JimsMaher wrote:check out Consumer Reports, and be done with it. I hear CR is online now. .... or you could ignore your interlink tether attached to your palm, and just think for yourself every now and again, no big deal.
Came to this thread to say Consumer Reports is awesome.
Thinking for yourself is perfectly fine for a lamp. I look to CR for the things I really don't want to screw up - refrigerator, dishwasher, etc. Actually, even with CR there is a fair bit of thinking/decision making involved. They just provide the facts necessary to turn a decision into an informed
The issue with Consumer Reports is that in order to access most of their content, you need to have a paid subscription. That's fine, if you intend to check out every single thing on the planet before you buy it. If, however, you're like most normal consumers, and only check reviews on products you're not too familiar with, it's a waste of money.
That's the only time I really look at reviews. If I'm not all that familiar with the product as a whole, or how well different brands of the same kind of product hold up, then I'll check out the reviews.
There are two categories of reviews I look at: Reviews of consumer electronics, especially more modern electronics (smart phones, mp3 players, GPS systems, etc.), and sellers through a major online conglomerate.
Whenever I'm buying something, especially personal electronics, I check for four things:
In that order.
I will sort first by price, then by the features, and after I've identified a brand I'm familiar with (not just by name; by personal experience), then I look at the reviews. I try to look for consistencies in reviews. If a user gave a product only 3 out of 5 stars, I want to know why. Will it be a big problem in the overall functionality of the product? Will that default interrupt my intentions of the product's usage? If the answer is "Yes", I move on to the next model. If it's something that's easy to overcome (might be discussed in another review further on down the list), then I'll go ahead and get it.
After I've used the item for a while, and have encountered the problem, but found a way to overcome it, I'll post my own review and solution to the problem everyone encountered.
AvatarIII wrote:this exact thing has ruined shopping for DVDs and Games, I used to read a blurb and look at a cover to decide whether to buy it, now I pull out my phone and go to metacritic or RT, it's probably saved me money and a few shit movies and games, but still, it's ruined me discovering those facts for myself.
Most of the movies I've bought were ones I'd seen in the theater, or else saw on TV. On the rare occasion I buy a movie I've never seen, I might go ahead and buy it, after reading the blurb and checking out the cover art, but I don't unwrap it until I go online and check the reviews. Also, there's this thing called "You Tube", where people share personal videos with friends and family. Sometimes people might upload clips from movies or TV shows, or else the studio that produced the movie might upload a preview or clip.
Same goes with CDs. If I buy a CD, it's because I (A) recognize the artist, and (B) recognize most if not all of the tracks on the album. One thing I've done recently is preview the tracks on Amazon's mp3 site. If I like the samples, then I'll either download the tracks, or else go out and buy the CD. Or order the CD online and have it shipped.
Same could be said about books. When I would buy books in the bookstore, I would read the description on the back cover, or inside flaps. Then I might open to a couple of pages somewhere in the middle. If I like what I'd read so far, then I'll get it.
In short, I only read reviews for personal electronics and other physical items. Media? No.