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Old 02-22-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Review Sites?

I used to go to epinions.com to get reviews on things before I bought them, but for a while now it seems there are no reviews for the items I am looking for. Are there any other review sites out there that you use that you like?

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Old 02-22-2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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It depends on the product, Amazon probably has the most reviews and the most variety of product.

For home theater products, the AVS forums are my go to board.

For computer junk, Newegg has the best user reviews.

On the whole, I prefer user reviews to professional ones. For instance, I find Cooks Illustrated's equipment reviews to be next to useless.

My methodology for looking at a review is to throw out all of the five star reviews, and all of the one star reviews...then look at the ones in the middle for insight. Five star reviews normally come from people who just received their product and are still in the honeymoon period. One star reviews are from people with an axe to grind, or who received a DOA.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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Thanks James. Amazon has been my go to for a while now, but there are quite a few products I just can't find reviews on there.

I am with you on the way you look at reviews. I find the 5 star reviews pretty worthless, unless that is all there is. I start with the lowest ratings and work my way up from there. After reading a few reviews you will start to see patterns, like people complaining that a certain piece does not fit right or the plastic is very flimsy. When looking for reviews I am usually more interested in what people did not like then what they liked.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:15 AM   #4
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I've always liked America's Test Kitchen for reviews. They test both food and equipment like Consumers' Reports does. Unfortunately you have to pay to be a member, and I've let my membership lapse.

But if you get any of their cookbooks, the recent product reviews are in them. It's my understanding that the latest 10 season book has all of the reviews from the last 10 years, but I haven't bought it, so I can't confirm this.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:54 AM   #5
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I love ATK Silversage. I have at least one of their cookbooks and I catch their TV show as often as I can. I usually come close to agreeing with what they have to say.

The review sites I am looking for though are not cooking specific. I want a site that I can go to when i am looking to buy a new DVD player or a new computer printer or a new bike for my daughter or...you get the point. Just a general review site where people rate products they have bought and give the pluses and minuses and if they would recommend it.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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I haven't used it myself but I hear Yelp is good.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:19 AM   #7
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Yelp is amazing. You should join up Alix. I believe they just added Canada. Yelp is getting closer to what I want, but not quite. Yelp is for services, not products, with the majority of what people seem to review being restaurants. For restaurant reviews it is by far my favorite site. I have found many great places to eat, some of them being hidden gems I would never have found otherwise.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:33 AM   #8
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I sometimes just go to Google and type in 'reviews of xxx' and get several different sites. CNET is one I end up at often.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silversage View Post
I've always liked America's Test Kitchen for reviews. They test both food and equipment like Consumers' Reports does.
ATK, Cook's Country, Entertainment and Cook's Illustrated are all the same folks. The equipment reviews are shared across all of the sites and publications. Personally, I find their equipment reviews very thin. They come up with a set of criteria that may or may not have any bearing on real world usage. Unlike Consumer Reports (who I'm not advocating btw), their criteria isn't always transparent to the reader.

The other problem I have is that they stage their reviews as competitions of products vs other products. I'd rather just have an in depth review of each of the products and decide for myself which one suits my needs.

For instance, in food processors, they chose the KitchenAid (I believe it was the 760 off the top of my head). Okay, fair enough. I did too. However, there are a great many flaws with the KA design that they never really get into. For instance, KitchenAid processors are horrible for liquid handling. It wasn't an issue for me, but it may be for some. KitchenAid also has a very short, one year warranty. Warranty's were never mentioned for any of the machines. We live in the real world, we don't use donated machines, toss them out when they break and move on to the next one. The warranty is part of the value of the machine.

I do like their food reviews (although still have issues with the competition aspect of them). They use a jury system, which is really the only fair way to go. The only problem is that the number of subjects they can have in a test is very limited and depending on the subject, some if not most of the varieties in the test are probably not available locally. I can't blame them for that, but it is a major flaw. Still, where else are you going to go for frozen biscuit reviews?
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:43 AM   #10
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It seems that there are a lot of specialty review sites. CNET is great for electronics and software, Yelp is great for restaurants. Amazon is the closest one to an all in one review site, but it only works if they sell the product. Epinions used to be great. Anytime I was buying anything (didn't matter what it was) there was a review on it. I had epinions as a search option in my Firefox search box which made it very easy to use. If I was thinking about buying something I would plug it into the search box and get tons of information right away. I was used to the format and knew where to look for the information I wanted. I could just use Google, but it will bring up (possibly) a different site each time. I won't get to know the reviewers and trust their opinions that way and I also will not get to know the site format to know where to look for information quickly. That last part is not as bad as I make it sound as most sites don't take long to figure out, but it is nice when you have a site and you know it well and can just zip through.
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