Purebulk: A no-frills nutritional supplement marketplace

Ooh, something just came across my desk.  According to my interns, the three sectors poised for the greatest growth in the next 10 years are:

  1. The solar panel industry
  2. The “Twilight”-related merchandise industry
  3. The nutritional supplement industry

In fact, according to my interns, the nutritional supplement industry will grow to either $5 billion or $153 trillion by 2020.  Sky’s the limit, in fact, and poised to take advantage of this growth is PureBulk.


Purebulk is a simple, easy-to-use site that allows you to buy nutritional supplements…in bulk.  Simple stuff.  I hopped on to their home page, and there, as promised, were a bunch of nutritional supplements that’d make Barry Bonds’ over-sized, balloon-shaped head burst like a smashed cantaloupe: 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR), and Beta Sitosterol 40%, all of which made me think I was temporarily in a dystopian Charlton Heston movie (“the supplements….they’re people!“)*

Purebulk’s motto is “No Hype.  No Hassles.  No Fillers.”  (Not “I must break you.”)  And they’re true to their word.  As my grandma used to say, “Back in Lithuania, we walked three miles to buy bread.”  She also said, “Nothing’s worse than a complicated e-commerce site.”  Not the case here.  When you land on the home page (the “Products” tab), there are your supplements, in alphabetical order.  You can naturally search for them or browse as well.  The other tabs include Forums, News, Contact, Shipping Costs, and Log In.  Let’s explore each, shall we?

  • Forums:  There’s a pretty robust forum here, and the topics show that PureBulk is attuned to their customers (e.g. “What Products Would You Life to See?”)  But perhaps more pertinent to the customers themselves are the Supplement and Nutrition forums that deal with – you guessed it – the supplements themselves: “Bodybuilding and Performance Athletes,” “Anti-Aging and Longevity,” etc.
  • News: (see below) This comes across more like a blog (perhaps re-title it as such?), and it provides helpful tidbits such as new products, shipping times, and other general housekeeping.  (I also liked how the owners published a – presumably – reader e-mail and directly responded to it.  PureBulk has nothing to hide, man.)
  • Contact: A nice little page with a photo of their idyllic headquarters in magical Oregon!  Oh, Oregon.  Makes me wanna drink a Black Butte porter.
  • Log In: Pretty self-explanatory here, thought I wasn’t sure what logging in would actually take you to; presumably some sort of user dashboard?  Perhaps a little copy around that would be helpful.

pure2Oh, and the mailing list is a nice touch, as folks can be alerted when new products arise.  And one tiny navigational comment: when on the home page, I got accustomed to the tabs up top.  When I clicked on the News and Forum, the tabs disappeared.  (For Forums, this makes sense, as I assume the forum is “outsourced” elsewhere, but hey, if there was a way to keep the tabs, that’d be nice.)

All in all, Purebulk is a no-nonsense, no-frills way to order supplements.  In a way, kind of reminds me of Craigs List in design and execution: no annoying ads.  No bells and whistles.  No funny business.  And if anyone says otherwise, say, “Whatever – that’s pure bulk!”

* I speak of a “dystopian Charleton Heston” future as if it’s a bad thing.  But there’s a reason why human life expectancy is now longer 33 years old: progress.  And is a future in which, say, nutritional supplements help me burn energy faster a bad thing?  Or, say, a supplement that allows me, oh, I dunno, to grow webbed feet and/or leave the earth’s surface – not “flying,” mind you, but something close to it – for a a few seconds at a time?  Or a pill that allows me to compete in a triathalon, run a sprint, do some synchronized swimming, and bake a cake all while keeping my glucose levels below 45 kpg?  Is that really a bad thing?  Seriously, guys?  Hello?  Anybody out there?

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