How do you know who to hire, buy from, order from, where to shop, who to trust…? In a word – research. In a day and age where technology moves faster than the speed of light, there are no more excuses like “I didn’t know!” You should have. The Internet is your endless source of testimonials, reviews, company histories and more. There are other places however to find out about a company, before you buy. Why is this so important? Read on.
Research Shouldn’t Be Difficult
For example… who would you be more likely to buy from? A newly developed store that just opened for business or would you be more likely to trust a company with 40 years experience? It’s not brain surgery. Most of us may take a peek at what the new guy has to offer, but when it all comes down, we’re probably going to go with experience. Frequently, along with experience come reputability. But not always. And, that’s why it is vital to look at all aspects of reviews and other sources of information. You want the whole picture of what you can expect. Is this company reliable? Do they stand behind their work or their products? Are they certified or bonded in some way? If they’ll be coming to your home, are they insured? What kind, if any, of warranty do they offer? How is their customer service department and what are their hours? Word of mouth is a powerful method of promotion but it is also a great way to check up on a service before you buy.
Information Can Be Found
Here is a list of reliable and popular sources that you should find helpful in speeding up your websearch:
1. Urbanspoon Menus, maps and reviews for restaurants in your city.
2. Trip Advisor Where you can find unsolicited reviews on travel for hotels, airlines, restaurants etc.
3. The Yellow Pages Yes, still available online, so you can find businesses in your area.
4. Yelp Reviews of local business provided by individuals who have been there.
5. Angie’s List A list of everything to do with your home rated by people who have used the business. This site charges a fee to review their recommendations.
6. Yahoo Local A search engine available on the internet.
7. Google + A more social level of google that enhances it’s regular site.
There is also a service called Citysearch which has not enjoyed the popularity of, let’s say Google, but offers nearly identical services (except for operating on an international level). The Yellow Pages and Angie’s list, also are not used internationally. The good news for the frugal shopper is that all of these services are free EXCEPT, for Angie’s list. The quality of reviews are mostly good, but for the Yellow Pages and Yelp and as far as user friendliness goes – Urbanspoon, Angie’s List and Yahoo Local had some difficulty measuring up to the others. You may have varied results with any of these sources, but as a sort of starting point, you at least have one now!