Life without made-in-China goods may be frustrating, expensive and beyond reach, but the addiction isn’t without pains for most individual and corporate organizations. It is a great challenge, indeed, one that requires a thorough analysis and expert advice.
The book, A Year Without “Made in China”: One Family’s True Life Adventure in the Global Economy written by Sara Bongiorni, clearly narrates her family’s troubles, gains and pains after they tried living without buying anything produced in China.
“At the outset the rule was just avoiding things that had the label Made in China, or if we happened to know that there was a Chinese component in something, we would avoid that too,” Sara said.
“Of course oftentimes you can’t know that, but we decided we would just set the bar there…comparatively low and yet this experiment absolutely turns a daily life upside down. It was everything from, you know, mundane ordinary errands like running to the store for new tennis shoes for one of the kids or buying birthday candles became days or sometimes weeks-long sagas that didn’t necessarily have a satisfactory resolution in the end.”
Talking about how China-made tennis shoes for kids proved attractive. Ms. Sara admitted she had a terrific struggle trying to find shoes for her child, regrettably adding that little sneakers seem to be something that’s almost exclusively Chinese.
“…It took me two or three weeks of searching and eventually I located sneakers made in Italy in a catalog, and with shipping they cost almost $70. And that compares to maybe $15 for a pair of ordinary tennis shoes that are made in China at some place like Payless Shoes. So I could really appreciate the benefit of having access to low-cost goods from China.
“[On the financial sacrifices] I think on balance, it was probably a wash financially. But the reason was, although we had to spend more money on some items, lots of times we simply couldn’t find a non-Chinese alternative to many things. So we ended up just keeping our money in our wallets because we had no option. We had to cobble together some sort of solution on our own or just do without for the remainder of the year.”
But the real trouble started when Ms. Sara’s coffeemaker broke and all ordinary drip coffeemakers are made in China. Keeping the balance became a problem.
However, she revealed the family ended up boiling water in a pan and just pouring it over filters into our coffee mugs.
Later that year, her blender also broke and couldn’t be fixed because the replacement blade was made in China, so they just let the damn machine waste. Their suffering continued.
In the end, the family had to come to terms with the realities of global economy.
“We couldn’t live like this forever. I mean it really did become an all-consuming project,” Ms. Sara admitted. “So we found a middle ground at the end, and yes, we do buy things from China again.”
In truth, it appears God made everything – the sun, moon, stars and every living thing – but other things were made in China.
A large percentage of globally-used products are now made in China, where there’s cheap labor and low manufacturing costs which makes the products less expensive than those produced anywhere in the world. For this reason, you would find that contract production offered by Chinese manufacturing facilities are definitely an economical option.
Buying made-in-China goods is even wiser for wholesalers; with larger quantities come extremely reduced costs.
However, the deal breaker in these manufacturing setups is “the quality of products” offered to buyers and consumers. And this is one reason you must be careful how you source your China-branded goods, whether from the internet or through direct visit, if you care for your business and customers.
Shortchanging quality for money could have an adverse effect on your business prospects – definitely in the long run.
It is surprising that most U.S. companies offer their customers’ production agreements with manufacturing facilities based in China in order to lessen expenses. These American companies, and many other firms around the world, just look for a factory in China that will supply the most affordable rates possible and emphasis is erroneously placed on price only while quality takes the back seat.
In the end, consumers are offered substandard goods for their hard-earned money.
Admittedly, the blame falls on consumers too, for trying to save money without realizing that such thriftiness could be more expensive instead.
What most foreign companies are doing right now is to set up their own in-house manufacturing facilities in China and offer higher prices which are definitely incomparable to those from outsourced contract producer firms but the benefit is: consumers are guaranteed a reasonable worth of the money invested. This is the only way we can have fantastic high quality products which are also suitable for the worldwide markets at only a fraction of the price.
The American government is subtly encouraging but not mandating people to buy locally made products; most citizens think it won’t work for some reasons.
According to a November report from The Economist, localisation measures are a straightforward grab for jobs and business but only theoretically will local-content requirements fix market failures.
The real problem is that most companies may not take into account the benefits of being part of a cluster and so may be overly eager to outsource or to use their distant supply chains.
Religious freedom, especially for Christians who cherish the liberty to worship God, is one of the factors every foreign national must consider before relocating for business, work or study in China. You could be harassed, punished, tortured or even killed if you’re not part of the state-sanctioned religion.
If you care labor standards and human rights, especially with the rising cases of companies using child labor, prison labor, or even quasi-slave labor to produce exceedingly cheap products, you might have to reconsider your business plans in China.
This is not to say, however, that illegal sourcing of goods is a unique-to-China trend.
China has taken the world by storm, flooding eBay and Amazon with counterfeits, illegal and harmful products and Beijing seem to be looking the other way so far its e-commerce giants are paying and complying with trading regulations. Why not? The country is also battling fake products within its borders, particularly with the tainted milk powder scandal which are described as infants-killer. It’s a global market and a one way system, Forbes agreed in its article published 22 November, 2017.