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Show HN: I built a Rotten Tomatoes-style platform for durable products (buyforlifeproducts.com)
1392 points by hubraumhugo 9 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 398 comments

A few months ago, I began developing the Buy For Life platform. It started as a simple list where people could add brands that manufacture durable products. It now evolved into a full platform with aggregated product reviews from all over the web, discussions, and various metrics to calculate a score for each brand and product.

I want to help people finding the most durable and sustainable products in the world. It should become the Rotten Tomatoes for products, almost like you check the trustworthy rating of a movie before you watch it, people could check a brand or product before they purchase it.

A metric I am working on is the average cost per month of ownership. That feels like a great metric that shifts consumer mindset - the longer you own something, the more you save. I still don't have enough data, so please submit your favourite product.

Let me know what you think!

PS: this project is completely non-commercial and entirely community-driven. It is still a work in progress, but I want to get feedback as early as possible.

I don't think the comparison to Rotten Tomatoes makes sense because you aren't aggregating professional reviews of these products. To me it is just another product review site tackling a niche.

But the idea of tracking cost per month is very intriguing (a measure of TCO, which you may want to tackle as well, because for some products that may include electricity usage, upkeep, etc). I think it is something that can truly differentiate, and can appeal to everyone, not just people that are concerned with reducing their environmental footprint.

> because you aren't aggregating professional reviews of these products

outdoorgearlab.com looks like a professional review site to me in the context of being an affiliate marketing / review site. IMHO almost all reviews online are affiliate marketing these days, so what I'd really be interested in is a site that hosts reviews and doesn't allow _any_ affiliate marketing or external links. IE: No incentive to game the system with inflated review scores.

And if you pay attention to those affiliate marketing sites that are disguised as review sites, note how they never give anything a bad review. "Poisoned my dog, caused my house to be condemned - 4.0/5.0 stars." Getting you to buy _something_ is the only goal.

Reddit is the biggest player in this space right now. "[xyz product] reddit" are very popular search terms.

I think because without Reddit every result is an affiliate blog trying to sell the product. Reddit feels like the reviews come from real people.

How to build the next Google: all good results these days are within communities, and Google search has become useless for most of these searches.

So don't build a search engine: build a "rotten tomatoes for X" where the sources for each X are "the top N subreddits/communities/editorial-sites/forums for X".

For example, supplements: examine.com, reddit /r/supplements /r/nootropics (long tail ones), wikipedia, etc.

Then, final piece: make this aggregator site also a community (ala reddit/hn) where people vote on the results rankings, but also vote on how other people comment on them. Because you can lock down user accounts quite a bit (have high bar for registration with lots of verification for voting permissions), and you have a quality indictor for the users themselves (users voting on users), you may get much better results over time as the community sorts out who are legit and who isn't.

I'm not saying any system is immune to optimization/spam, but it feels like Reddit, HN, SO, Wikipedia at least prove that if you want good quality content, rely on a community. Why not extend the model to search itself?

I think wikipedia, HN, etc. are less suseptible because people don't use those sites as heavily to make purchasing decisions. Any community that helps with purchasing will be targeted by those interested in sales who figure out how to meet the "high bar" no matter what that may be. Even purchase verification isn't high enough these days (see recent unsolicited package scams such as the seeds from China).

I agree with you: It's a numbers game. There is a cost associated with driving up good reviews for a (bad) product. A website such as this has to cause higher costs for fake reviews than what they can reap via it.

However, at some point the whole review process might become unusable for legitimate users, resulting in too few reviews, rendering the whole endeavour futile.

E.g. if a shitty product earns a seller 20US$, and they expect to sell exactly 100 more over a site like this, then they can easily invest 1000 US$ into trying to make their product seem good, even if it isn't.

Thinking of this, by that reasoning a non-negligible part of the high cost of good quality products might also stem from the fact that advertising genuinely good quality must be expensive like hell (I guess).

I had a similar idea: build a kind of "stackexchange" of search engines. You start with a "generic" search engine infrastructure, and each community runs its own instance, tweaked accordingly. This would mean:

* The community chooses what goes in the search database, the rules for the crawler etc.

* People in the community can vote on stuff, etc.

* The engine can be customized to have some "semantic" understanding of what is scraped (i.e. on a math-oriented instance, it would understand latex, in a cooking one, it would be able to parse recipes if they respect schema.org).

I really believe in this kind of concept of "user curated, community oriented" search engine, since this means taking pretty much the opposite approach to what google does, thus:

* this wouldn't compete on google's own ground ==> higher chances of success.

* you could keep more control on the data

* the engine wouldn't pull any tricks on you by trying to overfit what you meant

* lots of customization options, etc.

But I never had the energy to try and start something with the idea…

Yep! Well put too. You should reach out, I don’t see contact info for you but I’ve been exploring a version of it I believe has potential to work.

And then Google surfaces that data in their results so no one even needs to go to your site...


Different problem because your value is in the index not the content.

companies must be paying for positive comments on reddit communities at this point.

outdoorgearlab.com ? you must be kidding me, in their reviews, they leave out ~50% of competition, and their sorting of best product in category is apparently a bidding game, shifted just right to make the results believable. I do spent lots of time on researching outdoor products for my own needs, and outdoorgearlab.com is a joke

OGL used to be great. They didn't get to where they are because of scumminess. However, the quality has dropped in the last few years, and they do seem to be more influenced by affiliate marketing these days.

There's big money in affiliate marketing and very little in reviews so this gradual erosion is unfortunately universal in review sites.

So, basically just like car & driver?

Where are the best places to find good information if not outdoorgearlab?

> No incentive to game the system with inflated review scores.

There huge incentives from the companies who make the products to influence the ratings, regardless.

Is there any way that this site can prevent fake reviews?

Straight up paid astroturfing is probably more lucrative and less obvious than affiliate links - It just requires more co-operation between the marketer and the salesman.

In your ideal version, how would the site get paid for?

> you aren't aggregating professional reviews of these products

They are: https://www.buyforlifeproducts.com/products/9

Wirecutter, Good Housekeeping, GearLab

Wirecutter is a pay to play setup. Give them a referral code or your product is not the top pick anymore after careful consideration.

I think it really depends on: (disposable income * time to evaluate reviews - fakespot review adjustment)

Reddit has been a good resource lately as someone else mentioned. They have a buy it for life subreddit. Camelcamelcamel for price history.

I haven't heard that about Wirecutter, and I think that would devastate their brand (and maybe hurt NYT's) if true.

There was some drama about it [0][1] a while ago about standing desk reviews.

[0] https://www.xdesk.com/wirecutter-standing-desk-review-pay-to...

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/StandingDesk/comments/69npx4/drama_...

I keep on seeing this link pop up. Since no one is replying, I'd like to point out that I think the Wirecutter is actually in the right here. Another HN member did some investigation and found that Xdesk is stretching things: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22144078

In general, having been able to talk with some of the people there, I'm convinced that WC was focused first and foremost on truth-seeking and quality at this point in their life (pre-acquisition) — however, the consensus seems to have been that after the NYT acquired them, they started becoming more incentivized to grow revenue, and started to jump the shark.

I do not see a mention to kickbacks which is the main issue NextDesk raised with multiple emails then wire cutter responded then deleted the response.

It’s hard to find a product recommend without an affiliate link. Many recommendations have several comments about why they did not bother to review X cheaper or well known item.

My bad, I had clicked on several products (5 or so) that didn't have pro reviews. I went back and was able to find some with pro reviews. Seems like they need to beef this end up considerably if this is going to be a differentiator.

As mentioned below, I'm indeed aggregating professional reviews from different sources like Wirecutter or Gearlabs, there is just not that much data yet.

However, this should not be the core focus. After getting enough product submissions from users, I will focus on the cost per month metric. As you said, this could be the true differentiator.

If you could talk about TCO as in service costs associated, that would be amazing. I.e. A PS4 costs $300.. but after PS+ service costs (to use the features they give you).. that's something like $5/month extra.

I agree with you. It's more like metacritics than rotten-tomatoes

Even metacritic focus is/was aggregating professional critics' scores, although nowadays they have plenty of community reviews as well

Another thought is comparing its durability with just buying more of a cheaper version.

If I have a 500 shoe, does it last the same as 5 similar shoes in a row?

> I don't think the comparison to Rotten Tomatoes makes sense...

That went a totally different direction than I was expecting.

attempted to add an item. Here's my thoughts:

first, adding an item is a LOT of labor to enter data that's freely available from amazon's APIs for most products you're going to encounter.

not only would this be _much_ easier if you just allowed me to paste in an amazon link, or name that you searched for on amazon, you could also easily generate affiliate links and make money. I used _my_ affiliate link for the product link because... why wouldn't I? except now that i look at the products i see there aren't any links? Why wouldn't you offer links to go buy these things, doubly so when you could profit from it AND make life easier for users without costing them anything.

obviously there needs to be a fallback mechanism to handle things that aren't sold on amazon.

you ask for a weight in kg or lb, thus suggesting a desire to cater to international audiences but then you don't have a currency for price.

"BIFL Score" is something i can guess but is never actually defined. Don't make users think.

when i submit it asks for an email address, but you already HAVE my email address from when i signed in. You could just make this a checkbox "do you want to be notified when we add this?"

Some products seem to have multiple categories but i could only select one. These seem conceptually like tags so i don't know why it's a pull-down instead of a multi-select or some other multiple choice thing.

I disagree with your input about adding affiliate links, because I think that they would end up working contrary to the goal of this project. Sellers constantly reuse listings to sell updated versions of their products, with variable results. This is a huge issue with Amazon listings.

OP lets you add an affiliate link to order Graeter's ice cream. There's 20 years of 5-star aggregate reviews and a link to go buy it, so you do. But in year 21, Graeter's changed their all-sugar formula to corn syrup, and now you falsely believe that the aggregated five-star rating is supposed to apply to the corn syrup formula.

If one is designing for a lasting product review, the information needs to be snapshotted at a certain point in time- ie "In 2020, this part number from this company was constructed well." Modern listings may reflect the 2020+ product, rather than the 2020 construction that got the good reviews.

> If one is designing for a lasting product review, the information needs to be snapshotted at a certain point in time- ie "In 2020, this part number from this company was constructed well." Modern listings may reflect the 2020+ product, rather than the 2020 construction that got the good reviews.

In theory, that’s what the dates next to Amazon/App Store reviews are for. The problem with making them immutable though is: say you write a 5 star review, but the next day, the device craps out (inside the warranty). You contact the manufacturer who informs you that they can’t help you because it was caused by “user error” or whatever (basically, you can’t return/replace it). So you’d like to amend your review to mention that it crapped out, but you can’t. There also is the point of reviewing the product, not the company, but if a product and company sucks, why not warn the other consumers?

> In theory, that’s what the dates next to Amazon/App Store reviews are for.

There's no way to chart the average review score over time, though, is there? If people saw several years of 4.5-averaged scores and then a sudden drop to 3-average, that would tip them off, but looking at dates next to individual reviews doesn't help because any single review by itself varies wildly with the knowledge and opinion of the reviewer.

As for immutable reviews- that's a good point, although it seems like you could get around that by leaving reviews editable through at least the listed warranty period of the item. Or add a separate set of reviews that only become active after a certain period of time after you left your first review, but now we're getting into anal-retentive nerd territory that no average user is incentivized to venture into. ("Why, of course I'd like to log back on to a review site I used once six years ago and talk about how my washing machine is functioning!")

Edit: Actually, the type of person who would seek out and help populate a "reliability rating site" might be the type of person who would respond with details to a six-year-later email that asks for commentary on a product, especially if you can enter the review straight from an email reply.

Steam has a system where you see a score for recent and one for all time reviews.

Interestingly they only allow for recommend / not recommend instead of stars.

Steam also offers a graph of positive/negative reviews over time. But the more prominent recent reviews vs all time reviews usually conveys all the information needed

A popular ratings site around here shows the average rating of the past 6 months and an all time average. Very useful for detecting declining quality.

Man, I want people like you reviewing and qaing everything I release. Quality feedback.

what do you do about amazon changing products but using same SKUs? or counterfeit products in 1 shipment and 1 in not.

Amazon is the biggest offender in the buy it for now category i think

Super valuable feedback, thank you! I will definitely work on all the things you mentioned to make the submission-process way more intuitive and frictionless.

Good idea. Thanks for making that site.

I am an asshole. I copy&pasted a fake 5 star review from Amazon, using a fake account. Do you have a plan to stop brands from doing this to you?

This was the first question that occurred to me.

Just a couple of days ago I needed to buy another iphone USB-lightning cable. If you want to get a sense of just how broken Amazon reviews are, try searching for one of these. It's a nightmare minefield of 4.7+ rated products that have these highly dubious 5 star ratings, but with a telltale sizeable chunk of recent 1 star reviews.[1] So I ended up having to also check various meta-review sites or other product review sites just to to buy a stupid cable. For certain product categories, reviews have become mostly noise.

[1] I tend to discount really effusive, highly detailed 5 star reviews for basically mundane products. "This ethernet cable was both highly attractive and yet lighter than others I've bought in the past. I plugged it in and it immediately started working! I was amazed!"

Positive reviews are noise for me on any product. For products I don't care enough about to do independent research, I evaluate them exclusively by reading 1 and 2 star reviews, ignoring the additional noise of "the product didn't ship on time" type reviews, and deciding if the specific complaints made in the rest are things I care about.

Are you open to the possibility of competing brands bombarding decent products with negative reviews?

FWIW, almost every [negative, because I'm trying to warn others about wasting money] Amazon review I leave is removed for arbitrary reasons set out by Amazon. They seem uninterested in contributions like "this mouse was $30 not 6 months ago, and the current $90 price tag is unconscionable. [LG G602 mouse]" The few times I've complained about shipping problems (as you suggest you've seen) they also removed those.

Amazon is correctly removing your reviews, because neither of your examples are things that belong in product reviews.

Do not leave price related reviews. The prices change daily. You may leave a bad review because you think the price is too high. Tomorrow the mouse may cost $10, but your one star review is still there ten years later.

Shipping problems do not belong in product reviews. The listing is for a PRODUCT, shared by any number of amazon sellers. Amazon provides seller reviews to comment on seller's shipping problems. (If you are leaving these as seller reviews, then I apologize for assuming, and you are correct)

Well, you're not actually reviewing the product. Sure, I wouldn't mind a time series of the price history of an item esp in cases with large jumps. But, generally the point of reviews is to tell me about the product. I can do my own evaluation of what I am willing to pay.

Hijacked product pages and price swings are two of Amazon Shopping's biggest vulnerabilities from my view. Do you know of a price history website/app like you're describing? Sounds like a very good idea.

camelcamelcamel [0] tracks price history for Amazon listings

[0] https://camelcamelcamel.com/

If I’m reading your review of a mouse, I want to know how well the mouse worked. If I want to know the price history, I’ll go to camelcamelcamel.

You telling me the mouse was cheaper before doesn’t help me decide which mouse to buy today.

I've taken to running all my amazon purchases through fakespot dot com first. It's highly discouraging.

> Amazon automatically provides you with the cheapest version of the product you’re looking at,

Nice; thanks, Amazon.

> even if it’s potentially fake.

Yikes! Hope I don't get one of those!

> Most of the time you cannot even return these items!

That's just rubbish though, Amazon returns are so easy, if the price is only marginally lower elsewhere I'll order from Amazon just because - if necessary - returning is easy, third party or not.

I'm not sure if I get the point of it, if I can't tell if the product's a 'fake', aren't I happy? If I can (and I'm not happy with it anyway) I'll just send it back?

They have a chrome extension FYI that shows their data/status on a product page on Amazon.

I think the ship has sailed on the trustworthiness of online reviews from rando people. Pretty much every store or review site that aggregates user-submitted content has done a poor job of removing spam and fake reviews, and people are finally starting to realize how worthless the ratings are. Even if someone does crack this nut and figures it out, they won't be believed because of how fake everything has been for the last 20 years.

I think the best thing online stores can do at this point is just nuke all user-submitted ratings and reviews. They're 99% garbage.

Well, there wasn't a huge incentive for the biggest players to actually fix the problem. As long as Amazon was able to push the cost of returns to others, they only cared just enough that it didn't hurt their brand. This goes for both bad products and poorly advertised products.

Now that there have been some recent rulings that Amazon is liable for defective products they sell[1], we might see a difference as they put actual effort into it since it's more directly related to the bottom line of their e-commerce business.

1: https://www.businessinsider.com/court-rules-amazon-liable-de...

I have found that the best method is to just add "reddit" to my search of the product name. While it is most certainly gamed, you still see mostly real content as well as descriptions and pictures of issues.

Seeing 4 posts with pictures of the same failure on reddit is a pretty good sign the product has a problem.

>I think the best thing online stores can do at this point is just nuke all user-submitted ratings and reviews. They're 99% garbage.

Yes, in order to re-start, but what then? The whole user reviews concept is bonkers, I would add that there are - besides "fake" reviews - "real" ones BUT written by clueless people (in good faith, but completely disconnected from an objective rating), and in this it is also way off the "5 star" rating where 4 stars are already "not so good".

I think the "restart" goes back to trusted reviewers/companies offering reviews as their business. E.g. Consumer Reports, Wirecutter, etc.

Then it's entirely how much you trust the reviewers, and whether you agree with their matrics/tastes.

Maybe there should be leagues of reviewer companies that can get promoted and relegated, based off of how well their reviews align to purchasing boosts and complaints. That's probably a horrible idea.

I really like wire cutter but they convinced me to buy an awesome convection toaster oven that takes seven minutes to lightly toast a piece of bread on its highest setting.

My "favorite" useless review is the "I just got it and unboxed it. I haven't used it yet, but I know it's going to be good!" five star review. How I hate those.

>How I hate those.

Exactly, and rightly so.

But as well the "negative" ones like (I swear I have seen more than one of these) "The item arrived but it is a darker yellow than what seen in the pictures on the site." which may have some meaning if you order - say - a scarf to match a coat (but you'd better go to a shop with the coat and find a matching colour scarf) but doesn't really apply to - still say - a chainsaw or a power tool.

Loosely related, but flickchart is a moving ranking site whose tagline is: "If they're all 5 star movies, which one's the best?" I wonder if something like that could be adapted for product review sites? I suppose that would require you to have purchased 2 different cast iron pans, for example, to pick a favorite though.

How about, for someone to post a review, you have to take a picture of yourself with the product. But before you take the picture, you get randomly assigned a number. You must post a picture with that number in the photo. Then either do magic machine learning to check, or have a review process. Better, have it be manual. Get more people in the process, not less. I think this is an awesome idea, which would be completely ruined by fake reviews, but I'd feel much safer if there were like 1/10th the number of products but knew with certainty that a real human vetted and cared about that specific review.

How does this prevent shill reviews?

"I am a competing asshole. I copy&pasted a fake 1 star review from Amazon to make your good product sound bad."

Fake reviews are certainly a big challenge. I introduced a credibility system for every user, similar to Reddit's karma so people can see how trustworthy the user is in the Buy For Life community. As mentioned by others, people trust reviews on Reddit, I try to achieve the same.

I could also imagine picking reviewers by interviewing them initially - someone who owns and uses the product for a while.

> I introduced a credibility system for every user, similar to Reddit's karma so people can see how trustworthy the user is

But theres a problem with that: people create an account, build up their reputation for a while posting credible reviews then when they're large enough and have a good rep/trust, start taking money for their reviews.

A similar thing happens on Reddit -- people build up an account to have lots of karma (sometimes they're literally just bot accounts reposting tons of posts), build it up for a few months, then sell the whole account off for money after the account has 100s of thousands of upvotes/karma.

Ever try fakespot?

It might be my cynicism talking, but I've started distrusting these meta-review platforms as well. I've used fakespot quite a bit, but I don't have the time to investigate them and figure out where exactly the money is coming from to power the website and company behind it. Could it not be easily used to distort perceptions of listings based on who pays Fakespot more?

I love this idea. I own a couple of items on the list now (Le Creuset Dutch Oven, and Kitchenaid Mixer) and I can attest to their durability.

I think your idea of cost per month is good for things you use often. One thing I've been thinking about lately as I've undertaken a medium-sized kitchen renovation is the cost of ownership of tools. Since I'm not a professional I can't take a cost per month approach since I may not use the tool for many months at a time.

Instead I've been thinking about two things:

1. How many hours of operation can I get out of this tool? If I amortize those hours over my lifetime, will I ever have to buy the tool again? In this case a mid-range tool may be an A+ for me, but a B- for a professional.

2. What is the lifetime of a battery-powered version of the tool? I'm avoiding battery-powered tools (with a few exceptions, I'm looking at you power drill) because I'm concerned the batteries will fail before the tool does.

My ideal situation is that I buy these items once and never need to replace them. As an amateur, I should be able to do that without buying the most expensive tool. As a professional, I probably already have preferences and a strong opinion anyway.

The batteries absolutely fail before the tools do. As long as you stick to a range (for me, Makita Lxt) you’ll just need a few working batteries between all your tools as a diyer. At least that’s what I’ve found. They slowly fall apart, but you still get fairly good value from them.

I started “collecting” tools a year ago and my first batteries are starting to go now. They’re actually still plenty good enough good enough for my impact driver (best tool ever) but they die too quickly in my chainsaw. Couldn’t say how many hours they’ve given me but it’s a lot.

I mostly stick with corded tools. Over the past 17 years I've managed to collect:

- A Milwaukee right angle drill. I don't use it much, but when I need it, it's invaluable

- A Porter Cable circular saw. I get a bit more use out of this. Circular saws are so versatile.

- A hand-held power planer. I used this a lot fitting doors to irregular door jams. I've loaned it out quite a bit too. Like the right angle drill, I don't reach for it often now, but when I need it, I'm damn glad to have it.

- Just purchased a Makita track saw. I'm anticipating a lot of long rip cuts in the next few months. I could do this with a circular saw, but I really like the simplicity of the track saw.

- Power drill. I've had it forever. I rarely reach for it, but it's nice to know it's there.

For battery powered tools I have:

- Power drill. This is a must-have for battery. The convenience is worth having to get a new one every so often. I'm on my second one now. I started with a Craftsman a long time ago. I replaced the batteries once and now I can't get new ones.

- I'm considering a jig saw. I'm not sure. It feels like this would be more convenient w/o a cord, and they're cheap enough that I wouldn't worry about replacing it. Still undecided.

For yard tools, I can totally see going with battery powered as well. I'm considering an edger. I hate dealing with two-stroke engines, and a cord would be a huge PITA. I'll probably get a battery powered one and try to stay in the same brand for leaf blower and chainsaw.

A resource I found useful when I wanted an impact wrench was a breakdown of which manufacturers are behind the different brands[1]. I knew not to waste time comparing a Black&Decker to a Porter-Cable since they're most likely the same thing. I also weighed the reputation of the manufacturer by averaging reviews from multiple brands. Getting lost in the illusion of choice is part of what makes online shopping problematic.

[1] https://www.protoolreviews.com/news/power-tool-manufacturers...

Just bought a lot of yard tools and picked Ego as my battery platform. Same reasons you outlined: I hate dealing with gas engines, cords are annoying and get you stuck. I can now start a job, pause half way do something else and continue again without dealing with starting engines etc.

The blower is fantastic and quiet at that too. Much more relaxing than a gas one making noise all the time. The edger is phenomenal but probably too much for my needs.

Thanks. I borrowed one of their chainsaws from a neighbor back in the spring. It worked flawlessly. That's the brand I was considering so glad to hear another positive review.

Can’t speak for Ego but I love my Makita battery chainsaw. I was on the fence about it, but now I have it, I’m glad I made the leap. You’re obviously not going to spend all day using it as a professional, but for DIY it’s perfect. Does a good job, not too expensive and requires little maintenance.

I have been circling around a battery-powered set of lawn tools (mower is the most important) and Ego keeps coming up. I suppose I should bite the bullet.

I used to have a cordless Craftsman drill/light set that I loved, then the batteries inevitably died. I shrugged off cordless tools for years, but recently went back. With Li-ions, it seems that the battery packs should be easily rebuildable.

I've got too many corded tools, so my decision isn't generally choosing between cordless or corded, but rather deciding whether adding a cordless version will help me. My metric is that cordless tools are useful for short jobs where reducing the setup time helps (eg pick up a driver and use it). Corded tools take less maintenance and are adequate for jobs where you're already setting up a work area... which is most things involving a jigsaw. Not having to manage the cord during long cuts would be nice, but doesn't seem like it would make any task significantly easier. Then again if I didn't already have 2+ jigsaws I'd probably feel different.

porter-cable quality has declined significantly now. it's not the same company it used to be. just in case anyone else is curious.

power tools have changed dramatically in the last 20 years. what was good then is no good now due to greed. Makita has stayed someone consistent as they only have the same brand, same for Bosch, Hitachi and Metabo (although not going forward), but their individual product lines have drifted. eg Bosch jigsaws are still excellent, their circular saws are whatever, some makita impacts have a design flaw, etc.

Yes. Sometimes a manufacturer will switch battery types but I've seen this more with real consumer grade products than prosumer/pro ones. (Have a couple Black and Decker products I've had to throw out because batteries died and couldn't get replacements even online.)

But it's pretty much a given that anything like a cordless drill will have the batteries give out long before (and even multiple times) before you need to replace the tool itself. Batteries are consumables in any mis- to high-end product with a long lifetime, like it or not. (Same with cameras.)

> because batteries died and couldn't get replacements

Search for “battery repack”. The batteries inside are always a standard size, and can be replaced by cracking the case. There are specialist companies that do it, but you have to find them.

You can do it yourself if the tool is worth spending the time on - basic soldering skills, and glue the case back together after you break it open to replace the cells (ugly, but works).

One I threw out many years ago. The other one (a hedge trimmer), the main problem is that I don't have the charger (or can't find it) and I couldn't find a replacement anywhere. In any case, I bought a (better) substitute that works with a tool that lets me switch out heads.

I never liked battery powered tools, because I tend to use them rarely. The battery is almost always dead when I want to use one. Then I have to delay whatever I want to work on to charge one. Assuming that they still hold a charge, which they may not.

A corded tool, I can leave in a box for 3 years, then pick up, plug in, and run it all day if I need to, then put it away for another few years, and never have to worry about it.

We have a battery-powered drill that my girlfriend brought with her when we moved in together over 7 years ago. We use it very rarely, probably once every 4 months. We don't even have a charger, and the battery has never been changed. Still enough charge to screw into particleboard. I hope someone here can explain how this is possible :D

Is there a way to add an item as "I don't own this buy I want to know if anyone does"? I'm thinking of buying a https://www.terrakaffe.com/product/tk-01-b/ but I don't know how actually good it is and I can't find it on your site.

I'd probably also be willing to put up ~$5 dollars to have someone check out the product. I'm not sure if you could turn that into an effective compensation model for reviewers.

Interesting idea, just added this idea/feature to my backlog :)

When you get there: Consider allowing people to say they own the product, without writing a review for it. Then, allow people to request reviews for that product, along with specific questions they have about it. Send an email to the people who said they owned the product including the prompt from the requester, and publish their responses as reviews (with question as context).

On the reviewer side, I'm much more interested in reviewing a product if I got a note from an actual human asking about it. And maybe a little harder to game, since generic review text can't be copy-pasted as easily.

Thank you! Do you have some way to sign up for notifications for those sorts of releases?

I'm partially interested in this product and also very interested in the TK-01. I'd really love to have that machine but I don't want to pay $800 for a lemon.

looking for contributors?

Exactly! We can help out. Please let use know if you need any contributions from the community. Myself and (I'm sure) others are willing to help with this.

I am sick and tired of wasting money on buying products that last a year or two. It's also very bad for the environment. It increases the pill of trash that we're going to have to deal with someday.

How is your platform going to weed out the people who spent big bucks on some upper middle class targeted products and then double down, reality be damned, on their sunk cost saying it's the best stuff ever?

That seems to be the fate that has befallen the various other "quality products" forums, subreddits, etc.

On review/discussion sites I find it very useful to know how new an account is, how many posts they've made, and a score (up/down votes) on their previous posts.

I introduced a credibility system for every user, similar to Reddit's karma so people can see how trustworthy the user is in the Buy For Life community. I could also imagine picking reviewers by interviewing them initially - someone who owns and uses the product for a while.

That's not really enough. Any kind of credibility system can be hacked. You should ask two images, mandatory, and one of them should be 'my product', like a some kind of an actual clue, that the reviewer purchased it at least. If you add some basic checking, like a reverse image search on your own db and in the internet to vet out low effort tries, this would be the minimum to prevent hijacking the system.

I had somewhat similar idea for a site like this, but only for negative reviews. This kind of a site stops the incentive of forging fake review, like who wants to forge a bad one, but this still has to be protected from defamation attempts. That's why I was thinking of making the post somewhat complicated, but not impossible to make the system enough hard to protect it low efforts, which is at least 90% of the attempts, and the rest would be up for a moderation team. The credibility system could work only over protection

Actually, I don't think that durability is the primary driver of my shopping decisions.

I mean, I am a guy who still uses his 8 year old smartphone on a daily basis, so durability is relevant for me, but when I buy something, I want something good. So just because it is made of plastic and can be used for the next 350 years, doesn't mean I would enjoy using it for a single day.

Duration is just one aspect of a high quality product, but so is ease of use or overall functionality. High quality is what I want to buy. Nevertheless, I appreciate the undertaking to develop a platform that is not just about the price and has a higher goal in mind.

Durability in a class of products has a tendency to correlate with the realms of quality I personally care about in my experience. YMMV of course. My selection attributes are invariably different from yours.

Personally, I assign a higher "durability" to a product if it is easily repairable. Parts and schematics/instructions are readily available, at reasonable cost for generations. Ideally seven generations or engineering blueprints released once parts are discontinued. If necessary, I can Ship of Theseus-repair such products over time, which I'm okay with as long as the time between repairs is roughly about the time for less-durable products to break into irreparable junk (without an extensive fabrication shop, which I'm oh-so-ever-slowly building up but could never justify the cost of on that repair capability basis alone).

Most products I select on this durability basis tend to have been in the market for a long time and have a lot of thought refined into their design over that time. I suspect durability raising the cost means the manufacturer has to compete on other axes like usability, functionality, listening and incorporating customer field/operational experience, and overall value by marketing uses it can be put to. Functionality tends to take a hit, especially with commercial-grade gear (compare a commercial restaurant microwave to a consumer model), so I go in with that expectation; sometimes more features is just more fiddly bits to break.

Mostly I do this because I'm utterly fascinated by the shape of design decisions that stand the test of time, and I'm compensated sufficiently to pay for it. Partly I do this because our species faces an energy cliff within an absurdly brief blink of geologic time, and I wish we could keep increasing amounts of stuff out of landfills.

I think you're missing half of the point. It's a _review_ site for durable products. Presumably the reviews will tell you if it is good.

Maybe include any class action lawsuits, recalls issued, Etc.

Also don't let pissed off people derail product ratings because they are unhappy.

I'm thinking of a Wirecutter product research methodology and wiki below to list breakdown of materials, where they were sourced, changes in materials by manufacturer in later product updates, etc.

Let the users duke it out in the discussion section.

Basically avoid being Yelp and full of amateur reviews and people gaming the review system.

I would love for this to be an open source 'consumer affairs' product quality watchdog/authority. Too many times do manufacturers do a bait and switch where the first version has durable parts then subsequent versions are tweaked with cost cutting measures and you have inferior pieces that breakdown when they've captured a large market share of customers.

Unlike software, there is no 'what's new in this update' readme overview and you never really know if the manufacturer decided to cut corners by using a factory in Shenzhen that mass produces cheapo materials when they were previously made in a factory in middle America with a higher standard of quality, etc.


Helpful inputs, thanks! The degrading quality problem is one of the top-priorities on my list. I could imagine a timeline where you can see when products were launched and how they were rated over time.

> average cost per month of ownership

Speaking strictly to that, I cannot agree more. This is exactly how I look at purchases, especially larger ones. I'm sure many others think the same way.

Probably the first time this occurred to me was when I bought my first wireless headphones (bose qc35, FWIW). It hit me like a ton of bricks that I wasn't buying them, I was renting them:

* They will not last forever. Batteries die, wireless specifications change; some day I may buy a phone that uses GreenTooth instead of BlueTooth.

* In the event that I like this new (to me) product category (I had never owned noise-cancelling headphones before), I will always want to own such a thing, that does what this does, and is compatible with my device.

Because it has a limited lifespan, and the product may be something i want to continue to own for the rest of my foreseeable life, I am now signing up to pay a certain amount for life to own such a thing!

I always find the monthly cost hits me hard. Its weird to think that buying something is going to cost me $20/month when I would instantly reject subscribing to a $20/month service normally.

As a poor person this is so valuable.

Cheap boots are more expensive....

Are they really though?

On the topic of boots, let's say we're talking about high-cut hiking boots. I'm not an avid hiker. I do casual hiking sometimes so I just wear regular shoes to those. When I do slightly more strenuous hiking, I wear a specific pair of high-cut hiking boots that I own. I get a chance to do this maybe once a year, or less.

I bought a pair of Denali ones from Big5 for $40 for this purpose. It has been with me for 10 years now with barely any wear. If I don't use it often enough, it makes almost no difference to me to get a $400 "more durable" pair. The $40 pair is not going to get worn out in another 20-30 years at least. I probably won't go through more than say 2 pairs of these in my lifetime.

Is that an uncommon example? Maybe, but I'm not sure it's as uncommon as one would think. How about a travel backpack? I used to travel multiple times a year. Now that I have a young kid, I don't anymore. I go with a $20 backpack that I've used for a number of years that is still in decent enough condition to keep using. I'm probably not going to get much use out of it for the next 10 years before my kid is old enough to travel around the world with me.

How about a cast iron pan? They aren't dishwasher safe, and as a parent, I save time whenever I can. I don't own a cast iron pan, but even if I do, 99% of the time I'll pick up one of these non-stick sauce pans I bought from Costco as a set for a decent price of good quality that is dishwasher safe, when cooking. I've only owned these for a year but based on my experience with past sauce pans, one usually last me a good ~10 years, and that's with very regular home cooking. The iron handle skillet on this site costs $180. The set I got from Costco costs about that much, for a set of 4 pots and 4 pans.

Overall, I'm not sure I buy this entire idea of "buy expensive durable things because it'll cost less in the long run". That just hasn't been my experience in most cases, other than some very specific examples.

I think part of the problem is that price doesn't dictate quality. It can be an indicator, but it's no guarantee.

And for occasional-use things, higher quality doesn't help as much, as you've seen.

Finally, having an item that fits you well can be better than an item that'll last longer. 10x so for occasional-use items.

For instance, I had a spatula that I loved. I have never found an better one, and every spatula that I've owned since then has been quite inferior. I bought that spatula at Walmart on impulse for just a few dollars. Someone broke it, and I've been searching for a replacement for it for years.

Bingo. If price was a good enough indicator for quality there would be no need for OP‘s website.

The "boots" analogy comes from a time when boots were a daily-wear item. You're right -- for infrequently used items, daily cost of ownership isn't as relevant of a metric. For for something you actually use daily or almost-daily (laptop, headphones, shoes, cars, etc) it makes sense.

FWIW, that particular cast iron pan seems to have some sort of ceramic coating, which.. makes it more nonstick or easier to clean, or something? I'm not sure. If you don't care about that, go for the $20 lodge cast iron pan, which will also last a lifetime.

But I agree with sibling comments, you don't need to buy quality for the stuff you rarely use. And/or, you may be able to not buy it at all. A high quality set of basic knives (chef+paring+serrated) and the acquired skill to use them can replace many kitchen gizmos.

The Samuel Vimes Boots theory of socioeconomic unfairness.

I love the idea, but the site needs some more work. For example, on an iPhone with chrome I’m unable to actually search for anything (there is no “search” button on the keyboard on the search bar. I can enter text but it just sits there. Possibly incorrect annotations on the widget?).

Could you try again? I made some changes and tested it on Chrome and Firefox.

Looks to be working now!

Same here, but using FireFox on MacOS.

Same for me, but FF and MS-Edge on Win10. I disabled uBlock Origin, and also tried a private window to no avail.

Among the challenges for a site like this is the dimension of time. An outstanding brand one year can become a scourge five years later. But does the site's algorithm account for this?

Something that would be cool is if users uploaded pictures of their old gear. That would add genuinity and would also hint how well it holds up.

Best suggestion of the whole thread! Optional addition of the posters face in the picture would make it even harder to fake (see for instance TIL Threads on Reddit).

This is real - lots of previous BiFL brands/products have gotten significantly diluted over time as the company cuts materials costs, etc.

I think a present-value calculation of the cost to buy+run+maintain would be a more accurate/useful metric (i.e. present value of cash flows https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Present_value#Net_present_valu...) - although perhaps it is too sophisticated to be done well in practice for a crowd-data-aggregation project like this. If something costs me $100 to buy, and $10 every year to maintain for 20 years, that is not the equivalent of costing me $300 dollars today - because most of those dollars are spent in the future and need to be discounted by inflation and opportunity-cost investment rates. So it might actually only have a net present value cost of $200 in today's dollars. Somehow you have to account for the time-value-of-money factor in order to properly combine the up-front cost with ongoing operation/maintenance costs.

Some people do things for reasons other than cash. For example I'll buy a TV that lasts rather than a new Vizio one each year because I cant be bothered and dont want to generate the waste.

Is it brand based, or product based? In the URL I see /brand/ and /product/.

I have trouble finding reliable floor lamp like [this](https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/c38e8535-2ee2-477d-9e9a-836...). The base is almost always coming off after using for a few years so the whole thing is unstable.

It's both, you can search for products or brands.

  > the longer you own something, the longer you own
  > something, the more you save
Unless the newer model can do the same while using less resources. Or is generally safer. Or does not use toxic materials previous models did. Etc.

Great idea!

List of more durable items:

Stainless steel frying pan instead of nonstick frying pans where the non stick coating wears off. Cast iron even better.

Plain bicycle without electric parts easier to recycle metal.

Durable quality Screens drivers.

Non electric espresso maker. Bailetto.

Corded headphones no batteries that wear out. Changable parts. No wireless protocol that go obsolete.

LifePo4 lithium iron batteries instead of lithium cobalt chemistry. Cobalt is a conflict mineral mining that puts out dangerous pollutants. Lifepo4 can take more recharge cycles than cobalt chemistry and are safer.

Reasoning is if the product last for life it’s more environmentally sustainable.

Cell phones are on the opposite end of the last for life spectrum.

> Stainless steel frying pan instead of nonstick frying pans where the non stick coating wears off. Cast iron even better.

They're called nonstick for a reason; stainless steel does not compare. You'll have more sticking problems cooking eggs on a steel pan drowning in butter than on a (new) nonstick pan with minimal grease.

I do own an 18th-century cast iron pan and it has pretty good seasoning. I use it for many things, almost daily, but I'm still glad I own nonstick pans too.

Stainless steel frying pans have their place, so I'm not sure why you're saying they "don't compare." Sure, they "don't compare" for a non-stick scrambled egg, but there are more things that get made in the kitchen.

For me personally, my most-used pans in order are my 12" cast iron, my 10" cast iron, my 12" All-clad stainless steel, my 6" cast iron, and my 6" non-stick is last, mostly for eggs.

Stainless is excellent for anything like a pasta sauce where you're starting with sautéing onions and such.

Stuck on bits can be a feature rather than a problem. Deglaze with some wine and make a sauce!

100% -- I never use my stainless frying pans because they are such a nightmare to get food to release and clean up afterwards.

We use a cast iron and a nonstick - that's it. You can cover 95% of use cases with that.

These are the only pans I use at the moment but I've been thinking about adding a stainless pan. How do you handle dishes where you're frying something, but then need to add some vinegar, a tomato base, or a cup of water to boil into the pan after frying? I use my cast iron at the moment because these dishes start with a lot of frying and then go straight in the oven near the end, but they're pretty hard on the seasoning in the pan. I've been thinking the stainless pan might be good for these so it can still go in the oven and I don't have to worry about the vinegar destroying my seasoning.

I wonder about that too - a bit of white wine or vinegar to deglaze the pan, that seems to unstick anything.

We gave up on nonstick - we never found a good one that wasn't ruined within a year. With the right balance of a bit of olive oil and a bit of butter, I can fry and scramble eggs in my cast iron without it sticking.

No way. If you use a soft plastic or wood spoon it should last much longer than that. My 10 CHF frying pan is still good after 8 years.

What's CHF? I found a CHF pan company but I only saw cast iron.

And my wife won't use cast iron because it's too heavy and hurts her wrist.

Each of these (non-stick, stainless, cast iron) are great for the appropriate application, while also having downsides (like ANY tool). Knowing what to use, and when, comes from experience.

> They're called nonstick for a reason; stainless steel does not compare.

Cooking eggs in a stainless steel pan is a bad example because you shouldn't do that. They are useful for different jobs. Stainless os great for other things, like cooking a piece of meat (try getting that fond in a non-stick pan!), or frying some potatoes... etc

Not sure about nonstick skillets. Put a little grease in one - it doesn't stick, just floats around. Put in the egg- sinks under the grease, adheres instantly to the skillet surface like paint. Never had a 'nonstick' skillet work. Just me?

I stay with cast iron, for decades now. No problems.

>Stainless steel frying pan instead of nonstick frying pans where the non stick coating wears off. Cast iron even better.

that's misleading if not outright wrong.

the counterpart to nonstick is not cast iron or stainless steel -- it's carbon steel. carbon steel pans compare well to nonstick when seasoned (good woks are still carbon steel, and you can still find good carbon steel skillet pans, just not by lodge).

Which pans would you recommend? I have found non stick ones to be garbage because the coating gets scratched. I have a SS pan but its super sticky even with oil. My cast iron one works well and is fairly non stick but a pain to clean.

check out America's Test Kitchen's review:


These interesting comparisons could even be included in the Buy For Life score for each product or brand.

This is awesome! I actually was tinkering with a community driven review aggregator for all things. Post a link to the product and your review. 2 issues I ran into were: - "taking" product info from the links to be resilient to link breakage without breaking conditions of use - moderation of user submitted content in order to prevent the bot/fake review issues on platforms like amazon

Seems like you only take the photo here? So that's a good mitigation of point #1. What about point #2? Curious to know if you have a good plan to deal with that :)

Consumer reports tries to grapple with this problem by capturing brand reliability by long term surveying their users.

I really appreciate your attempt and wish you the best because I want this.

I love this concept. I share this same problem and I will definitely be checking back here.

Do you have plans to monetize this in the future? How do you expect to sustain it?

I'm a bit careful with monetization since it could harm the trustworthiness and independence of the platform, but once it gets more popular, I will definitely think about it. I could imagine a Buy For Life badge/widget that companies could integrate on their website.

> this project is completely non-commercial and entirely community-driven.

Would you be open to pressing the content cc-by-sa? That would make me more interested in contributing reviews.

Also, I went looking for your terms of service (to see if they mentioned licensing already), and all I found was a link to some Google page, even when I clicked to sign in "by email".

I really like your idea, pushing sustainable products of every day use is essential for our society.

Links to teardowns like AvE does and quantitative reviews like Project Farm does can help users evaluate by themselves. You could add editorial value by assigning your own metrics based upon those.

Are you, or will you, including information from Consumer Reports?

I'm pretty sure CR doesn't let you do that. They don't even allow you to advertise with their name saying they recommended it.

Add patreon so people can support/fund it!

I guess a problem it'd be interesting to think about is sifting false reviews from real ones.

It reminds me a little of epinions.com ... a long forgotten startup that I liked very much.

You should try accessing your site with cookies disabled.

Love it. Great idea.

I like the concept but since it's open to the public it will suffer from ignorance.

For example, take the Salomon Quest boots that are listed. I own a pair of them. While they're good boots for the price they do not deserve an A- score. They are not BIFL. The soles are glued making them not resoleable. The sole on one of mine has started coming unglued too.

The same can be said for the Victorinox Fibrox knife that has an A+ rating. I also have one of those. It's a great knife for its low price but it does not deserve an A+ since it isn't full tang and is very thin and easy to damage.

This is a common issue with "BIFL" discussions. People overrate something because they don't understand that parts will wear out from use, something isn't repairable, or they don't have experience with a higher quality item.

Do you have any thoughts for dealing with this issue?

Op can't avoid this problem if following the reviews-masquerading-as-affiliate-marketing pattern.

What's needed is to turn it all upside down: rather than reviewing new products, review broken products.

Make a site about how things break -- review broken and worn-out products to teach how to identify cheap products (where are the stress points, what manufacturing techniques exist to alleviate those). Then compare those with used products well past their warranty period that haven't broken, and look at why they haven't.

Repairability also comes to mind. Everything breaks eventually -- can't cheat entropy -- but when it does, can you easily repair it? Right-to-repair movement would get in on the action.

Damn, I love this! Sort of a crowd-sourced ifixit for anything broken. It would be hard as hell to get good content, but if you could I think it would be gold.

It would be so hard to maintain repair guides with how frequently products update these days. Everything from vacuums to laptops to shoes go through frequent enough revisions that guides might be invalidated often.

I went to repair my vacuum last month and discovered most of the guides out there cover an revision which uses a totally different latching mechanism for the door to my intake filter. The doors look identical, but the internal latch works differently. Overall that would have been fine, but I got blocked on the door part because the procedure didn't work and I assumed I was going to break it if I tried something else, haha. Turned out I just needed to push in and slide down.

It’s be great to tackle for smartphones. And an experienced repair shop tech could probably write it all!

Ifixit actually has a pretty stellar site for most common phones - at least, every phone I’ve owned so far.


I’m realizing now that they’ve actually got way more content than I thought. It isn’t review format, but they rate how difficult different components are to repair on most items which is a step towards what I want.

Weird that I thought they only did phones/tablets/computers.

I like that idea. Include a spot for "how do I fix it" or "repair guide".

Funny you call out the Fibrox. I don't think full-tang is a prerequisite for BIFL. Why? Because I have my grandmother's kitchen knife from Ireland from the 1910's and it isn't full tang and is still a workhorse despite having the handle replaced sometime in the 70's.

So what is a rating system to do when people have very different ideas on BIFL?

For this existential dilemma, it would be helpful if the top DIMENSIONS of quality were explored. In this case with a knife: tang, bolster, handle material, riveting, metal type, hardness, grind angle, etc are all variables that have either a PREFERENCE scale or a DURABILITY scale. I don't think a simple NoSQL-comment-style database is sufficient to define what elements need to be considered to rank a product as high quality vs. low quality.

You must know about AvE's YouTube channel, yes? He's an engineer who deeply understands metallurgy and machining and industrial design, so he can explore these vectors of quality for power tools:


This kind of professional analysis is needed FIRST, to determine what the key metrics are. Then the rating system should grade based on this, rather than 5-stars.

Five star reviews are dead. Long live multiple variables!

That would be great but also very time consuming to do and manage.

> So what is a rating system to do when people have very different ideas on BIFL?

Objective vs subjective is something that's hard to overcome without a complex system like you suggest. I agree it's at the heart of the problem I described and I don't know if there's a practical solution, especially for a side project.

Another thing is product revisions. Version 1 might be an actual BIFL product. Version 2 might have a small yet significant revision impacting quality. Even process revisions like offloading part of the manufacturing process or a different part supplier can impact the longevity of a product.

...or be bought by a private equity firm with a spreadsheet that says the craft-built premium reputation can be gutted and slapped onto cheaply-made versions for x years before the market notices the shift but by then enough profit will have been extracted that acquiring and gutting the brand will have made net positive financial returns.

There's a famous story that I believe Henry Ford scavenged junk yards for broken Model T's. Every time he found one, he recorded what was broken. After finding enough of them, he figured out the part that was never broken was something like the front axle assembly. So he went to his axle engineers, told them they built it too strong, and find ways to cut costs.

I sold computers and computer accessories at a big box store, and there was an HP rep that would sometimes hang out in the printer aisle to answer questions and evangelize HP printers. I remember he told me a story of how, when HP printers were built really solidly, the CEO had a meeting where he demonstrated this by standing on the printer, and it didn't budge. The takeaway to this wasn't, "Hey, we make a great product. Look at this!" It was, "Hey, we make too durable of a product. We should cut costs because this is costing too much!"

Not to nitpick, and I dont know those boots in particular, but the wildfire hiking boots owned by myself and friends have glued soles and local cobbler has resoled at least a couple pairs.

Your overall point, however, is important. I find reviews of outdoors gear (even professional reviews) especially tilted toward light-use buyers, which is frustrating.

That's interesting. I didn't realize there were cobblers who resoled glued hiking boots. I guess it depends on the sole being available for purchase?

It’s a very common practice for climbing shoes, whether for mountaineering


or rock climbing


The former cost in the ball park of 200 USD to resole, the latter about 30 USD. Unfortunately, I don’t think sneakers, running or approach shoes can be resoled.

"BIFL" footwear; genuinely curious, does such a product even exist?

You raise a good point, which makes this even harder to do right. What is the "life" of a particular product? Sure I could buy a pair of hiking boots that would last me for my literal lifetime, except that I'm already 50, and I "hike" a short public trail about once a year.

My dad, however, always carries a pocket knife (for fishing purposes), and I've seen them get so much wear, the inside of the blade starts getting worn away from being sharpened so often. What's a "lifetime" for someone who sharpens a knife every other week? That's going to wear out even a "BIFL" pocket knife much sooner than "life" would lead you to believe.

There needs to be a way to incorporate the duty cycle of the thing being reviewed, and length of time owned, but then you're just back to the problem of people gaming a review system, and the commercial internet has ruined everything.

https://nicksboots.com/ or something similar — if you get footwear that's handmade and custom, it can last you for 20-30 years which is enough to warrant the BIFL tag in my book.

But pretty much anything off-the-shelf I would have to see some extraordinary evidence.

You can certainly buy shoes that will last for decades, if you're diligent with maintenance.

BUT, you're still going to need (probably) multiple resoles, patching, and what not.

Take a look at the shoes Prince Charles is wearing - they're bespoke shoes from the 50s.

But you need to ask yourself - at what point do you just scrap them, and buy a new pair?

Some people love the vintage "relic" look - but every resole and patching is going to cost you money. Purchasing a pair of $1000 shoes, and then spending $1000-$2000 on maintenance the next 50 years will make sense for some, but not for others.

I personally, would much rather just buy a new pair of $500-$1000 shoes every 10-15 years, and discard the old ones when they start to look too shabby.

I live my guitars old and reliced, but shoes ? No thanks. When / if my shoes need patching, I'm throwing them.

Older Dr Martens were said to be virtually indestructible (at least according to some older friends of mine).

Dr Martens also had, at some point, sold a "for life" line that came with an extensive guarantee:

> The guarantee covers the failure of any component, such as upper leather, stitched seams, eyelets, soles, welts, linings and reinforcements which has been subjected to normal wear and tear from non-industrial abuse and not unreasonably abused. The guarantee will be active from the day on which the original owner activates their guarantee, to the end of that person's natural life.


I have had several of these that I still wear after 20 years. They have been refurbished.

You could certainly buy Danner's for life. https://www.danner.com/boot-recrafting

I have had Red Wings last for a decade+ without showing any signs of letting up, beyond re-soling from time to time. And I wear them every day.

I like the BIFL concept.

The problem is I find BIFL communities often can't distinguish between just more expensive, or rando add on features / durability ... from actual utility / quality.

I feel like the website needs a way to enter how long the person has owned the product and if it was light/heavy use.

The ratings could then be weighted by that.

Years of ownership and frequency of usage are fields in the product submission form. It's not yet included in the rating itself, but that's definitely the plan.

Similar to floatrock's proposol [1] of turning reviews upside down... Imagine being able to track broken-ness (when, how, why) in the field across all products of the same model. And doing so for each product you own. "Default reviews" [2] is one way to do it. Pull requests welcome.

1 upside down - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24710832

2 default reviews - https://gist.github.com/iL3D/59df64947d42828d848ebfc1651a312...

Yeah, BIFL takes a while to sink in as a concept for a good chunk of people. Lots still think it’s just buying a high quality product and don’t consider that it’s about lifetime longevity.

I think a lot of the BIFL folks out there find it really hard to distinguish between 'oh it has better materials' and 'lifetime longevity'. They're not the same... and they fall for a lot of luxury brands that just look nice / provide some sense of better workmanship / materials, but reality doesn't match up.

"how long have you owned the product" Sort by oldest?

One of the most interesting things you can ask in a store with high-end clothing is "Which of your items are most likely to last a hundred years?" There's a special joy that arises between you and the shopkeeper as the veil of bullshit disappears and they tell you up front that 95% of the clothes they sell are disposable name-brand garbage made overseas, but THIS item, typically made of denim, or wool, or leather, has been made in the same place in the same way for a century, and they see customers come in wearing their 50-year old article regularly.

Of course it's much easier to buy this year's model of something hyped & shiny without thinking and then post on a site like this to prop up your ego and mislead everybody else. I'd venture to say that if something hasn't been in production for the length of a lifetime, there's no justification in labeling it as "Buy it for life"

Another example is e.g. original England-made Dr Martens shoes (the China-made ones are held in poor regard, apparently). Apart from highly durable and long-lasting, for me an important factor is repairability. You can take such a shoe to a generic repair shop and replace parts if e.g. you walked on glass and it cut through the sole.

Meanwhile my SO bought some fashionable expensive sneakers that broke in the sole after a few days of wearing. SO took them back to the shop and they just gave SO another pair. That’s just sad.

I've had the same experience with old stock Dr Martens bought from a bunch of cockneys at a shop near Brick Lane, the longest a pair of shoes of mine ever lasted until then. Years later I ordered some from Amazon which I suspect may have been fake since it got damaged very quickly and after a long walk I ended up with a foot injury. I've since discovered Rieker shoes by accident and it's looking like it's lasting at least as long.

If it's all just plastic, you can melt the broken thing and make something new from it. It doesn't have to be such a bad thing.

Not sure if you're looking for site design suggestions but I would get rid of the "carousel" and instead have a grid of items below the fold so people can scroll for a brand they recognize.

The carousel is simultaneously too slow and too fast. The visitor has to sit and wait to see a brand they recognize, and then when they do, they only have a second to recognize and click.

Scroll works well on all modern devices and empowers the visitor. There's a reason so many landing pages are tall.

Yes. Move your current home page to an About page.

The home page is the product so it should have a big search box, a list of categories, and then some top items. Ideally, all three of these will fit above the fold on mobile and desktop. Don't do infinite scroll. At the bottom, have a bigger category list, another search box, and a site map footer. Later, you can use session recording to see how strangers use your landing page and then make it really good. Make your call-to-action button "Add Review" bold.

Show ownership costs in meaningful units: $/100-washes for clothing, $/100-miles for footwear/socks/cycling gear, $/year for business equipment, $/100-meals for kitchen equipment. Put the ownership cost on the search results page and product page, not the item cost. When receiving a review, ask how many times/miles/washes the person used the item every month, when they bought it, and when did it break. When showing the review to others, show the calculated ownership cost as a single number.

Some products are so good that they take many years to wear out. Reviews for products that haven't broken can be misleading. For these kinds of products, your review submission page can explicitly ask if the product wore out or not.

Another problem to solve later: Companies sometimes change a product without changing its name or version number. Usually they make it cheaper. The cheaper version is a different product. The review site should list it as a different product and separate the ratings & reviews. You could use year numbers, eg. "DrTung's Smart Floss (2006)" and "DrTung's Smart Floss (2019)".

People give wildly different responses when asked for star ratings. So don't do that. Instead, ask a concrete question and use that to calculate a rating. Examples: "Will you buy this again when it wears out?" "Would you recommend that your family/friends buy this?" "Do you use other products that do the same thing as this?"

Most folks can't keep track of their purchases & uses so here's your paid product idea: Make an app that lets me record when I bought something, how often I use it, and how much it's costing me. Give me the option of sharing my anonymized usage data with others. Make it super easy to add an item, for example, let me forward order confirmation emails to your service or copy/paste chunks from an email or a product page. Sell the app super cheap: $5/year, $1/month.

It'll be a crowd-sourced Consumer Reports. I pay for Consumer Reports now because I think they really help society. They just need to modernize. Now is your chance!

I've thought about building something like this for a while. There is definitely a need.

I've found a huge problem with products is that their quality changes over time. So, a product may be named the same but the SKU changes or the products from a couple of years back were much better made for whatever reason while the company has gutted them and continues to sell on reputation. I've wondered if there's a way to track product changes (user reported maybe?) between revisions of products on a wide scale. Can you convert the "years owned" to a purchase date somewhere? Are you tracking SKUs?

How will you handle fake reviews?

It does not work on firefox with disabled ads, trackers etc. I got white screen without content.

I dont know if the reason is that site isn't compatible with firefox or some other "measure" but those are the urls that were blocked, if it helps you fixing it.

https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-154925745-1 (blocked by ublock origin)

https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.... (blocked by ublock origin)

https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat:400,500,6... (blocked by LocalCDN)

https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans&display=sw... (blocked by LocalCDN)

https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Cookie (blocked by LocalCDN)

Yea, I'm running Firefox 78.2 and none of the product images are displaying.

Same here. This is what I see: https://i.imgur.com/lrI3y7j.png

I quite like this because we all need reliable reviews/ratings.

But, how do we deal with product model or component changes?

A couple examples:

"Earthquake" impact wrench from Harbor Freight. Purchased ten years ago, used a lot--for an amateur (maybe a couple thousand high torque automotive bolts, sunk some cement anchors). This product is currently sold by HF, but is much changed.

The site's example of Lodge cast iron. I cook on cast iron 90% of the time and my older lodge pan is much better than a newish one. The newer one has a more coarse surface, is strangely lighter.

Maybe rating by brand would be better. Harbor Freight is known for high variance. If they added a “no really, not destined for a landfill” brand line that was 99% unbreakable, then that would bubble up to the top.

The problem with trusting brands is that manufacturers (like whirlpool and frigidaire) intentionally rotate which of their sub brands is garbage every few years to prevent people from avoiding planned obsolescence.

Better then, to go off of manufacturers / holding companies / design houses, but that varies by industry. (In computing, counting all the name brand computer companies as design houses would make sense. But then, what about ikea appliances? They’re mostly rebranded whirlpools...)

The other problem is that internal politics can tear down a reliable brand in less time than it takes their old stuff to fail. Various shoe brands in the late 90’s come to mind. They went from reliably lasting years to lasting 6 months (there was a trend where the hiking or leather tongue bottoms were replaced by tennis shoe style material).

I agree that by-brand ratings are too complicated--even if my lizard brain operates that way.

Maybe now I'm yelling at clouds, but it feels like I have to do deep research on everything, now. Everything I read, everything I need to buy, everything. It's tiresome and terrible and is why a site like this could be...really, so helpful.

Yeah. This happens everywhere. Five years back I bought an expensive and sturdily-built couch. Liked it so much I bought a second (after a series of moves during which the first one was given/long-term-loaned to a friend). Same brand, price, etc. The new one was complete shit. The back of it was close to cardboard; I put my knee through it while nudging it around! And this is something in the several thousand $ range! Don't buy Gus Modern furniture.

Cool project. How do you intend to keep ratings aligned with durability rather than “I bought this a few weeks ago and really like it so I’ll give it 5 stars!”?

The weight of the rating will be weighted based on the "years owned" of a review and the trustworthiness score of the reviewer.

How do you manage trustworthiness? This is an issue I've been thinking about for quite some time and haven't found a satisfactory solution to.

I like this idea and a lot of similar information sharing sites but I find in today's environment, anything successful will be targeted by misinformation and gamed which makes it difficult to determine if the information was provided in an uninfluenfed manner from the product creator/retailer/etc. who have obvious conflicted goals.

The best efforts seem to be information sites that are successful enough to gather enough data to represent something accurately from a user base but not so successful it becomes a target for corporate advertising and marketing groups. Reddit communities still provides some of this but have become a target for advertising as well and also are more difficult to extract useful information from.

Amazon has "verified purchase" which is still gamed using other techniques. I've found the best model is still Consumer Reports for fair product assessments but they only speculate on durability since it would be incredibly difficult for their product assessment model (new products rolling out frequently, modified/re-released/etc and limited staff/personal time to keep up with).

A strong community of invested users is achieving these goals of trustworthiness on a bargains aggregator site I use.

Any bs is quickly shot down by the users, typically within minutes. It is a hard crowd for someone not posting a true bargain!

Sockpuppets are detected nearly instantly as some blessed members check the post history of accounts and flag and suspicious or new accounts that are posting things that don't pass the sniff test.

The site is ozbargain.com.au

The site also tends to provide insight as to quality, longevity, issues etc of products .. I had a quick browse of OPs site and I applaud the idea but I will personally be sticking to ozbargain as it fulfils the same need for product info, plus many more such as bargains, discoverability, and a great laugh from time to time like https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/569582

Which site is that?

Consumer Reports can be really useful.

I've found them to be great for getting up to speed on quality of products like snow blowers, some kinds of cars, etc. Their model seems like the only way to provide a service that good, outside of embedding with a community of enthusiasts enough to make yourself an expert consumer.

I wish there was some way to provide their service for free, but I don't think we should discount the possibility that there literally isn't a way to crowd-source here -- that the only options that work well are (a) their current model, consumers buy subscription to consumer reports, (b) some huge-enough-to-benefit-from-ecosystem-level-effects patron foots the bill for ConsumerReports or something like it.

Long shot, but maybe someday a marketplace like Amazon could be a patron. They struggle with lots of sub-par products being sold, so maybe being the patron of such a service could be rationalized as a PR move as well as a practical benefit to buyers/a way of providing stronger-quality signal.

I know that if I could see a pop-up link to Consumer Reports' info on a product when buying -- or, better yet, choose to restrict my buying only to things that are confirmed to be awesome by CR when I'm buying a BIFL type product, so I don't waste my time -- I'd buy BIFL stuff on Amazon more frequently.

I think even the CR model has drawbacks - users on this thread talk about degradation of product quality from a manufacturer over time. It's hard to imagine that even a CR model could handle that. Their comparisons are a snapshot.

I still turn to Wirecutter or Outdoor Gear Lab first when I'm trying to understand the landscape and feature set of major purchases because you're right, that's the only way to make a broad comparison.

Amazon does sponsor several review sites via their Onsite Associates program[1]. The bigger challenge for me with buying BIFL from Amazon is that they seem to have real problems with counterfeit goods[2]

1 - https://digiday.com/media/revel-keeping-messy-amazons-onsite... 2 - https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/amazon-counterfeit-f...

> and the trustworthiness score of the reviewer.

Out of curiosity, how resistant is that score to being gamed?

I love the idea for your platform, and would probably be willing to pay some amount for access, if there's a good way to verify that it's not being manipulated.

That's great, but manufacturers cut costs all the time and that super-durable dingus you bought in 1997 (or even 2017) might be entirely different than the same model being sold today.

Also, how do you separate people who have a bad experience because they unknowingly bought a counterfeit? It's a tough problem to solve.

Yeah, it would only really be valuable / trustworthy if the reviewer was verified to have bought and owned the product for x years; I'm not sure if there's an automated way to do that, unless one interfaces with the various sellers of products (e.g. Amazon, but you won't get much BIFL stuff from Amazon compared to the manufacturer's shops / physical shops).

Maybe just a trust system, with the ability to update reviews in future would be a good start.

I'm in the same boat. I started living a more minimal lifestyle about 2 years ago. All my stuff fits into a 35L bag.

So I prefer to pay a premium for high quality durable products. If they can solve the trust problem, I'd be a customer.

I hope for a larger counter movement to the consumerism today. Reward companies for making durable products and punish those who don't.

Great idea!

Had roughly the same question - was actually a bit disappointed when seeing some products. There should be a reallybuyforyourwholelife.com :) I mean cast iron skillets are spot on, but I don't see most fridges, shoes or socks last a lifetime (though obviously there's going to be huge differences between brands and types in durability). Then realized it's hard to come up with a mechanism forcing users to really post only this particular 'last a lifetime' category. Except goodwill. Though on the other hand if the site gets used enough, the reviews sort it out automatically.

I constantly tried to get feedback to validate the idea. As I mentioned before, it started as a simple list of brands and has now evolved into a full platform, thanks to feedback from users :) It seems that HackerNews user want a certain maturity of a product/website.

There's also just a huge amount of randomness involved. It's common for a story get posted a bunch of times, all ignored, then on the nTH submission it happens to get traction and hits the front page.

I'm impressed at the tenacity. OP finally got the pop s/he was looking for!

The most recent of these is 5 months ago, that's fine to do a few times in my opinion (especially if the owner improved it!). Those four are submitted much closer together though (span of 2 months it seems), it shouldn't be a repetition of that now...

I'm in support of things like this, but I also feel like maximizing durability is too simplistic.

When I'm looking to purchase something, the concerns are usually something like.

1. Minimizing the shared cost of throwing the thing away.

2. Maximizing durability.

3. Maximizing the actual efficacy of the thing.

4. Maximizing worker benefit - economical and political.

5. Minimizing animal suffering.

Not everyone is going to have the same mix of goals or order of goals and many have just one overriding goal: Minimizing up-front consumer cost.

So, for example, a "smart-fiber" shirt might be far more durable than a 100% cotton shirt, the throw-away cost is much higher so I'll pass. I'm not saying your site should account for this, but things are complicated, especially among conscious consumers which is an increasingly niche market anyway due to both preference and circumstance.

Edit: Oh I should also add somewhere in there

#. Maximizing ease of repair/cleaning.

eg. MacBook vs. Pinebook or Carpet vs. Hardwood etc.

Looks great.

This is probably on your TODO list, but I wanted to make sure you were aware in case it isn't.

Your terms of service and privacy policy are:

a) Not linked to anywhere except the login screen in very small text. Seems to be part of Google sign in?

b) Clicking them goes nowhere. I suspect you setup Google login and didn't provide links to a terms / privacy screen.

If you're going to be collecting logins (maybe all you store is an email address?) you should probably throw something basic together. Kind of surprised Google doesn't require it when using their sign in.

I personally won't login / enter information on any website without knowing their terms of use and privacy policy.

You are right, I totally forgot to add ToS and privacy policy. It's still an early prototype, but I will definitely fix that soon and give this task the required priority!

You're at least six months into the service being public and you forgot to add a privacy policy or terms of service? And you posted it numerous times to HN in the past. That's really strange overall.

Really? How much time do you spend reading ToS and privacy policies?

Doesn't take long, maybe 15 minutes per if they aren't massive (massive being an immediate red flag to me). Usually skimming and looking for certain things since they are usually very similar / boilerplate. I don't sign up for a new SaaS every day though so it's not a huge inconvenience for me.

About 0 minutes per week

A couple of hours a week.

Great idea. I just left a review. Was asked to register after reviewing. I registered and was brought back to the product page with no review on the page.

I expected the review to be posted. If it's in a moderation queue I'd expect to see a message indicating that's the case. And if the review didn't get saved I probably wouldn't leave another one.

Did you add a review or just a comment? Signup is indeed required for write-operations, but it should bring you back to the product page with the pre-filled comment. Will look into that later, thanks for reporting :)

I don't know the difference between a review and a comment. I reviewed a product in the box under "Discussion" here:


BTW for SEO juice you might want to change URLs to include the product slug. E.g. something like:


Late to this but I've owned 2 Leatherman Waves and will continue to own them as long as they are produced. I've lost one, and the second purchase included having the tool replaced for free after 5 years when I'd ruined most of the features due to hard use. This was a mix of 'professional' and hobby use.

This brings to mind some considerations for you:

1. Professional tier tools are often much hardier than consumer, and often a pro tool would last a lifetime for a consumer user, but only a few cycles professionally

2. Warranty and replacement is very important here. Example is Osprey who _had_ an incredible no questions replacement, but they've changed it while keeping the "all-mighty-guarantee" name.

Elements to consider. I'll try add a Leatherman review.

The trouble with finding BIFL products is that by the time it is old enough to know that it is BIFL, the product has been severely cost reduced and if you bought a new one it would no longer be BIFL. Sigh.

That's one of the issues I try to solve with this platform. I want to find durable products that are still on the market with a similar quality for years.

Have you ever looked at the BIFL subreddit?

One user explained the problem with the BIFL community very well in his post:

"I joined this sub for the purpose of buying stuff like lifetime warranty backpacks (osprey), great tools, camp gear, kitchen wear ect. Yet this sub has basically became an Instagram for the old shit people find in they're grandparents house which offers no benefit to me now. I'm not going to buy, nor could I even find a kitchen aid mixer you grandma still uses from the 70s. Most stuff back then was made to last, we know that. I want stuff thats still made today with quality."

Looks great! I've been looking for something like this. Easy to navigate. Clean. Not too information dense. I think the only suggestion I could make would be to weight the scores by the number of reviews. I personally think a product with 100 reviews and an aggregate rating of 4 is probably a better product than one that has a single review of 5.

How do you plan on keeping out fake reviews?

Yeah this is cool, but if it gets any traction I'd expect the fake reviews to quickly make the site useless without a ton of investment into spam detection. Given that Amazon sucks at this as a trillion dollar company with purchase data, I don't have much hope for a new startup or personal project (not sure which it is), but I'd really love to be proven wrong.

To be honest I was hoping it was even more like RottenTomatoes, focused on aggregating credible professional reviews of products (like RT focuses on professional critics, though they do also have user reviews).

How does having a "professional critic" only prevent you from getting fake reviews? It could easily be manipulated by companies paying reviewers for biased reviews. Same as sponsored YouTube reviewers.

I think there might be some value in keeping it a niche community with known usernames and maybe moderators. Amazon reviews are not a community, and I think Amazon might not want to fix the issue as bad as we think. In Amazon all the reviews are anonymous and it's not clear at a glance what kind of buyer is giving a review.

> How does having a "professional critic" only prevent you from getting fake reviews? It could easily be manipulated by companies paying reviewers for biased reviews. Same as sponsored YouTube reviewers.

It doesn't of course, but (going back to the RT comparison) it would be a major scandal if it were ever discovered that a well-known professional movie critic were being paid off by a studio for biased reviews. A website that focused on this could keep track of and remove the special status of reviewers caught doing that. Given that obtaining the "professional reviewer" status is quite expensive (relative to making an RT account) and such people have much more to lose than a random user, I tend to trust the RT critic score much more than the user score.

If it's possible to establish a similarly robust reputation system for user reviews with no external source of validation (e.g. a newspaper/journal hiring someone as a reviewer) I'm definitely all for that! That seems much more difficult to me though. But maybe if it continues as a niche community as you say, it could work. I hope it does.

Fake reviews are certainly a big challenge. I introduced a credibility system for every user, similar to Reddit's karma so people can see how trustworthy the user is in the Buy For Life community.

I could also imagine picking reviewers by interviewing them initially - someone who owns and uses the product for a while.

I'm sorry, I wrote a product review for Tilley hats, but when I got to the login screen, I quit. I feel like these days there are just too many sites wanting to use social sign on.

For what it's worth, this was the review:

> No logo on the hat, because the design is iconic.

There are logos on some of the hats, at least on my T3 wanderer there is. Mark Symons says no frills but, well, there are some. They're not cheap, which "no frills" tends to imply. They're pretty good quality, and overall, the best

I wish I had some helpful feedback, but the site works and I didn't have any trouble finding what I'd expect. Looks pretty good and it's a neat idea.

Some issues after using for a few minutes:

- Registration via Google, even for a non-Google email address. I really don't want any third parties scooping up my address.

- The price should have a currency associated with it. You might not do much with it right now, but you could for example integrate with a third party to convert 1995 Yen to 2020 US dollars, allowing anyone to see the price in their preferred currency at this time. Country of purchase would also be useful in this case, since prices can vary a lot across markets and this would enable at least rough translation based on known ratios between countries for different product categories.

- The weight unit should be an enum, not a string. That way it'll be trivial for you to convert to the user's preferred unit (kg for something like 95% of the world).

- Searching for "backpack" returned no results, which is weird.

- It would be useful to have some help text for the BIFL score, to have a slight chance of people rating using similar criteria. I'm not sure the BIFL score is even going to be very useful; maybe it would be better to generate it based on how long people have had the item and its condition at submission time.

- The front page without any filters applied shows 43 products. After switching to brands it shows 157 results. Are there really more brands than products?

On a more general note, if the data is supposed to be community driven it might make sense to also make meta-reviews community driven, like Wikipedia and Stack Overflow.

All that said, thank you for building this! I desperately want a site like this, focusing on reliability ahead of cost, packaging, and design.

I don't know. I'm more of the mind to create a new blog post titled "Everything, reviewed" in which I review every product I've ever owned (worth mentioning), and put all my reviews there. I think you could aggregate that info, if only I had good identifiers. This is where I wish the world had URIs & Dublin Core for, ya know, everything. <sigh/> Good luck deciphering what I mean when I'm blogging.

I think Rotten Tomatoes is not the site to copy here, but rather Criticker: if I can rate items and compare my ratingset to similar ratingsets, that would be valuable. It's more of a cornucopia of the commons [1], if you will, where contributing even a little will reward you epsilon (and everyone else, too).

[1] http://bricklin.com/cornucopia.htm just read about this guy a la the Visicalc thread, never thought I'd use the phrase

This seems handy, I used to like checking out /r/buyitforlife, but rather than product recommendations, it seems to be plagued by old products that are still working, and you cannot buy anymore, a running joke on the subreddit is "Lasted until now" instead of buy it for life.

The links to company pages and storefronts is big bonus for this site over that community

The cost of a product is not only replacement price but also replacement time. Replacing with an alternative is more cost than an identical. High-quality long-life products have excellent value efficiency. The key to online review info is convenient centralized interfaces and accurate-trustable reviews. Curation is the future.

It would be a great feature to log replacement time and adjust life-time price as a product property.

Great idea; one I had considered myself, because I'm sick of buying garbage. There are two kind of rocks I saw it foundering on; one is luxury goods. Davok umbrellas; marketed as a luxury good -really, it's just a badass umbrella -maybe last one I ever need buy; very well made -almost worth what they cost.

The other rock it could founder on is green. I mean, if you buy something once, that's pretty green, but so often this sort of thing turns into sackcloth and ashes or absurd high fashion sackcloth and ashes that cost too much. The green variety is already a sort of consumer preference in Germany, but I think their idea has some "well made" meaning as well (nachhaltig? I dunno).

Here were a couple of places like that my German pals sent me early this year when I was thinking about it in earnest:





Anyway, it's just a bunch of disconnected thoughts in my mind. Good on you for taking it further. I had thought the sibyl problem would make a rotten tomatoes type thing too difficult if it ever got juice (even if it didn't; bots are everywhere linking trash products). I had also thought it would be very difficult to scale as a manually proctored catalog of carefully assessed things, and it would be real easy to corrupt if you don't scale to the right kinds of reviewers.

The world does need more stuff like this. People who make shitty products should be punished.

If I could actually know "durability" before buying something I would love that info. It's just hard to really know that in advance, because products change so much. E.g., my vacuum cleaner is still working fine after 15 years. Great, but that just says that if you bought one of these vacuums 15 years ago it probably would have been a good idea. But it doesn't actually tell you much about what to buy today, because the models and designs and manufacturing processes and quality control have all probably changed since then.

Nonetheless this site looks great for getting what info we can. Nice work and I'll be saving it.

This is awesome! I love that the country where it is manufactured is listed as well.

One thing I have a concern about: is the country of origin related to the specific product or the company itself? An example is the KitchenAid refrigerator. I think KitchenAid does make a lot of things in the US, like their mixers, but the refrigerator listed (according to other websites) is made in Mexico. This might be a little confusing as the listing makes it look like the fridge is made in the US.

Also the "made in" drop down specifically keeps the fridge in the list when set to "US".

Durability is highly underrated and doesn’t get the attention it deserves. This is a wonderful idea.

If there are more resources about building durable products and lasting companies, please share. I’m very interested in this.

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