 various rices, not exact match
    TruRoots Green Lentils, Sprouted, Organic

    10 oz

    $4.45$5.19
    Organic/Natural Peanut Butter, 16 oz$4.45-$4.95$4.99 Natural, not organic, $1.69

    rsz_screen_shot_2015-09-14_at_51926_pm

    ItemThriveWegmansAldi
    Quinoa-plain, red

     

    Near East Mix

    16 oz, $6.70

     

    $2.15

    7 oz, $2.99

     

    $2.49

     

     

    Fit & Active Mix, $1.89

    Quinoa Pasta, 8 oz

     

    Brown Rice Pasta, 16 oz

    $2.45

     

    $2.95

    $2.99

     

    $3.49

     

     

    (Spaghetti, not other noodles) $1.89

    Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile liquid soap16 oz, $6.4532 oz, 11.99
    Pirate’s Booty, 4 oz bag

     

    .5 oz bags

    $2.65

     

     

    12 count, $6.45

    $2.99

     

     

    24 count, $6.99

    Spectrum Coconut Oil, organic, unrefined, 15 oz$7.95$8.99 New, Simply Natural, 14 oz, $4.99

    Overall, I think that like any grocery store, Thrive has some amazing deals and also has some items which you can get for less money somewhere else. When I factor in the free shipping to my home on a purchase of over $49, the freebies they offer most of the time, and the occasional percent off deal, I think that I’ll probably being using Thrive as part of my shopping habits for some time to come. Even in scenarios where the price is close, sometimes you can’t beat the convenience, and in some ways, you must be saving on your own gas. Savings in your time can be important as well.

    You’ll have to take a minute and explore Thrive on your own as well. Depending on your eating and shopping needs, it might be an even better fit or it might not be for you.

    If you would like to sign up for a free trial, so you can explore the website, and maybe even try a shopping trip, you can visit Thrive here. Right now you should be able to get a freebie and try 25% off your first purchase. Happy Shopping!

    Thrive FB

    COMMENTS

  • I have to be honest, I don’t like Thrive Market. Thrive operates like Sam’s Club in that you have to pay a membership fee to shop with them. This is totally fine. What I have a problem with is that Thrive Market isn’t always up-front about the fact that they charge you a membership fee to buy literally anything.

    They’ve advertised certain items as free in the past – nutrition bars, coconut oil. They got me with an offer of free Almond Butter. They were not up front at all about the fact that once I gave them my credit card info (to pay $2.00 for shipping) they would automatically enroll me as a member – and then automatically deduct $59.95 a month later. Supposedly they sneak this “small” fact into the fine print on the last page, right before you submit your credit card info. I say “supposedly” because I did read the Terms & Agreements, and saw nothing about a membership charge. This company is totally shady and unethical.

    Also, forget cancelling your membership. Thrive SAYS you can cancel within 30 days and not get charged the membership. Not so. All you get are emails with Thrive workers trying to retain you and give you different offers. Then if you’re not interested, they go ahead and charge you the fee anyway.

    Real gem of a company! I would rate them 0/10 and I’m going to actively encourage people to think twice before giving their money to this dishonest, unethical company.

    • I’m joining in the comments here because I googled “reviews Thrive”. Sesen Q, the same thing happened to me. They had me with free almond butter. It’s since become the most expensive almond butter I’ve ever purchased. I know I’m culpable, but I didn’t realize that I hadn’t fully unsubscribed before their free 30 day trial period. It turns out that I was subscribed to them for an entire year and didn’t notice this until the next year’s transaction came off of my credit card. I never received any emails from them. I spoke to their customer service and they said that they would refund me the annual fee for the year but when I asked about the following year, they refused. I never used the service and they never ever sent me a receipt or proof of transaction from either of the times my credit card was charged the annual fee. I checked my inbox as well as my spam folder and there was nothing to be found for either of the years! They couldn’t do anything for me, except that if you don’t use the service, you have a credit on your account for the price of the annual fee. But this is where they get you. After I used that service (it was my money so I thought I would use the credit and cancel afterwards), they said it was non-refundable! Thrive is NOT cheaper than Amazon and other health food stores. And quite frankly, their shady business practice is definitely dishonest and unethical! I’m trying to find a place to review them further. I think this is disgusting. And now, I actually have to wait until april of 2018 to cancel my service. But I bet they won’t send me a reminder email saying that my annual fee is due because that’s what’s been happening. Only if you look at your credit card statements do you notice that you have been charged.

      • I respectfully disagree with the comments above. When one clicks on the header “How It Works” there is a simple 3 step explanation of the expectations when signing up to the service:

        (1) Register for Free – Register for free to browse the Thrive Market catalog, see member savings, and receive 15% off your first purchase.

        (2) Start Your Free Trial – With your first purchase on Thrive Market, you’ll start a free 30-day membership trial. See how much you save. Cancel any time.

        (3) Join the Community – Join Thrive Market for just $59.95 and save on the world’s best healthy products for a full year. When you join, you are also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family.

        This isn’t small print, so I wouldn’t blame Thrive Market. To me it comes down to conducting the 10 minutes of due diligence to understand what one is signing up for. Here is the link https://thrivemarket.com/how-it-works

      • I for one can vouch that I took advantage of an offer of a free bottle of Ghee to spend 30 days on the site. I absolutely knew I would be charged a membership fee if I did not cancel. About 5 days before my trial was up I canceled….THRIVE WENT AHEAD ANYWAY AND CHARGED ME THE $59 fee. It took several emails and my being very aggressive before they reimbursed my money. The do sell quality products at some great prices, but this experience left me feeling that their true intentions was to try and bully a membership fee out of me and I stood up to those bullying practices of theirs.

  • i ordered over $70. oo no email confirmation now l went to read your reviews and its really bad .bad first impression i hope i was not charge any fee didn’t sign up for any.

  • Don’t EVER order anything from this company! They will lure you in with a FREE 30 days but pay $59.95 afterwards. Their notification email of the annual fee has a misleading subject line that makes you think it is spam. After 30 days they require you pay even if you havent ordered anything and to top it off they purposely do not allow you to delete your account from their web site and require you to call and waste 30 minutes to have your account deleted / not charged. Total SCAM!

  • You people are all retarded commenters.
    Learn to f’ing read. Thrive tellls you ON THE ORDER, AT THE BOTTOM, IN BIG LETTERS, that you CAN be enrolled into membership if you like them after the thirty days. They tell you it is automatic after 30 days, like anything else. You just have to cancel at 29 days. Real hard. Geebus. It’s people like you who detour people away from great deals because of your own stupidity.
    As for the reviewer, you rock. Thanks for keeping it honest and being smart enough to figure out how something so simple add thrive works. I mean that sincerely. The rest of these people are idiots who desperately need to go back to school and learn how to read.
    Thrive is VERY up front about how everything works. They go out of their way to put up information ALL OVER THEIR APP to help the dumb dumbs figure it out, but some people are just too stupid to figure out how to put the square peg into the SQUARE hole.
    Dear readers, don’t let dumb dumbs sway you from thrive. They are an awesome company who do good things for needy people as well as their usual customer base. I love them.
    But if you can’t read, you should not have a credit card or be able to write reviews. Period.
    Dumb dumbs, stay off the internet. Trolls.

    • If this many people are having problems with Thrive’s processes then maybe Thrive should find a better way to communicate to people. Not everyone is an idiot. These bad reviews are hurting the company. If I received this many bad reviews I would consider changing my approach.

    • The problem is that Thrive still charges your card for an annual membership even after you’ve done your due diligence to call customer service and cancel your 30-Day Trial. I purchased some items with the 30-Day trial in JANUARY of 2016 and cancelled the very same month. In SEPTEMBER of 2016 my account was charged for the $60 membership. Eight months later! Shame on me for not noticing then. They say they send you an email when they charge your membership fee.. they did not. This year I noticed it hit my card, September of 2017. Customer service was no help. I had to call my bank, dispute the charges and order a new debit card. SHADY, SHADY!

  • My experience with Thrive has been awful. First, I found out they automatically charged my account last year without me knowing it. I didn’t even know I had the account so I didn’t use it at all last year. Then, they charged my account again this year, but this time I caught it. I contacted them to cancel the membership, but they ignored my emails and I was unable to reach them by phone. Finally I was able to reach them through the chat feature on their website and they refused to refund my account. Instead they gave me a small credit that I could use at Thrive. Later, I went to redeem it and there was a promotion running at the time I was about to place the order. I received an error redeeming the promotion so I contacted customer service again. By the time they got back to me, the promotion was over and they refused to redeem it. My recommendation is to stay away. The company is totally dishonest, and the customer service is terrible.

  • I went online to buy some essential oil and bought it from Thrive. Little did I know they would be charging me an extra $60 for a membership there, and didn’t even make it clear to me that that was happening during the checkout process! I only found out a year later when I was billed for it again! When I complained they wouldn’t refund my membership, but cancelled it for me, then said I could use the money I had paid for my membership towards products on the site. When I went to go do so I found that if I was to complete the transaction I would be billed for another membership! These people are obviously scammers! Buy from someone else its not worth it!

  • People, try….these, that have NO “membership fee”.

    Jet.com (tons of stuff, including fresh ORGANIC produce, only on the East Coast though. Free shipping on $39 orders.

    Luckyvitamin.com -lots of organic foods, health supplies, etc Free shipping on $49 orders.

    Walmart.com (tons of stuff, including organic shelf stable food only) Free shipping on $39 orders.

    Vitacost – I gave up using them, because they charged a back ordered item, a MONTH after the order was placed, thereby bouncing my bank, resulting in me having to pay overdraft fees. 🙁

    There could be other options in your local area.

  • Glad I read these comments. I just placed an order and had no idea there was a membership fee for a membership in a club I don’t want to belong to. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • It is NOT clear about the annual fee AT ALL. Thankfully I just searched for reviews before clicking my orders. The ONLY time the annual fee was shown was at CHECKOUT after cart was full and after a profile was created. I READ carefully and was planning on just cancelling before the 30 day TRIAL that was mentioned. After reading the above reviews I am NOT going to be purchasing anything from this company now, no matter how badly I need or want products. I don’t take kind to ANY company that doesn’t make it BLATANTLY obvious as to what their pricing policies and terms are- if I have to research it out and wonder on whether said terms will be difficult for the consumer, that is not good enough! If this many people have post charges and are unclear or having troubles, then it is NOT readily and easily shown by the website or customer service follow up. So YES, I can READ and NO, I won’t be purchasing anything as a result. Thank You to the individuals who listed their issues to prevent me from any unnecessary wasted time and money!

    • I am sure glad I came across this site . I was just fixing to order but after reading all of your reviews I backed out ! I do not need any more memberships because I already have Sams and Costcos and thats enough !! Thanks again

  • Sorry, don’t agree with most here about the difficulty of cancelling a Thrive Market membership. After placing an order (before my 30 day trial ended), I realized that as a Veteran, my husband could qualify for a free account which we now have.

    Here is what I did to cancel:
    1. Contacted a rep. through the live chat on the website and asked to cancel my membership
    2. After getting the sales pitch to stay and me saying no, the rep. did send a cancellation confirmation notice to my email address
    3. Once the cancellation was completed, I removed my credit card info. from the website (if it isn’t there, it can’t be charged)

    Hope this helps.

  • Thank you Lauren for all the information. Although the prices for organic products are low at Thrive Market, I am now skeptical about their response to some of the issues presented in your reviews column.
    At first I was excited to have found the site. Now I am very skeptical to join. Do you have any advice or phone number I can call them at before I join? Also, to make worth the subscription can a couple of my friends use my account to place orders?
    Please Advise!
    Thank you!

  • Why did you use Aldi’s as a comparison? Was it the fact they are a cheap store? You might as well have used a local gas station. I wouldn’t even use Aldi’s in a comparison with Wal-Mart which happens to sell lots of cheap price as well as cheap quality products.

  • Just wanted to drop a quick POSITIVE note about Thrive. I’ve had a really great experience. I thought the membership was made very clear from the beginning and I even got an email alert when my membership was about to end so I could cancel if I wanted to before I was charged. I also found out that Thrive offers FREE memberships to teachers, veterans, students, and low-income families. As a teacher, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this- PLUS I got another 30% coupon with my first order as a new (free) member, just like I did when I was on the trial. I also got a big free thing of coconut oil, which was just a surprise.

    I don’t think Thrive offers INSANELY great prices, but I think they are competitive, and if you qualify for a free account, AND get % off almost every order, PLUS free shipping, PLUS free random stuff, it does add up and make it all worth it for my family and I.

  • 100% thumbs up on my experience with Thrive. I’ve been ordering from them regularly for the past 18 months or so. They were very clear and open about the membership – I think the disgruntled reviewers above (if they are legit) need to take some personal responsibility for not reading thoroughly before rushing to grab their “free” product.

    My local store is a Wegmans and I price-compare every item before ordering from Thrive because Wegmans has pretty great prices on most stuff. I have a core of items I order regularly from Thrive because those items are significantly cheaper than Weg. I also use Amazon’s Subscribe ‘n Save and I compare there too – Thrive still comes out on top on some items.

    Once the order is placed, Thrive really shines because they are fast (usually I receive the order in 2-3 days) and they are hands down the best at packing a box I’ve ever seen (I do 90% of my shopping online and experience a lot of damaged items because of lousy packing procedures – Amazon, are you listening?). With Thrive, every single item is carefully wrapped in Kraft paper and carefully padded. Actually, their boxes are kind of a thing of beauty to unbox because everything is placed in so carefully and cleverly to make the best use of the space. It feels like works of art should be coming out of the wrapping instead of groceries!

    After placing somewhere between 12-20 orders with them, I give them 10 out of 10.

  • I’ve been using Thrive for 5 months. I make an order of 50-70 dollars each week. It takes approximately a week for my order to arrive, so it does take some effort to think ahead so I don’t run out of items. Not really a problem for me. Some (not all) of the items are indeed cheaper than the stores in my area. Because of the free items that are offered when making an order, I felt that it was worth the yearly membership fee. I enjoyed trying new products that they offered for free. Recently, however, I have become disillusioned with the company. I made two large orders to receive two books that were published on their website. When my order arrived, neither book was included. After discussing the problem on their Live Chat, I was told I needed to order more to get the book. The website still advertised the wrong information when I talked to the representative. This problem was not resolved and the site still has the wrong information. I felt that the company was not living up to their commitment. So with this I would caution people who are joining Thrive to receive “free” gifts. If you find you will save a lot compared to prices in your area, then go for it. The way this problem was handled leaves me with not so good feelings about the company.

  • I’m really surprised to see all those comments about not understanding there’s a membership fee. I wonder if the comments are legit or from competitors inventing problems.

    I’ve been shopping with Thrive for a few years and really appreciate their products, prices, and customer service – and I’ve told friends and family about Thrive (and got my sister to join, which gave me $25).

    Today, I looked for reviews to see if anyone else noticed that the prices aren’t quite as low as I THINK they used to be – but I can’t find any way to compare!

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