Getting reliable information about a product you want to buy can be challenging. With so many opinions and reviews online, how do you cut through the noise to find accurate and trustworthy details?
Here are some of the best ways I know of to get reliable product information:
Read Reviews from Trusted Independent Sources
One of the most reliable sources for unbiased product reviews are third-party consumer sites like Consumer Reports and Wirecutter. These sites buy the products themselves and thoroughly test them according to strict methodologies.
Their reviews are not influenced by brands or advertisers. Consumer Reports, for example, buys all the products anonymously off the shelf and runs more than 50 tests before making recommendations.
This level of rigorous, independent testing results in reviews you can trust.
Check with Reputable Retailers
Major retailers like Amazon and Walmart also offer reliable product information, as their business models depend on providing accurate specs, features, and customer reviews.
Their product descriptions are factual and they use technology to detect fake reviews. Retailer recommendations from staff, especially for big ticket items like appliances, are also trustworthy sources of insight compared to random online reviews.
Look for Consensus from Multiple Reviewers
No single source will give you a full picture. But if you see consistent feedback from various independent experts and normal customers, you can feel confident in the consensus.
Cross-check reviews on YouTube, blogs, forums, and best-of articles to see if the same pros and cons are coming up.
Be wary of outliers with extreme views not echoed elsewhere.
Consult Knowledgable People
Speaking directly to knowledgeable people, whether sales staff, product experts, or friends/family who own the product, can give first-hand reliable insights. They can answer specific questions and provide nuanced recommendations a website might not.
Just be aware of bias with salespeople and do extra research to verify any claims.
Leverage Word of Mouth
Word of mouth referrals from people you trust are one of the most reliable sources of product information. If a product is great or terrible, people you know will tell you.
Ask around among your social circle about their experiences with the product and take note of consensus and passionate views.
Just keep in mind some bias based on different needs.
Check Relevant Social Media Communities
Active communities and forums on social platforms like Reddit and Facebook groups related to a product category can provide crowdsourced wisdom. Ask the community directly about products or search past posts.
Look for repeated sentiments from various users over time. But take anonymous online advice with a grain of salt compared to other sources.
Why Doing Your Research Before Buying a Product is One of the Best Ways to Get Reliable Information About a Product
Making a major purchase? You’ll want to spend some time researching the product first.
Getting the right information before handing over your hard-earned cash is critical for several reasons:
- Avoid buyer’s remorse: That hopeless feeling when you realize the product you were so excited to buy is a total dud. Thorough research helps prevent making the wrong choice based on hype, trends, or poor quality reviews.
- Get your money’s worth: Research helps you understand if a product will actually meet your needs and is worth the price tag. You don’t want to waste money on something that looked good but doesn’t deliver.
- Pick the best of the best: Research allows you to compare brands and models head-to-head. You can zero in on the very best option for your specific wants and budget. Without research, you won’t know how products truly stack up.
- Make an informed decision: Research gives you the full picture—the pros, the cons, and features you may not have considered. This understanding sets you up to make the very best purchase decision.
- Get the best deals: In your research you may find certain retailers offer better prices or bundled deals. Being an informed shopper means you can take advantage of the best promotions.
By checking multiple trusted sources and looking for consensus, you can feel confident you are getting an accurate picture before making any product purchase. The best information comes from independent testing, retailers, reviewers, people you know, and social communities – not random anonymous online opinions.
For some additional shopping tips, especially if you Shop on Amazon… watch this
So, what is THE best way to get reliable information about a product?
As you can probably tell from above, there isn’t just one best way. When you ask yourself, what is one of the best ways to get reliable information about a product?… you should really be saying how many different ways can I research reliable information about a product?
In short, doing your research pays off.