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Consumer Reports Buying Guide - via Badgerlink

With the holiday season upon us, I was not thrilled when I had to change my focus from buying tech toys to researching washing machines. My very old washing machine died right before Thanksgiving. The dryer has also been making gremlin noises for months, so replacing them both made the most sense. 

I wanted to make a decision quickly to take advantage of Black Friday sales (and get back to baking cookies), but I also wanted a good value product that meets our family’s needs. After spending way too much time reading online – often biased - reviews, I turned to the Consumer Report Buying Guide which is freely available to all Wisconsin residents via Badgerlink databases. 

Here is the search technique I used to access it:

1. Go to https://badgerlink.dpi.wi.gov and select All Resources. If needed, LoginThe site looks at your internet connection to see if you are in Wisconsin, but you can always login with your library card if it doesn’t recognize you.


2. Select Academic Search Premier. Consumer Reports Buying Guide is indexed in Academic Search Premier, but is also indexed in other Badgerlink databases including MasterFILE complete.  I picked Academic Search Premier only because it is listed first.



3. Select Publications. This shows you all the publications included in this database along with what years are included.



4. Enter “consumer reports buying guide” in the browsing publications section, select browse, and click on the title



5. Select 2019 to limit to the most current buying guide.



6. Scroll down or add a product name to the search terms.  In my case, I added AND wash* so that it looked for washer or washing. I took note, however, to look at the Fitness Trackers buying guide before I go shopping for my Dad's gift.



7. Select the PDF's of interest. The quick guide ranks models by overall performance, includes test results for key features, and recommends models.  


I used this information to find deals for some of the highly rated washers & dryers and ordered online to avoid the Black Friday fury. 

Some libraries have paid subscriptions to the Consumer Reports database, which has similar information.  I still like the compact and easy to print Consumer Reports Buying Guide, and you can’t beat the price – free from Badgerlink.

Happy Shopping!


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This is a great post! I'm sorry about your washer and dryer but happy that a reliable, tried and true reference tool helped you solve your problem. How did you decide what to order? Did you go with the "Best Bet" or something else?

Yes, I started looking at the "Best Bets", but also considered our space constraints, price, reliability, and delivery/installation costs. I chose a model that was more highly rated for the same price as the "Best Bet", and included free delivery, installation, haul away, and an extra year of warranty. The set will be delivered this week (from Costco).

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