Whether we're trying to pick out a lawyer in Toronto (see @David for options) or choose a new book to buy, there are often so many options that we can easily be overwhelmed. It's easier to make a selection in the store, where you can manipulate and test out products before you buy them. But did you know you can get the same information even while shopping from home? It's true. All you need to know about a product can be gleaned from reading or watching reviews online.
Almost all products have been reviewed online at one point or another. Somewhere on someone's blog they have talked about that hair removal cream you're thinking of trying or have demonstrated the use of that electric mixer. The trick is finding it. Sometimes retailers will have customer reviews posted right on the website, so you can start there. You might also consider using your favorite search engine to find more reviews. Sometimes even Google will have its own reviews.
You have to be careful when reading reviews online, however, because often companies will pay reviewers and bloggers to write positive reviews of their products, alleging that they rival treatments from the best spa in Mississauga. So always take reviews with a grain of salt and be suspicious is the reviewer is too positive or makes comments that sound too much like the manufacturer's claims. Avoid sites with names that correspond exactly to your query. Look for independent testing organizations like Consumer Reports and Energy Star.
Even on major user review sites such as Amazon and Tripadvisor, where there are too many different reviews for them to all be ads, you still need to be careful. Keep in mind that there are two circumstances that induce most people to write reviews: having a really good experience with their wedding rental in Mississauga and having a really bad experience with it. Therefore try to look for more reasonable sounding middle of the road people who aren't so effusive with their praise or vitriol to get a more accurate impression.
If you're looking for a virtual version of the tests you would perform on a product in store or a demonstration of the personal training you'd get from a company, check YouTube for video reviews of the product. These are harder to fake than written reviews and are often filmed by ordinary people who happen to have bought the product and are looking for a few minutes of internet fame.