I filed a complaint with Hinkle Chair Company about their "Garden Treasures" rocking chairs.
They (and I suspect you have required them to) hide any evidence that the chairs are made in China. Only a tiny (smaller than 1/2" square) label in an inconspicuous place on the product, says "Made in China". Your store personnel remove that label on any chairs they pre-assemble for customers; it's only there if the customer assembles the product. That's not fair or honest.
Many American consumers are now avoiding Chinese products when there are alternatives. DELIBERATELY hiding the origin of products is immoral, even if it's not illegal.
If you are requiring vendors to disguise the origin of their products, then please stop.
If vendors are hiding that fact voluntarily, please compel them to mark the products clearly on the OUTSIDE of the packaging.
I tend to be very vocal about being cheated. Although the chairs are of acceptable (not good) quality, the 'trick' you and/or Hinkle are playing on your customers is NOT acceptable; it is dishonest.
For the past several years tires for my grain truck have all been "MADE IN CHINA", etc. It seems no one in the USA bothers to make that size any more (9.00x20), at least according to the tire shops. The other day one of those developed a bubble where the tread meets the sidewall so we had it replaced. Whaddayaknow, it's made in Mexico. At least that's on the same continent.
I read earlier this summer that the cost of transportation was wiping out the cost advantage for Chinese products. Time will tell if that tire is of any better quality than the others.
It seems that any electronics is now made in China regardless of the brand. I was actually encouraged this summer installing some new NEC microwave equipment that was proudly marked "Made in Japan". It made me happy to see that for a change.
Things come around. When I was a kid, early 50s, "Made in Japan" meant crap. Then it didn't. When I was 16 (1964) my buddy had a Honda 250; we went from Toronto to NYC on it. And back.
Clothing I buy seems _not_ to come from China -- places like Singapore, Sri Lanka, even Mexico. Our new MacBook Pro was made in China, but "designed in California." I wish Apple had let the Chinese design the mighty mouse.
Might as well consider us as 'the United States of North America", and and looking to expand
There is some truth in that. In the past manufacturing was done near the consumer base, then long range transportation meant manufacturing could be centralized, often near the raw materials, and shipped out to City Centers for distribution. Hence we got the meat packing districts of the Mid West, and the Rust Belt, etc.
Later it made sense, (economically) to park those factory workers off shore because of the cheaper labor but in these times you will begin to see a homecoming of a sort of some, _some_, of those same off-shored jobs and work.
If we continue to demand low cost over every other consideration, we'll reap what we continue to sow- cheap throw away goods.
Even the Japanese brands are made in China. I think the only Japanese made notebooks (PC) are from Fujitsu.
Office chairs now come from China. I went to one of those "repo" office stores and the best I could do for a chair made in North Ameriica (Canada) was close to $800.
What is really annoying is there is no way to tell if your internet purchases will be Chinese made.
After the toothpaste scare, I've resorted to using Sensodyne, which is made by a pharmaceutical company. Yeah, $4 a tube versus $1 for the cheap stuff.
Now regarding made in China stuff with American brand names, I often just say screw it and get the Chinese knock-offs. If the US companies are going to outsource their products, then they better pass the savings on to me rather than pocket them. For example, I was looking at tape measures, which had common US names but were now made in China. I said screw it and went to Harbor Freight where at least the cheap Chinese stuff is cheap.
True. My Canon cameras originally said "Made in Japan". The current versions say "Made in China". I can't see any differences in design or quality.
The laptop biz comes in 2 layers. ODM = Original Design Manufacturer OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer These days, OEM's stuff in some RAM, HD, accessories, garish labels, and add their names to the puzzle. The main boards are made by the ODM's. Typical ODM's are Quanta, Compal, Clevo, Mitac, Asus, Aopen (Acer), Uniwill, and TwinHead. These are scattered all over Asia and often include component manufacturing. One can often identify the source by the silk screened labels on the main boards.
The tangled mess of vendors are often obscure. For example, Toshiba makes some of their own laptops, but also relabels those from Compal, Clevo, Mitac, and a few others. HP used to make their own, but when they bought Compaq, they picked up Mitac as the principle vendor. They also buy from Twinhead. Sony and Sharp have also bought from TwinHead, but I'm not sure of the current status. Clevo supplies exotic laptops to Sager, Alienware, and other small vendors.
The rules for labeling are also a tangled web. I won't try to expound on them as I don't really understand the details. Basically, the sticker defines the point of origin, which means from where it's shipped. It may have been built anywhere in Asia, but if it's shipped from China, it gets labeled "Made in China".
I hate to tell you this, but globalization has made the concept obsolete. You might be able to identify products that have an ISO-9001 documentation trail, where everything is allegedly traceable to its source, but with most complex product being made in sub-assemblies, it's difficult to tell. For example, could you really say that an American car is "Made in USA" when so many of the components are manufactured in other countries?
I haven't used tooth paste since I was about 18 years old. It's worked fairly well. I had a rather nasty series of tooth rot problems when I was much younger. I little research pointed at sugared toothpaste as the major culprit. I also found some research into the benefits of the foul tasting saliva based goo we wake up with in the morning. (I don't want to go into detail here). Both my parents lost all their teeth early in life, so I knew I had a potential problem. I stopped using the tooth paste and just brush with water. All the dental work since then has been from secondary problems resulting from fillings and drillings during my teens. In the last 40 years, I've had one root canal, about 3 more fillings, and 3 wisdom teeth yanked (due to undermined fillings).
Sigh. I hate to say it, but I do exactly the same thing. I've bought defective junk, with fancy names, sold under formerly reputable names. When the local hardware store started stocking the same junk, I just went to Harbor Freight for the same stuff. For example, I can go to Sears and buy an IR thermometer for $75, or to Harbor Freight and get exactly the same device for $25. That's too big a disparity to ignore.
"Rising costs squeeze Chinese factories; some companies look to cheaper markets"
...the greatest pain is being felt in the south, where about 14,000 out of the 50,000 to 60,000 Hong Kong-run factories could close in the next few months.
You saw that long ago in Mexico. The places near the border that were thriving a few years ago have started to get a little ragged around the edges as some of these plants go further in-country because the areas near the border got "too expensive"as labor prices got bid up.
A few more details. The biggest of the bunch is Quanta, with about a
33% market share and sells to Acer, Alienware, Apple, Cisco, Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Sharp, Siemens, Sony, and Toshiba. Quanta also makes the OLPC laptop. 2nd biggest is Compal at about 16%, which sells mostly to Dell, HP, and Compaq. It's interesting to note that both companies originated and have headquartes in Taiwan.
Some Harbor Freight stuff works well. For instance, those tapered hole saw sets. They are great for making holes in a metal box. The taper design obviously won't be good for thick stuff.
I leave Harbor Freight tools in the truck in the event I need to do a repair away from home. No use buying a good set of tools for that purpose, though I did put in a small Craftsman socket set.
I can't tell how many $3 DVMs I got at Harbor Freight. Again, good for messing with your car or doing some continuity checking in the field. When I put the meter in resistance mode across a 12V battery and blew it up, I didn't shed a tear. I just dug in the box for a fresh meter. I had one fail for no reason I could perceive. I've also given them away to non-techies that really do need a meter once in a while but would never buy one themselves. I see the same Centech meters sold at flea markets for $8. Such a deal!
I was at Harbor Freight when some guy was getting a refund on a sawzall. He said it caught fire while he was using it.
A fun toy is the Harbor Freight bug killer. It looks like a small racket. You hit the bug with it and it gets zapped. Great for camping.