Coupons, Freebies, and Tips to Save Money Every Day
by: Bargain Babe
My tour of the Consumer Reports lab
I got to tour the Consumer Reports testing labs as part of the ShopSmart Summit where I learned about two common scams to watch out for. Here are seven photos to illustrate the tour.
CR tests exercise and infomercial equipment. Can you guess which has the worst track record? As the lab manager said, your diet has a greater effect than exercise on your weight, but they can't sell you a diet so they sell you a product and throw in the diet.
In the sensory lab we ate two samples of jello. How sweet are they? How tart are they? Our replies varied. Turns out they were both lemon jello!
Before professional tasters get to work, CR removes packaging and labels that could bias results, and takes into account the Monday effect and the Friday effect. ("I'm hours away from the weekend, this tastes super!") Food is tasted multiple times to reduce errors.
Washer/dryers are the third most searched product on Consumer Reports after cars and TVs. The lab runs tests to determine wear and tear on your clothes, energy use, and many more factors. On the right you can see swatches of cloth that have been tested.
Babies were not used in the testing of cribs!
The sound testing room was bizarre! Triangular foam pyramids about two feet tall stuck out from every surface! It was quiet even when someone was talking.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was funny, perceptive, and answered my question about whether Amazon's online grocery delivery service was going to expand beyond Seattle. The answer? Not until Amazon figures out how to do it better. "If people like something, you should figure out how to do it economically."