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Review of Thrive Market: Is it worth the membership cost?


A few months ago there was a flurry of emails and social media chatter going around about Thrive Market, a new business that was a cross between Whole Foods and Costco – meaning that you could get organic, real food at wholesale prices. I am always looking for ways to eat healthy without breaking the bank, so I was intrigued but didn’t investigate it much further until recently when I got to the bottom of yet another jar of expensive coconut butter on the same day that yet another friend told me how pleased she was with the prices and service at Thrive Market.

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Thrive Market is a membership program, which was the biggest issue holding me back from signing up right away. I already pay for both an Amazon Prime membership and a Costco membership and really didn’t want to get “suckered” into another one (nor did I want to give up either of those memberships!). Then I discovered that I could get a 30 day free trial before committing to the $59.95 annual fee, which would allow me to see the range of products they offer, exactly how much I could save on a typical order, and have first hand experience with their customer service. So I did just that! Here is what happened…

What I ordered from Thrive Market

what I ordered

Thrive Amazon Whole Foods


BOB’S RED MILL ARROWROOT STARCH/FLOUR 16 ounce bag $3.95 $4.49 $6.69
ARTISANA ORGANIC RAW VEGAN COCONUT BUTTER 16 ounce jar $9.45 $16.71 $13.99
EPIC BACON CRANBERRY BISON 12 bars $24.05 $26.15 $38.18
COCONUT SECRET ORGANIC RAW COCONUT AMINOS 8 ounce bottle $4.45 $11.95 $6.49
GARDEN OF LIFE RAW ORGANIC PROTEIN POWDER 622 grams $23.95 $28.60 $39.99
BRAGG ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR 16 ounce $2.55 $8.88 $3.24

(NOTE: Prices were current on February 20, 2015)

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As you can see Thrive Market beat the prices on Amazon and my local health food store (Whole Foods) every time. Some of the price differences were minimal (the ginger tea, for example) but others were quite dramatic (such as the protein powder… it is nearly half the price at Thrive versus the local store).

The grand total for this order at Thrive Market was $72.05, from Amazon it would have been $100.47, and if I put all those items in my grocery cart at my local store it would have cost me $113.07.

So, is it worth it? Remember that the annual fee for membership to Thrive Market is $59.95. With this order I saved $28.42 over Amazon and $41.02 over purchasing all of those items from Whole Foods, so I still haven’t come out ahead whichever way you look at it. But with just one or two more similar orders, I would begin saving.

My order and delivery experience

I placed the order and received notice that it had shipped within 24 hours, but it didn’t arrive at my house until a week later, which felt like forever now that I’ve been conditioned by 2 day free shipping from Amazon Prime. I noticed that the box traveled quite a distance to me from California and we had some bad weather out here on the east coast during that time, so perhaps that time frame is not typical.

I was concerned about how the liquids in the glass bottles would travel, but they were very well wrapped and arrived just fine. Unfortunately however, the bag of arrowroot starch sprung a small leak and everything in the box was coated with a fine white dust. I could salvage most of the starch but it was quite a mess to clean up. I took this picture and sent it to Thrive Market customer service…


Within 24 hours I received a very apologetic response and a refund for the starch, plus 10% off my next order.

Bottom line… These things happen and I was pleased with their solution. Great customer service.

In Summary…

Thrive Market gives free shipping for all orders over $49, which is great but means that I am not likely to just order one or two small items from them like I would from Amazon. Another negative is the length of time it took to get the order, but clearly you pay for convenience. The most convenient option is my local store but it is the most expensive. Items that are Amazon Prime eligible (and not all of them are) are the second most convenient. So, I imagine that I will continue to purchase some items locally if I need them in a hurry. And of course, I will still use Amazon to fuel my book addiction and shop for non-food items.

But I’m going to try to plan ahead and place at least a couple more orders from Thrive Market that are large enough to get free shipping over the course of the year. While they don’t carry everything I need (and of course, it is only non-perishable food… I’ll still be supporting my local farmers and merchants for meat and produce) I am excited to try some new foods like cricket bars and explore the wide range of personal care and cleaning products they carry.

I also really like the company ethos and want to support that. For every paid membership, they match that by providing a membership to a low-income family who might not otherwise have access to wholesome convenient food. Additionally, they support GMO labeling, and are committed to sustainability by being carbon neutral and using recycled packaging.

I encourage you click here and check out Thrive Market for yourself.

Thrive Market sells your favorite organic and non-gmo brands for up to 50% off retail.

DISCLOSURE: If you use a link from this page to sign up for a free trial, I do get a small commission for referring you. I am also an Amazon affiliate, which means that I earn commissions by linking to Amazon products on this blog. That said, I only recommend products and businesses that I use myself and believe in.

UPDATE (August 12, 2015): While I appreciate the number of people who took time to comment on this post and share their experiences with Thrive, I have decided to close comments going forward and have deleted some particularly un-helpful comments that seemed to be repeats from the same people (sometimes using different email addresses and names, but coming from the same IP address) and didn’t add anything substantive to the discussion. Others were repeating suggestions to try other services, which at first I took to be good faith efforts to help fellow readers get healthy food at fair prices, but later began to suspect may have been placed by people associated with those companies but who were not disclosing that fact. I, on the other hand, have been completely transparent about the fact that I am indeed an affiliate for Thrive Market, and I do get a commission for referring you through the links on this page, should you decide to join and continue as a paid member.

I also continue to be a satisfied customer of Thrive Market and am happy to include them among other service providers that I recommend. If you have tried Thrive Market and are anything less than satisfied, call them at (866) 419-2174. Don’t send me an email – I don’t work for them and can’t help you.

Again, I encourage you to visit Thrive Market and enroll for a free trial.

UPDATE August 26, 2015: If you aren’t interested in paying a membership fee to shop at Thrive Market, another resource for healthy food at fair prices that I recommend is Barefoot Provisions. This is a great place to get paleo-friendly goods, including cassava flour, healthy fats, convenience items, and much more. They even have an AIP collection and a Whole 30 collection. Disclosure, I am an affiliate for them just as I am for Thrive and for Amazon, but I’m also a happy customer and have started recommending them more often than the others as a well run small company that has top notch products. Click here to learn more about Barefoot Provisions.


UPDATE January, 2018: I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 years since I wrote this post… and yet it still gets a ton of visits every day, so clearly people are still looking for information on whether or not Thrive Market is a good deal. I’m still a fan, still a customer (I place a large order every two or three months), and still an affiliate. In the years since this was posted, I’ve seen the product selection expand dramatically, including the development of their own “store brand” for many products, and major improvements in the quality of their packing materials. Ordering is also easier now that they have an iPhone app and I really like that they have opened up their web site so that you can do comparison pricing without having a membership. Shipping still takes longer than I would prefer, but the prices are as low or lower than any other options – including my local grocery store, so it is worth it to plan ahead and place bulk orders.

Interested in trying Thrive Market for yourself? Use this link to sign up and you will get 20% off your first three orders.

Thrive Market sells your favorite organic and non-gmo brands for up to 50% off retail.

166 replies on “Review of Thrive Market: Is it worth the membership cost?”

[…] If you’re trying to be a healthy eater but can’t get over paying $15.00 for almond meal, this might be a membership program for you. Thrive Market is being called a cross between Costco and Whole Foods. Gutsy by Nature did a review and also compared the prices on products she would normally by between Whole Foods, Amazon and Thrive to see just how much she would save. You can read about it here. […]

MY experience with Thrive Market is not positive. I received a free membership-ordered-twice-then realized that adding the $59.95 to the cost of the items I wanted-on top of my Amazon membership, was not cost effective, so I emailed a cancellation. I got back a response that said-are you sure? Here is another month-free. I said cancel. And lo and behold-one month later they charged me $59.95. I fired back an irate response-cancel and refund. They offered me a half price subscription-and still have not cancelled or refunded my money. Not ethical-just plain not ethical.

Lolita – I shared your experience with the folks at Thrive Market and they assured me they would take care of you. I hope you are satisfied with their solution… I really believe they have no intention of being unethical but your cancellation request/refund could have slipped through the cracks as they get their systems up and running. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you out!

I had the same experience. I had a trial and decided the service wasn’t for me. Three requests in they still refuse to cancel my account. It’s a trap.

I’m having the same problem! First, the address they tell you to email to cancel your membership always returns undeliverable. When I call the toll free number, no one ever answers. I’ve submitted my request to cancel on their website, and they just keep trying to talk me out of it. I had a one month free trial, and am totally expecting to see a charge on my credit card in a few days. I’ve documented all my attempts to cancel and will dispute the charge…but this is really ridiculous.

I placed an order on July 16 and the expected delivery date was July 22 via FedEx. When I checked tracking, I learned the order was damaged and returned, and that expected delivery was July 23, which was rather confusing. I later learned that my order had to be placed again or I could request to cancel for a refund. I told the Thrive rep to just place the order. Their offer was to extend my free membership another month. But what’s the use if I cannot receive my order? It is now July 27 and my order is still being “processed” with no one from Thrive responding to my several emails, and NO ONE answering their phones. By the way, I live in Colorado, so not that far away. Now, after reading all these comments, I’m extremely worried that if I choose to cancel–which I may do since I cannot get a timely order from them–that my card will be charged. I’m a senior on a fixed income (disability) and truly don’t need or want to fight over my money.

Hi Jane! We recently added new contact us options on our website to make it easier to get in touch and the returned emails have links to these pages- I apologize for any difficulties that this has caused! It will lead to better service and quicker response times. The freeform emails are still reach us until August 1st. I also apologize that you have not been able to reach us by phone- we have increased our days of availability by phone and I can assure you that we are increasing our phone coverage to keep up with the demand. We do like to provide options to make it easier for customers to remain on board if they so choose but if you choose not to take advantage, we do honor your requests!

I am trying a 2 month trial. Hoping I don’t experience what Lolita did. I guess time will tell.

I received an email to try THRIVE so I did. However, I did not realize that it was a membership club and that what “offer” I was given was only for 1 month free trial. I placed 1 order and decided to cancel. The products are not significantly reduced where it would be worth $60 to join. So I was offered a half price membership that I thought I’d accept. But I can’t receive deliveries from FedEx, which is their only shipping option. I have had too many issues with FedEx so I won’t use them. Anyway, I emailed back stating CANCEL my membership and I have not heard anything back from THRIVE. They were very eager to contact me when I wanted to cancel initially. I guess I will have to monitor my credit card for unauthorized billing from them. If they charge me, I will be sure to advise the entire world. I cannot stand behavior like what happened to Lolita.

Erica… I shared Lolita’s comment with the folks at Thrive Market and they have assured me that they took care of her. Please report back if you do have problems with your cancellation request and I will make sure you are not charged either.

I’m still on my 2-month trial (I just did a second order recently), and I have to say I really am impressed! Also having Amazon Prime I, too, can sympatheize w/ the slight annoyance of having to wait quite a bit longer (I live on the East Coast), as well—so my first boxed order was pretty much how you described yours–but also like you mentioned I know the weather was praticularly bizarro-style crazy colder and whatnot. Hopefully, weather getting less ridiculous and more ‘springy’ the second order may move along a bit quicker, though.

I’ve just recently started adding a lot more natural, organic, and non-GMO type things into what I eat as well and being someone of not greatest of income I understand the fustration on knowing that you want to do better for your body but being limited by a lot of the pricing of such things. Which is another reason why I will probably end up keeping my membership there, too, as it can help others (especially being an African American, I know how hard it is for our people to get that access to things like this–even I haven’t completely weened away from all the ‘bad stuff’ entirely but I at least would like to put less of it in/on my body).

I feel bad for those like Lolita that might of had a bad time, but like you mentioned maybe it geniunely wasn’t intentional–we have to remember they are also a start-up and not on the scale of Amazon (at least not yet, hopefully the more people join we can get it there!) so there are still probably growing pains that will need to be hammered out from time-to-time, as is the way in the retail market (trust me I know, I used to work in that sector). It would seem as well as they responsed to Jaime w/ her issue that given the chance and time they will wholeheartedly do the best they can to work w/ people; so hopefully Lolita (and Erica) have gotten things sorted out.

My order took a week to come as well and they savings with the shipping costs do not really add up to much. It took 3 times back and forth with “Are you sure” emails for them to finally cancel my trial. If the membership fee was a little lower and the shipping was free I would use them.

I placed my first order on 4/5, spending over $49 to take advantage of the free shipping (also an Amazon Prime member). I tracked my package today and it says expected delivery of 4/13. Really?? Who knew FedEx ground takes 7 days?! That, in a nutshell, is not worth it to me.

That’s why I won’t be dropping my Amazon membership anytime soon or completely stop purchasing from the local Whole Foods. When I need something immediately, I will pay the premium price at my local store. When I need it in a couple days, I will order from Amazon. But you have to watch Amazon… not everything I buy is Prime-eligible and sometimes the prices are not actually a good discount.

Plus, there is always the worry that the products that come from a third-party seller on Amazon are actually counterfeit (… including food and supplements ( I don’t feel like I have to worry about that with Thrive Market. The number of prominent people within the real foods movement (Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser) who have lent their name and financial backing to it makes me confident that they wouldn’t risk the fallout.

As long as I plan ahead, having to wait a week for products that save me money and I feel confident are the real deal is not a big issue.

I found out about thrive market from a book I purchased after seeing Dr Mark Hyman on Dr Oz. On4/4/15 I looked up the website, had to give my e-mail to access it. It looked like something I would use,but I belong not only to Cosco but also a co-op. I had just purchased considerable food for the month. so I thought I would use it later in April . WELL, 4/4 welcome- offered free gift(which the book offered), 4/5 worlds best brands,4/6 BIGFI(which I could not figure out?),4/8 you will love thrive market,4/9 your free gift($15 off 1st order?) expires tomorrow, 4/10 hurry your free gift expires today.SO I ORDERED $49 worth which included the $15 off and free shipping. 4/11/15 my order is on hold because ” OOPS I FORGOT SOMETHING”- oh I paid them – my sin was I FAILED TO( PUT THEM IN MY ADDRESS BOOK?!) I finally found a phone number, but I can not call until Monday , funny, I really want to use this website…….

I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that these occasions of missed cancellations are simply accidential mistakes that somehow slipped through the cracks. There are many many sites with the folks commenting on the same problem. I tried the trial and ordered one product. It came as advertised but I did not see a great enough benefit as my local grocery delivery service has since added over 300 more paleo products to their line up and shipping from Thrive had s long transit time.
My request to cancel (two weeks into the trial) was met with an essential refusal and sales pitch. My second request was met with another sales pitch asking that I keep trying their service until my trial expired. My response was “no thank you, please just cancel the trial.” Today I received the three day notice that my membership will be charged to my account. I again emailed my FOURTH request to cancel. If my card is charged, I will be filing a complaint with my State Attorney Generals Office.
It’s great that you have reached out to Thrive and have been assured that these are mistakes. Personally it appears that you may have blinders on in this case to a systemic problem with Thrive.

Bravo! Very succinctly expressed. I just have to question the integrity of a company with this track record. It took intervention from this moderator to get my refund-good luck.

No matter how you got your refund (even if it took the moderator)…you received it. js

Denessa, it should NOT take a mediator to get a refund from a company. Ever. Just saying.

Hi Gloria! I completely understand your concern and we completely agree. The refund was in action before any contact from a third party- at the time of this charge we had received an enormous influx of emails and were following up as quickly as possible. We would never deny a refund for a customer’s unused membership.

Hi Todd! I apologize that the cancellation process was difficult for you and want to let you know that we recently rolled out a more self-service oriented feature. I can see that you canceled before your trial expired and I can assure you that the cases in which people were charged were not intentional. We hope that you will check out the new additions to our catalog soon!

I’ve been a Thrive member since December and so far love them! I am spoiled being in California though… my shipments come in 2/3 days. I’ve saved so much money, especially on the bath/beauty products and supplements. I’m a Amazon Prime member but am worried about all the counterfeit stuff so before Thrive I bought most everything from Sprouts.

I DO have two Thrive complaints… I tend to buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need to get the free shipping. Last week I was out of almond flour so I went on Thrive and then bought $45 worth of snacks and lotion. I’ve been calling my almond flour my $50 flour 🙂 Also, they don’t have a lot of selection. I’m hoping that will change if they grow. That’s one of the reasons I signed up so readily. I love the concept and want them to grow so I figured I’d do my part and sign up! Plus I like that they donate memberships to people who can’t afford them.

Overall I think they are great. Personally I can’t be trusted to not spend a ton of money each week on snacks and fancy body wash that I don’t need. So I definitely haven’t saved money but the potential is there.

Consider buying more of the product(s) for which you decided to order, instead of things you merely find attractive. Can you store the flour in a freezer? Then, you’ll have what you need next time without waiting. I am a senior living on SS; many times, even when I was young and employed, I had to be careful with money. See it as an opportunity to improve your way of going in the world.

Hi Katie! We are happy to hear that you are enjoying your membership! Please always feel free to reach out in our FAQ portal if you have any suggestions for products that you would like to be able to buy at wholesale prices on Thrive. We hope that our recent catalog additions are making it easier for you to reach the free shipping minimum!

Am I looking in the wrong place…because EVERY single item I’ve looked at on the website is significantly cheaper at my local Hannaford. The website marks up the price significantly and then conveniently slashes it to make it look like a sale. Even the slashed price is more than I ever pay. So much for wholesale price!!

You are lucky! All that I have looked at is more expensive at my local stores… but perhaps that is because I live in a high cost of living area and everything is more expensive here!

Oh no! It was certainly not intended that way! I don’t think living in a place where things are expensive is anything to brag about and am certainly not smug about it!!!

do you work for thrive and just troll the sites? my wife ordered from Thrive a month ago and never received the product. We contacted them and then they blamed it on Fed-Ex. After that they re-created the order and it still states label created. In all this mix they offered us a petty 10% off our next order. When was the last time 10% was even a nice gesture. Added to the email was the sharing of having others sign up to save money. How about I share our pathetic experience with others. Oh…and I live in California where produce and health food is around the corner. I’d pay double to not have to deal with this poor customer service.

Hi there! We use the manufactured suggested retail prices directly from the brands themselves. We are happy to hear that you have access to affordable, healthy products where you live! Most people find that our prices are lower than other options 90% of the time.

Nick, from time to time orders are damaged by FedEx during transit and returned to us. I am very sorry to hear that this happened to your order and that you have had to wait so long for your purchases! It can take up to 24 hours for FedEx’s tracking information to sync so I hope that you were able to track your order once it synced. Please reach out through our FAQ portal if there is anything else that we can do to help!

I am glad so many people are having positive experiences with Thrive. Mine hasn’t been so great. I live in California so my shipping times were about 2 days originally. Even though I had some issues with orders I signed up for the year and paid the $59. Now that I have, my last order shipped FedEx SmartPost and will take more than a week to arrive. Honestly I feel cheated. I signed up, they took my money and then they changed the deal. If it had taken over a week from the beginning I would have never signed up. Don’t do it!

Hi Jackie,
I’m so sorry that happened! We are no longer using smart post as we realized they were no longer meeting our standards.

Thrive really needs to re-think their business model. poor customer service will shatter their dream. My wife still hasn’t received her order….We live in California. They blamed it on fed-ex and offered us a pathetic 10% off…cool…not. I’d rather spend my money at the nearest health food store. Refer a friend is what they offered to save money?? how about tell a friend that Thrive is pathetic and has horrible customer service. you can have great prices but dealing with issues in a professional matter should always be number 1.

Hi Nick, from time to time orders are damaged by FedEx during transit and returned to us. I am very sorry to hear that this happened to your order and that you have had to wait so long for your purchases! We recently changed our packaging so it is our hope that they will be able to stand up to rough handling better. I am very sorry that you did not like the 10% off coupon. Because we offer all of our items at such a steep discount, this 10% off will make our products between 35-60% off. We hope that you will still use this coupon as a thank you for your patience. If there is anything else that our member services can do, please contact us through the FAQ portal!

I finally received my order after two mishaps with FedEx and Thrive delays; however, my 6 cans of coconut are all dented and that was not due to FedEx, but Thrive clearly packages dented canned goods. I tested each can by pushing on the tops and bottoms, but I will not know if any are safe to consume until I open them. (If there is a hissing sound, then I will know it is unsafe to consume.) I should not be fearful of my purchases, wondering if safe to eat or not. And yes I have contacted Thrive but, as usual, they are incredibly slow to respond or never do unless/until I post to their Facebook page. Hmmm…my next stop from here, especially since I don’t know how long it will take to have my comment “moderated.” POSITIVE NOTE! I am pleased with just about everything else I ordered. Only exception is the Ghee, which my rental office placed in the refrigerator for me yesterday while waiting for FedEx to do their job. (Yesterday, the driver actually lied to them by presenting a note he falsified, saying it was from me and to deliver to the rental office. WHEW! I couldn’t even drag the box from the front door into my kitchen because it was so heavy, so why would I instruct him to deliver it to the rental office? Weird, until I learned he was an elderly man.)

I just placed and received my first order with Thrive Market and couldn’t be happier. I live an hour away from a large enough town that has a Whole Foods and the small town I do live in barely has a healthy selection. I checked the prices against Whole Foods & Fred Meyers, and Thrive Market was cheaper than both of their sale prices. Took a week for shipping, which I was fine with and came right to my doorstep and believe me I live way out of town. I plan on ordering every month to supplement the organic items Costco doesn’t have without the driving around. Also my food was expertly packed.

Now, an East Coast distribution center may change the way I view my potential Thrive membership! I’ve been waiting almost two weeks for my order to arrive which has given me time to consider the real cost of buying from Thrive. I’m asking myself, “What would Raj Patel (The Value of Nothing) say?” I think he would add up the environmental cost of shipping these products and advise that if broader stewardship of the environment is one of my goals, my money is better spent shopping locally although the sticker price is higher. It’s not a perfect point of debate, but something to think about. On a more consumer-centric note, it’s taking a l o o o o o n g time to receive my items. At this point, I’m willing to play it out and be a member so someone who can’t afford to pay for membership gets to play, too. 🙂

I’ve read all the comments (17 so far) and will take a look at the website. It appears to me that those who don’t have nearby outlets for these products can save their gas/car and time; since distant shoppers already restrict such purchases to delayed trips, they don’t mind the wait times. Those who have alternative sources near, put more negative value on the wait. What is important to me is the actual selection; I can’t afford to buy what I don’t really need. No one mentioned using their membership as a way to send to others with free shipping. I send food to my daughter and grandchildren when I can, who aren’t expecting it, and so they don’t “feel” the delivery wait. Being able to order for them and send it to them directly without having to package, pay and mail it myself is a very attractive possibility. Does Thrive allow mailing to addresses other than the purchaser’s?
Also, the “free trial” appears to be disappointing and generating a bad image. Thrive should consider discontinuing it. Concurrently, they should cancel a membership at the end of the already-paid-for period and not attempt to retain the customer. There should be a “re-up” option which members can toggle at any time, so that no one need be charged on their account without their express consent.

Initially I signed up with Thrive because I’ve done the price comparison with our local Whole Foods, Wegman’s and Amazon w/ Prime (we’re in the Boston suburbs). They are less expensive for most of what they offer, not all. Even with the membership, if you buy enough, it still ends up less expensive. The transit time is not great, and it requires planning, but that’s life. We basically use a combination of Amazon, Wegman’s, Whole Foods and Costco for our health food needs.

The best thing is that I can send things to my parents (in NYC) without much effort, which I also do on Amazon. I’m able to have more than 1 shipping address and I usually spend at least $49 anyway because most of what I buy are multiple quantities of the same thing, basically stocking up on things that both my parents need for their health and my own family’s health.

Hi Gina- thanks so much for your feedback and we hope that you have gotten a chance to try Thrive Market out! You can have more than one shipping address associated with your account- that’s a nice idea to give the gift of healthy products! Because most people who try out Thrive Market do want to enroll in the annual membership, we have the automatic membership in place but we have recently rolled out a new cancellation portal on our page that allows us to follow up more quickly. I will definitely pass your suggestions on to the team!

Hi Michelle. Where is the cancellation portal you mention? I don’t see it anywhere and under help under membership it still (as of this moment) says
“How do I cancel my membership?
We hope you’ll love being a member of Thrive Market and if there’s anything we can do to improve your experience, we hope you’ll let us know. If for any reason you wish to cancel your Thrive Market membership, please email us at”


I’m a reader of Mark’s Daily Apple. Although that website pushes Thrive pretty hard, there are several reasons why I will probably steer clear. Primarily, I don’t use enough of the nonperishable items they sell to justify the membership fee. Also, they are a new company and might not make it, in which case that membership money will likely not be refunded. Thirdly, the negative comments here have convinced me that I probably don’t want the hassle. I think I’ll just continue to buy locally.

I’m not affiliated in any way with, but I wanted to mention them here as another option since I order from them a lot. They have fast shipping (free with a $50 order) and decent prices and no membership fee. I couldn’t do a perfect comparison since they only have the bison bars in singles, but if you take the bison bars out of the order, Thrive is $48 for your order and Vitacost is $58. However, Vitacost is almost always running some coupon special (right now it’s $10 off $60) so really in the end it works out to about the same price as Thrive with no membership fee.

I needed their customer service once, and wasn’t thrilled but it was ok. They sent me the wrong item because their website had a picture mismatch with the description. They refunded me instead of sending a replacement so that was mediocre customer experience and they were also very slow to understand what the issue was on their website. But they were always polite and I’ve never had any problems with their packaging.

I’ve been shopping at Vitacost for a few years now and I’ve found them to be very good. They have great prices, free shipping when you spend $49, package their goods well and ship promptly. On a few occasions I have asked for my money back because I didn’t like a product or there was an issue with breakage. I never had any problems getting my money back. I am not affiliated with Vitacost (or any company).

I agree, Tashina. I also enjoy using Vitacost. I’ve had good experiences with their customer service, their prices are good, and items are well-packaged. The $49 minimum for free shipping is easy to meet as they have a wide range of products and are constantly offering promotions. I live in NYC so I have lots of options, but like to use Vitacost for non-urgent items I might use frequently or buy in bulk. I also am not affiliated with Vitacost. Just a person trying to take care of my health on a budget!

I also agree with Tashina. I’m also not associated with Vitacost but I shop there, at Amazon (Prime), LuckyVitamin and SwansonVitamins for most of my cleaning products, supplements and Paleo/Primal products. BTW, with Vitacost you can get an extra 8% cashback by first going to

I’m currently doing a 1 month trial with Thrive and just completed a spreadsheet that compares the items I flagged as “favorites” to prices I can get the items elsewhere. I considered how many times I might buy each item in a 12 month period and found I might optimistically “save” $58.25 over the course of the year. So for me, that doesn’t pay for the cost of membership. (Your mileage will likely vary.) There were a few products that I haven’t tried yet that do sound good that aren’t practically available elsewhere. Still, with all the concerns about inability to cancel memberships I won’t plan on keeping the membership.

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

your way of doing the analysis makes a lot of sense. Just one note, are you really looking at all the types of products you might purchase? For example, I was buying canned tuna and salmon at Whole Foods, about $4.25 a can. Almost 50% cheaper at Thrive. Myers hand and dishwashing soap, much cheaper. MCT oil I was buying at amazon, about 30% cheaper. Epic Bars, about 15% cheaper. Whey protein powder from grassfed/organically raised cattle, about 20% cheaper. Garden of Life probiotics, about 30% cheaper, and so on.

I’ve placed 4 orders and estimate I’ve saved over $100 just on those orders. I’m a fan, but I understand “your mileage may vary”.

Hi Rick. I’m glad you’re able to save so much money. I would love to be able to do that. I think I really did give it a fair try based on what I buy. I spent hours scanning everything they sell for products I buy and flagged anything I buy today or what I might buy in the future as a favorite. I also looked at my favorites on my usual shopping sites and then sent a note to Thrive Market (TM) suggesting they carry the products I buy that they don’t currently carry. (They replied that they’ll consider doing so.) In the meantime, my list is pretty short as I do buy more supplements (ones TM doesn’t carry) than I do “food” online. Anyway, thanks for trying to help me and others make sure we’re not missing money-saving opportunities!

Thank you. I did a little cost comparison and I found items at Vitacost that were not available at Thrive and the prices for items stocked at both were comparable. I went with Vitacost for this month’s order.

I have become a member of thrive market and have place several orders. Overall I am happy with the experience. I do not have many good organic options near me. I have amazon prime but think it is expensive for food. Shipping does take a week but I expect that now and order accordingly. I have saved more than my membership fee and am now able to purchase items I would not be able to find anywhere else.

Hi Janine! Thanks for the kind words and we are happy to hear that you are enjoying your Thrive membership. We will be opening an East Coast fulfillment center in the fall and it will drastically improve shipping times. We hope that this will help you enjoy your membership even more!

Any chance Thrive might want to try USPS? If so, please have your contact in shipping message me. I work in Marketing at USPS and I am confident we could give you a cheaper and more reliable shipping service.

I would not be a fan of this move. Just USPS’s lack of tracking detail compared to FedEx and UPS is unacceptable to me. Whenever I have to ship something important and/or valuable, I never use USPS for this reason. Would love to see you guys raise your game on this count.

I guess everyone has a preference Rick. I, personally have had several problems with both fed ex and ups. I won’t buy anything online that does not offer USPS for shipping. I only mentioned USPS because of all of the complaints about fed ex. Apparently I am not the only one who has had problems. I am sorry you feel that way about USPS. I have been a letter carrier for 20 years and I scan hundreds of packages a day along with my regular mail delivery. I am happy with the service I provide my customers daily. I just started in Marketing recently and I will make sure and mention your opinion of us to my team.

Lanai….i want to make sure I’m clear. My only problem with USPS is lack of tracking info. With UPS and FedEx, I can track a package, see where it’s at in detail. I can’t do that with USPS. You guys need to implement that capability.

Rick, can you be specific on the details you would like to see? Right now, a package is scanned when it is picked up, at every facility it travels through and then there is a scan for out for delivery once it arrives at Its final post office and is with the carrier. Our scanners were recently updated with GPS and the information is uploaded wirelessly in real time. I encourage you to try us again and see if you see a difference in the tracking info.

Lanai…..with UPS and FedEx, I can see when the item was scanned in at point of origin, I can see when it boarded a flight and made it to the first hub, I can see when it was put on a truck and brought from Dallas to Austin, and I can see when it went out for delivery. In the past, with USPS I couldn’t see any of that kind of detail. Are you saying that USPS now has the same level of tracking detail that UPS and FedEx provide? If so, then we’ll definitely give them a go.

I am not sure if this copy and paste will show up in the comment, but I hope so. It does not say whether it is on a plane or truck but it shows scans for arrival and departure at every stop along the way including origination acceptance and put for delivery. If you go to and enter this example tracking number,you can see for yourself. At first all that comes up is out for delivery, but if you click on the tracking number,you will give you all of the history.
Ex # 9200190106460314724047 Please try it and let me know what you think. Thanks 🙂

yeah, that looks very different than the last time (several years ago) I paid for USPS “tracking”.

I’ll give ’em a try, thanks.

I am glad that our upgrade was an improvement in your eyes. Thank you for sticking with me on this!

Lanai, just following up. After a few different experiences, I would absolutely not be a fan of Thrive going with USPS. I’ve got two items being shipped with them right now that illustrate why. Both tracking info pages say the expected delivery date is yesterday, 8/3/15. Neither, according to their data, has even gotten to Texas (i’m in Austin). Days will go by without the shipping data updated. On one of them, it sat in Orlando for 2 days before the tracking page was updated to show that it left the facility, but that was yesterday morning and it still hasn’t shown where the package is, over 24 hours later.

That NEVER happens to me with UPS and FedEx. They move packages more promptly and efficiently and their tracking info is accurate and updated in a timely way. What I’m seeing from USPS isn’t close to the same level of quality. It’s better than it was a few years ago, but you guys still need to raise your game. You’re not there yet.

Can anyone please comment on a comparison of their experience with Thrive, and prices at Trader Joe’s?

You really can’t compare. Trader Joe’s mostly sells things under their own private label, which aren’t available anywhere else, and doesn’t carry most of the specialty items that I buy through Thrive or used to buy at Whole Foods or Amazon.

Comparing the two are like apples and oranges, I love Trader Joe’s for somethings like their shampoo and conditioner, their orchids, and some of their nuts, but aside from that, most of our non-perishable health foods comes from Whole Foods, Amazon or sometimes Costco.

After trying to cancel my trial membership, I was told I didn’t have an account. Exactly one month to the day of the trial membership, my credit card has been charged $59.95. I call, get put on hold and have to leave a message. I email and am still told no account can be found, but still no refund to my credit card. Getting very frustrated!!!

Thanks for posting. I was getting ready to place an order. Had everything in my cart and then googled Thrive Market and reviews. So glad that I found these comments. I hate companies that are hard to cancel, have bad customer service, and the long ship time. I will be buying from some place else. Thank you for posting!

Hi Mary! I am so sorry to hear that we were not able to locate your account! I definitely want to get this fixed for you and make sure that you get your refund if you have not already. When you call or email us, please ask for Michelle and she can look you up in our payment processing system, as it sounds like your name or email was different in our member database. Or, if you could provide an order number when you reach out that would help as well. Again, I am so sorry about this and I will make sure that we figure out where your account is hiding.

I have used Thrive for 3 months now and love it. I do most of my day to day shopping at Sprouts but unless they are having a major (i.e. infrequent) sale Thrive beats their prices across the board. I use Thrive for a few beauty products (shampoo, conditioner, bar soap) and household products (laundry and dish soap) but by and large I use it mainly for pantry items (canned tuna, sardines, tomato paste, organic flours, etc). I place an order about every 2-3 weeks for about $100 saving about $40 off of Thrive’s “list” price and about $30 off of my local stores pricing. The membership paid for itself within 2 months for me. I like Thrive’s selection of name brands that I can research and trust vs Trader Joe’s which are “house” brands and fairly secretive with their sourcing and sustainability information.

How is this different from Vitacost? Even if Thrive’s prices are slightly lower, I prefer their business model because I don’t have to pay for membership and they also offer free, slow shipping for larger orders.
I agree that deals on Amazon are not always legit and I would like to support companies like Thrive. But until they open up their website to let me comparison shop on the items I actually use, I’m not inclined to sign up and potentially have issues canceling later.

I have never used Vitacost, but have seen it recommended enough that I think I should check it out. I will see what I can find out and write an updated blog post.

I checked out Harrisburg store, but doesn’t work well for me. It seemed a little more like Amazon in that it wants you to order large quantities, and/or doesn’t carry all varieties. Of the three most common items I order, one was not carried, one was carried, but not in the flavor I use, and one was available but only in large quantities whereas I usually buy one or two at a time. Best thing about Vitacost is they generally have low minimum sizes. But I’m sure Harrisburg store is a good option for some if it has the right things you need.

Every day I see ads for Thrive Market with a $1,000.00 prize. Has anyone actually won?

I have been looking for a convenient, less expensive than our local natural foods market, way of connecting my health coaching clients with organic food staples. I loved the sales pitch I heard about Thrive Market on national TV. Until I can browse the web site without having to give them my email address (and I assume they won’t get it from this reply) I won’t recommend it to my clients. I also am very concerned with some of the posts here that speak of the difficulties with getting refunds as well as the sales pressure when they try to cancel. Jaime, you obviously have the direct connection to Thrive and are financially benefiting from adding to their customer list. If they can correct these two concerns I have I would likely give them a try and then, hopefully, be able to turn my clients on to this much needed option to increase access to organic, reasonably priced foods. Please pass on my comments and concerns.

Hi MJ! Thank you for considering shopping with Thrive Market! Like many other membership based services, we do require an account in order to view our offerings. However, your free trial does not begin until you place your first order so you can browse Thrive’s catalog for free for as long as you’d like. We only use your email address to send you coupons and updates about new products and articles. I can assure you that we are now more equipped to follow up on cancellation requests quickly and we are always willing to refund memberships that have not been used!

Great article Jaime. Thank you for posting it.

I signed up June 1st and placed three orders already and have received savings of about $85. I am loving the cost savings. Thrive has hit it out of the park for me. I have been dreaming about a site like this to come available where I can easily find the organic nonGMO and gluten free items.

I am a Amazon Prime Member too doing the Subscribe & Save monthly. I use Vitacost, Harrisburgstore and use to be a Costco/Sam member but dropped them after I became a Amazon Prime Member since I was receiving things cheaper.

What I LOVE about Thrive is you don’t have to order in cases. You can order one can of Organic Hearts of Palm and not 12 that you have to do at Amazon and Harrisburgstore.

The 2nd thing I love is that ALL the products are nonGMO. As someone who cares about what goes in the body for myself and family I no longer have to check labels. That is very freeing me!

My third love is my family and I are gluten free and they easily have that marked on their website so it makes ordering things a lot easier and quicker. They have raw treats that seem like I could have made them fresh that day. (Goodbites Truffles…yum!)

Fourth love is they have a variety of things that I didn’t know existed so trying new things to change up the meals which I am loving or now have different snacks…like their turkey and beef jerky…both gluten free. So tasty with the grass fed beef using Tamari (gluten-free). I had to give up jerky and loved taking that camping, hiking or traveling BUT not any more thanks to Thrive I am back!

The other big plus for me is that they have a social mission. They give a free membership to a low-income family for every paid member who joins Thrive. I like to support businesses that give to humanity.

So for me with my cost savings already and my needs and passion I am a Thrive Market supporter. I am soooooooo thankful they have arrived on the scene to democratize access to healthy living.

Some of their prices are good, however most of their discounts are inflated. For example, Nature’s Path Organic cereals show that they 31%-33% off, (roughly $3.65 vs $5.50). However these boxes are under $4.50 at whole foods and only $2.99 at Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods is always a bit prices depending on the product, but Trader Joe’s almost always comes out on top in terms of a cheaper price. A lot of the Kashi cereals on Thrive are originally more than $6 but only $4.25 at Thrive. I’ve never seen Kashi cereal for more than $6 (I live in Chicago) and most local grocery stores sell them for less than $5 (I want to say for less than $4 also).

I usually look at cereals when comparing prices. However I will give Thrive credit that their Kind bars are a deal! A box of 12 costs $16 on Thrive (less than $1 per bar!) whereas $18-20 is what I usually see them for.

Tom’s natural deodorant – I’ve never seen these go for more than $5, whereas Thrive shows that they are originally prices at more than $7 – where are they getting these price comparisons?

The chips, such as Kettle, are not competitively priced. Most grocery stores, including Whole Foods, have sales on chips and junk food all the time. You can get these for under $3 during a sale.

All in all, I think Thrive has to work a little bit harder to reduce prices. They are clearly saving money on running an actual grocery stores, but the prices don’t reflect it. Especially when you have to pay for shipping under $50.

Also, my other takeaway is that if you’re striving to eat healthy and organic, you most likely buy more produce than packaged goods. I don’t think I spend $50 a month on packaged goods which is where the membership and the shipping minimums just don’t work for me. Good concept though!

Hi Veronica! Our prices are based off the the manufacturer’s suggested retail price that we get directly from the brands. For most items, members will find that our prices are lower than other retailers’ sale prices, and they are available 365 days a year on Thrive! There will always be exceptions to the rule but most members find that they make up the cost of membership by the second order. We hope that that helps!

I am really surprised at some of the negative reviews I have been reading. It seems to me a ‘no brainer’ to check them out fully before ordering anything…they do mention it is a one-month trial and then they will charge your account the yearly fee. So, if you don’t want FedEx delivering, why would you order at all? Also, that annual fee is so minimal compared to what I saved on my first order that I figured it was the best deal around. Another question…why does it matter if you are signed up for Amazon Prime? It is a completely separate company, isn’t it? One thing I got from reading these reviews, if you read anything positive you can take it to the bank, since the reviewers are so critical of everything. I spent about $88 dollars and saved $36, so if I do that once a month I will break even in two months after paying my annual fee. Free shipping is nice, too. This is the wave of the future so get with it folks! When you are 80 you will be glad to have someone doing your shopping for you and you only have to do a few clicks!

I agree, people are sooooooo negative and sooooooo critical. This is a new company…….give em a break. No business starts out perfect. They are doing their best to address these issues. Seems to me that many of the negative comments come from customers that, are hard to please. Since when is offering a 10% discount an insult? Why is a week too long for shipping? This company is not AMAZON, and that’s a good thing…..stop expecting perfection…..give them time to learn, make changes and grow. Life’s too short to get so upset about little things…..I’m looking forward to getting good, wholesome products delivered to my door at a great discount.

My husband was laid off in 2013 and has not yet been able to find a job that can support our family to the point where we won’t need help from the government. Our older children are working and helping pay the bills. We had always preferred healthy, organic food but now could no longer afford it. We learned of THRIVE and the fact that they donate a membership to a low income family for each one they sell, and we are now a THRIVE family! When they say they donate a membership to help a low income family, they really do mean what they say, and I thought you might like to hear from one of us!

Big breath in & out…I just joined under the one month free trial period and placed my first order this evening. I am so hoping to enjoy this experience. Already I am saving money over the items I purchase at The Fresh Market, which are double & triple the cost of Thrive. Plus, there are several neutraceutical supplements that I’d purchase via Amazon – the exact SAME brand – that are far cheaper with Thrive. The next time I need to restock my supplements…guess where I’ll be coming to do so? Yep…THRIVE. So, I’ve entered into this venture with an open mind. I am so hoping I will not be disappointed. ~ Cindy

I’ve been using these guys for a month now and I like them a lot. I consistently save a lot of money. I like the concept, makes a lot of sense. What I don’t like is they’re really inefficient at processing orders and shipping. Placed an order on Sunday, didn’t ship until Tuesday. Realized I forgot a few things, placed an order on Monday that didn’t ship until Thursday! That’s nuts. They gotta tighten that up. Orders should go out within a business day, period. The model is sound but they gotta clean some things up in a hurry. Only going to get worse as they grow.

Hi Rick-
Thanks so much for offering your feedback. We had a big promotion that week, which led to a massive influx of orders, causing our warehouse to run a bit behind schedule. We appreciate your support as a new company, and your input helps us make further improvements!

We have gotten caught up, and should be better prepared to handle the higher volume orders.
Thanks again for shopping with us and believing in our mission!

We would love to hear any other suggestions you have, and you can send them our way through our new FAQ page:

Thanks, Misha.

Just an update on this, I placed an order about 24 hours ago, and as of now I’ve still not received a shipment notification. I’m going to be very disappointed if it does not ship today. There’s just no good excuse for not getting orders out by the end of the next business day. We still have half a day or so, hopefully they make it!

I tried to go online on the Sunday that my trial membership was to expire and the paid membership was to begin. I wrongly assumed that I could do that the way I have cancelled previous memberships of other kinds — just login, find the part where I can click cancel, and done. However, there was NOWHERE on their site to do that. They only cancel by email or phone. I sent an email requesting cancellation and that no charge be made, knowing that no charges are made on Sunday on my bank account anyway. I also called just in case they had a call center that was open on a Sunday (like Amazon, for example). They did not answer, but I left a message.
Today, Monday, I see that they have charged my account anyway. I have called during office hours now, NINE times, and each time got a recording that hung up within just a few minutes. I sent another email expressing my disappointment that the only way to cancel was by email or phone, and that they do not respond to either. So disappointed. I cannot help but think that all the others on this page hinting at something being rotten in Denmark are absolutely correct. I’m prepared to go other legal routes to get my money back.

Hi Denise-
I’m so sorry to hear you were unable to get in touch with us! We’ve had a high increase in members, which has led to an unusually high volume of emails and calls. I apologize for the inconvenience. I hope that you were able to get in touch with a specialist to help you get your account taken care of.

I’m happy to let you know that we have just launched our new FAQ page to help better serve the needs of our members , which also includes a self-service oriented feature for cancellation requests. This new feature will also help us respond to inquiries much quicker.

I’m so sorry this function was not available at the time of your request. We do hope that you’ll consider joining Thrive in the future!

Many of you do not live in Azure Farms area, however, their prices are better, and no fee. Downside they deliver to a drop off location every 4 weeks. No shipping and no sales tax.

I joined with the free trial and regret it. Two plus weeks before my trial ended I emailed that I wanted to cancel. Then, Ashley keeps trying to get me to stay a member, even though I clearly state cancel my membership. Now, they’ve charged my credit card $60 for the membership. What a mess, now I have more work to do. I do not recommend this company! Stay away!

Hi Deborah-
I’m so sorry to hear that your experience with our service was not positive! It is extremely important that our members have the best experience possible, so we do appreciate you taking the time to offer your feedback as it will help us improve.

I hope that you were able to obtain your refund, as it is certainly not our intention to charge you for a membership that you do not want. As a new company always looking for way to improve, we truly take your feedback to heart.

We now have a new FAQ page to help better serve the needs of our members with a self-service oriented feature for cancellation requests. Again, I’m so sorry that this happened, and we hope that you will consider giving us another shot in the future!

Not a great experience. Customer service needs to be the utmost in a service such as this. If you cannot ship within 24 hours, you should let customers know. 72 hours is far too long. I am disappointed. When you set the bar high, you have to be able to reach the bar without question.

Hi Jennifer-
I’m so sorry we were unable to ship your order in the usual 24 hours! We do try our very best to get orders out within 24 hours after an order is placed, but our warehouse was a bit behind at the time. I can assure you that they were doing their best to get caught up with the massive influx of orders and we have recently brought on more employees to help accommodate the incredible growth. We have gotten all caught up with our orders, and we hope that you will see the improvements in the ship time with your next order.

I have also passed along your suggestion to inform customers if there is ever a delay in future orders. We appreciate you taking the time to offer your feedback as it definitely helpful to us as we work out some kinks as a very new company.

First of all, if the customer wants out, they shouldn’t have to hassle for it. A company’s first priority should be to keep customers happy, even if they are leaving because somedday they might come back. But they won’t be coming back after a fiasco like this.

Second, is it possible that in this day and age (and thanks to Amazon Prime) that we are expecting things to arrive lighting fast? Honestly, for a startup business, that’s not really possible. There are lots of kinks to work out. Take a new restaurant, there are always problems in the first few months after opening, most people know to stay away until the kinks are worked out. Another example, I love ordering from Mountain Rose Herbs, but because of the distance and processing time, it can take over two weeks for an order to arrive at my door. I know to expect that and I’m ok with it. They are not Amazon and I don’t expect them to be, but they are a company that offers high quality products at a reasonable price.

I honestly believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and I think that is Thrive’s mistake to assume that customers will stay on after their free trial ends. Like another commenter mentioned, they should just take that part away and do something similar to what Costco does, members get the cheaper price, non-members pay the 15% or 20% markup price for their orders.

yeah, I agree with this. I emailed their customer service complaining about the delays in getting orders shipped and the answer was what I figured it would be. They are growing VERY quickly and as is often the case in these situations, they’re behind the curve trying to scale up to meet demand. I’m confident they’ll get that figured out. They assured me the goal is shipping within 24 hours, and gave me a 10% off coupon for the inconvenience.

I’ve now ordered 3 times from them and I conservatively figure I’ve saved about $100 on the items I ordered. I’m a fan and I’m willing to stay with them through some of the growing pains. I don’t think they lack integrity, I think they’re just going through growing pains. The key question is if you think the fundamental model is sound, and I do.

My 2 month free trial is up on the 29th at which point they’ll bill me for my annual membership, and I’m happily letting them do that. I’m excited to be a member and I’m referring friends and family to them, and they’re having good experiences as well.

Hi Rick –

Thank you so much for bearing with us through our period of growth, and understanding we are doing our best to accommodate!

We’re grateful to have you on board in supporting our mission. I’m happy to hear that your friends and family are enjoying the Thrive experience as well! If you ever have any feedback for us, we would love to hear from you! Any suggestions can be submitted on our new FAQ page.

Thanks again!

Has anyone tried singing up for the trial with a virtual credit card number? Citi Cards have them available on all of their cards. You can tell Citi how much and how many times someone can charge that card and they will give you a “virtual” number to use for the transaction. I think that is what I will do so that if I don’t want to continue, I can cancel without them continuing to charge me.

Yes Norita, I signed up using a virtual credit card (the Fidelity Visa card offers the same feature – I love it!). I use it for all my online ordering and especially for signing up for trials and online services that autocharge on renewal. It’s a great suggestion for people and I didn’t realize all the Citi cards offer it.

so that worked out ok for you? I think I will do it that way too then. thanks

I haven’t canceled yet, but it worked out fine for enrolling under the trial.

I got a trail membership offer via a reputable third party link. I checked their price of a particular brand of honey with what I used to pay. The price is about the same. However, because they offered an additional 25% off to new users, I placed an order. Then I realized that the company ships products from CA and I live on the east coast. I thought that it was not green since the product I ordered was from the east coast. So I sent them an email (phone only works M-F) immediately to cancel my order and trail membership. Meanwhile, I realized that once an order was placed, customers cannot cancel the order. Today I received my order exactly 7 days after I placed the order and everything was fine except one jar’s cap was cracked. Fortunately the seal was still intact. Their packaging was good, but not as well as my regular vendor ( Before I received my order, I called them to cancel my trail membership and they agreed. They mentioned that they’ll open an east coast distribution center later this year. Overall, the order and the cancellation process were satisfactory. Considering they are still growing, it’s not too bad.

I have been a Thrive member for two-three months now and am totally enjoying the experience. I keep a running cart going, when I think of something I need, I simply add it to my cart. Once my cart totals $50.00, which never takes too long, I send in my order.
I, too, was a little put off by the shipping times, but once you get up and running, consistently ordering, and staying ahead of what you might need, it just seems like there is always an order coming in.
I live in rural New Hampshire and having the ability to obtain the products I want without having to drive for an hour is priceless. The cost savings are also significant and obviously, the more you buy, the more you save.
Looking forward to seeing their product line increase with customer input.

Hi Janice-

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience! With our incredible growth, I’m happy to let you know that we are working on opening our east coast distribution center this fall, which will allow for faster ship time to you in New Hampshire!

We’d love to hear your product suggestions as we continue to expand our inventory. Please send any suggestions our way on our new FAQ page!

I need to show you pictures of the mess. I gently vacuumed the flour mess, and every item in the order. I shook the boxes out, but I find the flour now in the cabinets, the counters, and on the floor. And what a waste of water trying to wash shampoo off all the bottles that it leaked onto! What did I save? Nothing!

The lack of timely response makes it worse. On Tuesday, 5 days after my first contact, I was told my call would be returned Wednesday (I said “anytime” and stayed close to the phone). Nope, now it’s been a week since my first contact, how do I get customer service attention? And if they think they’ll get me to pay for an annual membership, they are mistaken. I will pursue a chargeback with my credit card company.

Here they are using social media, yet not attending to the customer’s problems.

Hi Ronalee! I am so sorry that your order arrived damaged and that you had a hard time getting in touch with us! It looks like the situation has been taken care of but I still wanted to reach out and apologize for the problem. The week that you reached out to us was one of the busiest that we have ever had in terms of orders and new members and we have now grown our Member Services team accordingly. I hope that if you decide to try us again, you will see the improvements that we have made!

You people send out open and damaged containers, what do you expect when a customer gets it? The situation was taken care of ONLY because I continued to call EVERYDAY until I finally got someone. My email was received, but no follow through. That is not how I want to spend my time. No, I would never use your service again, because customer service appears to be your last priority. That doesn’t work.

Hi Ronalee- again, we are so sorry that your order arrived damaged but I can assure you that we would never intentionally send out an open item. Our warehouse team takes great care in packing each order and tries their best to help each package reach its recipient safely. It looks like we did not follow up by email because the problem was resolved over the phone. Our member services team works around the clock to make sure that our members are satisfied. I hope that you will check back and see our progress over the coming months, as we expand our team, our offerings, and our savings.

I placed my first order them 16 days ago and am now learning that it is leaving CA for my NJ address TODAY. I should receive it in 2 or 3 days. We will see how that works out.

Hi Pat! Most of our orders leave our warehouse within 24 hours and I am so sorry to hear that yours did not ship for so long! There was a tech glitch at the end of June that prevented a small numbers of orders from syncing to our warehouse correctly. We are so sorry if your order was affected and can assure you that the problem has been fixed. I hope that you enjoyed your purchases!

I spend so much money on good food. In theory I would love Thrive and it would be worth an annual fee. But I am shocked to read how many people have had trouble canceling their free trial, that is just wrong. Its bad business and its unethical. I want to support transparent GOOD companies worth supporting. I also think it is sad that you have to join a free trial and potentially get stuck with a membership you don’t want, and have a headache trying to cancel, just to see what products Thrive actually has!!! Just the amount of times a Thrive Representative has had to say “I am so sorry” on this one forum alone, is a major red flag to me. Don’t be sorry. Don’t just fix the individual complaints- FIX THE WAY YOU DO BUSINESS.

What tops it off for me is the customer who’s package was lost, and Thrive blamed fed-ex and just offered her a coupon. Be sure to report unresolved problems to the BBB-, companies need real pressure to actually change. And we need good companies more than ever!!!

To be fair, keep in mind that the people posting here are not a representative sample. People who are Thrive members and have had good experiences are just going on their merry way and aren’t likely looking for a place to share their positive opinion. It is naturally going to happen that we will hear a lot of angry voices even if they are proportionately only a very small fraction of the total customer base. My experience with Thrive has continued to be good and I really am saving a considerable amount of money over the local options available to me and a modest amount over other online providers. I wish shipping was faster, but I’ve learned to be patient and plan ahead! For me, membership continues to be a wise choice.

Jamie, great point.

I have zero problem calling a company out as unethical if I think they’ve earned it. I’m a small business owner and we strive to provide clients an exceptional experience and if problems arise to make things right. For a business like Thrive, their processes and systems by necessity are scaled to handle a certain amount of volume and they have a business plan anticipating growth, when to add IT resources, when to add people, when to add additional distribution facilities, etc… And one of the quickest ways to damage customer experience is to grow exponentially faster than your projections expected. Thrive literally exploded in growth, from what I’m hearing, and that put every one of their processes and systems under major strain.

If you look at the people involved in Thrive Market, who helped fund and initially promote it, the odds that this is a business intentionally trying to deceive people are very, very low. Could they have handled things better? Oh yeah, no question. But it’s amazing to me how quick people are to attribute these kinds of mistakes to evil intent.

The vast majority of their customers are having great experiences. The only negative I’ve had with them is delayed shipping times, and that was much improved on my last order. I expect growing pains from a new online company trying to do something as ambitious as what they’re doing. I’m glad they’re around and I’ve already saved a ton of dough with them and will be placing another order this weekend. In 3 months I’ve probably saved well over $150, and some gas and time running to the store. I’m a fan.

Hi Sam! I completely understand your concerns and would love to address them. We respond to requests as quickly as we are able and aim to do so well within 24 hours. Unfortunately, there have been a few short periods where, due to a huge influx of orders and new members, we were not able to follow up as quickly as we would have liked, leading to some people being charged before we could follow up. In no cases did we refuse to remedy the situation as quickly as possible with the member. We have since increased the size of our members services team and introduced self-service cancellation options on our website.

We aim to be one of the transparent, good companies that you feel great shopping with. That’s why we donate a free membership to a family in need for every membership purchased and prioritize our mission of sustainability through our packaging and business practices. I also want to let you know that your trial does not begin until you place your first order so you can browse Thrive for free for as long as you would like. I hope that this helps and please always feel free to reach out to us through our contact us page if you have any additional questions!

Michelle, you mentioned the “self service cancellation” before and that commenter was unable to find it on your website. I too have clicked all around on your website and have not found any “easy” or “self service cancellation” option. Would you please provide the link to this? Thanks

Hi Michelle. I think your statement about a new “self-service cancellation option” is misleading. It still becomes a “submission” for processing by Thrive. If all the negative experiences about people who tried to cancel and were charged a membership fee were truly all due to volumes you are unable to keep on top of, it could be easily addressed through a programming change to make membership renewal optional (a field under account that is editable by the customer) and not a hard-coded default that requires Thrive intervention to amend.

Hi Diane! Thanks for the suggestions! You’re right, if you decide to proceed with cancellation we do complete the final steps but if someone forgets to reach out earlier, it will allow them to change their charge date so that they are not charged at an inconvenient time. A vast majority of trial members choose to remain on board and our current membership renewal format is made clear at checkout and in follow up emails so that trial members have lots of time to reach out if they do choose to end their access. We are back to our quick reply times and will continue to implement member feedback as we grow so we appreciate your input!

Jaime, I found your blog today while searching for consumer reviews of Thrive Market. I appreciate your time, sharing your positive experience.

Unfortunately, I agree with Diane. Thrive Market’s statement (above) about a new “self-service cancellation option” does seem misleading.

My advice is to wait until Thrive Market straightens out the kinks in its system. If this company “thrives,” then it will be around for you to join after the dust has settled. We all lead busy lives. We don’t need extra work on our plates.

Here is my experience:

On July 6, 2015, I made a first-time purchase through Thrive Market (to purchase mayonnaise, produced by Primal Kitchen, which is Mark Sisson’s food brand).

On July 24, 2015 (today), I followed Michelle’s instructions in order to cancel my trial membership through their online “self-service cancellation option.” I wasn’t successful. But I took the time to take screen shots and careful notes, in case it could help others.

(1) First, I clicked on the “self-service cancellation option” link, provided above by Michelle (

(2) That brought me to their main FAQ webpage. On the left-hand side of the screen was a list of navigation links — and I clicked on the “Thrive Membership” link (also per Michelle’s instructions above).

(3) That brought me to a 2nd FAQ webpage, containing the following options:
– Can I try Thrive for free?
– I’m considering ending my membership. How do I do that?
– How does the Thrive Membership work? What are the benefits?
– Why is there a membership fee?
– What is Thrive Gives?
– How much does the membership cost?
– I have a different question.

(4) I clicked on the option to end my membership (ie, “I’m considering ending my membership. How do I do that?”).

(5) That brought me to a “Cancellation Request” webpage. At the bottom of this page was listed my Name, my Email Address, and my Phone Number — all of which was listed correctly. At the top of the page was an instruction to “Please take a moment to tell us why you’re considering ending your membership with us,” followed by a list of reasons. I chose my reason (ie, “I don’t think I’ll order enough to justify the cost of the membership”) and I clicked the “Next” button.

(6) That brought me to a 2nd “Cancellation Request” webpage. This page said, “You may extend your trial membership for up to 30 days if you would like some more time to decide!” I clicked the link that said, “No thanks, I would still like to cancel.”

(7) That brought me to a “Thank You” webpage. This page said, “Thank You for your message! A member services representative will be in touch within 24-48 hours. Thrive On!” There was no message confirming my cancelation — just a message saying a representative will contact me. (Please note, I don’t need, nor want, to be contacted by a representative. I just want automatic confirmation that my trial membership was canceled.)

(8) Within 10 minutes, I received an email from “Member Services” ( The subject line was: “Welcome to Thrive Market.” The email body said:
“Welcome to Thrive Market. Please click the link below to create a password and login. a 25-digit code]
This email is a service from Thrive Market. Delivered by Zendesk”

Clearly, this email is NOT a confirmation of cancellation — strangely enough, it is a “welcome” email with instructions to open a customer account. I didn’t click on the email link.

I will follow up, here, to let everyone know if Thrive Market properly canceled my account — or if they charged me for the membership fee. I will also notify Mark Sisson. The 30-day window closes in less than 2 weeks.

Hi there! I wanted to check-in to see if you were helped and everything went smoothly!

My main problem is with the $59.95/yr fee. There needs to be other options such a $5/mo fee (charged every month) or a simple $5/fee attached to each order (for those who order irregularly). I’m not one to order every week, bi-weekly, or even monthly. I most likely will only order 1-4 times a year to restock things.. so the yearly fee makes it not worth it to me. Please consider these other options I mentioned.

Hi Sean- thanks for the feedback! We do offer a six month membership option to members who cannot pay the membership fee upfront, as we want saving with us to be possible for people of all incomes and buying habits- inquire with our member services department for more information. We will continue to consider member input when making different options available!

I joined a few weeks ago but finally placed my order yesterday. I figured I’d post my questions here since they seem to respond to comments posted on this health blog quicker than they do emails for some reason.

1. Is dry ice or some sort of cooling mechanism included (insulated containers, etc.) in shipments
with perishable items so they don’t go bad due to the summer heat? I’ve read before that temps in the back of a UPS/FEDEX/USPS truck can get as high as 120 degrees.

2. Are many items sold at Thrive past their expiration date or bargain bin items(dented/etc.), or are they normal/fresh items bought directly from the manufacturers?

3. I’ve shared my customized referral link I made with friends & on forums I talk on as it said, “For each of your friends who place their first order, they’ll get 25% off and you’ll earn $25 in Thrive Cash, too.”. I’ve had 3 friends sign up so far and purchase things, but in my account under Invite Friends, their status changed from “Pending $25” to “Earned $0”, despite them placing their first order & becoming a thrive member through me. Is this an error? or will it say “Earned $25” eventually at a certain time each month and show up in my credits?


Hi Daniel! Thank you for shopping with Thrive Market. In response to your questions:

1. We 2-day ship chocolates and probiotics with ice packs during the summer months to ensure that they reach our members safely.

2. The products that we sell are exactly the same in terms of freshness and packaging quality that you would find on the shelves of a health food store- the only difference is the price! Our warehouse checks for dents and expiration dates before packing each item.

3. The situation that you mentioned was indeed an error! Our tech team has since fixed the problem so your credits will apply automatically going forward. Please use our “contact us” page to reach out to our member services department about this and we will be happy to make you a gift card with your “earned $0” credits!

I hope that this helps and please feel free to reach out with any other questions that you might have.

I’ve ordered probiotics 3 times since I’ve joined (about 2 to 3 months ago) and have never seen ice packs included in the shipping package. My last order of probiotics (along with other items) arrived on Monday and I haven’t had time to check to make sure that the probiotics were still alive. I usually do this by making a batch of yogurt with one or two pills. I put the new bottles into the fridge immediately, hopefully when it cools down here (Boston area) then I will test it by making a new batch of yogurt. Also, my package took 1 week to arrive, not 2 days, with 2 bottles of probiotics and over $300 worth of products.

Hi Irene – We’re very sorry to hear that you did not receive your probiotics with an ice pack and that they were not shipped via 2-day. We will be reaching out to our warehouse to let them know!

Daniel, after two mishaps with FedEx, I finally received my order yesterday. All 6 cans of coconut milk were dented even though they were wrapped/packaged rather nicely in the box and there was no damage to the box. This led me to believe that Thrive sent dented cans, even though someone from Thrive via their Facebook page insisted they do not sell dented canned goods. I have not received any follow-up, and I contacted them early in the day by phone (leaving a message), contact form on their site, and through Facebook as I mentioned. They rarely respond to email questions or concerns, and have never answered their phones even if you call first thing in the morning. I’m extremely disappointed because everything else I ordered, although it took two weeks, was great, especially the prices. *sigh*

Hi Emma- we respond to every single email that we receive but we have seen enormous growth over the past few weeks and member services is working around the clock to get back to everyone in as timely a manner as possible. I am very sorry that you have not been able to reach us and I can assure you that we are trying our hardest to make it easy for you to get in touch. The entire member services department is working to take calls from members from 8am-6pm PST Monday through Saturday.

We are working to take our member’s feedback into account on all fronts. We will be opening a new fulfillment center to service the Midwest and East Coast soon so your packages will reach you more quickly. Unfortunately, it does not take outer box damage for cans to knock into each other during shipping but we are also adjusting our order limits and shipping methods for cans to make sure that they reach you in the same state that we packaged them. We appreciate your patience as we grow and hope that you will continue to provide us with feedback to help us make the Thrive experience a great one for you!

So, it takes Thrive over two weeks to get back to a customer to resolve issues? That is unacceptable, Michelle. And those cans must have done some serious knocking, considering how they were so carefully wrapped. Maybe try bubble wrap for canned goods. But what do I know? I’m just a customer. Also, as many others have commented, even though I’m on disability income, I loved the idea that Thrive is giving back to others like me. But I worry now that they’re going to receive the same lack of customer service. And it may take 30 days to cancel to make sure my card is not charged. smh

After ordering canned coconut milk and canned baby corn from Amazon and receiving 8 dented cans out of 12, I’ve learned to never order canned goods online, no matter how good the price.

I will also not be ordering flour products from Thrive because of the way they package the bags. I prefer ordering flour, like Bob’s Red Mill by the case and was hoping they would just include the case by the box, but they actually remove the 4 bags out of the case and put that into the Thrive box. Thankfully, I didn’t have a huge mess to clean when one of the bags had a small hole, but it could have been a disaster like another commenter experienced.

I wish I would have found this blog prior to signing up for the free trial. I too have had my credit card charged when I asked to cancel my membership. When I first asked to cancel my membership I was able to contact them without much difficulty. This time I tried to fill out the forms on their website, email, etc. Finally got a form to work, but I will be calling them once their phone line is open. I have a hard time believing a company who won’t have the integrity to cancel a membership when someone requests it ACTUALLY gives money to the people in need they claim to help. Due to how they’ve treated me and others I WILL NOT be back when I finally get this resolved, which is a shame because I believed that I would join down the road.

Hi Caly- I can see that your situation has been resolved but I still wanted to reach out and apologize that you were charged unexpectedly. Given the reasons you cited for cancellation, we tried to accommodate your concerns and we apologize that you did not see our follow up email. We have actually given even more memberships to those in need than we have members, and we will soon be rolling out even more material that will make it easier for low income families to make the most out of their membership. We hope that you will check us out again in the future.

My thoughts on Thrive…. I placed my order on 7/23 and it arrived 7/30. Took exactly 1 week to pack, ship, and arrive to me in Florida via Fedex Ground. All other similar stores take around the same time or longer (Vitacost, Lucky Vitamins, Swanson Vitamins, etc.) except Amazon of course who has mastered 2-3 day shipping.

I saved about $60 on my first order (compared to Vitacost, Lucky Vitamins, Swanson Vitamins) & $125 (compared to Amazon) with the 25% off promo code & an extra 10$ off for referrals. You can only use the promo code once on your first order. Without using a promo code I would of saved about $20-$30 (compared to Vitacost, Lucky Vitamins, Swanson Vitamins) & $100+ (compared to Amazon). Is it worth the membership fee? If you order regularly, yes.

The best thing about Thrive is that they give you $25 per each person who signs up under you and makes their first order. You could not have to pay anything and only order from Thrive by way of getting others to sign up using your referral link. I’m sure a lot of the people who’ve written reviews about Thrive on their sites have made thousands in thrive cash so they don’t even have to use their own money to buy things from there.

Am I going to cancel my membership? I’m not sure yet. I’m going to try to refer more people so I can buy a membership with thrive cash I earned, saving me more money.

Here’s a price comparison I made of how much I saved along with everything I ordered.

ThriveMarket: $132.04 (without any promo codes) | $89.03 (with 25% off first time order code & and extra $10 off for email referrals)

Vitacost: $165.24 (without any promo codes) | $155.24 (with $10 off promo code)

LuckyVitamins: $168.54 (without any promo codes) | $163.54 (with $5 off promo code) | $154.25 (when I subtract 1 Orgain pack to match what I ordered from Thrive)

SwansonVitamins: $170.24 (before promo codes) | $144.75 (with 15% off promo code) + $4.99 s/h = $149.74 (had to find similar items since they didn’t have everything I ordered from Thrive)

Amazon: $257.10 (without any promo codes) | $236.25 (with $5 off Orgain coupon, and subtracting 1 Orgain pack & 6 cans of beans to match what I ordered on Thrive) these prices also don’t include additional shipping charges for items not sold directly through Amazon and taxes.

Hi Daniel – thanks for providing a price breakdown. We also wanted to be sure to let you know that our previous friend referral promotion expired,

So if they did not place their first order before July 30, you will receive the credits to your account once they become paid members (are charged for their membership). It sounds like you were able to earn a lot of credits prior to the change, and with just 3 friends, you would make up the full cost of membership to use toward placing your order for free (although it can not be used toward paying the membership fee)!

If you ever have any questions feel free to contact us:

We’re more than happy to help!

I’ve had the same problem as many above- I tried a free trial membership, didn’t find it cost effective for the things I order compared to Amazon, and have asked three times for the membership to be cancelled. Thrive emails back and offers reduced price membership, but won’t cancel me. I’ve just received an email advising of an upcoming membership charge to my credit card. Their site provides an email address to use to cancel, I used that and received an automated message stating they don’t monitor that address anymore. I found another link and put in yet another cancellation request. I am letting everyone I know via social media and elsewhere what a consumer nightmare this site is. Ridiculous customer service.

That scares me, Misha. 🙁 I don’t want a fight over my money if I decide to cancel.

Hi Misha,

I’m really sorry if you’ve had any frustration with your membership experience. We recently implemented a new process via our website which is why you received the automated message. We ask that customers reach out to us via our FAQ page. We appreciate customer feedback and work to implement process that enhance the membership experience wherever possible. We do also offer flexible membership options for interested customers, but we absolutely honor our customers requests. Again, I’m really sorry if you’ve had any trouble with our process. That’s definitely not our intention.

STAY AWAY from Thrive Market…they are not ethical or reliable…really bad customer service, but join at your own risk. When I posted the truth about their customer service (or lack of) to their Facebook page, referring people to this blog, they deleted it and blocked me from posting. That told me everything I needed to know about them. To those having good to great experiences, I must say I do envy you because I love their prices. Oh well….

Hi Emma – W’ere so sorry that you did not have a positive experience with Thrive. It is really important to us that our members have a great experience and we are sad to hear that yours was not up to our usual high standards.

Our Social Media Team and Member Services are two separate departments. Our Social Media Team shares all service related requests with us at Membership Services so that we are able to address any issues directly.

I tried the 30 day free trial membership to compare it to and while I saved a tiny bit on some items, I noticed the packaging was SO small on many items that it is not cost effective. For example. I had to buy three bottles of syrup to the one size at; all the wasted plastic in those bottles! Another drawback is that I was unable to buy in bulk, which would have saved in packaging and in cost. When I received my order, it seemed like all the boxes, bags, jars and jugs were sized for a tiny child’s kitchen. Finally it took almost 2 weeks to receive the order. I have cancelled my subscription and will be ordering from Amazon again. (Hopefully I do not have trouble with cancellation as so many others have experienced!) I can get bulk, larger containers and quick shipping with them. I don’t mind paying a few pennies more to save time, energy and the environment.

Hi Laura – We’re so sorry to hear that you were unable to benefit from the discounted prices. We also apologize for the delay in your order. As a brand new company, we have grown much more quickly than expected, and have experienced a huge influx of new members which has resulted in thousands more orders. We thank you for your patience and understanding while we work through our growing pains.

We will be opening our east coast distribution center in the Fall, which will allow for much faster ship times if you are in the east.

As a carbon neutral company, we are always working to reduce our carbon footprint and increase company-wide sustainability. Our largest improvements have been in our shipping department, and we’re always looking for new ways to update our packing processes to improve sustainability. This is one of the reasons we have a $49 minimum for free shipping, to encourage members to place larger orders less often.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’d be more than happy to address them. Feel free to reach out to us here:

My daughter who is 17 ordered an oil that came in today leaking from the side. I never gave her any permission to do so. I’m trying to get in contact with the company because she used my card for this. I don’t want this company to take out the little money from my card. Can I get a telephone number where I can reach them. Thank you

I’m following up to let everyone know what happened. (Please see my previous comment above, dated July 24, 2015).

Thrive Market DID charge me $59.95 for a membership, despite the fact that I used their online cancellation form and followed all their instructions to cancel my 30-day free trial membership on a timely basis (approximately 12 days BEFORE the 30-day window expired).

Does Thrive Market understand the ill will they’re creating? I’m not so sure.

Does Thrive Market understand that many of their customers are struggling with chronic, serious illnesses (ie, a common reason for seeking out healthful foods & products in the first place), and that their customers’ health is negatively impacted by the exhaustion & aggravation of going in circles with them to correct their billing error? I’m not so sure.

I am completing a “dispute form” to be submitted to the local branch of my Bank. I will also suggest to my Bank that they reconsider servicing Thrive Market, due to the extraordinarily large number of complaints by Bank customers.

I recommend that every dissatisfied customer do likewise.

I’m not surprised, Office Manager…and I am one who’s struggling with health issues and therefore modified my diet. I’m also a senior citizen. If Thrive truly cared about its customers, they would have set up a way to easily cancel one’s membership via their site, and not have them jumping through hoops which only amount to lies. They don’t want cancellations. They want our money. I’m so concerned about Mercedes Lopez. 🙁

Hi there- I am very sorry for any confusion regarding our cancellation process! As noted above, you did not receive an automatic confirmation when submitting your request through our portal. That is because we, as a mission minded company, work to provide options based on your reason for cancelling to make Thrive more accessible to you after you submit the form. We follow up to all requests and I am very sorry if you did not see our response to your request. It is never our intention to charge someone for a membership that they do not want so I apologize if there was a misunderstanding and for any inconvenience that it may have caused. Our team would be more than happy to help you solve this problem quickly over the phone- you can reach out to us at (866) 419-2174. I hope that this helps!