Unbiased, Honest Fat Burner Reviews? NOPE.
*Updated Nov 28, 2017.
Today, a search for just about any dietary supplement, fat burner or weight loss pill brings up dozens of “review” sites.
Many have names like “consumer-this” or “consumer-that”, and claim to present “honest” and “unbiased” reviews, giving the impression they offer a “consumer advocate” type service, “reviewing” products in the genuine best interests of their visitors.
Don’t be fooled.
For the most part, this is complete and utter bullsh*t.
Ahem. Pardon my “French”.
These are not consumer advocate sites. They are “fake” review sites.
They have one mission.
Promote the products they either manufacture and sell themselves, or are affiliated with, to earn revenue.
Oh, and to defame their competitors’ products.
A Real Life Example of Fake Reviews
This isn’t just some hair-brained theory of mine. People have been sued for this…
Take for example, the law suit filed against Utah businessmen Steve DeVore (of SyberVision) and Garret DeVore (of BlackStone Nutrition) that alleges…
“…SyberVision and Blackstone Nutrition conspire to deceive consumers through Web sites that post bogus “product reviews” that defame competitors and violate trademarks…”
The press release goes on to state…
“The defendants’ Web site claim to contain unbiased and helpful consumer information. However, the ‘reviews’ are fake and the Web sites are nothing more than a marketing scheme for defendants’ competing products, which they promote on the sites.”
Basically, it appears as if these guys are posting glowing reviews and reams of positive customer testimonials for the products they themselves manufacture.
Unfortunately, these two guys are hardly the only two who are alleged to be engaged in such nefarious practices. The majority of “impartial” review sites I’ve checked out lately are completely bogus, designed only to promote products for income.
How to Tell the Real Fat Burners Reviews from the Fake Ones?
With that said, how can you tell the difference between a genuine fat burner review, and one that’s only meant to sell you something?
That’s a good question.
To help, I’ve put together a list of 8 tips you can use to find out whether a fat burner review is genuine, or fake news.8 Tips to Tell if a Fat Burner Review is Fake! Click To Tweet
1. The Weight Loss Product in Question is Only Available Online
Fake “review” sites do not normally promote regularly available commercial products like Hydroxycut and anything you can buy on the shelf in your local GNC or Wal-Mart.
There’s no money in it.
That’s because both the price and the profit margins of brand name products sold in retail stores is relatively low, and the commissions earned from promoting them is tiny.
Instead, you’ll find they promote products which can only be found online and generally sell for about twice the price of popular, readily available products.
Commissions on these products normally runs close to the 50% mark, which means a lot of money can be made in commissions.
“It also means that you are dramatically overpaying for the product.”
In other words…
The additional cost of these products does not cover superior ingredients or specialty formulas as is sometimes claimed, but instead, is used to provide a major financial incentive to affiliate partners.
2. Check for Advertising on Google
Here’s a neat little trick (although it’s not foolproof).
Go to Google and do a search for “name of product” + “review”.
If you see paid ads for “reviews” of the product, it’s a big red flag.
Advertising on Google is not cheap. If a web site is using Google to promote their reviews, it’s only because they’re making money doing so. And if they’re making enough money to advertise, it’s unlikely they’re truly impartial, because they are selling something.
3. Look for Lots of Reviews on Google:
While you’re at Google, take a closer look at the “non-paid” results for your search (“name of product” + “review”).
If you see a lot of reviews, especially those that use “click bait” to get you to visit (i.e., “Name of Product Scam: Don’t Buy XYZ Until You Read This!”), it’s a good indication that this product is aggressively marketed by partners solely to earn a commission.
Relatively few people would be writing about it otherwise.
These reviews are unlikely to be unbiased.
4. No Direct Links to Clinical Studies
When it comes to weight loss supplements and pills, nothing impresses an audience like the term “clinically proven.”
So the writers of these fat burner reviews will often say things like…
“A study published in a reputable journal showed that the ingredients featured in product A lead to 250% more weight loss…”
What they don’t do, of course, is provide a direct link to the study so you can review it for yourself.
Because even if it’s true, “250% more weight loss” might not be anywhere near as impressive as it seems.
Here’s what I mean…
Suppose a clinical trial is conducted on a supplement. At the end of 8 weeks, the placebo group has lost 1 lbs. of weight. The group taking the supplement lost 2.5 lbs. Any normal person would not be particularly excited by these results, because well… they’re not exciting.
But technically, the group taking the supplement DID lose 250% more weight.
See what I mean?
5. Recommendations Based on Meaningless or Unavailable Data
Here’s what mean by this…
I’ll often see web sites ranking weight loss supplements on the basis of…
- Re-order rate: When was the last time any supplement company in the world made their re-order rates public knowledge? And if they did, how would you verify this data? The idea that the product in question is so effective that it is purchased over and over again by customers is a powerful selling point, but don’t buy into it. The truth is this is completely and totally fabricated by the reviewer and is complete and utter bullshit.
- Money-back guarantee. How would you know if they merchant whose product you’re promoting honors their money back guarantee or not? Truth is, you wouldn’t. And the feedback we’ve received over the years indicates these guarantees are rarely supported.
- Customer feedback & testimonials: Completely unverifiable, definitely “cherry picked” and possibly even fabricated by the retailer, testimonials are not a credible reason to recommend a product in most cases.
- Safety Record: Here’s another laughable metric. Safety record as reported by whom? The supplement retailers themselves? How likely are they to make public the fact that their clients are experiencing negative side effects with their products? So the “source” of these “safety record” is never mentioned, because well… it’s bullshit.
- Patented Ingredients: Ever seen this? We recommend XYZ product because it contains “patented ingredients.” Sure, it sounds impressive, but it means sweet f**k all. Why? Because “patented” does not mean “proven to work.” Yep, really. A patent is a legally-recognized grant of property rights over an invention, formula, or design. That’s it. Something does not need to be “proven” in order to be patented.
If you see a review using any of these as the basis for their recommendation, run – don’t walk – the other way.
6. Recommendations for Merchants who Use a Free Trial Offer:
No one who has the genuine best interests of their audience at heart will make a referral for a product that uses a “free trial offer.”
Because it’s a scam.
Here’s how it works…
The retailer offers a “free trial” of their product (usually between 7-14 days), supposedly as a demonstration of their confidence in its effectiveness.
The trial, of course, isn’t really free. You have to pay a small shipping and handling fee.
The purpose of this fee is to obtain your credit card data for future billing.
Because hidden away in their terms and conditions somewhere is the unpleasant truth; by enrolling in this trial, you’re agreeing to be added to an “autoship” program, where you’re shipped a new bottle of the product every 30 days and your credit card is billed an outrageous amount.
Sure, most merchants say they will allow you to opt out of the program.
But here’s the “kicker”…
It’s almost impossible to do so. You may have 10 days to unsubscribe from the program. But your enrollment starts the day you place the order, not the day you receive it. So by the time you’ve received your order and tried it for 2 weeks, you’re already subscribed.
And good luck trying to unsubscribe now. Chances are you’ll have to cancel your credit card or debit card to stop the payments.
7. Recommendations Do Not Include Caveats
After almost 20 years of writing content for this web site, I can tell you this…
Many people like fat burners and weight loss supplements and find them helpful, even if the results they deliver aren’t consistent with their advertising claims.
In other words, maybe they didn’t lose 10 lbs in 30 days or anything dramatic like that, but they liked the energy and the fact that their appetite was suppressed and so on.
So over the years, I’ve made a few recommendations…
… but always with the caveat that there is no magic pill, and that the key to weight loss is consuming fewer calories than you require.
Any recommendation for any product that is made without a similar “warning” is not an honest one, because there are no quick and easy solutions to weight loss.
8. Reviews Written By Anonymous Authors:
Fake “review” sites don’t reveal anything about the real people “behind” their reviews.
This makes it impossible to determine whether they are credible, and whether a conflict of interest exists.
If you visit their “About Us” page, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts you’ll see something like…
“Here at ConsumerHealthBullshit.com we’re focused on delivering the best honest reviews of the best products and services. Our team of professionals carefully analyzes the science behind the claims to make recommendations for products that actually work, blah, blah, blah…”
In other words, you’ll see generic “feel good” crap that reveals nothing about the authors or their true motives.
You have a right to know who is writing your reviews, and why they should be considered credible.
If their work is legitimate, they should be proud to stand behind it. If this information is missing, it’s important to ask why.
Bottom line on Fake Fat Burner Review Sites?
If you see…
- No science, or no links to referenced clinical data.
- Aggressive promotion of alternative products.
- Upteen positive testimonials
- Bogus metrics for analyses (i.e., safety record, re-order rate, etc)
- Total anonymity of authors.
Then what you are seeing is HIGHLY LIKELY TO BE BOGUS and the fat burner reviews you are reading are not genuine.
Fake news, in other words.
Basically, the rules of common sense apply here. If someone is asking for your credit card while they are telling you something that sounds just too gosh darn good to be true, trust your instincts and do not make the purchase.
It’s simple, really.