Made In The U.S.A.

Archive for the ‘Retailers’ Category

Will Woot wanna?

In Retailers on January 24, 2009 at 9:39 am

Just for fun I sent Woot a request. They list all sorts of specifications about the “crap” they sell, but they don’t typically list where the stuff is made. So I asked ‘em too.

They won’t.

They didn’t respond as such, but I’m confident they won’t. Nor will they respond. No matter how fun or funky or offbeat they may be, they’re still a big ol’ American retailer. And they sell stuff. Stuff we don’t need. And there’s no reason on God’s green earth why they see a benefit to listing the origins of the stuff they sell.

So they won’t. I’m sure of it.

Dear Woot: I’m neither angry nor disappointed. My request is that you list “Country of Origin” in product specs. (I know, most of the stuff is probably from far, far away. But still: it’s good to know that, even if it isn’t made in the USA.)

They won’t.


Woot. There it is.

In Retailers on January 22, 2009 at 10:05 pm

One of my favorite ways to buy stuff is via Woot’s motto is, “One day, One deal.” They list a thing every morning just after midnight, and they sell that thing for 24 hours or until they run out. Today it might be a universal TV remote, tomorrow a computer monitor. They may have ten or ten thousand, and when they’re out they’re out. And if you missed something good Read the rest of this entry »

Circuit City Sayonara

In Retailers on January 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

From CNN Money: “Bankrupt electronics retailer Circuit City Inc. said Friday it has asked for court approval to close its remaining 567 U.S. stores and sell all its merchandise. The company said it has 34,000 employees.”

I read news like this and think various things: “Those poor people losing their jobs!” and “What does that say about the state of our economy?” and so on. No matter how much I want the empathy to win out, my thoughts quickly change to, “I bet this is the perfect opportunity to buy some discounted stuff.”

Does that make me a capitalist pig?

I wonder what percentage of Circuit City stuff is actually Made In The USA?



Playmobil Security Check Point

In Retailers on January 15, 2009 at 9:46 pm

If you’re in the mood for buying, or at least browsing, I highly recommend doing it here. The comments are excellent. I think Amazon might be turning into an avant garde performance art space.


Playmobil Security Check Point

Shop It To Me

In Retailers on January 15, 2009 at 9:41 pm


Shelley mentioned a shopping web site to me and it’s quite consumptive. More on it in a moment. First, it got me thinking that maybe the web might be the biggest culprit in my faceless consumption, as well as my biggest savior. Not only can I shop Etsy (in the positive column) but I can also shop everywhere else in the world, from big faceless corporations, without even leaving my couch. Worse yet, I can’t just turn over the piece of junk I’m about to buy to see  from whence it’s stickered.

The site Shelley mentioned was ShopItToMe and it is a pretty neat idea. Plug in your contact info, your personal dimensions (aka. Sizes of clothing you’d like to shop for) as well as products, styles and manufacturers (or, I suppose more accurately, branders and distributors) and tell it how often you’d like to receive updates. Voila: in your inbox you’ll find all the sale items from all the stores of all the clothing stuff you wanna buy.

My first batch of matches included a pair of sexy boots from Kenneth Cole, and some very fancy sweaters from some very fancy manufacturers that I might have considered if I weren’t a very uncomfortably large man. (It’s easier to be fashionable if you’re tiny. Trust me. If I was 5’10” and 135 pounds, I would dress so great you wouldn’t believe it.)

The moral of this story is: I didn’t even have to search the internet to find the presumably-shoddily-constructed-or-even-nicely-constructed-but-still-made-in-a-foreign-sweatshop-I-assume stuff that I normally shop for on the Internet. Now, you can have it piped in directly to your email so you can even be a passive mass consumer.

Sheesh. Four days in and I’m already annoyed with my own shopping habits, as well as the consumer-centric culture I inhabit. Maybe I’m just already insufferable. Or maybe I was to start.



Etsy: A Craft Fair on the Internet

In Retailers on January 14, 2009 at 10:04 pm


I bought some post-Christmas gifts today, and decided that Etsy would be the perfect place to shop. Not for any altruistic homegrown reason, but because I was looking for unique handmade gifts. Sure enough, I found the perfect wallet and coin purse that I was looking for (not for me, I should point out. Remember: they’re gifts. Shhh.) and the price was right and I’m buying local. Chicago, to be exact, which I’d say is pretty darn local.

Etsy is like a craft fair on the Internet. It’s the Amazon of indy handyfolks. Makers of stuff—clothes, crafts, photographs, painting, whatever—sign up with the site and list their items for sale. Whether they make one or one thousand, Etsy simply offers one place in the virtual world where simple sellers can sell simply to buyers. Etsy of course takes a cut from the seller, but for the buyer it’s like making any other online purchase.

Not all of Etsy’s vendors are local; some more than others. But still, to have access to even the option of  buying locally produced stuff… Great! (A complaint about Etsy on Wikipedia actually cites the site for being “too United States centric.” That might stink for the rest of the world, but for us in the US who can’t seem to get anything homemade, it’s excellent.)

Vaguely interesting postscript: Nobody seems to know why the site is called “Etsy” or what exactly the name might mean. There’s an interesting article here at The Name Inspector.