As Christmas approaches, many patriotic consumers will no doubt fret about how to make their loved ones happy with the right gifts and keep themselves happy by remaining true to their values when making purchases at the same time.
The good news is that buying Made in USA isn't as difficult as most people think, and the even better news is that shoppers can save themselves time, money and frustration - not to mention American jobs - by buying American-made products rather than imports.
How is this possible? First, the big misconception that needs to be exposed is that buying imports does not always save the consumer money. Before Levi's closed their last domestic factory, the prices of the American-made jeans I bought were exactly the same as the ones made in Bangladesh. The winter sweaters I bought last Christmas sporting "Made in China" labels were the same price as the ones sporting "Made in USA" labels. Both sweaters were identical and made by the same manufacturer. There is no significant price difference, if any, between New Balance sneakers made in America and Nike sneakers made in China.
Second, consumers can save money by ordering over the Internet where purchases are still tax free. And many of the American-made alternatives are being offered strictly over the Internet by smaller companies that don't have the horsepower to muscle their way into the retail stores. Most of the smaller companies making their products here can't offer their goods as cheaply to the big-name retailers as comparable companies that import their goods from offshore. That's one reason why most stores stock predominately imported apparel, for instance, since they can get the product cheaper from the manufacturer and realize higher retail profit margins.
Third, shoppers can save a lot of time and frustration by not driving from store to store and fighting the crowds when they may be unsuccessful in finding Made in USA merchandise anyway. So save the gas in your tank for something else and log onto the Internet to find those unique Made in USA items that can't be found in stores. Here are just a few examples:
A more complete list is available at www.howtobuyamerican.com, which is constantly being updated. Every American-made Christmas gift purchased this year and every year is truly a gift to every American.