Consumer Information

Library Databases

Use your library card number to access these resources.

  • Consumer Reports - Find current product information on cars, appliances, electronics and more. View unbiased product ratings and reviews.
  • General OneFile  - Magazine, newspaper, and reference books articles on a wide range of topics. Covers1980 - current year.

Internet Resources

Please Note: The following links are supplied for informational purposes only and are not supported or endorsed by the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library or the City of Midland. The library gives careful consideration to the resources that it provides for the community and does not accept solicitations for inclusion to our pages.

  • Better Business Bureau - Check out a business or charity, file a complaint, view consumer alerts and news.
  • CNET Electronics Reviews - Unbiased reviews of electronics.  "CNET tracks all the latest consumer technology breakthroughs and shows you what's new, what to buy and how to get the most out of the tech in your life."
  • Consumer Search - Gathers product reviews, analyzes them, and distills the information shoppers need to find the best products.  
  • Consumer World - Product reviews, buying advice, consumer rights, scam alerts and more. Advocating for consumer rights since 1995.
  • Dial A Human - Directory of business customer service phone numbers and instructions for navigating their phone system to talk to a person.
    The website Get Human also has a similar service.
  • Michigan Attorney General - Consumer Protection - File a complaint, learn about new scams, view consumer laws and tips.
  • Michigan Business License and Registration Database - Search for businesses and individuals who have registered with the state as well as disciplinary actions.
  • Safer Products - A government website where you can submit or search for reports about products that are unsafe.

Purchasing Assistance​



Buying a Car

  • Edmunds.com - Edmunds lists new and used car prices, comparisons, car buying advice, ratings, and purchase versus leasing information.
  • Kelley Blue Book - Kelley Blue Book is a trusted resource for prices and reviews on new and used cars.
  • NADA Guide - National Automobile Dealers Association appraisal guides shown new and used  car values, car buying guides, reviews, specs, safety ratings, photos, videos, car comparisons, tips and advice.
  • Truecar.com - See what other people in your area paid for a particular vehicle.

Buying a House

  • HUD Homebuying Guide - The US Department of Housing and Urban Development guide to purchasing a house and finding financing.
  • First Time Home Buyers -  HowStuffWorks articles include the Things to Consider, Tax Credits, Funding assistance, Home inspections, Tips, and Mistakes to avoid. 
  • Mobile Home Buyer's & Resident's Handbook - Michigan Government publication includes a guide for how to purchase and your rights and responsibilies  
  • Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home - About.com's step by step guide to the home buying process. Also includes links to other useful information. 


Charities​


General Information


  • Charity Scams - View the Federal Trade Commission's advice on avoiding scams and how to wisely choose which charity to support.
  • IRS Tax-Exempt organizations - Check that donations to an organization are eligible for claiming on your taxes. You can search by name, location, Employer Identification Number (EIN) and type of organization.
  • Michigan Attorney General - Charities - Find how to evaluate a charity and know if it is legitimate. You can also file a complaint about a charity and view consumer alerts.
  • Search for Michigan Charities - View financial information and if the organization is registered by the state to solicit donations.

Charity Rankings

  • BBB Wise Giving Alliance - View the Better Business Bureau's listing of charities. They assign rankings based on how well the organization is governed, how well they meet their mission, how they raise money and spend their funds, and how open they are when communicating. You can view and make a complaint against an organization. 
  • Charity Navigator - View rated charities based on tax status, revenue, length of operation, location, public support, fundraising expenses, and administrative expenses. They provide top ten lists of charities based on a variety of criteria.

updated 6/30/17