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Sources for Product Reviews Online

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On Christmas Day, the New York Times offered a look at several services that allow end users to supply and share reviews of different projects. Well-known services like Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide are mentioned. Other sources like CNET, Yahoo, Amazon.com, and epinions are also included. Additionally, a couple of other new and potentially useful services got some ink:

+ DontbyJunk
and
+ ConsumerSearch.com

I've used ConsumerSearch several times and found it very useful. What makes these services different?

...by providing a distillation or meta-analysis of all reviews for various products posted on the Web and deemed credible by the sites' editors. Whereas Dontbuyjunk, introduced three months ago, is still evolving, ConsumerSearch went online in 2000 and is more comprehensive in the number and kinds of products it covers as well as the number of sources it uses to make recommendations. Moreover, ConsumerSearch summarizes its findings in easy-to-read tables. Both sites accept advertising and are free.

Finally, Angie's List, a service that offeres local area reviews (for 27 metropolitan areas) is mentioned. This fee-based service offers a database of, "contractor, from plumbers to clowns who perform at birthday parties."

I plan to take a closer look at Dontbyjunk, ConsumerSearch, and Angie's List, in the near future.

One other source for consumer electronics product reviews worth mentioning. SmartSort from Yahoo Shopping allows users to create personalized lists of useful products by answering questions and moving sliders. The reviews themselves are licensed from PC World magazine. Very cool, IMHO.


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