With the holiday season right around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to provide some helpful tips when looking for American-made products. Below is a guest post from Benjamin Lamm at Label Land, LLC, an American clothing label company located in NJ. Benjamin is a content specialist, writer, musician, father and husband (not necessarily in that order!)
The latest statistics show that as many as 80 percent of shoppers are willing to pay more for American-made goods. Unfortunately, finding those products is more easily said than done. As it turns out, a flag label doesn’t necessarily mean that a product was made in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Label Land, LLC, an American clothing label company, has built their company on the quality and efficiency offered by American production. This leader in the clothing label industry offers several tips that will make it easier to determine where a product was made if you’re hoping to increase your purchase of American-made products.
Three Parts of the Picture
“Made in America” isn’t as simple as knowing where the final product was made. There are actually three parts to the “Buy American” picture: American ownership of a company, where the product is manufactured and assembled, and where the parts come from. In many cases, you may have to do your research to determine how all of the pieces of the equation fit together. Keep in mind that many manufacturers who only put together the final piece of the product on American soil may insist that their product is American-made, and don’t fall prey to that trap!
Be on the lookout for the way products are labeled. “Made in the USA” and “Assembled in the USA” are two very different phrases and should be treated as such. Many manufacturers will use the “assembled” label to indicate where the product was put together, failing to notify customers that the bulk of the product was constructed elsewhere. This label, however, can only be used on products that were “substantially transformed” on arrival in the US, which means that when you buy from these companies, you’ll still be supporting American jobs. Also, there’s a difference between "Made in America" and "Made in the USA", believe it or not. "Made in America" does not exclude products made in Mexico or Canada, whereas "Made in the USA" guarantees that it was produced right here.
Be Wary of False Stickers
There are plenty of false stickers that the government doesn’t regulate. While there are regulations for “Made in the USA” and “Assembled in the USA” stickers, there are other labels that are not regulated as strictly. It’s also critical to note that there is a long list of exceptions to products that must be labeled, making it difficult for many customers to understand where their product came from.
Read That Label
If you want to know where your product was created, look at the label. Goods that were genuinely made in America are less likely to have spelling mistakes or to contain basic grammatical errors. Chances are, someone in an American factory would have noticed blatant errors, whereas factory workers overseas may be entirely unfamiliar with the tags they’re sewing onto those items.
Too Good to Be True?
Anytime a product seems too good to be true; it’s probably reasonable to assume that it is. If the price tag seems too low for a high-quality product, chances are, it wasn’t made in America. When in doubt, take the time to do your research before purchasing to avoid getting caught off-guard.
Distrust the Flag Label
As more consumers find themselves willing to pay more for American-made goods, overseas manufacturers are looking for more ways to get their products in ‘through the back door’. A flag sticker or label would seem to indicate that a product has been made in America, but the presence of that flag isn’t regulated by any governing body. You need a label that says “Made in the USA” if you want to know that you’re buying an American-made product.
America has always been a country of entrepreneurs, builders, and creators and it's important to stand behind these American companies. They are the businesses that produce real products, offer the maximum possible U.S. employment, and work to earn the loyalty of workers and customers alike. If you’re serious about buying American-made goods, you should always look for the words, “Made in the USA.”
If you have other tips you'd like to share, please use the comment section below and we'll gladly share them with our readers. Thank you!