That's the beauty of the internet now. My wife and I research almost
all of our purchases online, from tools to consumer electronics to
vehicles to software to specialty foodstuffs ... even the vendors
themselves if we haven't used them before. Some web sites like Amazon
and Tiger Direct make it easy and include their own review systems, but
simply searching on the brand/model of the product together with the
keyword "review" will typically provide lots of good information. Many
web sites only include favorable testimonials of their own products, of
course, so it's best to find something independently hosted if possible.
Hams have a bit harder time finding good reviews since a lot of what's
out there is littered with very casual and often uninformed feedback.
The numerical ratings on eHam.net are notoriously useless, but if you
scour through the individual comments, looking for those that at least
sound like they came from someone knowledgeable and objective, you can
still sometimes get a decent picture of a product or service. The QST
reviews have some good technical information but I have yet to see a
truly honest assessment of a poor product there. if you can't decipher
the measured technical data, look elsewhere for an objective judgement
... especially for things like workmanship or reliability.
And then there are the various email reflectors like this one. We often
see someone asking for input on some type of product, and while some of
the feedback is akin to that found on eHam.net ("I bought one and don't
use it much but so far I think I like it so I'll give it five stars"),
most of it is far better than you will find elsewhere. I'm actually
surprised that even more people don't ask questions here before they buy
something instead of afterward when it isn't working properly or doesn't
meet their needs.
On 12/22/2011 10:37 AM, Jim Brown wrote:
> ion. It doesn't much matter... you can't 'buy American' or Brazilian, or
> English, or ....
> Right on, George. But what we CAN do is try our best to find QUALITY,
> from quality COMPANIES, and buy that. Yes, it takes much more work
> (research and search) to FIND quality, and it often (but not always --
> see story below) takes more bucks to BUY it.
> This extends to every part of our lives. A few years ago, we needed to
> replace a very old Franklin stove, and I started research on the
> internet, first looking for old brands recommended by friends, then
> looking for alternatives when they either were no longer available, or
> had been bought out by conglomerates who were now selling cheap Chinese
> junk under those brand names. Eventually I found two companies who were
> selling quality products, one mfg in Canada and one in the US, who had
> high customer satisfaction responses. We bought one of them, and we've
> been quite happy with it. It was a fraction of the cost of "pretty junk"
> being sold by showrooms downtown.
> We apply the same standards whether we're buying radios, antennas, coax,
> coax connectors, a new washer and dryer, a pair of shoes, a meal in a
> restaurant, or beer (I LOVE Belgian Ales, whether they're coming from
> Belgium, or from Unibrau in Quebec).
> 73, Jim K9YC
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