Editorial Policy & Guidelines

Our mission

Our mission is to provide you with accurate, unbiased and up-to-date recommendations and reviews of the best products available in Canada. Our goal is to make it simple to discover, purchase and use the products that best suit your unique situation and budget, so you can get on with living your life.

We’ve already helped tens of thousands of people do just that. We feel it’s important to share how we go about writing all of the guides that you depend on.

Our principles

We build our reviews on a solid data-driven foundation and always show our work with as much detail as possible, so you can see why and how we landed on our selections.

The most important thing to us is reader trust. We value yours – and want it for the long haul.  We renew that trust every day by adhering to a set of principles to ensure fairness, independence and accuracy in our work.

To be successful, each guide must be:

  • Independent: We pay our own way whenever possible. We never accept money or favors from companies for reviewing their products and we do not give favoured treatment to advertisers or special interests.
  • Unbiased: We maintain a strict separation between the editorial process by which products and services are evaluated and the development of financial relationships by the business team. Writers are never made aware of any financial relationships prior to making their picks and the business team has no influence over the resulting scores and rankings.
  • Accurate: We work with and cite the most qualified sources and experts across every topic we cover. Any mistakes, inaccuracies or misrepresentations identified by our readers are investigated and corrected promptly and transparently. Please contact us for corrections.
  • Original: We look at the reviews and recommendations made by credible competitors, but ultimately our recommendations come down to our own evaluations, in combination with the authoritative opinions of contributors and industry experts.
  • Thoughtful: What is a product’s raison d’être (reason for being)? What makes a good one good? Is it sustainability? Size? Ease of use? Affordability? We think about these questions a lot before, during, and after our evaluations.
  • Thorough: To help our readers better understand topics, we conduct extensive research, testing and analysis and distill this information into clearly presented, detailed, and accessible guides and recommendations.
  • Empirical: We develop evaluations that measure both the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the product in question. We look at the results and seek insights in the data.
  • Skeptical: We know how to focus on what’s truly important, without being swayed by marketing pitches, trends or claims such as “X product will keep you 100% safe”.
  • Opinionated: Subjective considerations like personal preference and user experience are important factors in making a final decision. We know where the empiricism ends and the subjectivity begins and weave both together with clarity into every review.
  • Inclusive: We work to ensure that our content serves – and depicts with dignity and respect – every human, regardless of differences in age, nationality, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, relationship status, physical and mental ability, or family type.
  • Conflict of interest-free: We do not recommend or review products in which we have financial or other interests, and do not accept recommendations or reviews from anyone who has a conflict with the interests of our readers (they receive any form of compensation or sponsorship from manufacturers, their agencies, or their representatives or intend to do so in the future).

All researchers, writers and editors are required to uphold our principles and editorial guidelines outlined above and are responsible for disclosing any potential conflicts of interest.

Our process

We exhaustively research and recommend a broad range of products and ultimately make a curated list of purely editorial recommendations from writers with subject-matter expertise in every product category we cover. For a full outline of the process, see our Research Methodology.

We do make money on some, but not all, of the products and services we recommend, if you click on a link. See how we make money.

Research

Our writers scour the internet to compile a list of promising products to consider. This includes searching on major retailers in Canada such as Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart, publications such as The Wirecutter, Serious Eats and Consumer Reports, enthusiast groups and forums such as Reddit and analyzing internet search data. We make an effort to include quality Canadian businesses whenever possible.

Selection

Before diving deeper, they filter the list of promising products to ensure they have a:

  1. High rating
  2. Wide availability in Canada at stable prices
  3. A positive reputation with our subject-matter experts and industry experts

Data collection

They then collect and analyze thousands of consumer, reviewer and expert experiences from:

  • Consumer ratings and reviews
  • Professional ratings and reviews
  • Features and pricing
  • Forums/discussion boards
  • Interviewing industry experts
  • Survey of opinions
  • Comments and reviews on Cansumer

Analysis

While selecting the candidates for consideration, we also develop an evaluation plan which outlines what we consider the most relevant product specs, features, and criteria and ranking their importance by assigning each a weighting:

  1. Criteria/categories
  2. Metrics/subcategories
  3. Weighting

Testing

Whenever feasible, we buy the product ourselves and our reviewers put them through detailed, hands-on side by side tests. We carefully assess them on the most important  features and criteria and score each product across the range of weighted categories.

Ratings

Our scoring methodology is based on a composite analysis of the ratings and reviews published by credible third-party professional and consumer review sources.

We keep our ratings system simple and calculate a weighted average using the five-star scale that answers the question: does the product offer the consumer less than, the same as, or more than the others in the segment?

  • 5 – excellent; much better than
  • 4 – good; better than
  • 3 – adequate; equal to
  • 2 – inadequate; less than
  • 1 – poor; much less than

Writing

Finally, we list the products picked for each buyer persona or use case, explain why they were chosen and review them. Every guide you see has multiple people behind it, continually working to make sure that it is responsible, accurate, understandable, helpful, and reflective of our editorial principles.

Updating

Our editorial team is continually evaluating the guides to keep our recommendations up-to-date, available and accurate. That means evaluating newer models and checking to ensure items aren’t out of stock. Guides are reviewed and updated or, if necessary, completely rewritten, rechecked, and re-edited. Articles that have been updated are date-stamped to reflect this.

Corrections

While we try to remain 100% free of inaccuracies and errors, mistakes can happen. Cansumer is committed to telling readers when an error has appeared, and to correcting it. This transparency applies to small and large mistakes. Please report possible errors here.

Our team

Our content is a direct reflection of the people creating it. We take pride in having a highly authentic group of writers and editors who bring subject-matter expertise to every product category we cover in order to better inform our readers and provide authoritative recommendations. 

Cansumer writers are carefully recruited, vetted, and chosen. They are selected for their knowledge and their skill at communicating complex topics in clear, accessible, actionable language. We place a high priority on real world experience when hiring.

Every guide’s author or reviewer is listed at the top of the page, above the date, and is linked to their biography, which you can click to learn more about their credentials, education, professional experience, and social media presence.

Responding to readers

We value our readers, and we know that it’s important to have open communication. Our company is not a large corporate conglomerate. Rather, we are real people who truly care about audience feedback and concerns. So you can expect that we’ll be here for you if/when you need us.

Feedback

There is always room for us to improve. If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at notes@cansumer.ca.