What is a good quality product
Recognizing quality as a consumer - tips and advice
The following seals are among the most famous in Germany:
- GS (tested safety)
- Fair trade (especially for food and cosmetics)
- Organic seal
- Trusted Shop (seal of quality in online retailing, however, relates to the company, not to the individual products)
However, not all products have a quality or security seal. How can consumers identify high-quality offers that have not been approved by European or state control? How can consumers protect themselves from bad deals and what should be looked for before entering into the sales contract?
Product tests and ratings - a note
In order to educate and protect consumers, more and more test portals are developing that take a close look at products and services. The largest and probably best-known company is Stiftung Warentest. From frozen fish fingers to toothpaste and sunscreen to electronic items such as cameras, televisions and laptops - countless product groups are tested here in a wide variety of categories.
There are also a large number of portals on the Internet in which product tests and product comparisons provide information about quality, functions and other important factors. In addition, many of the portals summarize the customer ratings of well-known Internet shops so that the potential customer can let other buyers influence his purchase decision.
But not only the quality of products, but also the quality of a wide variety of services can be queried on the Internet. Because here, too, many ways have opened up over time with which restaurants, hotels, delivery services and other services can be rated.
In the case of product and service reviews, in addition to a customer review in text form, stars can also be given, which provide an overview of the overall impression or the quality of the product or service purchased. This is extremely practical, as you can get an idea of what to do before buying a product or using the service.
Self-test - for small and inexpensive products
If you do not want to rely on the existing reviews of strangers when buying a product, you can carry out a product test yourself. It is always advisable to check in advance whether and under what conditions the ordered or purchased items can be returned without any problems.
Many online shops also offer free shipping and free returns, so that testing your own product is not a problem. Anyone who also buys on account does not have to pay an advance and can easily make a decision within a period of time specified by the shop.
Depending on the product, this should be tested in different categories:
- How is the handling in general?
- Does the product promise what is being advertised?
- Does the product meet your personal requirements?
- How is the product processed?
- Does the product have a guarantee?
- What is the price-performance ratio in general and is it worthwhile to choose the more expensive but also better product?
A prerequisite for a private product test is, of course, that the products are neither worn nor damaged. For example, if you want to test running shoes, you should do the self-test in the living room instead of trying out the shoes in the forest. So you can rely on the shop to be taken back - and of course a money-back guarantee.
In addition to test and comparison portals on the Internet or the self-test, there are of course other ways to find out about the quality of a product or service.
- Interview friends: Where did the idea of using a certain product or service come from? Those who ask around in their circle of friends and acquaintances as well as in the staff at the workplace can benefit from personal advice. Has anyone ever been to the hotel, restaurant or hairdressing salon in question? Does anyone have any experience with the product and what are the advantages and disadvantages? Is there anything that the person interviewed would improve or would have additionally wished for? A subsequent research on the product or service category can help to achieve optimal results and to take any suggestions for improvement directly into account.
- Internet research in forums: Consumers can also look for a solution to their question in Internet forums: Is this or that product recommended? Is this service good? Who already has experience and what should be considered when buying? If you ask these questions in a thematically appropriate forum, you will often get a quick answer from other buyers.
It is always a good idea to find out more before buying a product or using a service. Even if it is often said that “quality has its price”, this does not always have to be true. Because even big brands and names don't just sell high quality. Often there are also no-name articles or lesser-known service providers who, due to a lower level of awareness, are of very good quality in order to impress new customers and make a name for themselves.
A detailed comparison in an internet portal, a quality check from well-known and trustworthy companies (e.g. Stiftung Warentest or TÜV) are further indications of high quality. And beware: Reviews on comparison sites for hotels, restaurants, doctors, etc. can also be bought and falsified by the company itself. For example, if a hotel is rated 10 out of 10 and only praised to the heavens, in many cases at least the suspicion that help was given can arise. Incidentally, this also applies to large online retailers. So reviews should always be viewed with a little basic skepticism.
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