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ConsumerSearch is an English-language search engine for consumer product reviews, plus a database of reports on consumer products and services, published and updated only online. ConsumerSearch does not review products and services directly, nor does the site publish reviews from users. Rather, ConsumerSearch writers review the print and online reviews of products and services, using a set of objective, published ratings criteria.
From the reviews judged most credible, information and product recommendations are then analyzed and summarized in the product report. This report also identifies the best products for specific uses or prices ranges, again based on the most credible reviews. Although the Fast Answers section that presents these products is published at the top of the report, this section is actually the culmination of the reporting process.
Now owned by About.com, ConsumerSearch was originally published by ConsumerSearch, Inc., a privately held corporation co-founded by Derek Drew and Carl Hamaan in 1999. The company is now headquartered in New York City, with writers and technical staff spread across the United States and Europe.
Officially launched May 19, 2000, ConsumerSearch was awarded "Best of the Web" in the Consumer Advice area by PC World in 2001.
In April 2009, ConsumerSearch.com was selected as an Official Honoree for the 13th Annual Webby Awards competition.
The ConsumerSearch reports are multi-section reports on specific categories of products and services, such as "Lawn Mowers" or "Coffee Makers." Within each category, specific products that have received credible reviews are discussed and compared. An internal search engine makes it possible to search for a specific brand or model, but the reports are designed to recommend the two to six best-reviewed products and services within each report category.
Differences from other comparison report publications
ConsumerSearch should not be confused with Consumer Reports or Consumer's Digest, both of which also compare products within categories. ConsumerSearch is distinguished from both these rivals in three ways:
- First, ConsumerSearch derives its recommendations by reviewing, analyzing, and summarizing all the existing product reviews, rather than engaging in any direct product testing or evaluation.
- Second, all the reports published at ConsumerSearch are available to the public for personal use free of charge. No registration, subscription, or cookie acceptance is required.
- Third, ConsumerSearch is online journalism, not a magazine or printed report.
Differences from other review sites
ConsumerSearch is distinguished from other free review sites such as Amazon.com or Epinions.com in that ConsumerSearch pays for objective, professional reports from writers, then edits them professionally, rather than publishing anecdotal, unedited reviews from users. The reporting criteria are transparent.
Scope and organization of content
The 235 ConsumerSearch report categories are organized into 13 meta-categories:
- Health & Fitness
- House & Home
- Lawn & Garden
- Photo & Video
- Sports & Leisure
As of May 4, 2006, there are 235 product and service categories covered by reports. In 2005, reports on 27 new products or services were added. In order for a product or service category to be covered in a ConsumerSearch report, at least one comparative review must already exist, based on objective testing.
- ConsumerSearch.com web site
- Historical archive of past versions of ConsumerSearch on Internet Archive
Corporate officers Daily newspapersThe Boston Globe · The Courier · The Daily Comet · The Dispatch · The Gadsden Times · The Gainesville Sun · International Herald Tribune · The Ledger · The New York Times · Petaluma Argus-Courier · The Press Democrat · Sarasota Herald-Tribune · Spartanburg Herald-Journal · Star-Banner · The Star-News · Telegram & Gazette · Times-News · The Tuscaloosa News · News Chief Magazines Interactive assetsAbout.com · Baseline StudioSystems · Calorie Count · ConsumerSearch · The New York Times Syndicate & News Service Other assets Related articlesPulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times staff1The New York Times hold some ownership interests in these companies through joint ventures.
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