American-made gifts can be hard to find since so many U.S. manufacturers now outsource their work to other countries. It has become difficult to find domestic products in malls and big box stores, in which many products are made where labor is much cheaper, such as China, Japan, Mexico and India. Some of the ways to tap into domestic products is to visit street fairs and research specialty gift guides. Shoppers can also find thousands of unique handcrafted gifts made by Americans through online marketplaces. Below are some tips to speed up the process of finding these products.
5 Tips to Find U.S. Products
- Street fairs that sell arts and crafts are often places to find products made by local artists and musicians. Every major city also has art galleries where consumers can hunt for local paintings.
- Check gift guides such as the “All American Holiday Buyers Guide” published by The Made in the USA Foundation.
- Etsy and DeviantArt are two popular websites that sell handcrafted items by independent entrepreneurs. Etsy sells items such as art, jewelry, clothing, decor and much more. The site conveniently identifies where the manufacturer is from.
- Flea markets are a viable source of low priced used items. Professional vendors often have a lot of product knowledge and can answer questions where the products came from. Vendors are usually local business people, which can include local artists and inventors.
- Visit the websites of organizations dedicated to American products such as American Made Matters and ChooseMadeinUSA.com.
Another reason it’s hard to shop for American products is partly because many merchants don’t really bother promoting the American brand because they sell so many foreign products. Consequently, “Made in the USA” isn’t always stamped on American products. It then becomes up to the consumer to become a researcher. Using search engines can be very helpful by entering the query “products made in” and filling in the blank with an American city. Since most American cities only have a limited number of manufacturers, there are less companies competing for search rankings.