Deep Dive: Consumer Reports

If you are nervous about your next major purchase, look no further than Consumer Reports—available to access online with your Canton Public Library card.

For nearly 100 years, Consumer Reports has been an advocate for buyers of home appliances, automobiles, and other long-term big investment purchases. As a nonprofit company, they stake their reliability on being unbeholden to advertising dollars. This means no obtrusive banner ads or distracting sponsored content to wade through.

While appliances and large-scale purchases are the most in-demand insights from Consumer Reports, they sample all types of consumer goods ranging from sparkling water to eyewear. Their website is laid out to make the category the user is looking for easy to find and refine. This makes it an excellent comparison tool for looking at multiple products in the same category side by side. They also assign ratings to every product they review, so for example if you have a specific car in mind you can sort by year, make and model to see everything CR has written about it.

Their relationship with consumers and manufacturers works both ways. Readers can leave tips that after consideration could be added to CR's reviews, and sometimes a Consumer Reports piece can affect a company’s practices for the better. In a recent article from Consumer Reports themselves: “In June [2023], CR auto testers discovered a serious safety issue: the brake lights on certain Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia electric cars decelerated while a feature called one-pedal driving was in use. Within weeks, Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia said they’d be rolling out a fix by the fall.”

In cases like these, CR becomes a safety net for consumers that holds companies accountable for safety issues that slip past their own testers. Consumer Reports has their own testers for this reason.

We also have Consumer Reports available to patrons in print on our magazine wall (for checking out) or behind the Information Desk for in-library use.

Access Consumer Reports online using this handy link or go to our Homepage, type “Consumer Reports” into the catalog search bar, click on “Consumer Reports Online”, then select “access online resource.”

If you’re in the library either on the Wi-Fi or one of our computers, this should get you right in. Or, if you’re at home, you will need to log in with your library card number. You can also access Consumer Reports Online and many other useful resources by navigating to our Research & Learn page and viewing our A to Z list of resources.