November 23, 2016 / Leave a Comment
I’ve teamed up with Consumer Reports and am proud to be one of their paid brand ambassadors; my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Consumer Reports.
I picked up my first Consumer Reports magazine at the supermarket when I moved back to the U.S. 12 years ago. It wasn´t worth shipping everything we had back in Spain, especially home gadgets and electronics, since we´d need electricity converters for each one. So my first few times buying the magazine was to read the reviews of products I needed. As time went on, I enjoyed it for other reasons.
The articles helped me understand my rights as a consumer and uncover information about everything from car insurance to health supplements. But it was not until recently, when I became a brand ambassador for Consumer Reports that I learned that the organization is about more than just that.
A recent hosted visit to the headquarters in Yonkers, New York along with other brand ambassadors helped me understand more of what this non-for-profit organization really does. One of the most important things I learned is that in order to offer truly unbiased reviews, Consumer Reports buys each and every one of the products they test, review and rate. They also don´t accept any form of advertising. Consumer Reports is non-profit and non-partisan and supports itself through digital and magazine subscriptions as well as donations. In addition to the magazine and product ratings, the organization does advocacy work – holding both businesses and government accountable.
It was truly interesting to visit the test labs at their headquarters, and see first-hand how expert staff performs tests on every group of products, from electronic gadgets to cars, and including food. I did not imagine the tests to be as thorough as they are. And guess what? You can request a tour of the premises.
How Consumer Reports is evolving
When I visited the headquarters, Consumer Reports had just undergone its most recent brand image overhaul, which reflects the purpose of the organization to work with and for customers. After 80 years in existence and listening to customer feedback, they have adopted a new color palette, with a strong emphasis on green, the universal “go” sign. The positive vibrant spirit could be seen and felt in the staff of all departments.
Their product and service ratings have also evolved to be more intuitive. These are now based on a scale where green is excellent and red is poor, which makes it all easier to understand at a first glance.
In the year ahead, Consumer Reports plans to test more than 3,000 products, employing the expertise of hundreds of specially trained analysts, engineers, editors, researchers, product testers and experts. Consumer Reports also plans to continue to publish numerous reports on major consumer topics such as keeping your money safe, choosing smart healthcare options, making sense of all the new gadgets and technologies and continue advocating in Congress for your rights and protection for consumers.
Holiday gift guide
Another point of interest throughout the years for me, when I was not yet an Ambassador for Consumer Reports, was their Holiday Gift Guide. This will help you find deals on consumer electronics, appliances and home-related products, automotive gear, and more. You’ll also find healthy-holiday and money tips from their experts.
For even more gift ideas, you can check out CR’s Daily Gift Guide—each pick is a top-rated product chosen from the thousands of products they test and review.
As a woman who was on the receiving end of other people’s kindness in 2008 and 2009 as a single mom, every Christmas I try and pay it forward. Every December, I donate to a charity, and of course I want to make sure my donation really makes a difference. To that end, I invite you to read the Consumer Reports article Best and Worst Charities for Your Donations. It lists charities by group: pets, children, environment, and more, and helps you find out whether your charity of choice stands up to its mission.
This year, Giving Tuesday is November 29. If you donate to Consumer Reports that day, your tax -deductible gift will be doubled.
Are you familiar with Consumer Reports? Were you aware of everything they do?