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2018 Review of Thrive Market – Online Wholesale Organic Grocery Store

I will say this right up-front – I love Thrive Market – they carry wonderful products, and I get pretty excited about saving so much money on healthy food and other items.  Given this fact, I was quite eager to let people in on what it is all about with this Thrive Market Review. Even though I find that this online discount health food store is wonderful – I am not everyone. And, I don’t necessarily think that Thrive Market is for everyone. Is Thrive Market worth it for you?  Read on to find out…

What is Thrive Market?

Thrive Market is an online retailer specific to natural, organic foods, beverages, household products, vitamin and other nutritional supplements and even natural health and beauty products. They even cater to healthy, nutritious products for pets!

The prices are crazy low compared to other online stores, allowing shoppers to save quite a bit of money on high quality natural and organic products.

Below is a video that gives a good idea of how Thrive Market works, and how you (and others) can benefit from it.

Unlike other similar retailers you might be more acquainted with (Vitacost, Swanson Vitamins, iHerb, etc.), this site requires one thing from its customers that you need to be fully aware of – it is membership based. With that said, my first and main recommendation if you shop there is – just make sure that you are aware of the membership and what it entails. (More details on the membership below.)

Thrive Market Membership (Trial and Yearly)

When you sign up for Thrive Market, you are also signing up for a free trial membership. That free trial lasts for 30 days, at which point if you do not cancel, a cost of $59.95 will be charged to the credit card you provide when you sign up.

That idea may or may not appeal to you – but if you do some “number crunching,” you might be surprised at how much you can save.

So far, I have had my own membership for just a couple of months, and already the $59.95 has easily paid off in what I have saved from shopping there – but then again, I do quite a bit of shopping for some specific health foods, nutrition products, beverages and other items.

Below is a screenshot from my Thrive account that shows so far – after about two months – how much I have saved compared to retail price:

Now, granted the amount shown above based on what I have saved compared to retail prices, and I probably would not be paying full retail for the products I buy (I am pretty handy about knowing where to get the discounts). However, it still has saved me more than the $59.95 that I paid for the membership, even if I had purchased the products at a discount somewhere else.

To give you an idea of how much can be saved — just with one product that I buy 3 of per month, I save $6.00 (that is when comparing it to the lowest discounted price I can find on any other website). So – just for that one product, I save $18 per month.  Now take $18 (per month) x 12 (months) = $216!!!  That’s how much money I save each year on that single product.  

I buy other products as well, which is why after only two months my membership is already paid for in discounts.

On doing a bit of research on reviews of Thrive Market, I have seen both some very positive and negative reviews regarding the membership. The main “negative” seems to be that “they didn’t know that their free 30 membership was expiring,” and that it seemed a bit “shady” to them that they were charged for the membership. That is not my experience at all. In fact, quite the opposite – they were very clear up-front about the trial period of the free membership, and I even received an email from them notifying me of this 5 days before it expired (which would have easily given me the opportunity to cancel it if I had chosen to).

See screenshot below of the email I received:

Most folks don’t like to shell out money – and probably those who have a Costco membership don’t like the annual fee either, but that is what is required in order to keep the membership and get the discounts available to members.  (Coincidentally, the most common membership at Costco has approximately the same yearly fee – $60.00).

Thrive Market has been given the description, “Costco meets Whole Foods,” which I would say is pretty accurate.  If you shop at Whole Foods regularly and you switch over to Thrive, you will save a LOT of money. But yes, it does require shelling out $59.95 up front.

Who is Thrive Market For?

Who should use Thrive Market: I would recommend Thrive Market to anyone who shops regularly for…

  • Natural and organic foods
  • Healthy pet products
  • Natural, healthy beauty, bath and body products
  • Natural and organic vitamins, supplements and remedies
  • Healthy baby and children’s products
  • Natural household supplies (cleaning, housewares, home fragrance, etc.)
  • Low-income families that want to buy healthy products but cannot afford it (Find out about signing up for the Thrive Gives program here.)

Who should probably not use Thrive Market: Those who do not feel the need purchase organic food and other products regularly – maybe just a few times a year if you want to buy organic foods, snacks, vitamins or natural household products, Thrive Market is probably not a good fit for you.

How Thrive Market Works

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1. In order to browse and buy the products on Thrive Market, you need to do the steps to register your account. This officially starts your free 30 day trial membership, and you can shop and buy any of the products that they have.

2.  Do some shopping!  Check your email regularly for promotions from Thrive Market – they send out some wonderful discounts and free deals.

3. In about 25 days, you should receive a notification from Thrive Market in your email account that your free membership will expire in a few days. At that point, you could do a bit of number crunching to see if what you have shopped for (or will shop for), will make up for the cost of the membership. (Tip:  If you don’t check your email regularly, you might want to make a note on your calendar to check it for the notification email.)

4. If you decide that you do not want to keep the membership, they give you two ways to contact them to cancel it:

  • Call (855) 419-2416 to speak to customer service, and tell them that you want to cancel.
  • Send them an email to help@thrivemarket.com

(Current information on how to cancel a membership can be found on their Membership FAQ page.)

5. If you decide to keep the membership, you don’t have to do anything. Your official paid membership will start automatically, and you will see a $59.95 charge on your credit card bill.

About the Thrive Market Gives Program: Help for Low-Income Families, Teachers, Vets and Students

I love this part of the membership – for every person that sticks with their yearly membership, another membership is donated to a less fortunate family, teacher, veteran or student. This allows people that live in the U.S. who normally would not be able to afford the membership, to benefit from the discounts that Thrive Market offers. I see this as not only benevolent, but it also as a demonstration that disproves some people’s theory that the membership is a “ripoff.” (I can guarantee that this company is not out to make a “huge profit” from consumers for their memberships – and I am certain that they don’t make much profit from their prices.) How great is it that this company has given so much thought to helping people eat healthier foods even if they normally wouldn’t have the income for it? In my book, this is a wonderful gesture to helping the less fortunate among us. By the way – if you are interested in signing up for the “Thrive Gives” program, you can find out how to apply for it here.

How Thrive Market Helps Save on Food and Other Healthy Products

Let’s start out on this concept of saving money with a video – you probably are familiar with Jillian Michaels, the famous fitness guru. Below is her unboxing of just one shipment from Thrive Market. (I purchase some of the same products that she purchased in her shipment, and I can attest that the prices for these products are way lower than you can buy anywhere else.)

To demonstrate this point a bit further, below I am including a list of popular products, with comparison prices from other sites (that are known for their lower prices). Thrive Market beats even great discounts from other sites hands down (note that prices were published on, and are accurate as of 1 Jan, 2018).

Popular Products Price Comparisons - Thrive Market vs. Competitors

ProductThrive Market PriceCompetitorPriceCompetitorPriceCompetitorPrice
Go Raw Organic Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds$10.95Amazon Grocery$14.99Vitacost$11.82Jet.com$12.06
Calbee Snapea Crisps$1.69Amazon Grocery$2.75 ea. ($16.53 for 6)Lucky Vitamin$1.90VitaCost$1.97
Annie's Organic Ketchup$2.79Amazon Grocery$6.99 ($2.79 for Prime Pantry)Jet.com$3.35VitaCost$3.53
Dr. Bronner's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (32 oz.)$15.95Amazon Grocery$17.99VitaCost$19.79Lucky Vitamin$19.79
Bragg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (32 oz.)$15.95Amazon Grocery$23.50Jet.com$23.50VitaCost$18.79
Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour (16 oz.)$8.39Amazon Grocery$14.84Swanson Vitamins$9.86Jet.com$8.94
Molly's Suds Laundry Powder (70 Loads)$10.99Amazon$13.29iHerb$12.53VitaCost$12.59
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (16 oz.)$2.95Amazon Grocery$5.42Swanson Vitamins$3.32VitaCost$3.49
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for Women (90 caps)$36.39Amazon$38.49Swanson Vitamins$38.49VitaCost$38.49
Dr. Bronner's Organic Peppermint Hand Soap (12 oz.)$6.75Amazon$12.18VitaCost$8.99Lucky Vitamin$8.99
See what I mean?  To me, this is reason enough to shop at Thrive Market.  🙂

Recent Products I Purchased on Thrive With Price Comparisons

The prices on the Thrive Market website for their products is what cinched it for me. I found quite a number of products that I love to buy but usually don’t because of a high price tag in the supermarket or natural food store. Those products on Thrive Market are soooooo much lower, which makes me a happy camper – now I can afford to buy those items for myself and my family. Below are some products that I have recently purchased from Thrive, along with their prices and price comparisons from other sites that I have also purchased from in the past.  (Note:  Prices are valid as of January 1st, 2018.)

Luna Bars Lemon Zest (Box of 15) and Protein Bars (Box of 12)

Luna BarsLuna Lemon Zest – Box of 15:

  • Thrive Market:  $12.49
  • Vitacost:  $15.29
  • Jet.com:  $29.25

Luna Protein Bars – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Box of 12:

  • Thrive Market:  $10.29
  • Vitacost:  $15.99
  • Jet.com:  $10.38

Luna bars are a wonderful snack!  We especially go for the Lemon Zest bars, and recently tried the protein chocolate chip cookie dough bars — but all of them that we have tried so far are good.  A great pick for kids who are looking for something sweet – they’re healthy too!

Bare Organic Coffee Bean Coconut Chips (2.8 oz.)

  • Bare Organic Coffee Bean Coconut ChipsThrive Market:  $4.49
  • Amazon Grocery:  $5.65 ea. ($33.93 for 6)
  • Jet.com:  $6.39
  • Walmart.com:  $5.08 ea. ($60.95 for 12)

It took me a while to get really grooved in to the idea of eating coconut chips – but once I did, I never turned back.  They’re wonderful! Coconut chips are prepared in different ways – some are baked, some are dried, and some are more on the sweet side while others are mild. The ones on the right have the perfect combination for me (since I am a coffee lover) – they combine a lovely sweetness with the bite of coffee bean. A perfect snack to go along with a cup of coffee!

Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate Protein (16 oz.)

  • Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate ProteinThrive Market: $17.49
  • Amazon: $23.49
  • Jet.com: $23.49
  • iHerb.com: $23.49

I can almost not say enough about this supplement – Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate protein powder. I drink a couple of tablespoons twice a day (per the directions on the container).  It not only has improved what one might expect with collagen – improved skin texture, skin tone, hair thickness and strength – but those gray hairs that I so conveniently have been ignoring are also starting to go away – all on their own!  (What a bonus!) Another great win that I have had with this supplement – also an unexpected bonus – is improved (and more stable) energy level and a metabolism boost. Try to beat that, eh?  Especially given the fact that it can be purchased on Thrive Market for about $6.00 cheaper than anywhere else I have found online.

Thrive Market Organic French Roast Coffee (12 oz.)

Thrive Market Organic French Roast CoffeeWhile there are no other sites that sell this product (since it is a brand-name sold only on the Thrive Market website), and I am not able to compare it on other sites, I still wanted to mention it. The price speaks volumes all on its own:  $7.49 (about .62 cents per oz.) I am truly what could be called a “coffee snob,” and I have tried a number of brands of dark roast organic coffees.  This coffee is not only good, it is wonderful.  It ranks right up there with the best I have ever had. Other brands of organic coffee – even on the sites with the deepest discounts – have a “by the ounce” price of anywhere between about .73 cents per ounce to about .95 cents. Pretty impressive.  🙂 TIP: Another “bonus” that makes the prices even better is the promotional freebies and special discount offers. Keep an eye on your email inbox for these! Sometimes you need to be kind of “fast on the trigger” to catch them, but some of the deals and discounts are almost unbelievable! It’s well worth the extra minute or two to spend time checking your email on a regular basis.

Pros and Cons of Thrive Market

Pros:

  • Significant discounts on products (lowest that I have found on most items)
  • Free promotional products (I received 2 boxes of Luna Bars with our last shipment the other day – my son’s favorite!)
  • Free memberships (with the same great discounts) for people in need, with the “Thrive Gives” program
  • They carry absolutely NO GMO foods, so you always know you are going “GMO free”
  • Plenty of product options for special needs including vegan and vegetarian, gluten free foods, Paleo diet friendly foods and baking supplies and products aligned with the Ketogenic (“Keto”) diet
  • Their own “Thrive Market” brand, which provides top-quality products (foods, vitamins, beauty bath and body products, home, health and even baby products), at an even lower price than other brands. (I can attest to their brand of coconut chips and coffee – wonderful!)
  • A large line of health products including vitamins, natural and homeopathic remedies, detox, super foods plus more
  • Packaged well for shipping (no crushed boxes or bags)
  • On-site blog with with lots of healthy recipes and helpful ideas
  • Healthy options for dog and cat food, treats and other products
  • Low price guarantee (they guarantee that the annual membership will pay for itself in savings)
  • Known for top-notch customer service
  • Shipping free for orders over $49.00
  • Shipping is fast (in my experience)
  • $25 in “Thrive Cash” (money toward your orders) when you refer someone to their website and they purchase a membership

Cons:

  • The $59.95 price of the membership might be a bit of a “sticker shock” for some (but again, my experience is that is made back easily within 2 or 3 orders – but that depends on how much the membership would be used).
  • Not as much product inventory as other websites (I was able to find more variety of choices in the Natural & Organic section of Amazon Grocery)
  • Some confusions in the past on memberships, resulting in people being charged for a membership that didn’t want them (this seems to have gotten ironed out, however – they are quite clear on the membership aspect of the site and how it works)
  • It takes some “hoop jumping” (a few steps) to cancel the membership
  • They only ship to the contiguous U.S., so if you live in one of the non-contiguous states or in another country, you will not be able to shop there.  (I read on their site that they are looking into changing that in the future.)

Thrive Market Customer Reviews

Star ReviewsI have found quite a number of not only negative reviews, but what I would call scathing reviews. Almost all of the complaints I have read have to do with the membership charges – in some instances, after people cancelled their memberships they were charged again the next year even though they did not renew it.  Another complaint that I saw multiple times was that it took more steps than the customers wanted to cancel the membership.

Since I have not cancelled my own membership, I cannot give my experience on this as a valid complaint or not – but repeated stories along this line cause me to believe that there must be some lack of efficiency going on in their billing department for memberships. On a more positive note, when they have been contacted about membership charges, they do rectify the situation and refund any charges made.

In the reviews, I have also seen the word “scam” mentioned more than once – which I guess is a matter of viewpoint and in my opinion is a harsh exaggeration. To me, it does not appear to me that the company is intending to rip off anyone.  But, a bit of tightening up in membership renewal administration seems to definitely be in order.

My personal experience on this: What I found after I started my trial membership is that they were quite transparent about the 30 day membership trial period, and that my credit card would be charged at the end of that time period unless I cancelled. After a couple of orders, it was a no-brainer to me to keep the membership since I could see that I would be saving a LOT of money.

Also, 5 days before the free trial membership expired, I received an email from them that stated clearly what was coming and what to expect. (See image in the “Thrive Market Membership” section above.)

Other reviews from the company’s customers were actually quite positive. They (like me) shop regularly for natural and organic foods, vitamins, etc., and they also seem to be saving quite a bit of money on food and other expenses as a result of their membership.

Really, it boils down to this: Will you be using the membership by shopping much on the site? If you have any question about that, I don’t really recommend that you become a member or renew your membership after the free trial.

Thrive Market Products Brand

Thrive Market Brand LogoThis is also something that I found impressive – their own product line not only has good products, but in my experience they are top-notch. And – talk about low prices! Some examples of their brand products include:

  • Foods and snacks
  • Health products (vitamins, herbs, other types of supplements)
  • Natural beauty, bath and body products (yay!)
  • Home products (cleaners, detergents)
  • Baby products (think natural disposable diapers for very reasonable prices)

I also read on this page that they have lots of new products currently under development, so more affordable products to come on this, which I look forward to seeing roll out.

Thrive Market Referrals

If you are a fan of healthy, natural and organic foods and other products, and you have a current membership with Thrive Market, you can easily benefit from spreading the word to your health-loving friends and family. Below is a screen image of what the referrals page looks like: Thrive Market Referrals Page How the referral program works:

  1. Go to the “Invite Friends” page on the site (shown in image above)
  2. Directly from that page, you can send friends links through Facebook or your email account * Optionally, you can copy the link that they give to you and paste it anywhere – you can promote it on your own website or blog as well. (You can also use a site like embed.ly to embed a special “visual link” that can be embedded into your site. 
  3. For every person you sign up from your link through one of the resources above (Facebook, email or link), you receive $25 in “Thrive Cash,” which is spend-able on their site. Also, the person you refer will receive 25% off their first order, which can add up to quite a bit depending on how much they shop for.

Thrive Market vs. Whole Foods

Price tagEven though it is a bit of a drive for me, I love shopping at Whole Foods – but I often get “sticker shock” when I do shop there, and usually end up buying less than what I really want because of the high prices.

It goes something like this: I browse through the aisles and practically drool over the yummy foods and yearn to buy many of the natural bath and beauty products. I look and look and look – having a great time, then I pick up one of the products, look at it then take note of the price. Swallowing my disappointment, I usually put the product back on the shelf.

Next, I check out the same (or similar) products on Thrive Market, and my reaction is, “Woooo Hooo!” I pull out my credit card and get (admittedly) a bit “shop happy” and start buying away.

My experience – In general, when I buy a product on Thrive Market, I pay about 30-50% less than I do at Whole Foods. No kidding.

As a note – One thing that Whole Foods has going for it are their food stands/areas (where you can buy prepared food and either bring it home or sit down to eat right there in the store). This is something that I will continue, because the food is always healthy, and kids love it – and they probably don’t even know that they are “eating healthy!”

Free Products on ThriveMarket.com

Thrive regularly offers free promotional items to its members, or as an incentive to sign up for a membership. Sometimes the products are not a great fit for me, but often they are – and hey, they’re free, right? I mentioned this above already, but I recently received an email that I could get 12 free Luna bars with an order. My kiddo and I love these bars as a fast, healthy snack – the Lemon Zest bars are yummy! It was already in my plans to place an order for some other items, so this was a great deal for us. After that happy coincidence, I will be paying a lot more attention to my promotional emails from Thrive.

Thrive Market – Encouraging Eating Healthy, Organic Food

Healthy girl jumping on beachHere is where I could go absolutely nuts with talking about healthy food and other healthy personal and home products. I could get right up on my soapbox and be more than a bit boring, so I will try to keep it brief.

I have come across a number of people in my lifetime that believe that “it doesn’t matter if food is natural, organic – or not.” That is a myth, and I feel that it is unfortunate that so many people out there are so misinformed.

Once someone makes it a lifestyle to “go all natural,” or “go healthy” when it comes to their nutrition, that person will inevitably realize what he or she has been missing. Not only are healthy foods just as yummy as “regular” foods, but they help you to feel good – along with increased nutrition comes just plain feeling better.

Eating natural and organic food makes all the difference in overall health and feeling good. To me, that is an indisputable fact.

Another point on this – using all natural home cleaning and other products (without harsh chemicals) is incredibly important. When I found out that harsh toxic chemicals that are used in many products can so negatively affect someone physically, I became a strong advocate of an “all natural household” in addition to promoting health in our kitchen.

Those toxins go into the lungs, into the bloodstream – and the human body is not equipped to deal with that very well.

Now our home is only cleaned with products that do not emit toxic fumes, have natural ingredients, and are still extremely effective. And – after a good cleaning, the house smells wonderful – no strong, pungent smells that make me want to hold my nose and squint my eyes.

The fact that Thrive Market makes it within reach money-wise to buy healthy products – to me – makes the company a dream come true, and just what the world of “natural and organic lovers” has been waiting for.

When I stumbled across Thrive Market I was as happy as a kid on Christmas, browsing all over the site, saying things like, “Wow!” and “Look at that!”

I believe that the Thrive company has filled a need that no other online or offline store has been able to in the past, and they did it with the most practical solution – a yearly membership coupled with “I can’t believe it!” prices.

I appreciate the work and thought that Thrive Market has put into making healthy eating affordable.

Thrive Market, Moms, Dads and Their Kiddos

One of the most important jobs a parent has is making sure that their children are eating healthy. This is not an easy job – I can easily attest to that.

When browsing the Thrive Market site, one of the main things that stands out to me is the variety of yummy snacks that do not contain ingredients like “Yellow Die #5,” MSG, etc., etc.

This site is a bevy of choices when it comes to snacks that kids love.

Does your kiddo love chips and/or other crunchy snacks? Well, Thrive has you covered. The huge variety of healthy veggie, potato and other all natural snacks for chip lovers is something to behold. Order away, have your pantry stocked up with these “crunchers” that kids will actually reach for, eat and love. (We love the banana and veggie chips – yum!)

Know a little one who loves sweets? (Of course – duh!) Well, Thrive has you covered there too. There are numerous different dried fruit snacks, fruity gummy treats, healthy chocolate and much, much, much more. And they (or at least the ones I have tried) are just as good or better tasting than any junky sugary food you can lay your hands on.

From the viewpoint of a mom who has had a rather tough time getting her child to eat healthy food, you should definitely check out this site – I think you will agree – what you find there in the way of “snacky” foods will keep the kids happy and will give you some real peace of mind when it comes to your children’s nutrition.

Thrive Market – Is it Worth It?

Man standing with red question markNow we are down to the nitty gritty bottom line – Is Thrive Market worth it?  And is it for you?

For some, Thrive Market has much to offer in the way of healthy food and other product options – but for others, it might not be a good fit.

The membership is apparently a matter of much controversy in consumer reviews – but in my opinion it’s a great deal. For about the same price as a Costco yearly membership, you can save over and over and over on foods and other healthy products that you normally would pay “an arm and a leg” for.

Really, it depends on how much you will be using the site. If you shop a lot for wholesome, natural and healthy products, my recommendation is to sign up for the membership, make it a habit to make Thrive your “go to” website, check in regularly and check your email account regularly to cash in on freebies and special discounts. (Even without the special discounts, you will generally find lower prices than you will find anywhere else on wholesome, healthy foods.)

Comparing to Amazon Prime membership – I see quite a number of people comparing use of an Amazon Prime membership to the Thrive Market program. I have both, and they are definitely worth it, but I wouldn’t necessarily compare one to the other. I use my Amazon Prime membership for many different kinds of purchases, but when it comes to natural foods and products, I have found overall that the prices on Amazon (even with a Prime membership) are still quite a bit higher when compared to Thrive.

Even with the “Pantry” program that Amazon offers (which I am not the biggest fan of), the prices on Thrive Market are simply hard to beat.

My Final Words and Recommendation on Thrive Market

Personally, I am completely sold on Thrive Market.  They combine healthy foods and other products with something I have been longing for, for a long time – low prices.  Very low prices. If you buy natural, organic foods and products – and you love low prices – my recommendation is absolutely give it a try. On the other hand, if you are uncertain about how much you would shop there, or you’re not too much into the “natural and organic thing,” it’s probably not for you. What I recommend if you are still undecided – If you are curious about it, create an account (starting your free 30 day trial membership), put it on your calendar that the free trial is up one day ahead of time, and make a final decision at that point. (They also will send out a reminder about the membership to your email account several days before the trial is up.) Again, if you decide to cancel, you can find out how to do that here.

How to Sign Up As a Member With Thrive Market

If you (like me) are completely sold on the idea of Thrive Market, it is easy to sign up for your account. Click on the button below, enter your email and remaining account information – the website will walk you through all the steps.  It’s simple, easy and you can save 20% more on your first three orders!
Has this article helped you, and given you the information you needed on Thrive Market?  Let me know in the comments section below – The Vitamin Gal would love to hear from you!
Thrive Market Review for 2018

Author: Tonya B.

Tonya is the founder and creator of The Vitamin Gal.

With her long history of learning and experience on health, vitamins, supplements and nutrition in general, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and tips with her friends, family and with you, our visitors.

Thrive Market Overall Rating

9.1

Healthy Food Options

10.0/10

Low Prices

10.0/10

Product Selection

8.0/10

Membership Administration

7.5/10

Shipping Speed and Quality

10.0/10

Pros

  • Amazing prices 24/7
  • Promotional freebies and discounts
  • Healthy foods, home products, vitamins and supplements
  • Excellent overall customer service
  • Fast, free shipping (for orders over $49)

Cons

  • Not as much selection/inventory as I would like
  • Lack of efficiency on cancelling membership (per others' reviews)
  • No shipping outside of the US
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