After holidays, many people are feeling the pinch and are looking for bargains. Whether it’s food, clothing, cosmetics or electronics, the internet is packed with sites offering products at knockdown prices and it can sometimes be difficult to tell which sites are genuine and offer real quality products.
Brandless is a fairly new bargain site – with a difference. Not only does Brandless offer every item for just three dollars but, it is also dedicated to a community-driven philosophy.
With headquarters in San Francisco and Minneapolis, Brandless was founded in 2017 by Tina and Ico whose vision was to provide affordable products whilst helping their community.
Brandless is able to offer products at rock bottom prices by cutting out the ‘middle man’ and buying directly from manufacturers.
Often, when products are sold, they are subject to a lengthy and complex supply chain process – and, each link in that chain involves costs that are then passed onto the customer.
Brandless works hard to build strong relationships with suppliers and manufacturers in order to get the best buy price for products and currently has partnerships and relationships with a large number of suppliers.
In addition, by buying direct and selling directly to the customer, Brandless is able to eliminate a lot of needless costs such as wholesale to retail fees, shelf stocking fees and endless product markups.
As with most selling sites, there are positives and negatives when shopping on Brandless and, here, we list the pros and cons of this innovative new site:
Pros of buying on Brandless
Bargains – almost everything on Brandless is priced at just $3 including tableware, linens and vitamins and health supplements.
Accessible – Brandless offers shipping by courier for extra security and peace of mind.
Variety – the Brandless site has a massive number of products available, including snacks, condiments, cruelty-free cosmetics and writing materials.
Responsible – customers buying products from Brandless are helping the company to help others through various projects.
Benefits – when you refer a friend to Brandless, you both receive a $6 credit on completion of their first order.
Customer service – Brandless work hard on their customer service and queries and complaints are dealt with in a prompt and friendly manner.
New – Brandless is constantly adding products so there’s always something new to try.
Cons of buying on Brandless
Branding – Brandless tends not to stock big name brands in order to keep prices low so don’t expect to find your Heinz ketchup or Sara Lee cakes.
Overpricing – In order to maintain an across-the-board price point of $3, more expensive products are balanced against products which may retail for less than $3. For example, the site offers genuine maple syrup at an extremely reasonable $3, however, it also offers a bag of candy for the same price which retails for much lower elsewhere.
Availability – Unfortunately, Brandless is currently only available within the United States.
Shipping – The average shipping cost on Brandless is $5 which may not be economic unless you’re ordering a number of products.
Delivery time – Brandless does not currently offer expedited delivery so you’ll have a wait of 3 to 12 days for your products to arrive.
Quality – some products are badly constructed, reflecting the low price.
As with any kind of sales outlet, some of Brandless’ products are a hit and others a miss. The company is extremely focussed on customer feedback and tends to quickly remove products which receive negative feedback due to quality issues.
Similarly, Brandless works to build on the success of its more popular products. Some of Brandless’ best selling products are as follows:
Virgin Coconut Oil – Unrefined, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil offers a number of health benefits and is so versatile in can be used in a number of different ways – including to moisturize skin or even to shine shoes!
Eucalyptus & Lavender Gel Hand Soap – This popular hand-wash is made with lavender and white ginger root extract to soothe and soften hands whilst wrapping you in the bright, warm aroma of eucalyptus.
Organic Fairtrade Cold Brew Coffee Bag– From Peru, this great quality cold-pressed coffee bag is an absolute bargain, providing six servings of organic fairtrade coffee per bag.
Organic Applesauce Pouches – These handy pouches take the hassle out of apple sauce. Perfect for traveling, the sauce is unsweetened and can be eaten straight from the pouch. One of Brandless’ best bargains, Organic Applesauce pouches come in packs of four.
Silicone Pasta Fork– The easiest way to serve pasta, this popular.heat-resistant (to 400°F), features a durable acacia-wood handle and tough silicone fork.
100% Organic Honey – 100% pure and sweet, this organic honey comes straight from the hive and is perfect for cooking or for adding to cereal or oatmeal.
Silicone Slotted Turner – Easily flip pancakes with this 400-degree heat-resistant turner. The durable acacia-wood handle remains cool for handling whilst the silicone turner ensures a scratch-free surface for pans and pots.
Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bites– Dipped in luxurious dark chocolate, these delicious bites of organic puffed quinoa are perfect for a snack on the go and are peanut-free.
Easy Italian Dinner Bundle– From fresh artisan pastas to luxury sauces and toppings, this bargain bundle means you’ll never be stuck for mealtime inspiration.
• Organic Tri-Color Conchiglioni Pasta
• Organic Lumaconi Giganti Pasta
• Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti – 2 Pack
• Silicone Pasta Fork
• Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
• Organic Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce
Cleaning Supplies Bundle– Handy and effective, this extremely inexpensive bundle makes light work of the jobs you hate with its pleasantly scented, non-toxic products.
• Multi-Surface Cleaner, Summer Breeze
• Glass Cleaner, Cucumber Mint
• Granite & Stone Cleaner, Lavender
• Tub & Tile Cleaner, Summer Breeze
• Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Summer Breeze
• Dish Soap, Lilac
Pizza Night Bundle– For the pizza lovers in your life, show off your skills with this great value pizza-making bundle.
• Gluten-Free Italian Herb Pizza Crust Mix
• Organic Tomato Sauce
• Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Organic Garlic & Chili Flake Seasoning Blend
• Organic Crushed Red Pepper
• Organic Italian Seasoning
Despite not including big brand names, Brandless products are, on the whole, of good quality with plenty of variety for vegan, gluten-free and kosher customers as well as those who are passionate about fairtrade and cruelty-free options.
Although delivery costs can be a little high if you’re just ordering one or two products, shipping is free on orders over $39 so it’s well worth stocking up in order to save money.
Due to the fact that Brandless is involved in a number of worthwhile projects, even paying slightly over the odds for cheaper products is money well spent.
2020 update: Brandless is stopping operations now and their products will no longer be available on the website