Fake Reviews are Everywhere!
Just a few years back, I could count the number of prominent web sites providing fat burner reviews and critiques of weight loss supplements on one hand.
Now, a search for just about any product— especially those dedicated to weight loss — brings up dozens of sites. Many have names like “consumer-something or other”, and give the impression they offer a “consumer advocate” type service, “reviewing” products in the genuine best interests of their visitors.
But most don’t.
They are “fake” review sites designed to promote the products they either manufacture and sell themselves, or products which they are affiliated with, and earn a huge commission from referred sales.
Unbiased My Ass
Take for example, the recent 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 Bogus Ones?
With that said, how can you tell the difference between a genuine fat burner review, and one that’s only meant to sell the product?
That’s a good question.
Here’s some tips…8 Tips to Tell if a Fat Burner Review is Fake! Click To Tweet
1. Look for aggressive promotion of products available online ONLY
Generally these “review” sites do not promote regularly available commercial products like Hydroxycut and anything you can buy on the shelf in your local GNC or Wal-Mart. 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.
That’s because the profit margin on brand name products sold in retail stores is low, and the commissions to be earned from promoting them is miniscule.
Commissions on these online products, however, usually runs close to the 50% mark, which means a lot of money can be made in commissions.
It also clearly illustrates that the additional cost of these products is not used for developmental reasons (i.e., it’s not because they include much more of the high quality ingredients found in commercial equivalents) but as a major financial incentive to partners.
2. Follow the money:
This is an important one. If you do a search on Google for a product of interest and see many paid ads for “reviews” of the product, be skeptical.
Advertising on Google is not cheap (you can use this handy tool to determine the cost of certain “keywords”) and you can bet if an advertiser is targeting these popular keywords, there has to be a way to obtain a decent ROI (Return On Investment) for his/her money.
They are only doing this to make money, believe me.
For instance, you won’t see UltimateFatBurner.com advertising our reviews here.
Since we earn the majority of our income from advertising, that means we can’t afford to pay more than a few pennies for new visitors (which means Google is out of our league) or we would be losing money. The only way any site can place ads here and stay in business is to aggressively promote products that pay high-commissions.
And we won’t do that, of course.
3. Zero, minimal or selective use of scientific journal references:
When it comes to weight loss supplements, journal references are almost never your “friend” if you’re in the business of enthusiastically promoting products to your audience. That’s because the claim “clinically proven” rarely stands up to any real scrutiny – either the product in question has not been clinically proven at all, or the effects are so minor and subtle that to discuss the study data in detail will dramatically reduce the chance of earning a commission a referrred sale.
4. Inaccurate reviews:
One review site, in an obvious shot at UltimateFatBurner.com and my appreciation for Isatori’s Lean System 7 (LS7), claimed that new LS7 was nothing special, and certainly nowhere near as good as the old, ephedra-based product. The thing is, LS7 has never, ever been an ephedra-based product. Pretty credible, huh?
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5. Non-credible recommendations:
Product recommendations are often made of the basis of..
i. A money-back guarantee. Feedback we’ve received over the years indicates these guarantees are rarely honored. I have no doubt those making the recommendations know that.
ii. An overwhelming record of positive customer feedback. Positive testimonials are anecdotal. They can also be manufactured. And cherry-picked. We’ve received comments about several review sites refusing to publish negative comments about products, therefore presenting a “positively skewed” perspective. One thing many visitors say when they visit our site is, “Wow! I can’t believe all the negative comments here. All the other sites had nothing but positive ones.”
iii. The recommended product contains “patented” ingredients: It’s a common misconception that “patented” means “proven to work.”
It does not. A patent is simply…
“… a legally-recognized grant of property rights over an invention, formula, or design.”
If someone is recommending a product on the basis of patented ingredients, RUN.
6. Recommendations for merchants who use deceptive billing tactics:
Want an easy way to make money? Recommend a product that uses a free trial offer to add new customers to a recurring billing program. That way, you’ll earn commissions every 30-days, when your visitor gets shipped a product they don’t want, didn’t order, and can’t opt out of. Only the lowest of the low implement this tactic, but there are still plenty who will do so.
7. Recommendations without Caveats
We recommend a few select products on UltimateFatBurner.com, of course. But we always make sure you understand that although the product may help somewhat, the key to your success comes down to diet and exercise, and that there is no “magic pill.”
Any recommendation made without this “warning”, in our opionion, is not an honest one, because there are no quick and easy solutions to weight loss, whether any of us likes it or not.
8. Anonymous authors:
Fake “review” sites don’t reveal anything about the people behind them. This makes it impossible to determine whether they are credible, and whether a conflict of interest exists. On UltimateFatBurner.com for instance, you know exactly who we are.
Our names are on the site, we’re associated with what we do, and we can be contacted.
Basically, you have a right to know who is behind these “review” sites. If their work was legitimate, they should be proud to stand behind it. If this information is missing, it’s important to ask why.
Are you starting to see the patterns common to these “review” sites?
Bottom line on Fake Fat Burner Review Sites?
If you see…
- No science
- Aggressive promotion of alternative products (i.e., this product SUCKS, but this one gets our stamp of approval)
- Upteen positive testimonials
- Plenty of money to be made earning referral commissions
- Total anonymity
Then what you are seeing is HIGHLY LIKELY TO BE BOGUS and the fat burner reviews you are reading are not genuine.
It’s all falling into place, no?
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.