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GNC


  June 9, 2013

Alright, I know GNC has been reviewed a ton, but as a former employee who managed stores for two years, I wanted to provide a review that is a little clearer and more in-depth than some of these. And before anyone asks, yes, I have reviewed GNC products but that was prior to my employment.

I've also decided to give ratings of 5 across the board because unlike the majority of the retailers reviewed on here, you can have a vastly different experience depending on where you shop. I will explain this more in each sub-section.

Selection (5/10):
Selection gets a 5 because...
Alright, I know GNC has been reviewed a ton, but as a former employee who managed stores for two years, I wanted to provide a review that is a little clearer and more in-depth than some of these. And before anyone asks, yes, I have reviewed GNC products but that was prior to my employment.

I've also decided to give ratings of 5 across the board because unlike the majority of the retailers reviewed on here, you can have a vastly different experience depending on where you shop. I will explain this more in each sub-section.

Selection (5/10):
Selection gets a 5 because of the different segments of GNC stores. Larger Segment A stores (malls, big strip centers) have the largest selection of items while the smaller Segment C & D stores (small towns, crappy areas, etc.) have very little. Military stores usually have good selections, but they are unable to carry certain products (primarily anything with DMAA in it). Finally you have franchise stores, which are all over the map, but if you like PMD products than they've got all you could ever need. You can always have an item that GNC carries but can't be found in store delivered for free, but that is contingent on the sales person being competent enough to do it and the price being worth it.

Price (5/10):
Price gets a 5 because unlike what some other people say on here, you can actually find some pretty good deals on products. The gold card now works everyday, but you are going to save anywhere between 5-50% off instead of the 20% you used to. Since GNC retail prices are f**king absurd (P6 for $120?), this can either be a great deal or a pretty crappy one. For example, a while back Jack3d was on sale for $26.99, which isn't the cheapest you'll find it, but you don't have to pay any shipping and you can have it right away. On the other hand, PES Enhanced is part of BOGO, so with a price of $50 you are getting ripped off unless you are getting something else.

The best way to get a good deal is to find the discontinued or expiring products (which is probably going to really *** of the sales person). Most of these are marked down at least 50% off of retail, and the membership gets you another 20% off. For example, my entire stock of the Cellucor 2 in 1 M5 was expiring and marked down to $41.49. It's a pretty good product (tastes atrocious) but with the additional 20% off it's $33.19 before tax.

Finally, because I believe in transparency, I feel I should mention a little fact on the member pricing program. Basically the company has decided to make weekly price adjustments on the member prices of some products. This pretty much means that if they are selling a lot of a product they are probably going to increase the price. Take the Jack3d I mentioned above for an example, I guess a lot of it was being sold at $26.99, so the price was increased to $29.99 after three or four weeks.

Service (5/10):
Same as the others, this gets a 5 because there are a lot of different type of people who work for GNC. You've got some people who actually know what they are talking about and want to legitimately help, while others could care less about helping you and only want to make commissions or sell GNC brand products. Hopefully if you are someone who is reading this site, then it means you are doing your research on products before hand, because it can be hard to tell if some sales associates have yours or their best interest in mind.

I've figured out a pretty easy way to determine whether or not the person helping you is being honest, or just trying to make money. All you have to do is ask them to compare a product you know is good to one made by any member of the BPI family. If they really talk up the BPI product, then they are probably full of s**t. BPI products pay a ton in commission, and if you are wondering about their effectiveness then just check out any of the reviews on BPI or Image Sports.

Overall (5/10):
My basic point here was to point out that it is entirely possible to have a good experience with GNC, but it is just as easy to be completely screwed over. When I worked there I did everything I could to make sure that I never turned into one of those money-grubbing morons, but unfortunately I can't speak for the entire company. My best recommendation is to search sites like this prior to going to a store so that you have some idea of what you are looking for. If you have some background knowledge on the products it makes it significantly easier for you to make the correct decision once you are in the store. It also helps prevent you getting robbed by a sales associate who tells you that the "Jay Cutler This is What I Take Stack" will turn you into a Greek god overnight.
  November 2, 2013

Everyone with half of a brain knows that GNC associates make commission, but how many know that half the crap they shove in your face is dictated to them by the company and the numbers they must meet or face termination? "Are you taking a multivitamin? Here! Buy 4 boxes at $69 each!" Two minutes later..."You're taking fish oil, right? Only $35 for a months supply!" As you're trying to pay..."You have a Gold Card, don't you? Oh wait...it expired? Dude, you can renew and get $4.50 off!! Isn't that awesome?!" No. No, it's distinctly NOT awesome. The bulldog sales approach is not...
Everyone with half of a brain knows that GNC associates make commission, but how many know that half the crap they shove in your face is dictated to them by the company and the numbers they must meet or face termination? "Are you taking a multivitamin? Here! Buy 4 boxes at $69 each!" Two minutes later..."You're taking fish oil, right? Only $35 for a months supply!" As you're trying to pay..."You have a Gold Card, don't you? Oh wait...it expired? Dude, you can renew and get $4.50 off!! Isn't that awesome?!" No. No, it's distinctly NOT awesome. The bulldog sales approach is not only off putting, it's offensive. See these muscles? They weren't attained via the internet. I know what I want, I know the difference between creatine and beta alanine, I know all the features of whey, casein, egg, soy, and every other "protein matrix" out there. Don't treat me like a delicate little flower because I'm a woman. If I have a question, I'll ask. I'll buy what I want, not what YOU need to sell.
GNC is money driven, not well being concerned and the training the associates receive is rudimentary at best. Anyone can read a label, but can they understand it? Going into a GNC is like wading through a cesspool of stagnating testosterone and arrogance, forever employing scrawny boys with big dreams of big biceps and too much hair product. I'll never shop a GNC again. Bodybuilding.com all the way, baby!
  August 15, 2011

I managed GNC's for over 4 years and i have to say anybody who actually shops there is really dumb. the prices are soooo high and just so you know we had to raise the prices 20% the night before gold card week started so you never actually save any money. the employees get no training and get paid minimum wage so don't take their advice. Seriouly you can go ANY other place and save money, get your supplement advice online or from the gym.

P.S. if you bought a GNC product and got ripped off just return it, company policy requires them to give you your money back no matter how much is left.
I managed GNC's for over 4 years and i have to say anybody who actually shops there is really dumb. the prices are soooo high and just so you know we had to raise the prices 20% the night before gold card week started so you never actually save any money. the employees get no training and get paid minimum wage so don't take their advice. Seriouly you can go ANY other place and save money, get your supplement advice online or from the gym.

P.S. if you bought a GNC product and got ripped off just return it, company policy requires them to give you your money back no matter how much is left.
  February 6, 2013

I am a former associate of GNC. I'm aware of the pressure that the employees are under to make sales. And everyone evaluation that they push products that make them money are correct. It's unfortunate, but true. HOWEVER. Associates do undergo a very extensive training. So if you do happen to "buddy up" to one of them and they give you the real information of products it can be very beneficial. The associates have tried and sampled a large majority of the supps in the store. And reps constantly give them products to try out. Once again, if you can find one who will be HONEST...
I am a former associate of GNC. I'm aware of the pressure that the employees are under to make sales. And everyone evaluation that they push products that make them money are correct. It's unfortunate, but true. HOWEVER. Associates do undergo a very extensive training. So if you do happen to "buddy up" to one of them and they give you the real information of products it can be very beneficial. The associates have tried and sampled a large majority of the supps in the store. And reps constantly give them products to try out. Once again, if you can find one who will be HONEST with you it's a win. But their prices are horrible unless you go and buy on a closeout item. I've picked up some really good protein that was due to expire in a few months for 1/4th of the price. Try to go at the start of a month, during gold card. Or at the very end. That's when they do the "rotation" or mark down items that will expire soon. Aside from that, you're throwing away some good money, I say get your information there. And buy online. They do have the "GNC Guarantee" however. If you buy ANYTHING from them. Keep the receipt and if it doesn't work within 30 days. Return it and get your money back, even if you're on the end of the cycle. The associate has to honor it even if you bring an empty bottle within 30 days. I'm unsure of the ordering process and guarantee for the online store.
  July 7, 2011

I have been a GNC employee for about a year now and theres some things id like to clear up. YES, for the most part products are very overpriced, however the popular supplements such as MuscleMilk, Jack3d, No xplode, etc. are usually on "hot buy" for cheaper than any store around. Gold cards can be a good deal just depending on what you usually buy and they are extremely worth it when we have BOGO 50% off, or even BOGO get one free..
now for the employees.. I work at a franchise store so we are not pushed to sell muscletech. i dont think their products are too bad however they...
I have been a GNC employee for about a year now and theres some things id like to clear up. YES, for the most part products are very overpriced, however the popular supplements such as MuscleMilk, Jack3d, No xplode, etc. are usually on "hot buy" for cheaper than any store around. Gold cards can be a good deal just depending on what you usually buy and they are extremely worth it when we have BOGO 50% off, or even BOGO get one free..
now for the employees.. I work at a franchise store so we are not pushed to sell muscletech. i dont think their products are too bad however they are waaaay overpriced. our owner pushes us to sell multis and fish oils and doesnt really recogniz a good sale unless you have gnc products in it. I really disagree with that, but like me not all of our employees buy into that.
as for me, i played football at the collegiate level, and now have a big interest in bodybuilding, nutrition, and i would be considered one of those "meatheads" walking around the gym...lol.. for the most part ill admit im very knowledgable, but i pride myself on building a relationship with the customer, and give them honest, good deals, without just tryin to make a quick buck off them and sell them useless products. there are a handful of other employees i work with who feel the same.. however, we also have some out of shape, clueless employees, who have no idea what they are talking about and prescribe everyone with a multi and fishoil and have no idea what they or anythiong else does.. they give GNC sales associates a bad name lol. overall a pretty good store, like for anything, shop around and see what works best for you!
  October 16, 2013

I am beyond disappointed with GNC's service. They only get a 1 Overall because I did receive some of my product.

First Issue: I decided to place an order via their online store because of their Buy 3 for 25$ special. I made an account and used the correct e-mail address. I placed an order for two bottles of ZMA & one bottle of Astravar 2.0. Well I never received an e-mail with information regarding my order or account. I had no way of tracking my order information and statuts.

Second Issue: I did receive my bottles of ZMA and was charged $27 after tax for the total transaction....
I am beyond disappointed with GNC's service. They only get a 1 Overall because I did receive some of my product.

First Issue: I decided to place an order via their online store because of their Buy 3 for 25$ special. I made an account and used the correct e-mail address. I placed an order for two bottles of ZMA & one bottle of Astravar 2.0. Well I never received an e-mail with information regarding my order or account. I had no way of tracking my order information and statuts.

Second Issue: I did receive my bottles of ZMA and was charged $27 after tax for the total transaction. I assumed maybe the Astravar would come in later because it was not a GNC product and would be shipped from another source. Did not receive any information in that package regarding my order or where my Astravar was.

Third Issue: Two months later and still no Astravar and no notification. So I give GNC a call and they cannot find any of my account information and have to use my credit card number to track my order.

BIGGEST Issue: While talking with the GNC customer service agent, I was informed I would not be receiving my Astravar because it was on back-order too long and thus GNC just canceled the order. So then I said can I get a refund for the Astravar portion of the sale. The agent insisted that I was not charged for the Astravar. On the contrary, I was because the special was clearly 3 for $25 which is exactly what I was charged. In essence I stated to the agent, that they had charged me full price for both bottles of ZMA because I was no longer receiving my Astravar and this was inducement for undesirable service and products. The ONLY REASON I made the purchase was because of the belief that I would receive THREE products for $25, NOT TWO. I was spoken down to and told that I just couldn't understand the concept that I was not charged for the Astravar. Well, I was induced to purchase 3 for $25 and only received two without notification that I would not receive the third. Clear misrepresentation and fraudulent consumer inducement. On top of that I was spoken to as if I was an idiot.

Conclusion: I will never purchase from GNC in store or online and should have known better. I have received far superior service from smaller online companies that don't have the assets GNC has; indicating to me that GNC just doesn't give a *** about service.
  December 2, 2011

I live in Nashville and have been shopping at GNC for about a year. An employee at GNC sold a GOLD CARD membership and told me that everything in the store would be 20% on the first week of every month for the next year. I was glad to purchase the card for $15 and recieve the 20% discount the day i bought the GOLD CARD. The crappy thing about buying your products on GOLD CARD week is that GNC marks the products during the first week. I went back to the store after gold card week and the product I bought was on sale for the exact price I bought it for on GOLD CARD week. the...
I live in Nashville and have been shopping at GNC for about a year. An employee at GNC sold a GOLD CARD membership and told me that everything in the store would be 20% on the first week of every month for the next year. I was glad to purchase the card for $15 and recieve the 20% discount the day i bought the GOLD CARD. The crappy thing about buying your products on GOLD CARD week is that GNC marks the products during the first week. I went back to the store after gold card week and the product I bought was on sale for the exact price I bought it for on GOLD CARD week. the next month I went in on the first week to use the GOLD CARD again and the product was marked back up. Can someone tell me if this is a scam. Regardless, I dont shop at GNC stores anymore. The workers say that it sucks to work there because the upper managemnent are always threatening to fire everybody if they dont meet the sales goals. I'll shop at bodybuilding.com for now on.
  August 12, 2009

As a GNC employee, I am really shocked the rating is so low. I completely understand that our prices are on the high side but unfortunately as a retail store where a company must pay rent, utilities, payroll ect, the operation costs get passed on to the consumer. I understand some of the complaints about the service as I do know a few employees that were not qualified to have anything to do with supplements but you need to understand that within every company in every industry there are people who are just...
As a GNC employee, I am really shocked the rating is so low. I completely understand that our prices are on the high side but unfortunately as a retail store where a company must pay rent, utilities, payroll ect, the operation costs get passed on to the consumer. I understand some of the complaints about the service as I do know a few employees that were not qualified to have anything to do with supplements but you need to understand that within every company in every industry there are people who are just idiots. Do we get comission on certain products? Yes. Do some employees use this as the only motivation for what they recomment? Unfortunately. Myself, I realize that why I may make a few extra bucks recommending a product with a large comission, it is much more beneficial to me if I recommend a product that works. That way the customer is happy and will keep coming back, which in turn will make me more money. I recommend BB products that I have used myself and I know work. As a GNC employee am I told to push the AMplified Wheybolic Extreme? Yes. But I also believe that it is the best protein that we carry and I take it myself. So my recommendation to anyone reading this is that if you want to go to a GNC where you can get solid advice from someone who wants you to see the results that you want, shop around. Try out different employees at different stores and when you find one that truly cares about the consumer, stick with them. I pride myself on having several returning customers that request me. I take more pride in having a customer come back and told me that they loved a product than making an extra buck or two selling crap.
Also, I don't understand how people can rave about Vitamin Shoppes selection and hate ours. We are a much larger company and carry a wider array of products. If you go into a store and don't see a product you are looking for it could just be it is a smaller volume store. Ask them to look it up on the register. The database carries everything that every GNC carries and if they have it you can have it shipped to your house free of shipping.
  July 17, 2011

okay , theres many crappy reviews on gnc , how they have overpriced things, and yea they do but we dnt need 900 reviews on that , my experiencee....

i walked in with my gf and we were there to look around and i was looking if they had any deals or bogo. so i ask about nuerocore because its sold there and the guy and i start talk and i ask about the .1 lb container because it says its sold there and he acts all dumb and says well your saying they have a smaller container than 10 servings and i say no , that is ten servings and they have a bigger one . then he said they hae...
okay , theres many crappy reviews on gnc , how they have overpriced things, and yea they do but we dnt need 900 reviews on that , my experiencee....

i walked in with my gf and we were there to look around and i was looking if they had any deals or bogo. so i ask about nuerocore because its sold there and the guy and i start talk and i ask about the .1 lb container because it says its sold there and he acts all dumb and says well your saying they have a smaller container than 10 servings and i say no , that is ten servings and they have a bigger one . then he said they hae bigger than 50 servings ?! and i was like nooo , just 50 servings. he tried soo hard to make me look like a fool in front of my gf because he would look at her when he said things. if gnc thinks thats a good employee , im sorry im never going to buy from there again. and everything sumone asks for , all they do is recommend gnc products. terrible.. terrible salesman and anyone can get a job there .... literally

vitamin shoppe all the way ! they actually know what stuff is
  May 30, 2010

Though GNC can be overpriced, I found out recently that they price match! Not only that, but when they were out of the flavor I wanted, they ordered it for me and sent it to my house in 4 days, free shipping! It was pretty cool.
Though GNC can be overpriced, I found out recently that they price match! Not only that, but when they were out of the flavor I wanted, they ordered it for me and sent it to my house in 4 days, free shipping! It was pretty cool.
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