What are your favorite recommendation sites?
June 10, 2020 11:21 AM   Subscribe

For example, NYMag's Strategist or Wirecutter. I enjoy a good recommendation and am looking for more.

I have been doing more idle online shopping during quarantine than I prefer and I am trying to (a) contain it and (b) buy more quality items. Hence, my love of recommendations (though I know not all of them are of the same quality).

Other than Strategist and Wirecutter, I am aware of Gee Thanks Just Bought It (podcast and website), and Into the Gloss. Any more are great - can be as broad or niche as you like!
posted by hepta to Shopping (17 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
CoolTools - wide range of useful stuff.
posted by theora55 at 11:26 AM on June 10 [7 favorites]

For kitchen stuff, I've never been led astray by either Serious Eats (no paywall) or the Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen group (pay-ish wall).
posted by General Malaise at 11:35 AM on June 10 [7 favorites]

I've found OutdoorGearLab very helpful.
posted by kickingtheground at 12:12 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]

I use AskMe for this - a good chunk of my questions are "what kind of X should I buy". Even if I don't ultimately end up getting what's recommended people provide their experiences and tell me what they look for and I find that extremely helpful. Like I posted a question yesterday about buying a new bike and I've got a lot of extremely helpful comments and recommendations. Even though I've never knowingly met a Mefite I still trust all of you more than some other person on the internet no matter what their credentials are.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:20 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]

There's a good subreddit for this called Buy It For Life. There are many user-submitted endorsements or you can ask the community.
Every year my Father's Day gift to both my husband and dad is a digital subscription to Consumer Reports, which is like the OG recommendation site.
posted by dotparker at 12:29 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]

2nding cool tools with a caveat, that their editorial model has shifted and is now pretty user based. Sometimes I see amazing, perfect tools for the job, and other times I see bad solutions where tools exist to fill the need, but something substandard has been posted. Largely, it’s a good resource though.
posted by furnace.heart at 1:22 PM on June 10

This previous Ask on review sites has some good suggestions.
posted by bunnysquirrel at 1:47 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

RogerEbert.com remains the premier source of online film reviews, news, and commentary.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:48 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]

I usually do a Google search for "best *whatever*" and pick a couple of legit-seeming links.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:51 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

Well Tom's Hardware for hardcore/hardware PC geeks, and (don't yell at me) Amazon can be used as a great research tool for prices, confirmed buyer feedback and product related questions/answers.
posted by forthright at 3:13 PM on June 10

I see you are in Canada, so I’m not sure, but certainly in the US lots of public libraries subscribe to Consumer Reports online. The database is often clunky to search, but they’re my go-to for many purchases.
posted by bluedaisy at 3:53 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

On Instagram, @things.i.bought.and.liked. She’s a white woman living in Houston and skews toward beauty and fashion recommendations (with occasional features from her husband, Mr-TIBAL)
posted by girlalex at 8:16 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]

For Wirecutter style macOS and iOS app recommendations, you can check out The Sweet Setup. They are usually pretty good for getting a good feel for apps you might be interested in.
posted by rambling wanderlust at 6:05 AM on June 11

https://www.anandtech.com/ for phones , processors etc
America's test kitchen for kitchen stuff - Youtube videos for free , you wouldn't have to pay for their subscription
Consumer reports for general items Free subscription through my library
Seconding Outdoor gear lab for hiking/camping and Wirecutter for general items
posted by radsqd at 8:41 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]

Test Berichte - Great recommendation site. This has saved me a lot of research over the years. (In German, but you can always Google Translate it)
posted by jacobean at 1:05 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]

OK, let me suggest the grandfather of all recommendation offspring: a subscription to Consumer Reports.

Look, I get it: it's the magazine your parents subscribed to for deciding which oven or car to buy. But I only started reading it in the last couple years because I renewed my dad's subscription and it came with a free additional subscription. And it turns out that despite having CONSUMER in the title Consumer Reports is low key kind of awesome and has the occasional whiff of social justice if you're down with that kind of thing??

Often an issue has a short column about how someone from their foundation (there's a reason they don't have ads) testified in Congress against Internet of Things devices that embed surveillance tools without adequate consumer consent, etc etc. They did a huge issue a while ago about how even though car safety had improved, this was often at the expense of pedestrian safety. And they do a great job of highlighting non-consumery things, like stuff you can probably get for free and don't realize it because of your age, public library access, etc.
posted by mostly vowels at 4:26 PM on June 11 [7 favorites]

I can't believe I forgot about Consumer Reports, so seconding that. They do excellent work and I intend to subscribe for the rest of my life. They're such an institution that they didn't come to mind as "a recommendations site "
posted by Tehhund at 3:08 PM on June 14

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