Buyer Beware Notice for Bulk Apothecary

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Feb 15, 2016
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Houston, TX
Hello All! I just wanted to make you all aware of issues that I have been having with Bulk Apothecary in the hopes that you will be aware of what may befall you if you order from these folks.

I'll start at the beginning (and these are just the facts, ma'am, not any badmouthing)

I placed an order for a gallon each of Hempseed Oil and Golden Jojoba Oil. They have great prices and I constantly shop for the lowest prices. It was set to be delivered last Saturday. The delivery came on time, but when I opened the box, it contained a single gallon jug of unscented lotion base. Thinking orders go mixed up, I looked at the packing slip. It had my order of the two oils written down correctly. This means someone saw the packing slip and STILL put a single jug of lotion base in a box and sent it to me, NOT the two jugs of oil I ordered.

Bulk Apothecary is closed on Saturday and Sunday so I had to wait until Monday to call. I was put on hold the first two times and at EXACTLY the 4:00 mark the phone went dead both times. So I've now wasted 8 minutes being on hold. The third time I got through after 11+ minutes on hold. I explained what had happened and they told me I would have to print out a return label and send the $13 bottle of lotion back to them before I could get my $178 worth of oils. I argued until they said they would send my oils out NEXT DAY AIR as soon as they had a tracking # for their $13 bottle of lotion. So I packed the lotion back up, drove to the postal drop off place (gas and time ain't free, either.) and called them with a tracking #. They assured me I would get my oils Tuesday.

Tuesday comes and goes. Wednesday I call them and ask where my oils are. Keep in mind I received NO tracking # or confirmation email for the new order. Guy says he doesn't know what the delay was, but they'd be to me by Thursday night at the latest.

They didn't tell me how they were sending it, but our mailboxes are too small for an order of two gallon sized jugs so the mailman always brings them to my door. Thursday, no packages.

I call Bulk Apothecary, furious by this point, this morning and ask where my oils are. They say the mailman delivered them to a parcel locker around 330 pm Thursday. I immediately knew something was wrong because a box that size wouldn't fit in our parcel lockers. Sure enough, I get the Bulk Apothecary box from the parcel locker and open it. One jug of Jojoba oil. NO jug of Hempseed oil. No packing slip. Just a jug of oil with some padding.

I call them back and they have no idea what happened. They say they're sending out the hempseed oil next day air, but still no tracking #, no email, nothing.

So now I'm waiting to see IF I'll get what I ordered this time. I was supposed to have delivered batches of beard oils to area barber shops I sell at Monday and Tuesday of this week. I have shows/festivals every weekend all summer long including tomorrow and I have NO beard oil because I don't have the ingredients to make it.

As a businessman, this is UNACCEPTABLE to me. I'm going to be going with other places like Brambleberry and Wholesale Supplies EVEN THOUGH THEY COST MORE because I know I'll get what I paid for. Bulk Apothecary can start charging $5/gallon for oils and it won't matter to me because I'll never recieve them.

I just want the community to be aware of all this and to NOT plan your soaping/beauty product schedule around them. They are NOT a reliable source of supplies.
Mine is not an isolated incident, for the record. They have 2/5 stars on YELP! with 41 reviewers.
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Active Member
Feb 26, 2016
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Ah, Bulk Apothecary. I've had mixed experiences with them. My husband ordered beer making supplies and they called and said they were out of a certain yeast so he asked them to substitute. 2 Weeks later they just never shipped. No apology, no quick shipping, just "Whoops, we overlooked that". I've had things missing from orders and things canceled long after ordering.

I bought a large quantity of lye from them recently (multiple small containers) and have noticed that this lye is acting strange. It doesn't get as hot, it has lots of weird plastic-like particles in it that I have to strain, and it started clumping about a week after opening. That's never happened before. I'm just about done with Bulk Apothecary.


Lifetime Supporter
Feb 14, 2014
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I've only purchased a few small things from them - most recently a soap stamp and a 2 oz fragrance oil - but I am very aware of how awful their customer service can be, and anyone who has a "synthetic Tuberose essential oil blend" (listed as Tuberose Essential Oil - at $20/lb!) has lost all credibility in my eyes. I ordered a sample knowing full well it is a fragrance oil but I thought it might be a particularly nice one (it's nothing special). They also have a Honeysuckle Essential Oil LOL.

I really don't understand how this company stays in business....
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New Member
May 2, 2016
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I never, ever post, but I just had to come out of the shadows for a second...

About the Bulk Apothecary lye. I just called them on Friday and received a credit for lye I purchased at the of January. It was fine for about a week and then no matter what oil, recipe or anything you did, it riced like crazy! The rep specifically said no one has mentioned anything about lye lately, but she would take my word for it.

I've also had the same the problems with missing items and they just don't care. Customer service is important!

Back to where I came from!


Lifetime Supporter
May 12, 2010
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I have limited/mixed experience ordering from BA. The few clays & botanicals I've ordered from them did not seem to be top quality. That said they seem to have the best price I can find on foaming bath whip (crystal opc from stephenson). I recently ordered some and 2 of the 10 containers were busted on the bottom even though they were very well packaged. I emailed customer service with photos of the damage and they immediately replaced the 2 bad containers and never asked me to return the broken ones so I was pleased.


Supporting Member
Sep 29, 2015
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I'm almost out of the supplies I bought from them. My first and last order from them consisted of vitamin E oil, coconut oil, castor oil, olive pomace, and aloe vera gel. it was all fine and all save how the vitamin E oil shipped. it leaked all over the place.

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Nov 19, 2013
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Best price is not always the lowest price. I used to work for a company in a crowded market and we weren't cheap. Part of the sales pitch was this -

"Which two are most important to you - price, availability or quality?" And people would say price quality most often

"Okay, so if I had an amazing product at a super price, but it was constantly out of stock, would you be satisfied? Does that help your customers? So which two are most important?"

Price and availability usually came next

"Okay, so I have a lot of product in stock just waiting for you, it's cheap, but it is a terrible product, are you happy?"

Finally it clicks that the two most important qualities are quality and availability. This should be true for members here who sell. This cheap price has actually cost a lot of money in the end

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