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Kratom is very affordable compared to other substances. However, like most goods, the plant’s price can vary from seller to seller. Many factors, such as quality, product format, and country of residence, can affect how much kratom costs.
To entice buyers, some kratom vendors focus on cutting costs however they can. But cheaper isn’t always better. Studies show that cheap, low-quality kratom products sold over the internet can contain adulterants and contaminants that can put your health at risk.
At the same time, some vendors sell kratom products at higher price points without offering additional benefits to consumers. In these cases, it’s difficult to rationalize the increased cost.
So what’s the average price of kratom, and when should shoppers be willing to pay less? Let’s take a look!
Kratom prices between vendors can often vary by hundreds of dollars. To determine a baseline price standard, we compared the non-sale prices of 500g standard kratom powder across vendors located in three regions. Here’s what we found:
With hundreds of active kratom vendors in the United States, kratom prices are competitive. As of this writing, Americans can enjoy the lowest kratom prices of all three regions, even after currency conversions.
With a drastically smaller population than the US, Canada’s kratom market is expectedly smaller. This translates to less favourable prices for Canadian buyers and fewer vendors to choose from.
Although kratom isn’t legal across Europe, European residents in select countries can still enjoy kratom in various forms. However, European kratom vendors have the highest prices across all three regions we evaluated.
Kratom shoppers are often reluctant to pay more for popular or “premium” kratom brands. After all, when taken at face value, most kratom powders look alike — so why pay more?
The answers lie in built-in costs. Premium kratom vendors often sell at higher costs so they can afford to provide higher-quality products and service.
Some kratom vendors offer refunds and returns on all of their items. And although offering refunds benefits their customers, the associated costs of processing refunds and re-shipping products can eat away at a vendor’s bottom line. In contrast, vendors selling less expensive kratom products might not offer refunds at all. As a result, they can sell their kratom products for less because they won’t have to cover the costs of refunds and returns.
Third-party lab testing is the primary way that vendors ensure that their kratom products are appropriate for sale. By testing for contaminants like bacteria and elevated heavy metal levels, vendors can identify problematic kratom batches in their supply chain before they’re shipped to consumers.
However, lab testing isn’t cheap. Vendors can test their own products, but third-party lab testing is more reliable, as results from a third-party can’t be as easily falsified. Lab-testing costs rise even higher when vendors opt to test all the new batches that enter their supply chain.
Anyone can keep the costs of their kratom business low by shipping kratom from their garage or basement. But some premium vendors finance specialized packing and shipping areas to minimize contamination and maximize cleanliness. As you might expect, running these facilities isn’t cheap, and premium kratom products are often more expensive as a result.
Some vendors even go out of their way to ensure compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards of organizations like the American Kratom Association. While the process can provide peace-of-mind for vendors and their customers, it’s certainly not cheap. Vendors running GMP-compliant facilities can expect to pay for routine audits and registration fees.
There’s a saying that “talk is cheap,” but that certainly doesn’t apply to the world of customer service. Providing responsive, around-the-clock customer support via phone and email can be costly, especially as a business grows. But some kratom vendors are willing to foot the bill to ensure that their customers have access to prompt, friendly service.
The thrill of getting a steep discount on anything can be exciting, and this includes kratom. But as studies have shown, the health risks of cheap kratom products can outweigh any potential savings.
As an organic product, kratom can contain many of the same contaminants found in foods and beverages. And, like the recent red onion salmonella outbreak, kratom users have been hospitalized for consuming salmonella-contaminated kratom products (Dixon et al., 2019). Unfortunately, because cheaper kratom products are more likely to be untested before entering the market, they’re more likely to be contaminated than those purchased from more expensive brands that lab-test their products.
Researchers have also found elevated levels of hazardous heavy metals in kratom products. In one study, a team of researchers evaluated various kratom products purchased in the Chicago area. They concluded that “many of the kratom products being sold on the local level … are contaminated with metals, such as Pb (lead) and Ni (nickel), as well as microbes. This puts consumers at potential risk of adverse effects.” (Prozialeck et al., 2020)
For vendors, being able to detect elevated heavy metal levels in their products comes at a cost. But for customers who consume these products, the costs are even higher. In adults, consuming excessive lead can cause brain and kidney damage, decreased nervous system function, weakness in fingers, wrists, and/or ankles, and anemia. (US Department of Health & Human Services)
We’ve established that buying cheap kratom isn’t always worth it. But in some cases, when you pay top-dollar for kratom, you really could be paying more for less.
Like other industries, some kratom brands charge a premium for their products. This “luxury tax” can greatly exceed the associated costs of lab-testing and customer service. In other words, the prices of these brands can be needlessly high.
To determine if a vendor’s pricing is fair, compare their product pricing to our averaged pricing data in this article. If their prices are significantly higher, you might not be getting your money’s worth. If their prices are significantly lower, the tradeoff might be low-quality kratom and poor service.
With kratom, you generally get what you pay for. Paying a premium can afford you consumer advantages, such as refunds, quality assurance, and dedicated customer support. Meanwhile, cheaper kratom products can save you money in the short-term but may put your health at risk.
To browse vendors that have met our quality and service standards, be sure to check out our Trusted Vendors list!