Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cutting through the crap

In mail today I received a copy of "Shop Smart," a new magazine launched by Consumer Reports, with an accompanying note saying it was targeted at women 30+.

Though a stick, I'm still a manly man, not a 30+ woman, I said after consulting a mirror, with a buff grunt thrown in. So out of all people, why did they send me a copy? Because they want me to trash it, and yes, I will with complete manly man pride.

The quarterly Shop Smart logo ends with a chatty ;) and it points out great buys by cutting through the crap they show in adverts.

Does sleeping on Tempur-pedic beds feel like sleeping on wet sand, as the ad claims? BS, Shop Smart says. They review a neat list of items from fitness products and vacuum cleaners to toasters and hula-hoops, pick your choice. Some are covered in detail, some in snapshots.

Women don't look for good HDTVs, but my roommate is, and that pointed out an issue -- it doesn't cover all products in one thin issue. Have to wait for another issue. Nor do they give a hint of products appearing in the next issue.

They focus on product quality, but don't care much about pricing. The ladies I know look for deals even more than I do as a Gujju, so this isn't the reference book for them. They listed Hewlett-Packard's PhotoSmart 335 printer at $130, though it's available at online shops for $55, according to

Of all print publications, every journalist expects only Consumer Reports to survive the blog hype, considering its encyclopaedic nature. Others will disappear, or move online. What challenges Shop Smart is the same question it poses - is it a smart magazine to buy?

Nada, just buy Consumer Reports. Or browse through it at a store. The 'Quick and Easy' guide Shop Smart claims to be isn't newsy or detailed enough. Their mish-mash of products covering different requirements is confusing. But again, I'm not a woman.

But yes, if I see detailed coverage of an HDTV, I will pick one up for guidance.


Blogger jane said...

well, i'm two years shy of thirty, which gives me a few years before i move into the 30+ crowd of ladies, so perhaps it's simply an age difference (mmm, that's sarcasm, just so you know) but none of the products you mentioned sounded remotely interesting to me. granted, i have no use for an HDTV either, but perhaps computer equipment? digital cameras? accessories to said items? that's the sphere where i'm hooked. i'm guessing those weren't discussed either? bah!

4:31 PM  

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