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In an age of online reviews, Consumer Reports shows what real product-testing looks like

By Hannah Yi

The internet is awash in product reviews, whether by influencers on Instagram, vloggers on YouTube, or the average customer on Amazon. But these endorsements (or skewerings) are just personal opinions, not rigorous or data-based conclusions.

That’s why so many still turn to the longtime standard-bearer—Consumer Reports, renowned for its extensive testing of products in actual labs. The influential nonprofit organization has been around since 1936, rating everything from refrigerators to carstoilet paper to bacon. There are 60 labs at Consumer Reports’ Yonkers, New York headquarters, and even a race track to test cars, in Connecticut.

Why turn to such an old-school brand, in the era of bloggers and crowd-sourced internet reviews? “We’re independent. We buy all the products we test, and that means we’re not beholden to any one company,” Marta Tellado, president and CEO of Consumer Reports, told Quartz. “The trust is in our testing, and it begins with data, science, and facts.”

Watch our video to see Consumer Reports technicians abusing cell phones and deconstructing pasta sauce.