PEOPLE Commerce Guidelines

PEOPLE Commerce Guidelines

At PEOPLE, our goal is to provide trusted product news and recommendations to inform your everyday purchases. Whether it’s the hand lotion that gained Oprah’s stamp of approval, the most comfortable pillows tested right in our state-of-the-art labs, or the discount you just have to see to believe, we strive to only suggest products and services of the highest quality for you and your family.

Why You Should Trust Us

In addition to relying on our own editorial expertise, we tap some of the top experts in the industry — like celebrity chefs and makeup artists and world-class physicians — to inform and empower our readers to make the best purchasing decisions. While we may receive affiliate commissions on products purchased through our content, we will never accept a product in exchange for positive coverage. Occasionally, brands may send us products for editorial consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own. Our recommendations are purely editorial and we are transparent when we’ve received a sample.

We are fully committed to offering the highest quality content for humans, by humans — our team of writers and editors rigorously research and fact-check every article we put out. It is against our guidelines to publish automatically generated content using AI (artificial intelligence) writing tools such as ChatGPT.

Our Process

We love online shopping (perhaps more than most — after all, we made it our job!), but we recognize that the saturated marketplace can make it hard to find the right product. That's why we sift through the mountains of goods to source only the stuff that’s actually worth your money (and help you identify what isn’t). We rely on our own comprehensive market research, as well as the guidance of trusted expert sources, to create our product and service recommendations. And oftentimes, we’ll test items either in one of our three testing labs or independently at home to give them a thorough, real-life trial run. 

It’s important to us to include a wide range of products for our diverse audience. We want you to see yourself and your needs met in our recommendations, and we will continue to widen the net we cast in curating our shopping guides to be inclusive of all ages, body types, skin tones, abilities, and household incomes. We are also committed to covering brands and services that are BIPOC-owned (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), as well as hiring a diverse group of writers, staff members, and experts — and not only to cover topics relating to the identities they represent.

Finally, we never consider an article “finished.” Brands are constantly changing their inventory which can then render a previous recommendation obsolete. And trust us — we understand how frustrating it can be to find the perfect product only to click on it and see that it's been discontinued. As such, we utilize a process by which our “best-of” articles are routinely checked for accuracy and updated with new launches when applicable.

People Tested Brow Pencils

PEOPLE/Jessica Juliao

How We Test 

Our testing process is not only rigorous, it’s super fun, too. We have three labs across the country (New York, Des Moines, and Birmingham) where we put products through the wringer from set-up to take-down. Need a nonstick pan? We had our in-house recipe developers cook omelets and rice in them to truly vet how well the food slides out. Or maybe you’re in the market for a vacuum cleaner, which we tested against Cheerios, popcorn kernels, and hair. Our testers take turns applying our intricate methodology to each product while our photographers capture each step of the testing process. (You can read more about our PEOPLE Tested seal of approval here.)

We also test products at home, where we’re able to give them a “real world” trial in a more personal setting (for example, dress shoes are better off tested during your weekly commute than walking around a lab). Home testing also allows us to take products for a long-term spin and measure how well they perform over time (does that popular coffee machine still deliver a hot, strong cup after months of use? We’ll let you know!). Similar to our lab tests, we create replicable methodologies for our home tests and ask our testers to score products on several factors designed to replicate how people actually use them. We also ask them to document their testing via photos and videos to give readers an even better glimpse into how well the product performed.

PEOPLE Tested Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez/INSTAGRAM

If we’re recommending services that can’t easily be tested by a writer or editor, such as internet and TV bundles, we heavily research the topic area and analyze a wide range of data points in order to compile our “best-of” lists. All companies we consider for a specific category are evaluated using the same set of criteria, which is agreed upon by our editorial and research teams and various industry experts. The criteria varies depending on the subject matter, but typically includes factors like price range, nationwide availability, and customer service response time.

News & Deals

Our shopping editors are in the know about buzzy new products and the best online sales from brands both big and small. We quickly alert you when Meghan Markle’s sneakers see discounts and when we find the exact skincare JoJo Fletcher used on her wedding day. And during popular sale events like Prime Day and Black Friday, we work around the clock to gather only the best, most exciting deals out there.

We’re also constantly tapped into the latest trends to ensure that your living room, backyard, closet, and vanity (and everything else) are always upgraded with the best new things. Chances are if you’ve seen it on Instagram or TikTok, we’ve already started researching it.

How We Make Money

We receive an affiliate commission on most, but not all, of the products and services we recommend. We only recommend trusted retailers with a proven track record for service and dependability.


While we do our best to thoroughly vet and continually update the content we review or recommend, some products may be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. As a result, we urge you to monitor any official announcements from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that may be related to products you purchase. You might also consider registering your purchases with the manufacturer so you can get alerted if a recall is issued.

Contact Us 

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at [email protected].