Is Consumer Reports worth the money?

Is Consumer Reports worth the money?


Hey I’m Adam Jusko from ProudMoney.com and in this video we’re going to talk about whether Consumer Reports
is worth the money that it costs. Before I do that, please subscribe to our
YouTube channel if you have not already and if you have I thank you very much.
So Consumer Reports, back in the pre-Internet days was a good source for
unbiased reviews on cars and appliances and, I don’t know, your backyard grill —
whatever you might be buying. So if you were a Consumer Reports subscriber, you got sort of an ongoing list of reviews or stories and
reviews on kind of what was new on the market and how you could compare various products if you were in the market and you’d get special car issues every year
and all that kind of stuff. And so back in the pre-internet days that was pretty
valuable, because it was difficult to find reviews on a lot of things. Now once
the internet showed up, obviously there are sites left and right that offer
reviews of an awful lot of things. There are reviews everywhere now, so if you’re
looking for a car, if you’re looking for appliances, if you’re looking for pretty
much anything, you can find reviews online. So the question is “is
Consumer Reports worth it?” Should you pay for Consumer Reports reviews when you
can easily just get reviews elsewhere online? Well one of the things I would
say about other sources that are not Consumer Reports is that very often
those are biased sources. Many times they are going to only review products that
they are somehow going to make money on if you go and purchase them. And so they
may be biased in terms of how those particular products rank versus
other products and of course the other piece of that is there may be products
within those categories that just completely get shunted to the side and
they act like they don’t even exist because they’re not going to make any
money if you go and buy them. So that is something to look very carefully at when
you look at reviews online. Is the site getting money if you go through and buy
that? Do they have a conflict of interest in doing those reviews? Now Consumer
Reports does not have that conflict of interest. They don’t make money from the
companies that they review or based on any rankings. Basically their money comes from you and that’s part of the reason
that we’re talking about whether it’s worth it or not. They’re gonna give you
unbiased reviews, but obviously somehow they’ve got to make enough money to
continue to do that. They’re gonna give you some unique
reviews in terms of having products in their rankings that you’re
not gonna find in other sources online. They’re very strong in cars, used cars in
particular — you know, if you’re looking back at used cars from the past
it’s much harder online to find really good reviews and ideas on how those cars are gonna hold up and what their quality is and all that kind of stuff. So that’s
a place that Consumer Reports is very strong in. So you’re gonna get pretty
much unbiased reviews without them being beholden to anybody else to,
you know, to do those reviews. Now when you look at the actual price of Consumer
Reports and you have to decide: “is the value worth the costs?” So an online
subscription to Consumer Reports right now costs $35 per year
or you can do it at a $6.95 a month price. You can also
get the print magazine for $30 per year. If you get both the
print and online subscription, you can combine those and pay $55. Now our advice overall is that, like I said, Consumer Reports is a good source
of reviews — it’s an unbiased thing that, you know, in many cases you’re not going
to get elsewhere on the Internet. For our money we would go for the online
subscription because it allows you to access those reviews that
normally would be in many different print magazines that if you
were a subscriber you’d have to kind of keep them around and figure out where
those… where those reviews were for the thing you were going to buy. With
online, you can obviously search through those, find the reviews of the
thing that you are interested in purchasing — because I think that’s what
most people use Consumer Reports for. So, that said, the print magazine is a little
less value, especially today. Like I said, you don’t want to be going
through all those magazines to figure out where the reviews are and
really there’s not a whole lot of extra value in the print magazine, as far as I
am concerned. There’s some extra articles that can be interesting
but they’re not very different from things that you can find on the Internet,
so the reviews is really where it is at with Consumer Reports. And
obviously the only reason to combine the two would be if you’re a really
big Consumer Reports fan and you want to support them and have that
online access but also get that paper magazine as well. So that’s it.
Consumer Reports we consider to be a valuable resource — whether you
want to pay for it and how much you want to pay for it is up to you, but we do
think the online subscription makes sense for people that want those
unbiased reviews. Thanks for watching. Please go to ProudMoney.com for other
personal finance articles and reviews and other stuff too. Thanks.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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