Monday, June 1, 2009

Buying American Products

by Ron Spangler
Today Americans are spending less for good reason. With so much uncertainty in the economy and American businesses going bankrupt people are afraid. We blame our government, corporations, banks and wall street. We believe there is nothing we can do.

With most of the consumer products we purchase coming from China and Mexico, we unwittingly are contributing to a further decline in our economy. The American consumer is quick to complain that everything comes from China and for the most part it is true. Go into any store today, including auto parts, and most of what you find will say 'made in China'. It is cheap and plentiful and in today's economy we buy it mainly for this reason.

What if there was an alternative to buying everything from China?

Would Americans buy products from Americans made in America?

Would Americans buy products from mom and pop Americans?

Would Americans buy products that are hand crafted and made one item at a time?

Would Americans say enough to imports and support local mom and pop business?

In supporting these small and new American businesses would American consumers understand that as these people made and sold more products in America, they could hire fellow Americans to help grow their business?

Would Americans be willing to pay a little more and in some cases even less for American products that will last from one generation to the next, instead of at best six months to a year?

Believe it or not there are places where Americans can go to buy American made products that far exceeds anything we import. Most are online and the people that make and sell these products are to a large degree Americans. They are Americans that have lost their jobs, Americans that have taken early retirements because of corporate and even government restructuring, Americans whose previous employer moved overseas, and Americans whose employer filed bankruptcy. All of these Americans have one thing in common. They have a god given talent and the American know how to design and build products that will last.

Above everything else, American craftsmen and craftswomen take pride in things they make. They think first about quality. They know consumers long for products that will last for years and hopefully become something they can proudly pass on to their children. American craftsmen and craftswomen are also consumers and therefore make every effort to fulfill this longing.

Technology will not be the answer to turning around our economy. Government intervention with all of the corporate bail outs will not do it. We cannot wait for new technology or a new green economy to come online with all of the promised new jobs. Supporting small and new American entrepreneurs will be the only thing that will pull our economy out of the free fall we are witnessing. Keeping the dollar at home in America instead of supporting China and the other countries we import our goods from, is the best way of keeping America strong.

American consumers need to look around and see what is available today. I know it is hard to find products that are made in America but, if the consumer would be willing to look and trust their fellow American craftsmen/women they will be pleasantly surprised.

With so many computers in homes today ordering things online from American made shops is easy. With a little patience and time, you can find almost anything.

Everyone knows about Ebay

Have you heard about Etsy

Etsy is mostly hand crafted products, but you can buy vintage products and craft supplies. You will find products from around the world but a very large portion are American shops working out of their homes. The products cover just about everything from personal items like jewelry to household furniture.

A large number of the people selling on Esty
also sell at craft shows around the country.

You can also find products at local online classified sites like:

My shop

Or visit your next craft show.

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