Consumer Reports is a non-profit organization that performs independent testing of various consumer products. It presents its findings to its subscribers in the form of comprehensive reviews and guides. In addition, Consumer Reports surveys consumers to assess their buying preferences and their familiarity with products and services.
Consumer Reports has a testing and research center in New York where it uses modern equipment and follows industry standards, as well as its own principles, in testing various products. The organization designs its tests to simulate consumer experience with the products, but each test has different processes that vary according to the type of product. For instance, Consumer Reports tests cars in terms of acceleration, braking, controls, safety and other automobile features. When testing for electronic products, they check for image quality, sound quality, ergonomics, battery life and other aspects, wherever applicable.
Consumer Reports employs social scientists to conduct consumer surveys and help determine which products are in demand and worthy of testing. The organization has a no-commercial-use policy to maintain an unbiased attitude towards any product, service or company. To further prevent commercial influences, Consumer Reports fully pays for products it puts under review and hires secret shoppers to buy the products from retail stores. It rarely acquires products directly from the manufacturer.