How Reviewed experts pick products and deals for shoppers (sometimes they set things on fire)

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I’m Granthshala editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll, and this is The Backstory, an insight into our biggest stories of the week. If you want to get the backstories delivered to your inbox every week, Register here.

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David Ellerby sets out nine foil pans and fills each with a different brand of kitty litter. He then pours five spoonfuls of fox urine onto each (that’s how much an average cat gets every time he goes).

Then he wraps each pan in a giant plastic bag and seals it. He’ll come back hours later with an air quality meter and determine which brand does the best job of absorbing odors.


Ellerby, USA Chief Scientist for Reviewed, a branch of the TODAY Network Rates and reviews of thousands of products every year.

How we find the best products and deals

After our experts have tested and selected the best products, our writers find the best deals on that item. The combination of quality and price leads to our “best of” lists Blender, Best Grill, Best air fryer And yes, coming soon, the best kitty litter.

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Ellerby has a tabby named Pepper at home. “So I can change brands based on what I find in a matter of minutes,” he says with a laugh. “It’s going to be a mix of excitement and horror, I guess.”

This week, the days before and after Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday are some of the busiest Reviewed, Employees tested nearly 2,000 products this year, many of them in their 24,000-square-foot laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They form the basis of test reviews, gift guides, and other stories. (Other items may make a list if they receive significant positive reviews from real users.)

Ellerby helps design tests to ensure that results are reliable and exemplary, for large objects, such as dishwasher Or refrigerator, they will use industry testing standards. For smaller or more unique items, they will come with their own (often fun) test rig and protocol.

Reviewed tiktok videos show employees set fire to the apronMILF working on rowing machine and deep fryer test deep fry oreos,

“I’m a professional scientist who used to dig and interpret scientific and technical literature,” said Ellerby, who has a background in Physiology and Biomechanics, “So the tests we run are very much rooted in science, they have been developed in a way that can be completely replicated. And that allows us to make our data stand out a hundred percent.”

Reviewed what you are looking for

Reviewed articles include links to online stores so users can easily purchase items. And the company receives a commission for many goods sold. but Editor-in-Chief David Kender It clarifies that it never affects which items make up the list, or which store links are included.

Reviewed always directs users to reputable businesses with the best value, whether they have a financial agreement with them or not, Kender says. The cost of the item remains the same with or without commission for the customer. a Financial Disclosure Appears On every Reviewed article.

Reviewed pays for all the products it reviews (each year costs about a quarter of a million dollars) or they’ll test a product on loan, and later return it to the manufacturer. Products only make the list when they’re good, Kender says. He has been known to say, “There’s no such thing as a good deal on a bad product.”

“Most of the time, the problem that needs to be solved is that someone needs to buy something,” he said. “I need to buy a new umbrella, a new coffee mug, a gift for my niece. We want to follow up as soon as possible, give her a recommendation, make sure it’s at a legitimate retailer for a good price.” And at the same time, try to underline that we know what we’re talking about. We’ve done our homework, here’s a picture of us testing it. And so please with confidence Go ahead.”

And the entire staff gets involved in the reviews. Some products are best reviewed in the field, which often means home. Kender once spent three months Trying Different Electric Toothbrushes,

“My teeth probably never looked better,” he said.

that too once Gleefully Tested Duct Tape, The review revealed that Kender had “an unusually strong affinity for duct tape since childhood.”

After selecting the best items, Kate Ellsworth’s The team starts looking for the best deals.

“So our absolute Favorite Robot Vacuum is on sale. Great. We’re going to tell our readers about it,” said Ellsworth, executive editor of Commerce Content. “After all the product tests have been done and we have what we like and what our experts recommend, we take it.” And we teach people to shop. It’s on sale… how to shop at different retailers and at different price points.”

John Chan, Reviewed's lab manager, is an in-house vacuum expert, and has tested or inspected hundreds of vacuums and robot vacuums on the market.

best product of the year

Just in time for holiday shopping, Reviewed has gathered the reviews from last year and created the best of the year PrizeNaming the top products in 10 categories from Pet To Technique To to Cook,

Kender unveiled them at a video awards show, complete with a tuxedo, fancy envelopes and canned applause.

What are his personal favourites?

Ellsworth loves what she calls the Big Blanket, a 10-foot-by-10-foot “cult favorite.”

“After living with the Big Blanket for a full year, using it almost every day during the colder months to relax on the couch, sleep under, and build blanket forts, I can say that I am now a proud member of Big’s cult. I am a member of the blanket, even though my husband has torn a muscle coming out of it on the very first day,” Ellsworth wrote in his review,

Given the supply and shipping challenges in some regions, she recommends anything that can be delivered digitally. She points to Black Friday deals streaming services, online classes, or things that will happen delivered All year long

,Bouqs There’s a flower delivery service and you can deliver flowers every month,” she said. “So I got that for my mom for Mother’s Day and she forbids me to ever cancel it.”

Kender says he’s “a sucker for toys since I’ve had a seven year old.”

“The Harry Potter and the Star Wars” lego advent calendar are wonderful,” he said. “But they go by so fast and I’m going to try really hard not to buy myself anything that I absolutely don’t need this year.”

Wait, I thought they were for a seven year old?

“We’ll share,” he says with a laugh. “Half the fun of being a parent is that you get to play with toys all over again.”

More Backstory:Granthshala investigation reveals widespread retaliation against police whistleblowers

More Backstory: Rage about race: How politicians used ‘critical race theory’ to ignite voters

Nicole Carroll is the editor-in-chief of USA Today. Contact or follow him at [email protected] Twitter Here. Support Journalism – Subscribe to USA Today Here, (Black Friday deal: $1 per week for 52 weeks.)

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