Buying American Made Industrial Furniture

By April 21, 2010 about me, furniture No Comments

India bar stool.jpg
I was recently contacted by an Indian company asking if I was interested in buying their furniture. The minimum order was a 20 foot container load. So I took at look at their catalog and was amazed at the prices. $100 for an end table that would take me a week to make. $225 for a dresser that would take me 2 weeks to make. I thought to myself, “holy shit, I should buy a container load and sell this stuff for dirt cheap!” I could even mark it up 300-500% and probably still sell it. But after some contemplation, I realized what a stupid idea it was. Over buying imported products has taken it’s toll on this country, as well as others. Some kid in India is probably working for $1 a day to make this stuff. And it’s fairly dangerous work too. I almost cut off my pinkie the other day. And I am very careful, poorer countries are far from that in my experience. And if I was to be selling this stuff, I’d be taking jobs away from other Americans like myself. I’ve been to just about all of the local industrial style furniture shops around town and many of them are selling these imports. And it looks pretty decent, but feels cheap to me, probably because they use thinner materials. A lot of the online retailers are doing the same thing. Hudson Goods is selling a cart that has the same picture from the Indian catalog. They use reclaimed wood too, but do I care if an India made table is made using reclaimed wood?

Kind of Ironically, I ended up hiring a European immigrant to help me out. He does great work, understands me, and the money stays in this country. Hey, it stays in this state! So if you care, you might ask the store “where does this come from?” Because odds are they took off the “Made in India / Thailand / Mexico / Indonesia / China” sticker. This might be my first political post, at least on this blog.