We’ve recently started providing product reviews for Security Sales & Integration magazine and its website, www.securitysales.com. As we kick this off, and on an ongoing basis, we’re going to be looking for feedback on how these reviews meet your needs, where they come up short, and what you’d like to see covered.
The genesis of SSI’s Bench Test section is fairly simple. I’m not alone when I say that the first section I turn to in a magazine is the product reviews. Before I purchase anything new, I frequently go online and search for that manufacturer and product model number, followed by the word “review”.
I’m looking for an independent appraisal of the product by someone who knows the product; a feature sometimes lacking in product reviews on generalist sites such as Amazon. In our industry, too often people are making purchase decisions on products based on data sheets and relationships. It is our goal to help you make these decisions based on the merits of the products themselves.
Our objective is to answer the question “Do I want to use this product?” and explain why. While we aren’t going to pull our punches, it occurs to us that most people are best served by objective reviews of quality products, not a gleeful bashing of substandard “junk”. While knowing what to steer clear of is important, at the end of the day you need to know what to buy more than what to avoid. So, in many cases, if the answer to the question above is “No,” we may just send the product back and not waste our – or your – time.
My firm also handles product usability testing, so this is a good fit for us. We are an independent consulting firm routinely working with these products in our industry, and we have several people, including myself, writing the reviews according to their area of expertise.
We won’t allow manufacturers to influence the reviews, and there is no charge for us to evaluate a product, and no obligation on our part to write or publish a review based on that product. All products submitted for review will be returned once we are finished evaluating them, and while we will take care not to mistreat or damage products, we respectfully disclaim any liability which might arise if we inadvertently break something in the review process. We open up products to evaluate them and test for thermal properties under operation, but we’ll be careful and we know what we’re doing. We also want products for review to be new and in the box with all accessories as we are interested in seeing exactly what the customer will see when they open the package.
So, if you’re a manufacturer with a product that you’re proud of, let us know. If you’re an integrator looking for more information on a certain type of product, that would help us in prioritizing things as well. And if you’re like me and like reading reviews, we’ve just given you another reason to put Security Sales & Integration on the top of your stack!