ShopSmart Magazine: A Useful Remix of Consumer Reports?

Consumer Reports has asked me to eliminate the content of my summaries and any other references to the content of Consumer Reports. I have complied.

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  1. hustlinpete says:

    Amen to that. I have an online CR subscription and it continues to support me in making the best decisions with my cash.

    November 2007 has a new “Ultra High Performance Tire” report, which could not have come at a better time for me. Using their data I was able to decide on and buy a set of tires for $400 instead of $900 with minimal difference in quality. When you go through a set of tires every year, this is huge.

    I’ll stick with the “boring” one too.. I love the details.

  2. Mike says:

    Hi Trent,

    This seems like they are trying to increase women readers for their publications, and are re-branding CR to do so. There is a case to be made for providing simple recommendations instead of lengthy and dry comparison charts. However, it also seems like they are “dumbing down” the material for women too – focusing more on aesthetics than content.


  3. jm says:

    “no ads makes reading a magazine a much more pleasurable experience”

    I really don’t get this concept. I don’t mind ads in my magazines because I can skip them at will. Its not like TV where you are interrupted every five minutes and forced to look at an ad. Also, its not like if the ads all go away, there would somehow be more content or something. The book would just be a little slimmer.

    Also, I kind of like the art and screenshots in some of them. Of course, I mainly read videogame magazines, so maybe that is the difference.

    To each his own, I suppose.

  4. Kaitlin says:

    Interesting comment about the ads. I’m just wondering how magazines have the funding to publish when they don’t have ads.

  5. Dave says:

    No ratings just recommendations? Sounds to me like they’re dumbing down the magazine for women.

  6. natasha says:

    I also have to wonder if the shorter articles and lack of detailed articles is not only dumbing down for women, but pandering to the stereotype of SAHMs. Really, do we need another magazine aimed at women whose only focus is to pander to bored SAHMs and those who aren’t intellectual or career-oriented?

  7. Jessica says:

    An article on tampons is not so much “gender biased” but gender-specific or maybe gender-centric, in this case female. Personally this sounds like a dumbed-down version of CR, and a woman’s mag at that, which is a bit insulting, but hey, it’s just like most other “women’s” magazines. Then again, it may be an attempt to compete with the other shopping magazines like Dominio, Lucky, and that other one…Cookie? In a sense at least those magazines are being honest about their goals-it’s all about getting you to buy stuff.

    Overall, I don’t consider CR or other magazines without ads/sponsors to be true magazines and it’s hard to compare those to the more traditional kind that have to create content based on which companies are buying ad space.

  8. vh says:

    Sure does ring of Ramit’s guest author’s comments on PF publishing “for women.” Dumb li’l thangs that we are, we just can’t figure out how to read all those complicated charts, eh? Must be why we think there’s still money in the checking account as long as we still have checks.

    I looked at ShopSmart, and what struck me is that it has a lot of subjective reports. This is where Consumer Reports is weakest: things like wine recommendations (ech!), and hevvin help us i do wish they would SHUT UP about the industrial perfumes in shampoos ’cause whenever they issue one of their fiats my fave manufacturers reformulate to market something that smells truly icky and then I have to beat the bushes for a new nonstinky shampoo. CU is best at objective comparisons based on hard facts, and it would be good if its editors would stick to that. The last thing we need is something for us girls full of unranked “recommendations.”

  9. !wanda says:

    It would be a shame if Consumer Reports shunts all the articles on women’s topics into ShopSmart.

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