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Product Research – A Smart Shoppers Step-by-Step Guide

When you shop for a product, you typically weigh a number of competing factors. You consider the cost, its availability, whether it is well suited for your needs and its reliability. Cost is a big factor for many families, but you also want to consider its safety. For any sizable purchase, you may want to do some research. Comparing products and choosing the right one takes some time.

As advocates for consumer safety, we’ve compiled some general recommendations to help you do some research before you make a purchase.  The internet puts a lot of research at your fingertips. The recommendations will make you a better-informed shopper.

Step 1 — First, consult with friends and family and ask if they have had any experience with a product that you are considering purchasing. Read online reviews from consumers who have experience with it. Online reviews taken as a whole can point up issues if you see similar criticisms in multiple reviews.

Step 2 — You can find detailed ratings for hundreds of products from electronics and exercise equipment to appliances and automobiles at the website of Consumer Reports, an independent nonprofit organization. You may have to pay a fee to read the review.  But if you are making a significant purchase, a small investment to make you a more informed consumer may be well worth the price.

How Do I Find Out if My Product is Recalled?

Step 3 — You’ll want to find out whether the product that you are considering has been recalled. At www.recalls.gov, you can find information about the latest U.S. government recalls involving consumer products including electronics and appliances, children’s products, motor vehicles, boats, food, medicine, cosmetics, and environmental products.

For food products, prescription drugs, and cosmetics, you can find the latest safety alerts and recalls here.

Step 4 — When you buy a product, it’s always a good idea to look for and read the safety label. It contains important information.

Step 5 — It’s also a good idea to fill out the registration form and submit it. In the event of a recall or consumer safety issue involving the product, the manufacturer will have your contact information and be able to get in touch with you. If you don’t submit a registration, the manufacturer will have no way of reaching you to let you know of the product recall.

Step 6 — Consult a product liability attorney if you or a loved one has been injured by a product.

If I Am Hurt by a Product, How Would a Lawyer Help Me?

Manufacturers have a legal obligation to produce and market products that are safe and will not cause harm when used as directed. Manufacturers have an obligation to provide adequate warning of any known hazards associated with the product. When manufacturers put on the market products with design or manufacturing defects that cause injury, they can be held liable for the harm caused.

The product liability attorneys at Herrman & Herrman are advocates for consumer safety. If you have been seriously injured by a product that you suspect was defective or unsafe, contact us and let us review the specifics. You may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer to cover your medical bills and other expenses.