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A wonderful and priceless magazine - Consumer Reports. (USA).

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prasad1

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Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is an American magazine published monthly by Consumer Reports (a spin-off company created in 2012) since 1936. It publishes reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from its in-house testing laboratory and survey research center. The magazine accepts no advertising, pays for all the products it tests, and, as a not-for-profit organization, has no shareholders. It also publishes cleaning and general buying guides. It has approximately 7.3 million subscribers and an annual testing budget of approximately US$21 million.
While Consumer Reports’ thorough and impartial tests have made the magazine a must-have since its inception in 1936, it made it through the trying 1990s and has emerged stronger and more trusted than ever. Run by the Consumers Union, the magazine still refuses to sell ad space to avoid any outside influence, pays for all the products it tests, and forbids manufacturers from using a positive review in advertisements. Because of this, after nearly 80 years, the magazine’s New Car Buyer’s Guide is a must have for millions of car buyers. Few other publications have the influence Consumer Reports does, and as this list shows, it’s not afraid to use it.

Consumer Reports is well known for its policies on editorial independence, which it says are to "maintain our independence and impartiality... [so that] CU has no agenda other than the interests of consumers." CR has unusually strict requirements and sometimes has taken extraordinary steps; for example it declined to renew a car dealership's bulk subscription because of "the appearance of an impropriety".

Consumer Reports does not allow outside advertising in the magazine but its website has retailers' advertisements. Consumer Reports states that PriceGrabber places the ads and pays a percentage of referral fees to CR, who has no direct relationship with the retailers. Consumer Reports publishes reviews of its business partner and recommends it in at least one case. CR had a similar relationship with BizRate at one time and has had relationships with other companies including Amazon.com, Yahoo!, The Wall Street Journal; The Washington Post;BillShrink; and Decide.com. CR also accepts grants from other organizations, and at least one high-ranking Consumer Reports employee has gone on to work for a company he evaluated.

CR also forbids the use of its reviews for selling products; for example, it will not allow a manufacturer to advertise a positive review. CR has gone to court to enforce that rule.

Consumer Reports says its staff purchases all tested products at retail prices, anonymously in "most cases", and that they accept no free samples in order to prevent bias from bribery or from being given better than average samples. However, in order to review some products before they are publicly available CR does accept "press samples" from manufacturers but says it pays for the samples and does not include them in ratings. For most of CR's history it minimized contact with government and industry experts "to avoid compromising the independence of its judgment." In 2007, in response to errors in infant car seat testing, it began accepting advice from a wide range of experts on designing tests, but not on final assessments. Also, at times CR allows manufacturers to review and respond to criticism before publication.

Some objective and comparative tests published by Consumer Reports are carried out under the umbrella of the international consumer organization International Consumer Research & Testing. Consumer Reports also uses outside labs for testing, including for 11 percent of tests in 2006.
 
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