We polled our librarians and library staff for their best product review sites. Although many of us are familiar with Consumer Reports and Amazon, there are often other sites you only hear about through word of mouth. So from our mouths to yours…
Consumer Reports: This old standby still stands the test of time. You can get to the full text free through the library here (search Consumer Reports), with lots of back issues to explore. Here are two places below you can see years back to the 1980s.
Angie’s List: This review site focuses on the product of SERVICES provided by a company. A great place to see local information if you aren’t sure where to begin.
Good Housekeeping Product Reviews: Go here for beauty, clothing, fitness, appliances, garden, and more. See if your favorite gets the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval!
Amazon: Anyone can write reviews of products, and some are pretty fun (and tongue-in- cheek) to read. You can see their review policies here.
Wirecutter: This site’s “recommendations are made through vigorous reporting, interviewing, and testing by teams of veteran journalists, scientists, and researchers.” More rigorous than some sites, it’s a great place to try for electronics and gadgets, but has so much more.
Top Ten Reviews: Per their site, “for over 14 years, we’ve been one of the largest and most comprehensive product review sites on the web, with tens of thousands of reviews and rankings in categories” that include services, software, business, electronics, and more.
BestReviews: Another good site that does testing and doesn’t accept free products. They compare the top products in thousands of categories to give you reliable purchasing advice.
Cnet.com: A great place to go for tech reviews (oldie but still a goodie!).
Both Edmunds.com and Consumerguide.com are stellar for a car search and give pros, cons, and specs.
There are many review sites available, from the general to specific. For example, here is an article discussing the Top 28 Product Review sites for Online Marketers. Consumersearch.com aggregates reviews from many different review sites (so you can find what Wirecutter and Good Housekeeping both say about salad spinners!)
As with all information, it is important to do your homework before committing to a decision! Try out some of these sites to make yourself a savvy consumer!
–Written by Maria Bagshaw, with contributions by ECC Librarians & Staff