Research Process

At Cansumer, we aim to deliver accurate, up-to-date product information and unbiased reviews based on verified consumer experiences. We’ve aggregated owner and customer experiences from thousands of online sources to generate our data-based reviews and we receive new feedback every day.

Below is a detailed breakdown of our process for researching products, collecting data, and generating performance ratings.

Our data set

Sources

We draw on the following general sources to generate our product ratings:

Forums/discussion boards

Roughly 35 to 40% of our data is based on consumer experiences and reviews posted in web forums and discussion boards. We conduct an extensive search for each product review by reading legitimate threads within online communities of all sizes, then collect and verify each post to ensure it is valid and relevant to our research.

Retail product pages

Roughly 35 to 40% of our data comes from verified customer reviews posted to online product pages. We consider exclusively online retailers such as Amazon.ca and Wayfair.com, as well as brick-and-mortar brands that have a strong online presence, such as Target, Walmart, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

We vet each review two times to ensure none of them are fake and that the author has not been compensated (financially or otherwise) for their feedback.

Product review websites

Roughly 20 to 30% of our data comes from product review websites, depending on the type of product or service. Fake and/or dishonest online review sites are rampant. The owners of these sites often receive compensation for highlighting certain brands and recommending specific models.

In order to provide the most accurate information, we avoid sites like these as a rule and narrow our focus on authentic review sites that provide objective, unaffiliated information (such as Consumer Reports). We also vet individual postings on larger review sites to ensure the author has not been compensated for their work or is affiliated with any existing product brands.

Publicly available information

We never generate customer or performance ratings based on product descriptions or marketing claims that come directly from product manufacturers or brands. However, most of these companies provide detailed product specifications and company information that we use in our brand and model profiles. These details include:

  • Current price-points
  • Country of origin
  • Materials
  • Size options
  • Dimensions
  • Product availability, including online and brick-and-mortar sellers
  • Maintenance instructions
  • Weight
  • Company history, including years in business and contact information
  • Shipping and delivery policies
  • Trial and return policies
  • Warranty information

User-submitted reviews

We encourage all Cansumer.ca visitors to share their stories and experiences with us, and greatly appreciate your feedback. We incorporate reviews from our users into our user satisfaction rating.

What makes us unique?

Cansumer is Canadian owned and operated.

We’re 100% free and unbiased

We want to stress this point in great detail, so we’ve created an advertising disclosure that outlines how we collect information, generate money for the site, and communicate with different companies and brands. Please visit the page to learn the specifics and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

We promote Canadian businesses

Whenever possible, we focus on listing local businesses instead of large, international corporations who happen to have a location in your city. Local businesses often provide better, more personal service than the big guys. They know their area, their customers and truly care about them.

In addition, we point out Canada-owned/made products and services in our buying guides by marking them as:

  • “Canada Made” (product is at least 51% manufactured in Canada)
  • “Canadian Owned” (product is at least 51% Canadian owned)
  • “Canadian Company” (incorporated in Canada)

We’re user-friendly

Cansumer strives to offer complete coverage for every company, product and service we list. This means providing in-depth buyer’s guides, an extensive selection of individual brand and model reviews to help you narrow down your choices, as well as research-based guides covering each topic from all angles.

For every product and service there is a specific set of key factors that matter to consumers. For each product we review, we outline how it performs on each one of its key factors. We then summarize our findings in a table or chart to make it easy to quickly compare the alternatives. Many of these factors such as pricing and availability are subject to constant change so we revisit our guides on a regular basis to ensure the information is up to date.

Whenever possible, every price or dollar figure you see on this site is in Canadian Dollars (CAD) so you can quickly compare prices without having to look up the conversion rate. In cases where a product is only available in USD, both the USD amount and a conversion to CAD are provided for easy reference.

Accuracy

Data accuracy is one of our highest priorities, and we do everything in our power to ensure the information on our site is correct, up-to-date, and reflective of consumer experiences. For this reason, we have established parameters for our rating process. In order to generate accurate ratings, we do the following:

  • We assign each reviewable product a specific baseline for customer experiences and unique sources based on feedback availability. For example, we require at least 60 verified customer experiences from at least four unique sources. Additionally, no individual source makes up more than 50% of the reviews we collect. If we are unable to collect sufficient consumer feedback, then we will withhold ratings for that brand or product until we have enough data. This information is prominently displayed at the top of each review page. If we have enough data, we will list the total number of verified experiences and unique sources. If we don’t have enough data, then we will state as such.
  • We vet each consumer review to ensure it meets our standards for quality. Some reviews do not contain enough information to verify if the author actually owns the product. In order to be included in our data set, the reviewer must demonstrate that he or she has owned the product for at least two weeks. Additionally, the review must have been published within the last six years. Reviews that do not meet these two criteria points will not be included in the data set.
  • We validate customer experience ratings with a full testing team to ensure we provide accurate information.

We’re here to help!

Please contact us if you want to learn more about any of the listed products and services or the site itself. A member of our team will promptly respond to make sure all of your questions are answered. Day or night, rain or shine, we are committed to ensuring your experience on Cansumer.ca is informative and meaningful.

Our ratings, explained

Ratings

We keep our ratings system simple and calculate averages using the five-tier system outlined below:

  • Poor: 0.0 to 0.99
  • Fair: 1.0 to 1.99
  • Good: 2.0 to 2.99
  • Very Good: 3.0 to 3.99
  • Excellent: 4.0 to 4.99

Why is this product missing some data/rankings?

On some pages, you will find certain data points have been left blank or listed as not available (N/A). This indicates we do not have enough customer experience data to make an assertion about that particular data point.

Please check back for updates and feel free to contact us if you have additional questions.

Questions, comments, concerns?

See something inaccurate or that needs to be updated?

Please reach out to us! We’re here at all hours of the day and want to make sure you get the information you need so let us know how we can help.

Want to share a review of your experience with a particular product or service?

Visit our submit a product review page and give us a detailed account. Although we don’t currently take user-submitted reviews into account when writing our product and service reviews, they are seen in our customer satisfaction rating.