Made In The U.S.A.

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In Adventures on March 16, 2009 at 12:50 am

I’ve been carrying around a Best Buy gift card for months now. It was from a Christmas return that I had hoped to trade in for something else–in particular, I wanted the “Scene It – Seinfeld” game. I know, I’m a dork. You’ve got secrets too, I’m sure.

When I scoped out the Seinfeld game, though, I learned that the disc was Made In China. So I skipped it.

Today I started browsing BestBuy.com to see about cashing in this gift card and actually getting a gift. I was thinking maybe I’d order some music. Just out of curiosity, though, I checked the Seinfeld game. No sign of where it’s made on the web site. Why is that? I thought catalogs were required to print origin information on imported products? Isn’t a web site essentially a digital catalog?

Yes, it is. But I’m wrong about the requirements. A bit of refreshing via the FTC web site reminds me that the requirement is for textile and wool products to be labeled in catalogs, whether in print or online, with a country of origin. So this silly digital game is exempt.

But that means The Gap and J. Crew and all those other retailers should apparently be required to list countries of origin for their products online, right? Let’s see if they do.

The Gap: I clicked “Jeans” and then the very first pair–the Elevated Straight Dark Rinse jeans. What a dumb name. Sure enough, down in the “About this product” section is the big bad word: Imported. Doesn’t say from where, but it presumably meets the FTC standard. I’m sort of surprised, but I guess I shouldn’t be.

J. Crew: What the hell is “soft slub cotton”? I followed the series of first options presented to me at Jcrew.com and ended up at Women’s New Arrivals looking at a “Slub cotton ripple-ruffle short-sleeve tee.” Next time anyone asks about the differences between men and women, remember this: no man would ever buy anything with a description like that. Oh yeah… farther down in the description was the magic word: Import.

Target: If you woke up today thinking, “I’d like to buy a Merona Poplin Shirt in Ebony color” you should go to Target, because they have them. Most ridiculous description ever, too. Not like the previous one, but ridiculous in its own way. Why? Prepare yourself:

“Made in the USA or Imported.”

Gee, thanks. Really unhelpful. It might as well say, “Composed entirely of tiny rusty nails or not.” Or “Previously owned by a member of Congress or nobody.” Or “Defiitely will or will not spontaneously combust.” This just proves that nobody cares. I’m amazed, but I guess I shouldn’t be.

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target made in usa

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  1. I have a blog similar to yours. I research to find what is made in the USA. One thing however is that if you buy from an American made store you are still helping out America. Best Buy is one of those American owned stores. Keep up the good work. I think it may finally be catching on that it is good to buy American products.

    • I see your point, but isn’t there more of a shortage in American-made stuff than American-owned stores?
      That debate quickly gets us back to the car conundrum: Buy a Honda made in Tennessee or a Ford made in Mexico?
      I’m not sure that ownership is enough. After all, Wal Mart is an American-owned store.

  2. Hmmmm, now I see your point. I guess we best keep trying to buy the American made stuff.

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