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CBS Essentials: How we choose the best products for your home, work and life

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Here's everything you need to know about CBS Essentials, from our writers to our business model. EDWIN TAN / Getty Images

It's simple: CBS Essentials is your trusted guide to online shopping. Our mission is to help you find solid, reliable products for your home, health and family, and to plug you into the latest deals and news about brands you love -- all from a name you can rely on.

Our writers and editors live and breathe online shopping, with years of collective experience covering the retail landscape and reviewing products. We compile expert advice, customer reviews and first-hand know-how to find just the right products to recommend. We're plugged into all the top retailers and brands to make sure we know when deals drop, new products launch and sales begin. And we provide hands-on reviews in the categories where buyers want the most help with their decision-making -- consumer tech, mattresses, robot vacuums, clothing and more. In fact, our team includes some of the most knowledgable journalists in their field of expertise, so they bring to the table decades worth of experience that you can benefit from.

And this is important: Our editors work independently of the CBS News newsroom; we work independently of retailers; and we make money when you buy things from our links. We will always be clear with our readers about this.

How we select products

Our team of experts look at each product across five key metrics to deliver recommendations that are thorough, objective and useful. 

  1. Verified reviews: We only consider products that are widely reviewed with consistently high ratings from verified buyers and qualified experts. If a product doesn't meet that high standard, it doesn't make it into our buying guides.
  2. Brand trust: There's a reason why Americans trust some brands more than others, and we give special attention to those with a proven track record, consistent sales and a solid reputation for quality and satisfaction. We're always looking for innovative new companies and products your household might like, but we weigh our selection metrics in favor of the tried-and-true.
  3. Customer feedback:  We keep a steady eye on what our readers buy, what they keep, what they return, what they buy again.  We listen to what our readers and similar consumers have to say, and feed that data into the buying guides and deals we bring to you.
  4. Newsworthiness: We keep a constant eye on new product drops and brands, and we vet them with the same painstaking standards we apply to every review and roundup. Whether it's a fresh product that's gone viral, or a new brand that's disrupting a whole business model, we make sure it meets our quality benchmarks before recommending.
  5. Features and history: Whether it's a brand-new washer-dryer set or the latest smartphone, features and capabilities matter. We evaluate each product's feature offerings against its previous versions and competitors. Our in-house experts — in tech, furniture, appliances, kitchen, travel, fitness and deals — know what features matter, so you can, too.

Our goal at CBS Essentials is to do the rigorous research so you don't have to, and recommend only the best products for your busy life. Our category experts continuously do rigorous, hands-on testing of the latest products, so we're able to offer unbiased and reliable advice, no matter what you're shopping for.

How the CBS Essentials team works

The Essentials team sticks to rigorous content guidelines: All product selections and editorial decisions are our own. We have affiliate relationships with many retailers, which is how CBS Essentials makes money. When you click a link to shop for a product, we receive a portion of the revenue from any resulting sales. This affiliate relationship does not affect our editorial decisions, and our mission remains to bring readers the best deals, as well as the most timely and most reliable product information you'll find anywhere.

Our articles are also not influenced by retailers. Occasionally, a particular article may be sponsored by a brand. In that case, it will be clearly identified as "sponsored content." We will always be upfront about this.

How we pick our deals

Not every sale is a worthwhile one. Some offers are rarer or more valuable than others. You can rely on CBS Essentials to tell you not only when a new deal drops, but also how epic that sale really is. Some items may be out of stock by the time links are clicked. Some deals may be over by the time you read an article. These things are subject to the retailer, and we work hard to keep current on deal and stock information.

Keeping up with CBS Essentials

There are many ways to stay in touch with our team and coverage:

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