Making Purchases Using Consumer Search

As you may have ascertained from this blog, I am a bit of a research junkie. When it comes to making a major purchase (to me, major purchase = $50 or more), this propensity of mine goes into overdrive. One of my favorite resources when agonizing over a purchase is Consumer Search. According to their own description, they:
  1. Collect the best reviews (review sources include professional reviews such as Consumer Reports, Cooks Illustrated, and magazine articles, as well as consumer/user ratings from online stores such as Amazon)
  2. Analyze their picks (considering each source's relative credibility)
  3. Recommend what to buy
The best thing about Consumer Search is that it's FREE.  The site earns revenue through ads and through you making a purchase (on Amazon or another online vendor) via their site. I use this site as a sort of poor-man's proxy for Consumer Reports (which you have to pay for), because I know they weigh Consumer Reports' reviews heavily.  Sometimes you can find some of the original reviews yourself through a little online searching (for example, an online magazine article about double strollers) so you can read the original more detailed review, but not always.  So you are really left trusting the analysis and conclusions of Consumer Search.

For really, really major purchases such as cars or washing machines, I still often purchase a one month membership for $5.95 to Consumer Reports, so I can read their very thorough analysis of the options.  There really is no substitute for (ad-free, sponsor-free, totally reliable) Consumer Reports.  But if I'm just purchasing an A/C unit, stroller or a toaster oven, I'm usually content just to consult Consumer Search.

Of course, this site is in no way focused on helping you make an eco-friendly, non-toxic purchase.  The reviews do occasionally mention Energy Star ratings and other information that might show up in mainstream reviews.  For help finding green products, I use these resources:

What is your favorite source for reliable product reviews and information?

P.S.  Last week to enter the handmade, vegan laundry soap giveaway from Nothing But Soap!

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  1. Wow great post!! I had not heard of Consumer Search but it sounds like it is well worth checking out!! Thanks.

  2. I'd have to say that my favorite source for product reviews is my sister who does all of the research for me and tests the products out on her own. I's always good to know one of these types of people. Now I know that there's someone else who can do all that research for me--thanks Betsy.

    P.S. I'm dying to see some pictures of your kids--congratulations to you on this great blog.


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