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Online shopping is great to search for something you want and buy it. But it’s difficult to discover products or find the best new things to buy. A few sites make it much easier to find cool products and trustworthy reviews to purchase.
These sites have different approaches to the problem. Some let influencers and creators recommend the products they use. Others hire reputable experts to review all the available options. And there are a couple of innovative sites based on user recommendations too.
The Wirecutter: The Most Trustworthy Reviews
The Wirecutter has been around for some time, but it has really leveled up its offerings ever since it was bought by The New York Times. You will find thoroughly reviewed articles and buying guides on almost anything here.
The site earns its trust and respect with a simple formula. For any product category, it hires the best reviewers (even if they don’t work full-time for Wirecutter) to test every product that seems good on paper. The results are laid bare to read, and the article also gives you other options depending on your budget, along with what other reviewers thought of it.
The Wirecutter covers several topics under categories like electronics, kitchen, and dining, health and fitness, baby and kid, outdoors, and so on. It should be the first site you should check for product reviews, which is why it’s an essential part of MakeUseOf’s online shopping guide.
Best Best List: The Best Everyday-Use Products
Reviewers don’t usually spend time on simple, everyday things like a spatula or a lunch box for kids. So how do you pick out the best one?
Well, you can’t go by what Amazon recommends. It’s no secret that you can’t trust Amazon reviews to make up your mind about a product. Advertisers try to game Amazon’s system all the time too.
Best Best List filters out fake reviews from real ones on Amazon, and then matches them to reviews from trustworthy sites like The Wirecutter or The Spruce. Combining the two, it is able to give recommendations for everyday-use, boring things like a spatula.
It still is not foolproof, but hey, it’s better than blindly relying on Amazon.
Kit: Creators Share Products They Love
Marques Brownlee, known commonly as his popular YouTube tech reviewer avatar MKBHD, uses a NextDesk Air Pro table and a Herman Miller Embody chair for his work. He swears by Sennheiser HD 800 headphones and clicks with a Logitech MX Master 2S mouse.
How do I know all this? Because MKBHD shared his setup on Kit, a site where anyone can create a collection of their favorite products. You can find Casey Neistat’s gear to shoot movies, or gardening tools from Laura of Garden Answer, or almost anything else. Kit lets the creator also add Amazon links and earn money through affiliate purchases, so you are actually supporting your favorite creator.
Browse Kit by categories or creators, or search to find whatever you’re looking for. These are recommendations from people who use the products all the time, which is perhaps the best type of recommendation.
Product Mentions: Discover Amazon Links Shared by Users on Reddit
Reddit is a great place to get recommendations from real people about something you want. When someone shares an Amazon link on Reddit, Product Mentions highlights it. It’s a cool new way to discover products on Amazon.
You can see which subreddit and thread the link was posted in, and get a preview of the Amazon photo as well. The site also shows how many other times that link has been mentioned on Reddit, which is a good indicator of how popular and well-recommended it is.
For example, the r/buildapc subreddit is renowned for helping you build a PC with no effort. With Product Mentions, you can see all the links being shared on that subreddit. You can filter links by different product groups, such as music instruments, books, home improvement, etc.
There’s a good chance you will find something cool and different on Product Mentions, which you wouldn’t come across unless you’re following all these subreddits already.
Versus: Compare Anything for Instant Analysis
When you’re confused between two products, go to Versus. The site lets you compare any two things and delivers an instant analysis of their differences, as well as which ones should matter.
You can compare almost anything. Versus works with myriad categories, including mobile devices, computers, electronics, apps and software, gardening, home products, foods, education, and entertainment. So in a few minutes, you could compare two laptops, or find the differences between refrigerators, or know what makes one coffee machine better than another.
That said, don’t go by the Versus analysis alone. While it’s excellent to know the differences, actual product reviews help in figuring out the minor details that an algorithm can miss.
Have You Checked Our Amazon Shopping Tips?
With most of these sites, you will end up shopping at Amazon eventually. And if you’re a regular Amazon shopper, it’s in your best interest to read these tips you might not know, they can save you a bundle.