Counterfeit and Faulty Products On Amazon: Why to Buy American Made
Amazon controls the US online marketplace,with 50% share of all goods sold in 2019. The #2 player is way behind at 5-6%. So no one else comes close. And this market dominance is growing each year. With such an overwhelming presence, Amazon must have a proprietary vetting process to ensure customers are able to safely purchase without worry, right? Unfortunately, no.
Amazon may be a giant in the market, but they take a surprisingly hands-free approach when ensuring that their marketplace is not flooded with both fakes and low quality products. Many consumers trust and will purchase products on Amazon without a second though. They’re simply unaware of the massive presence of fake products on Amazon. This is especially true for Amazon Prime products with the Amazon Prime badge so readily and proudly displayed. In reality, these products are simply being housed and shipped at Amazon warehouses. Amazon Prime only means that the item is in stock at the Amazon fulfillment center and the customer can (usually) expect their delivery within 2 days.
Unfortunately, this kind of hands-free approach is not without victims.
Only just a few years ago, an Amazon customer purchased a retractable dog leash on the website, which malfunctioned on use and retracted violently - blinding her in one eye. While this is obviously an extreme case that is a rare occurrence, common problems such as overpaying for counterfeit products, dealing with extremely faulty low-quality products, and the overall loss of valuable time and money are ever present.
Because Amazon is not readily checking its massive influx of products, it falls upon the everyday consumer to make sure they’re purchasing a quality product.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re buying a high quality product is to purchase from American sellers who source and manufacture products to high quality standards. These sellers are based in America, provide customer support and are here for the long term.
We’re proud to say that we’re a manufacturer of such a high quality product. Since its creation in 1995, our Body Back Buddy has always been 100% sourced and produced in the United States. Currently, the Buddy is manufactured in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Of course not all American sellers are created equal, but it is a strong starting point.
Why buy American made?In order for a product to be promoted as made ‘Made in America’ certain standards regulated by the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) must be met. According to the FTC, for a product to make such a claim, “the product must be all or virtually all made in the U.S” and its “final assembly or processing must take place in the U.S”. Other factors taken into consideration are the amount of foreign processing/manufacturing which occurs during the production of the product, and if it is more than a marginable amount, then said product would not be viable for the “Made in U.S.A” claim.
In some cases products will feature a qualified USA claim which describes the exact extent to which the product is made in the USA, whether it's through processing, manufacturing or materials. One such case is when a product derives its material from an offshore provider, but is assembled in the US, which would warrant an “Assembled in USA” claim.
The easiest way to tell if a product is directly imported without any US manufacturing is to find the country of origin label which is required by the Customs and Border Protection - “Made in China” is one example.
1. Higher Standards for Safer and Better Quality Products
Simply put, imported products aren’t held to the rigorous standards that the U.S enforces for its products. While imported products are screened and tested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sometimes products which pose as a potential health hazard may slip through the cracks. According to the New York Times, in 2007 toys imported from China were tested and were found to contain traces of lead paint and kerosene. American products are regulated by the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and companies are subject to a hefty fine if they’re found to be violating their strict safety laws and standards.
2. Fuels our Economy and Creates American Jobs
In October of this year, the U.S deficit was at $984 billion, which was a $205 billion increase against the previous year and the highest since 2012. We can do our part in reducing the overall deficit by purchasing products made on our own soil. According to the Alliance for American Manufacturing, “for every $1.00 that is spent on products manufactured in the US, $1.81 is generated in economic activity.” Putting money into our economy not only creates jobs for fellow Americans but helps create a better standard of living for people across the nation. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) claims that in 2013 roughly 17 millions jobs were indirectly related to the manufacturing sector of the US, and 12 million were directly involved, for a total of roughly 30 million jobs. However, almost 6 million manufacturer jobs have been lost between March 1998 and 2013, the EPI cites the loss from a growing trade deficit between Mexico, China, and other nations.
Buying locally and purchasing American made products helps prevent further loss of American jobs. The EPI has estimated that every manufacturing job in the U.S indirectly creates another 1.4 jobs in another sector of the economy. If you purchase American products then you receive a higher quality product while supporting the creation of American jobs - it’s a win/win situation for everyone involved.
3. Better for the Environment
The EPA claims that “greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer.” 30 percent of these gases are carbon emissions stemming from transportation. Imported products have a dramatically higher carbon footprint than U.S produced items. An item imported from China has to travel three times further than a product produced in the U.S - even when shipped from coast to coast.
In addition to greenhouse gases from transportation, regulations on manufacturing standards also have a huge impact. Since the ‘Clean Air Act’ establishment 1970, the U.S has made constant strides and revisions to better improve their environmental impact across the nation. The EPA official website claims that “states are required to adopt enforceable plans to achieve and maintain air quality meeting the air quality standards.” In addition to requiring that all states control emissions which can potentially enter another state, and decrease air quality in downwind states. Many foreign countries don’t have regulations that they must adhere to; China has become notorious for their air pollution from which 1 million deaths occur annually from the dangerous pollutants found in their populous cities such as Beijing.
Buy American and Local!We understand that it can be challenging to shop ethically, but the impact it creates is immeasurable for both the environment and economy of our nation.
Our small business is solely supported by consumers who choose to buy American - so a BIG thank you to those who support us and other fellow small businesses.
Our jobs exist because of you!