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Looking For Love? Consumer Reports Tests 5 Online Dating Sites

Try each site before you make a commitment. Use its freebies before you pay. Go on the site, check it out, and fool around with it. Make sure you're comfortable with the way it works.

People looking for love online can dip their toes in the virtual waters of several different dating sites before putting their hopes -- and cash -- into just one.

That's one of the top findings from a Consumer Reports experiment that had an intern put a profile up on five different online dating sites and gauge the experience and the responses that she received. The magazine's dating site tester for several months tried out eHarmony,, True, Yahoo Personals, and American Singles.

"I think she found it interesting and was interested in the pitfalls you can get into if you're not super careful," said Leslie Ware, editor at large of Consumer Reports, which is based in Yonkers, N.Y. Ware said the tester received about 200 responses from fellow online daters every month. "We did find that [each site has] different traits. Just remember that you're open to anything. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. We talked to people who were planning on getting married after meeting online, and we talked to a fellow who had a nightmare date."

While Consumer Reports is best known for rating products and services, the magazine didn't rate the five dating sites. Ware said the magazine wouldn't rank a site on the experience of just one user, so instead it compiled a list of positives about each site, along with some tips on how to make the most of the experience.

One of the top things the magazine learned was that people should try out each site before they officially join, Ware said.

"You can get a taste of each site for free," she said. "You can look into each site before you open your wallet. You can see what it's like to post a profile of your likes and dislikes. Except for eHarmony, you generally can even browse other profiles."

Ware said their tester got a few dates out of the experience but she doesn't know how well they went.

Here's what Consumer Reports discovered about the five sites:

True: "If Internet dating makes you hesitate, try the True site because they screen their members and they have a customer-friendly privacy policy," said Ware, who noted that True runs a background check on members against a criminal database. True reports that it will notify authorities if they find a member who has a criminal background.

eHarmony: Ware said eHarmony is good for people who want a "hand-picked" match. The site only lets you see profiles and exchange emails with people they've selected to be a good match for you. If you don't want to scan through hundreds of profiles on your own, this is a good site. They'll do that part of it for you.

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User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 5:16:55 PM
re: Looking For Love? Consumer Reports Tests 5 Online Dating Sites
It is a good article. Good tips to get out on the dating market.
Just what I need..
//Mette Hansen
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