Friday, December 17, 2004

Good sources for consumer reviews

Where can one find good, unbiased reviews of consumer products? It depends on what you're looking for.
  • Consumer Reports is of course a reputable organization, so committed to independence that it never takes advertisements, but unfortunately most of their content requires a paid subscription. Also, they are usually behind the times when it comes to computer technology.

  • Epinions and Amazon offer good anecdotal reports on specific products--as long as you take individual reviewers' opinions with a grain of salt.

  • CNET offers good reviews of most electronics or computer products.

  • Consumer Search is one of my favorites. Yes, they now have advertising, which is a little annoying. However, they do great "meta-reviews"...that is, reviewing and summarizing what all the other review sites and publications (including Consumer Reports) say.

  • Google's Consumer Information Directory has other useful consumer sites.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Why a Consumer Reviews Blog?

Since the past year was my first year living away from home and out of college dormatories, I've found myself buying a lot of stuff. Stereotypically, guys don't like shopping, and I certainly fall into that stereotype. However, we shopping-phobic men seem to fall into two camps: First, those who get the first thing they see. Second, those who research the @#$@ out of their purchase before getting it. Although most of the time I'm in the first camp, when it comes to big, "long-term" purchases that I plan on hanging on to a while, I'm definitely in the second camp.

So, when buying the sorts of things one needs for a new apartment--kitchen stuff, a bed, furniture--I took a good amount of time researching my options both on- and off-line. Partly to document my findings so I can remember the next time I need to make such a purchse, and also to share my findings with other people, I've decided to set up this blog. (I also didn't want to clog up my normal blog with consumer advice.)