how to use Consumer Reports

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Become a smarter Consumer by become a better Researcher
Consumer Reports
Want to buy something, but you aren't sure which brand or model?
Consumer Reports may offer some answers.
 The publication helps consumers make informed buying decision via product comparisons,
ratings, and reviews
 Consumer Reports started as a magazine designated as not-for-profit
 It is the nation's largest consumer product testing and research source
 Consumer Reports accepts no advertising and claims to have bias-free reviews as a result
 They buy all their products and services for review on the open market, the same as any
consumer would
 Their advice, ratings, and recommendations are based on their independent testing of
both products and services
Consumer Reports is a very reliable source. Their reputation is based on providing accurate
information. Therefore the researcher does not have to go through the process of checking them out.
Consumer Reports can be accessed from the MHS Library Web Page
To access Consumer Reports off campus, you need a User Name & Password. That
information is “nested” in a word document titled R.A.D.A.R.
To access the
R.A.D.A.R. page,
click the link on the
MHS library website
and open the word
Viewing ads and asking friends is one way of getting information, but is it research?
The purpose of this power point is to show you how to use Consumer Reports to
compare two or more items. Eight broad categories are assembled on the left.
Which dishwasher is the better buy?
Clicking on the broad category: Appliances opens the window below.
Dishwashers is listed under Kitchen appliances.
The Appliances tab is darker than the rest, showing what broad topic is being researched.
Under the word Dishwasher are different tabs: Overview (the default); Ratings & Reliability;
Recommended; Buying guide; and, Price & Shop. Three of these tabs are also shown below:
Recommended; Buying guide, & Price & Shop.
Different sorting and rating options are available.
The shot on the left shows the option which
allows for sorting of ratings base on features,
brands, and other factors.
The shot on the right
allows the researcher to
search by price range
and other results
options .
The sliding scale allows the Researcher to select a price range. The Sort box allows different
options for how to sift through the information. The screen shot below shows the Researcher
has selected a mid-range price - - - the slides work from both ends to select the range of
dishwashers priced $761 - $1159 . The Researcher has chosen to view Recommend results.
The Researcher has a window option on the left that allows selection of even a narrower
search by checking or unchecking the Brand and Category boxes. Notice the price range the
Researcher has selected is displayed at the bottom. The ratings scale below is used for all
products within the search criteria.
The rating systems are consistent except one is used in symbolic form (red being best rating)
and the other is used in alphabetical form (E for Excellent being the best rating)
The Alphabet rating
gives the Overall
The Symbol rating
gives Individual
Attributes Score
The Researcher has decided to compare only two of the many models presented by checking the boxes
to the left.
Options Available
The Feature & Specs option
gives specific information about
the individual product.
A quick glance reveals:
 Bosch has a lot more reviews
 the two have very similar
 the Bosch is rated a little higher
 the Bosch is less expensive
The Reviews and Recommendation of the Bosch Evolution
The Reviews and Recommendation of the Whirlpool Gold
Brand Reliability is important. By Clicking on Read Our Brand Reliability the Research finds an
overview of the brand’s reputation. information about the Bosch and the Whirlpool Gold is available.
By researching information in Consumer Reports, smarter choices can be made about
what to buy, than by simply viewing a biased advertisement or relying on word of mouth.
Following the 8 areas of research will lead to a GREAT report or presentation.
Narrow Topic
Develop Topic
Decide on Best
Decide on Best
Search Terms
Correct Footnoting
Correct Citation
Logical Order
ppt created
MHS Head Librarian
11 February 2012
Last Updated:

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