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Shop for America
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
February 28, 2006

How would you like to be able to help small and medium-sized businesses in the USA and help them lower their cost of doing business in the USA at the same time? The fine people at the new e-commerce website have found a way to allow patriotic-minded Americans to do just that.

"Our concept was to allow American producers to sell their products in a convenient, efficient market place without having to give up a huge fraction of their sales dollar to one of the traditional department stores," notes Dr. Joel Bradley, Shop For America's President. Even though Dr. Bradley earned his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he didn't need that to notice the global economy was straining the national economy.

Joel's daughter Anne Bradley, who serves as Chief Technology Officer for the company, worked in technical support in Maine after receiving her degree in Computer Science and witnessed first-hand how workers there who had previously lost their jobs at shoe factories saw their jobs disappear again after they moved into the "high-tech" field.

By choosing from among the nearly 2,000 products offered by nearly 200 different companies on, you can help keep these companies strong and profitable so they can continue to contribute to the American economy by employing their American workers. And Dr. Bradley estimates that the number of products and companies featured on the website will likely double within a year.

And it's not just because of the simple fact that you are patronizing these American companies, but it's how you are doing it. Traditional store chains can command up to 70% of all sales dollars, leaving smaller companies with smaller operating profits than they need to remain competitive with the multinational corporations. As an author whose books are available at national-chain bookstores, I'm aware of this as well. Bookstores often take at least 50% right off the top for the privilege of selling my books through their stores. That's why I urge people to order my book through instead, and it's why I urge you to order products through that you might otherwise buy in a nationally-known department store.

At you'll find luggage, tote bags, wallets, unique arts & crafts, beauty care products, apparel for babies, kids and adults, boots, shoes, home d?cor, outdoor furniture, kitchen accessories, lighters, tools, grills, guitars, collector coins, pet supplies, gourmet & specialty foods, gift baskets, backpacks, bicycles, and toys, among many more items.

As you can see from the above and very condensed list, Shop For America isn't just another site offering products you might never purchase elsewhere anyway. That fact hit home personally with me when I saw the same (American-made) Weber gas grill I bought last year from Home Depot on for about the same price. Of course I'm happy with my purchase of a fine American-made gas grill from a fine American-owned company, but I would have been even happier to purchase it on the website I am recommending to everyone who reads this article to visit. By doing so, I would have directed more of my American dollars to the Weber company and more dollars to a smaller, patriotic-minded American e-commerce business instead of a large multinational chain.

It's not that I have anything in particular against Home Depot. I've purchased many American-made products from them including several much-needed items in preparation for the rash of Florida hurricanes the past two years including ladders, hammers, saws, roof shingles, etc. And I've written about the American-made outdoor furniture they offer (although I have received emails saying that may be changing).

Many small and medium-sized companies don't have large national marketing budgets with which to get shelf space in the major retail chains. At Shop For America, these companies can list their products inexpensively and sell them for a larger profit to ensure they can remain part of our economy for years to come.

And at Shop For America, it isn't just a case of "here I am, buy my stuff" like it is at the big box retailers, but also "here's a little about me - my story and history" as companies are given a chance to provide information about themselves on the website. Doing business with companies you respect because of their similar outlook on what's best for the American economy helps to make us feel more of a part of the economy we're helping to prosper.


How Americans Can Buy American
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Email the Author: Roger Simmermaker

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