Consumer reports: smart shopping in the 21st century

Consumer Reports - No astute buyer today would lay out hard earned cash on anything from a pair of roller skates to a private jet without taking note of consumer reports.

In bygone days, consumer reports were made by word of mouth as customers at the village bakery might wax lyrical about the quality of its bread but gossip about the shoddy workmanship of the local blacksmith. And businessmen soon realized that it was not enough to sing your own praises in advertisements and other proud bursts … their word had to be backed up by the customer’s.

Over the last fifty years of the 20th century, consumer reports became a vital part of the buying and selling process with specialist magazines and reports detailing the satisfaction or otherwise of customers who had used products and services. And more and more, prospective buyers took note of what others had to say.

Now, in the 21st Century, the Internet is bursting with consumer reports on everything from headache pills to the high technology that makes such medication necessary.

Many consumer reports on the web follow the old question-and-answer formula with users making general observations and rating goods and services on a one-to-ten scale. But the Internet has provided a forum for more detailed and scathing consumer reports than ever before.

Hundreds of thousands of detailed accounts – individual consumer reports – are posted daily by the disgruntled (and a few of the satisfied) on instantly updated Internet pages dedicated to every item and service under the sun.

Some angry customers even open web sites to gather information on one specific product … thus the availability of straight-talking domains with names like IHatePayPal and MicrosoftSucks.

There is no doubt that those offering goods and services today must try harder than ever to keep the customer satisfied than the village baker and blacksmith ever did.

A person interested in finding out more about Consumer Reports simply should check out an issue of the magazine and take a moment to consider all of the features offered by Consumer Reports.

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