How does Consumer Reports determine product ratings?


Quick Answer

Consumer Reports determines product ratings by conducting a variety of tests to determine usability, functionality and the overall performance of the products. Different tests are used to test different products and are based on industry and government standards on quality, safety and consumer experiences.

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Full Answer

Consumer Reports employs hundreds of people to perform tests on a variety of products and come up with product ratings. For appliances, the organization chooses a variety of models, depending on the products available in the market. The company's employees recreate the expected user experience, then conduct specified tests to evaluate the appliance performance.

Consumer Reports develops ratings on cars by conducting tests in its testing center in Connecticut. The tests are conducted by professionals who understand automobiles who use advanced electronic gear to record findings.

Electronics and other gadgets are rated by technicians using subjective and objective tests. The technicians use the gadgets just like any user would and offer feedback on the overall usability of each item. The organization sets specific standards, which are used to rate products from competing companies. Food products are tested by nutritionists and other specialists, as well as laypeople who are selected for this particular purpose.

After all the tests are completed, the experts come up with a report and offer a final rating depending on how the product scored in different areas.

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