What Is the Purpose of a Consumer Union?


Consumer unions are organizations that look out for consumers' best interests by testing products and providing consumers with the necessary information to make informed decisions about purchases. Most consumer unions are nonprofit organizations.


  • Consumer unions strive to protect consumers by providing a fair, just and safe marketplace.


  • Consumer unions employ mystery shoppers and technical experts to perform the activities of buying and testing products.


  • In the United States, the Consumer Union is an independent organization that generates revenue from its magazine Consumer Reports, which is one of the country's top 10 most circulated magazines.


  • The Consumer Union was founded in 1936 to counteract the rise of mass media advertising so consumers had a reliable source for product reviews. It has four offices in California, Texas, New York and the District of Columbia.


  • Consumer unions cannot accept any outside advertising revenue or free samples to ensure their reviews are completely impartial and objective.

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