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How Consumer Reviews Can Help You Make Good Buying Decisions

Shopping for something new can be an exciting adventure. But it also can become a nightmare when you are presented with a lot of products that have a variety of features or options and you’re not sure which would be the best ones for you. For example, elliptical trainers can have a variety of stride lengths, user weights, built-in workout programs, levels of resistance, type and size of display, heart rate monitors or any number of other features. Which ones would be best for you and your situation? How can you find out?

Most of the time you simply visit a consumer review local sporting goods store and the sales person goes over the different features and makes his or her recommendation as to what he or she thinks you need. Many of them are professional of course but a number of others are more interested in selling you a high-end product with as many features as possible in order to make the largest amount of money. Whether it really works for you in your own particular situation may not necessarily be true but it does work well for the salespersons pocketbook.

One of the best ways to get information and unbiased views is to turn to consumer reports or consumer reviews. Over the years you have seen many of these types of consumer reviews in magazines especially when it comes to cameras, computers, electronics or sports equipment. People offer up their opinions, good or bad, on the product that they bought and you can sift through these to find the pros and cons of the items you’re shopping for.

If you can’t find the reviews you need in a magazine or a newspaper there are a number of web sites that can be helpful on the Internet these days. Websites like Epinions or e-commerce sites like Amazon allow people to post their reviews or opinions on products for people like you and me to read and to use in evaluating a product we are about to buy. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on either one of these websites then do a Google search with your product name, product number + review and you are sure to find a number of sites popping up with reviews that can be helpful. PC Magazine or PC World for example have a lot of great online reviews for computer hardware and software. There are a number of others websites such as Steve’s Digicam for digital cameras, Cowboy Frank’s Webcam Reviews for WebCams or CNET for reviews on a variety of electronic devices and gadgets that you can use to find information and helping you to choose what to buy. There are a number of dedicated people online who run websites devoted to reviewing various products and they can be a tremendous help to us.

The secret, of course, is to look for reviews that give you both the pros and the cons of a product. And you don’t only want to know the technical details of a product either. You also want to find out about factors like the products reliability, about its ease of use and about the warranty and what happens when you go to the seller or manufacturer when you have a problem. It doesn’t do you any good to have a product with all the bells and whistles that you need and you can’t get reliable service when it breaks down in the first week. In some cases you may find hundreds of reviews on a particular product and you want to scan through all of those reviews to make sure that the product that rates four out of five stars doesn’t have a major flaw that pops up every so often for a consumer. You want to know what happens when that problem does pop up and how the manufacturer responds to it. If the consumer has to jump through hoops to get a problem rectified do you really want to take the chance with that product?

Consumer reviews can help you to make a proper buying decision. Consumer reviews and reports can save you a whole lot of time and money if you use them wisely. And once you do make a purchase, be sure to return to the websites that helped you out with consumer reviews and add your own personal reviews and viewpoints on the product to help out other consumers to make wise buying decisions.

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