As of 2015, Trader Joe's does not sell any goods online, including gift cards. Merchandise is only available through its brick-and-mortar locations in the United States; however, the official website offers a free newsletter, recipes and a blog that covers product stories, holidays, contests and other events.
Trader Joe's is a specialty foods supermarket chain that began as a small chain of convenience stores in 1958. In most cases, it buys from and bargains directly with suppliers to provide the best prices to customers. The company tries to source as many local vendors as it can, so products and prices vary across states and regions. As part of its strategy, the company doesn't offer sales, coupons, promotions or discounts.
Trader Joe's also offers its own private label products that contain no artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, synthetic colors, genetically modified organisms or partially hydrogenated oils. Other products offered are generally not brand-name items found in other chain markets. Trader Joe's uses its own strategy to supply products that develop a following with its customers and must be approved by a tasting panel. The company chooses items either for long-term distribution or limited supply. Many products are discontinued based on seasonal demand, production costs or shelving and stocking limitations.