If you shopped online on Cyber Monday this year, you were part of an increasing trend compared to last year. According to ComScore, 8.7 million people made online purchases this year, up 5 percent from last year.
Another upwardly mobile trend is the presence of e-commerce sites that sell only American-made goods, and if you're a supporter of the Buy American cause, this is good news. It's even better news if you happen to be employed by a company whose products are featured on an e-commerce site.
One such site is America's Virtual General Store at www.AmericasVirtualGeneralStore.com, where everything is made in USA.
I was delighted to find a wide range of products by American manufacturers I wasn't even aware that existed, like Lamson & Goodnow, which is the oldest cutlery manufacturer in the United States. They began in 1837 and even produced a 62-piece dinner set for President Ulysses S. Grant!
What site committed to the Buy American cause would be complete without offering American-made flags and flag sets? America's Virtual General Store offers them from Annin & Co., which began in the 1820s and with their four domestic locations is now the official flag manufacturer for the United Nations.
The folks at America's Virtual General Store are proud of America's history and traditions, and they're proud to be American owned and selling 100% American-made products. They know that buying American is something larger than we are as individuals and larger than mere currency. It's about healing our economy, keeping Americans employed, and jump-starting the engine of America's prosperity.
By visiting www.AmericasVirtualGeneralStore.com, you can browse arts & crafts like jewelry and handcrafted items; health & comfort items for your body; apparel for men, women, kids, toddlers, babies, and infants; accessories like handbags, totes, gloves, belts, and socks; leather goods including shoes and boots; home dˇcor like candles, blankets, and throws; and pet supplies like collars, leads, toys and accessories.
You can also view their blog where they feature in-depth information about their manufacturers and you can even view the Federal Trade Commission's "Complying with the Made in USA Standard" criteria online.
In 2008, Americas Virtual General Store founders Joe and Ginger Watkins had a vision of a virtual General Store modeled after the old general stores that dotted America's small towns and rural byways in the past century. The old General Store was a one-stop shop where customers could purchase food items, dry goods, hardware, farm equipment, or order larger or unavailable items from a catalog.
These General Stores were the social gathering places for many communities where news and gossip was shared, mail was picked up and sent out, and decisions were made. Americas Virtual General Store does not sell gasoline or serve as a Post Office, but endeavors to recapture the flavor of the old time General Store.
Even though Cyber Monday is past us, you can still find deals online at www.AmericasVirtualGeneralStore.com. Just click on their "special deals" link and you'll discover how to get 10 percent off your entire order.
America's Virtual General Store provides a patriotic way to make sure we can put American-made gifts under our Christmas trees this Christmas and keep Americans working. And with the economy the way it is right now, the best gift for many Americans is to still have a job and be employed. That's why e-commerce sites that sell exclusively American-made products like America's Virtual General Store are more important now than they've ever been.
Roger Simmermaker is the author of How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism. He also writes "Buy American Mention of the Week" articles for his website www.howtobuyamerican.com and is a member of the Machinists Union and National Writers Union. Roger has been a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, has been quoted in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report among many other publications, and is now a weekly contributor to WorldNetDaily.