How To Spot A Fake Supplement Review On Amazon

By: Rob Miller
Fact Checked On: 7-2-2018


Home » Consumer Watchdog » How To Spot A Fake Supplement Review On Amazon

Millions of people around the world turn to Amazon everyday to purchase practically anything and everything.  Due to their extremely low prices, excellent buyer protection, secure transactions, and very user friendly design, it’s quickly become one of the most convenient and trustworthy places to buy from.

However, there is a shadier web of lies, deceit, and blatant false advertising that, to the untrained eye, you could completely overlook when buying something on Amazon.  By this, I am talking about fake reviews, and it’s something so prevalent I’ve heard as many as 60% of ALL reviews on Amazon are fabricated in one way, shape, or form.

Types of Fake Reviews

There are basically 2 types of fake reviews of supplements you’ll find on Amazon, the good AND the bad.  The good reviews will be glowing with high praise, recommending the products to their friends and family.  The bad will be completely bashing a supplement, calling it worthless and saying it did nothing.

That’s obvious, right?  Well, sometimes those “glowing” good reviews were planted by the company making the supplement, and sometimes the ridiculing bad reviews are simply a competitor who is trying to paint a VERY bad picture of a competing supplement.

Why Does This Happen?

fake amazon reviewsIt really comes down to 2 reasons…1.) Positive reviews lead to more sales and 2.) More sales equal a higher ranking when you search for a particular type of supplement.  Typically, when a vendor introduces a product onto the Amazon marketplace, they will be ranked very low (like page 10) until they build up a reputation.

That reputation is determined by a number of factors, including the products conversion rate, price point, and customer reviews / feedback.

Once the supplement has been introduced to the Amazon marketplace, they typically will have no reviews.  No reviews means they will rank poorly, and anyone coming to buy their product (if they can even find it) will be left questioning whether or not the supplement even works.

There are literally THOUSANDS of supplements that do this, including Geniux, Alpha Fuel XT, and Spartagen XT.

Use these simple tips to identify fake Amazon reviews:

1.  Check out the other reviews the “reviewer” has written

In an effort to convince you that their supplement works, vendors will hire friends, family, or even complete strangers to setup an Amazon account for the sole purpose of leaving a good rating and positive testimonial.  You can typically identify these when you look to see what other reviews the individual has written.

Often times you’ll find that literally the vendors product is the ONLY review they have written.  In some cases you’ll see that while they have reviewed one product quiet favorably, they have reviewed many other competing supplements VERY unfavorably.

You can check this easily by simply clicking on the “See all of my reviews” link just to the right of their username in the review.

2.  See if there are alot of reviews written in a very short period of time

Following the above, when you check the “See all my reviews” link and see that they reviewed a bunch of different products in a very short period of time, this may also be a red flag.

In an effort to make the username appear more “legit” they will often write a bunch of reviews in a short period of time in case you check to see how many other reviews they have written.

3.  Read the comments on the review

Alot of times people can sniff out a fake review on Amazon, and they will call out the specific reviewer in the comments section of that particular review.  Take a very good look at the responses.  If someone tries to call out the review as fake, does the reviewer go “above and beyond” to try and protect the validity of their review?

This is a sure sign that the “reviewer” probably has some sort of connection, whether financial or otherwise, to the company making the supplement.

4.  Don’t always trust the “Amazon Verified Purchase”

While it’s true that the person writing the review may have “purchased” the product, the product may have been purchased by the company itself only to give the impression that it’s an independent review.

5.  Sometimes “Short” reviews speak volumes

Typically if a “planted” review is just trying to affect the star rating average, you will find very brief feedback on the supplement in question.  There might be only 1 or 2 sentences, and the review could be very vague.

6.  Consider the Ratio of Good and Bad reviews

It’s more or less a proven fact that not EVERY supplement works for every person.  However, GOOD supplements tend to have a higher then normal 4 and 5 star ratings, with very few 1 or 2 star ratings.

If you see a VERY close number of 5 star and 1 star ratings (think 12-5 star ratings and 11-1 star ratings), there is a GOOD chance that many of the 5 star reviews are fake.

Companies that plant reviews will essentially try to “offset” the bad reviews by making up good ones.


It sucks to think that many of the Amazon reviews you’ve read in the past were probably fake, but it’s the truth.  Many companies will stop at nothing to give their product an upper hand on Amazon, and creating fake reviews is just the icing on the cake.

Use these tips and strategies to identify the warning signs and red flags of fake reviews, and pass it off to your friends so they know about it too!

Ask A Question

User Questions and Answers

Donald Trump has recommended a product he uses and how it increased memory, etc. It is also used by Tiger Woods and Denzel Washington have you checked this product out and what is the cost? -Dorothy

Donald Trump and the other celebrities mentioned are not really using these supplements.  Here's an article I wrote about these kinds of marketing scams.  In it, I mention several of the products that use this tactic.  I've got reviews for most of them that you can link to from the article.  Those reviews discuss ingredients and cost. But ultimately, I wouldn't recommend them. Read the reviews, and you'll see why.- Rob

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8 out of 9 people found this question helpful.

Is meta boost and no2 blast. Help build musclers or is it scam to buy it. -James

They're both scam products. Go with Testofuel as your testosterone booster and Nitrocut as you pre workout.- Rob

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6 out of 7 people found this question helpful.

Any information on "Nerve Renew" vitamin. Does it have results the way they advertise it. -Harold

I would doubt it. There are lots of supplements like this popping up lately.  They promise to solve almost any issue you can think of. That's your first clue.  I checked out their website, and when I clicked what was labeled as a link to the supplement facts, it took me to the page of an entirely different product.  No, I would steer clear of this supplement, and similar ones.- Rob

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4 out of 4 people found this question helpful.

I was wondering if the bain enhancers like addium and cerebrax are scams or not -Steve

Those two are.  Our Addium Review will help you see how.  We don't have a Cerebrax review, but it's basically the same.  But there are cognitive enhancers that work. Check out our review for Optimind. You may also want to sign up for our free Nootropics ebook, which can explain in more detail how they work.- Rob

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5 out of 6 people found this question helpful.

I have ordered serious mass from amazon seller is primarc pecan ltd it is one of the authorised seller of optimum nutrition in India but reviews got me confused,one reviewer was saying serious mass is it true please help ASAP -Mayank

I haven't seen or heard anything about Serious Mass being discontinued. I just checked a couple websites, and they're all still selling it.- Rob

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3 out of 4 people found this question helpful.

ASEA seems to be a billion dollar Multi-Level Marketing company base in Salt Lake City, Utah. They claim their modified water will regenerate billions of cells in your body and renew your body to your youth. So what do you know or heard about this product? -Allan

I haven't heard of it until now.  This kind of supplement seems to be popping up a lot lately.  I personally don't think there's much to them.- Rob

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2 out of 3 people found this question helpful.

What can you tell me about sizegenix,I looked up reviews and other possible ways to ask on the Internet if it's a scam or not and could not find any sites verifying it. Tried one time about a year ago ordered a supplement but read some reviews as the product was on its way and sent it back after finding that it was a fake from a few sites. Thank you -Jamie

I don't think it's a scam, like the ones that offer the free trials, but I don't think they're completely honest either about their celebrity endorsements or clinical studies/doctor recommendations.  There are better choices, for instance, check out VigRx Plus. It works, and they offer a 67 day money back guarantee, in case you're not satisfied.- Rob

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1 out of 1 people found this question helpful.

I wanna try sizegenix pills but they started off on bad reviews -davell

I haven't tried it, but if it's promises permanent size increases, they're lying. A supplement can't provide that.- Rob

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Is there really a supplement you can take to rejuvenate red blood cells? -lee

Several vitamins and mineral can increase your red blood cell production. These include: Iron, Copper, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and  Vitamin B6.- Rob

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How to find out if Pro BCAA is duplicate. Does it have a paper packing from inside? -akram

I'm not sure about this. You'll have to contact the company or your seller directly.- Rob

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Is Marine D3 a scam? -Carmen starling

Omega fatty acids are good supplements to take for overall health, joint health, and brain function support, but I don't believe their cellular rejuvenation and anti-aging claims are supported.- Rob

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Author: Rob Miller

Supplement Critique

Rob Miller founded over 7 years ago, and has been the chief editor ever since. He has a diploma in Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor, and worked at GNC for 3 years. He KNOWS supplements, both inside and out. Rob currently resides in Jupiter, FL, with his wife of 4 years.  Learn more about him in his Bio here. Follow him on Twitter , Facebook, LinkedIn, or find him on Google +.

16 comments on “How To Spot A Fake Supplement Review On Amazon”

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  1. Do stem cells work…..?I am receiving a lot of requests for me to read their literature and take advantage of their offers, etc.

    1. Hey Peggy,

      The research being done on stem cells in the scientific community is promising, but the brochures you’re reading from supplement companies are not about that. They’re just capitalizing people’s desperate hopes for help with their ailments.

  2. I agree on the Amazon reviews. The sequence of 5 star reviews gets very suspicious & I have had to return many of those products.

    I have left valid very good reviews but Amazon moderators aka censorers tell me it doesnt fall within their rules!! Oh Okay I guess the rules are lie and give 4 to 5 stars. Many bad products deserve to be exposed.

    I went after Kangen MLM Water Filters & their scam reps went bezerk accusing me of being with another filter company etc, which I am not. So some of the comments got out of hand yet Amazon still allowed them to post.

    So I finally let them have it and told them slander is typically hard to prove but since I can prove I am not with any Water Filter company & was posting against Kangen because they are a rip off, I had the proof I needed screen shot in writing. I write under a user name due to so much info selling.

    Amazon has gotten too big for their britches. Way too big

  3. Do you know of THE BEST Supplements on Amazon that WILL dramatically raise the NO in my Blood? I do suffer from severely Low NO!

    THANKS A LOT for your interest & your Humanity!
  4. Just found you! Thank you so much, Rob, for your site creation.

    Very badly needed. Kind of surprised that amazon allows fake statements in selling products on their site.

    I’ll be using your site only from now on!
  5. I’m pretty much at the point of giving up supplements completely. For the past six years, I’ve been taking an ever-growing pile of them to try to make my life look more like those happy people frolicking through fields in allergy commercials, and none of them have done what they claim.

    So like a dope, I go back to Amazon and read reviews claiming “I lost 15lbs once I started taking cinnamon!" “Strangers on the street stop to compliment my skin since I started using argan oil!" And I fall for it all over again. At this point, I just assume everyone is bullshitting me, whether next-door neighbor or Amazon reviewer.

    Supplements don’t work. Wonder how much extra money I would have if I’d never gotten sucked in…

    1. Hey Terry,

      I just sent copies to your email address. Let me know if you have any questions.

    1. Hey Harold,

      Up to this point, I haven’t been able to find anything about Meristem or Dr. Langfeld online, so I wouldn’t put too much trust in it.

  6. This was excellent. Some of the reviews I read seem fake to me and I was wondering if others felt the same.

    I now look for validity, but I had not thought about many review written in a short amount of time. I had not thought about the verified purchases being done by the vendor.

    I sure appreciate the effort to keep supplements out of the mud!
  7. “I’ve heard as many as 60% of ALL reviews on Amazon are fabricated in one way, shape, or form."

    That would be correct. Since Amazon started their “Verified Purchase” reviews this has given further opportunity for fake reviewers to look more genuine.

    These are a standard offering among the many fake review services of varying forms out there.

    Customers think that “verified purchase” means something more than whoever reviewed the product bought one.

    It would be impossible to know if the reviewer was paid, as the communication and financial transaction would have happened in private emails and between bank accounts. Absolutely nothing to do with Amazon.

    Even if (in an alternate universe) Amazon had access to view everyone’s bank accounts, they would also have to have access to everyone’s emails to know that the same sum of money (of unknown purpose) is also part of a discussion over fake reviews.

    They can’t do this, wouldn’t have the resources to do this, and anyway, they are under no legal obligation whatsoever to police their reviews under section 203 of the Communications Decency act. (most customers probably just assume they do).

    This is the age of the internet, eCommerce lives and dies by anonymous reviews from complete strangers over the internet on sites with no legal obligation to police them.

    All companies large and small know they need to play this game, even if you’re a decent company with good products you have to fake your own reviews (customers rarely post reviews), otherwise you’ll get misrepresented by default / hammered / are vulnerable.

    My background is that I’m a small business that has downsized interest in eCommerce, I’m not faking my reviews like everyone else. In my local face to face business I have clients from beyond catchment areas of my competitors that keep coming back for years.

    PS: I think websites such as Supplement Critique are different to this, they are not anonymous, if it’s views reflect your experiences then you can come back to the same place.

    You can build on experience.

    You can’t do this with millions of anonymous customer reviews from different people. Even if you find you can trust one of them, you are back to square one every time thereafter.

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