The magazine has no subscribers and does not test the products they select as 'Best Buys'. Instead, companies pay Consumers Digest for the right to promote their products as 'Best Buys'. They rely on consumer confusion of their name with the well-known Consumer Reports magazine, published by the nonprofit organization Consumers Union. Consumers Digest Communications is a privately owned, for-profit business entity.
The magazine is sold at newsstands only and does not reveal its sales figures. In 2001, when it ceased subscription distribution, it listed 700,000 subscribers (the list was sold to Time, Inc.). The publication has no connection with the Consumer Reports magazine or with Consumers Digest Weekly. It is possible to subscribe to the on-line edition of Consumers Digest.
Consumers Digest has a history of not paying its contributors. In an October 30, 2017, article published by Talking Biz News (TBN), it was reported that at least three journalists were suing the company run by publisher Randy Weber for nonpayment. Two other journalists also shared their attempts to collect on what was owed them.
As of February 2019, following multiple, additional lawsuits from 2018, it appears the company has closed down, as the website no longer is active and the company phone number has been disconnected.
- Dolan, Matthew (2010-05-10). "Auto Awards Clouded by Fees --- GM, Others Pay Consumers Digest for Right to Promote Vehicles as 'Best Buys'". The Wall Street Journal. p. B4. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
- Niedermeyer, Edward (2010-05-10). "The Truth About Consumers Digest". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
- "Complaint Review: Consumers Digest - Owner Randy Weber". Ripoff Report. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
- "Message from the Publisher | Consumers Digest". www.consumersdigest.com. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
- Parks, Joy (April 27, 2011). "How to Pitch: Consumers Digest". Archived from the original on March 10, 2012.
- Lefevre, Lori (August 9, 2001). "Time Inc. Acquires Consumers Digest Lists". Adweek. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
Time Inc.'s Personal Finance Group has acquired the subscription lists of defunct Consumers Digest and Your Money magazines, an executive said Thursday.
- "Get Access Now To ConsumersDigest.com | Consumers Digest". www.consumersdigest.com. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
- Roush, Chris (2017-10-30). "Journalists sue Consumers Digest over nonpayments". Talking Biz News. Retrieved 2017-12-18.