Buying vanilla beans has never been easier. Today, you're not limited to the products you can find at your local stores.
Online suppliers let you stock up on vanilla beans no matter what type you want or how large your supply needs to be. However, navigating the online landscape of vanilla shops can be tricky if you don't know how to assess these stores.
Make matters simple for yourself, and check out Vanilla Bean Kings' great selection of gourmet vanilla products ideal for baking and making extracts.
In addition, this guide will teach you how to buy vanilla beans online the right way.
Buying Vanilla Beans Online: Pros and Cons
Buying vanilla beans online isn't without its flaws. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of shopping for vanilla products on the web:
- Online vendors carry multiple types of vanilla beans.
- You can find products that suit every budget.
- Buyers can make informed decisions by consulting online reviews.
- Online stores may offer additional perks, like free delivery or special deals.
- Shoppers can buy in bulk at discounted rates.
- Customers can have the power to compare the products and offers of different vendors.
- Orders can be placed from anywhere at any time.
- Shoppers can't physically inspect a vanilla product before buying it.
- Delivery times can vary greatly from vendor to vendor.
- Product information (such as availability or the size of the package) may be inaccurate.
- Getting in touch with a company representative can be difficult (many online shops rely on chatbots for customer service).
- There is a risk of dealing with hidden fees.
Should You Buy Vanilla Beans Online?
Shopping for vanilla beans online is a convenient way to buy high-quality products that suit different needs, from making ice cream at home to stocking your restaurant's supply.
But customers should keep in mind the limitations of online shopping. These don't necessarily make buying vanilla beans online dangerous, but they do suggest you shouldn't rush to place an order before you take a close look at what the store has to offer.
5 Key Factors to Consider When Buying Vanilla Beans Online
Online shopping makes it simple to check out different vendors and compare their offers to get the best deal. But to do that, you have to know what you're looking for.
Here are five crucial things you need to check out before you checkout:
1. Bean Source
Knowing the origin and species helps you understand the taste and profile you can expect. For example, Madagascar beans have the most intense aroma, but those from Mexico provide subtle hints of cinnamon and other flavors.
You can learn more about the profiles of different vanilla beans here.
2. Bean Curing
Vanilla's signature taste is the result of hard work, and there are many steps farmers shouldn't skip. Green vanilla beans have no flavor, and to make the spice ready to hit the market, it needs to go through a curing process, which can take months.
The quality of curing influences the final aroma you experience.
Opt for beans that go through traditional curing if you're looking for the real deal. Some companies may use quick curing methods, which cut down the timeline, but the resulting vanilla products don't have the same intense aromas.
3. Supplier Information
Online stores don't necessarily operate like brick-and-mortar ones.
With the growth of dropshipping and similar models, some of these stores may have little say in how the vanilla beans are grown, cultivated, cured, or even packaged. However, there are still legitimate companies, such as the Vanilla Bean Kings.
We are in constant contact with our suppliers to ensure high-quality vanilla beans. Vanilla Bean Kings has countless platforms to receive customer support before and after every purchase. Our stores can provide you with legitimate and relevant information about the vanilla bean and the country it's shipped from.
4. Product Information
Since you can't physically touch the product before you purchase it, you should try to get as much information about it as possible before adding it to your cart.
Look for details on:
- Description of the flavor profile (even beans from the same country may have some flavor variants)
- Length of the pod
- The quality of the packaging
- Photos of the beans to assess color
- Product size and weight
Online stores often include customer reviews on their product pages, so remember to check them out to see what other customers say about the vanilla beans.
5. Ordering and Returns
Look into the ordering process and determine the following:
- If the vendor ships to your location
- Average delivery timeline
- How much does shipping cost
- If there's a minimum order value required
- The incentives the supplier offers
As a final safety net, check the online store's returns and refund policy. Even if the products themselves are high-quality, unforeseen things can happen during shipment.
Vanilla beans are perishable items, so if the package arrives damaged, you should have a simple way to either get a refund or request new products.
Learn the terms of the store's refund and return policy before placing your orders. Hopefully, your experience will be great, and you'll never need to use that knowledge. But sometimes, a restrictive policy can also be a reason to look for other suppliers.
Vanilla bean shoppers have many potential sources to get their hands on one of the world's most popular spices.
But before you buy vanilla beans online, consult this short guide to go through your different options with ease and make the best decision.
And if you want to save time, contact Vanilla King Beans today to learn more about our gourmet beans and how we can help you maintain your stock.