If there’s one thing we can all be grateful for, it’s the fact that the internet has given
us the power to be educated, informed consumers. But if you aren’t sure how to use
the internet to learn more about products and vendors, then you’re missing out on
this tremendous value.
Today, let’s take a look at three of the most helpful internet resources for consumer
1. Ripoff Report: A site maintained by consumer contributions, Ripoff Report allows
consumers to warn each other about potentially fraudulent schemes, products and
companies while also highlighting businesses that consumers have had positive
experiences with. This popular and comprehensive site has been around since 1997
and has been featured on a variety of news outlets.
2. Angie’s List: Don’t you wish you could get a personalized, local referral for the
next contractor, plumber, electrician, landscaper or other service provider you hire
to work around your home? Well, with a paid subscription to Angie’s List, you can.
Angie’s List is essentially a crowdsourcing site for reviews of local businesses. Best
of all, the reviews are verified so that you know they’re credible. Additionally,
Angie’s List completes background checks on service providers and even has
complaint resolution experts on board. Their service fee is monthly but you can turn
your subscription on and off so that you only pay when you actually need access to
3. Amazon.com: Even if you aren’t a fan of shopping online, Amazon.com is a
tremendous resource for a single reason—it has one of the most comprehensive
databases of product reviews anywhere. Whether you’re planning on buying a
product from your local Walmart, Target or Best Buy, there’s a good chance that
Amazon has user reviews of that item or one similar. Most of the time, Amazon has
more reviews than the actual store sites will. If you have a smartphone, you may
even be able to scan the product UPC code and automatically bring up its reviews on
Amazon. Or you can always do a manual search for the item.
Look for part 2 of this series in which we’ll cover some more useful resources for
consumers such as the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Finance