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Reading Online Appliance Reviews

Reading Online Appliance Reviews

There are two types of online appliance reviews, both of which can be valuable sources of information for you.

The first type is reviews from customers who actually own the appliance, which are usually found on web sites that host forums about kitchen appliances (e.g. gardenweb.com) or a site like Amazon. Much like opinions you solicit from friends, these candid reviews provide powerful word-of-mouth information to guide your purchases. Of course you sometimes have to take them with a grain of salt – all of us are sometimes prone to exaggeration.

PROS

  • Honest assessments from people who recently bought the appliance you’re considering.
  • Being able to use filters (e.g. “family with kids”) to fine-tune the selection of reviews you’ll be shown.
  • Posting questions within forums to generate answers that address your exact situation.

CONS

  • Not being able to ask a reviewer additional questions.
  • Hunting for posts within a forum that address your specific needs.
  • Being tempted to assign too much weight to isolated opinions.
The second type of online review is that of independent entities that don’t accept advertising (e.g. Consumer Reports). These reviews are valuable because they’re based on unbiased product testing done by knowledgeable experts, and often include extensive product information – for instance, about predicted reliability.

PROS

  • Learning which features are most important to consider for a particular type of product, like a gas range or built-in refrigerator (a big help if you’re just getting started).
  • Discovering which manufacturers offer the best warranties.

CONS

  • Wasted effort: the source in question may not have researched the model — or even the manufacturer — you’re considering.
  • Limited access to information: you may have to subscribe to a magazine or online service to read reviews of specific brands.

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