What are the best consumer review sites

When it comes to making buying decisions, the typical consumer faces a dizzying array of choices.
Starting with advertising, which floods the airwaves and internet, we can be bombarded by hundreds of messages each day.  In self defense, we do our best to ignore most of them.

One way to get information of course, is through our social networks, where we can discuss our needs among friends and family. Besides the obvious social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, there are also neighborhood list serves and groups where you can ask questions and share information.

Now that Google and other search engines have skewed their searches to favor advertisers, it can take a bit longer to dig through all the clutter and find what we want.

When I recently went searching, I looked at a number of the top-ranked sites out there for consumer research. The list is not exhaustive. My for ranking would be overall usefulness and benefit to the user. As I practice mindfulness, I lean toward minimalism, simplicity and user-friendly sites.

Listed below are my top-ranked sites:

1. Although considered mainly a shopping site, Amazon.com tops the list as it has consumer ratings for many products of every kind.  On Amazon you will find the reviews are attached to specific products where users have contributed ratings and reviews.

2.  Consumer Reports is the website of Consumers Union. Founded in 1936, Consumers Union (CU) is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. The site also posts various reviews of interest by categories among news articles. It is also searchable by specific criteria that is of interest to the reader, i.e. price or quality, or quality by price range.

3. NSF International is another long established group founded in 1944, which is focused specifically on health. Their mission is to protect and improve global health.  They offer a large amount of useful information, for consumers. Their  consumer resources include certification for products in a number of health and safety related categories.

4. CNet.com is a large site with news and reviews related to technology and innovation.  There product reviews appear both among news stories, and are also well organized to be searchable by categories and products. The site is owned by CBS, a broadcasting company.

5. ConsumerSearch.com is a site that reviews the reviews to help consumers sort information and make informed decisions.  The site was founded in 1999 as the internet was taking off.  It also is a commercial site that sells ads to support the site.

6. Reviews.com is a newer site whose mission is to find the best of whatever product or service from A to Z.  This site offers a huge amount of detailed information and analysis from expert contributors about a wide variety of items.  Their disclaimer states that some products are sponsored by advertisers.

7. Top Consumer Reviews is a large site where reviews are organized by products and categories.  The site employs independent reviewers to write the reviews.  The site is financed by affiliate links in reviews and ads.

8. Reviewed.com is a site that is mainly geared toward household products. Their reviews are staff produced. Although the site also accepts paid ads, they have a detailed ethics policy displayed detailing their standards for providing non-biased reviews.

These are just what I found.  What review sites have been most helpful to you?


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