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Made in China

Made in China

We contract manufacture some products in China.


Yes, cost-effectiveness.

But also so much more.

Chinese manufacturers win on cost, speed, AND quality.

Yes, their default state and first quote often is to manufacture at the lowest possible cost. (Hint: Because that’s what most people buy).

If you want quality? You need to spell it out, specify it and pay for it.

Chinese manufacturers are happy and prefer to make quality items.

Many of the “low-quality” issues that Chinese products are known for are intentionally specified this way by American (or any foreign) engineers.

Why? Because consumers' buying patterns demand the lowest cost over quality.

Here's the takeaway:

The Chinese culture, educational system, and society are completely centered around manufacturing.

The USA just isn't anymore.

A practical example:
We wanted to make a swimsuit here in the USA. We paid a US based apparel designer to make us some custom designs. The same design "tech pack" was sent to different domestic and international manufacturers.

Our domestic quotes for contract manufacturing a prototype were ~$12,500 and a process of many months – just for the prototype!

Compare this prototype cost to suppliers in China?: $50 and two weeks.
The Chinese Prototype needed no revisions.

The production order was placed (total cost still under the USA prototype cost even at this point). Within 60 days, we had inventory. In the following 3-4 months, we sold 1,000 pairs and received all 5-star reviews (over 30+).

Sure, the Chinese political landscape is full of problems and can be extremely dysfunctional. Many of their leaders are disastrous, and they have made decisions that are extremely unjust. Not totally a fair comparison, but does that remind you of anywhere a little closer to home?

Don’t worry. We make products in the United States, too.

But Americans simply don’t buy them as much.

Add that slower demand on top of the challenge of finding reliable US-based staff willing to engage in manual labor?

The idea of performing repetitive tasks to manufacture the same widgets daily isn't what our society values.

The availability of such skilled individuals is increasingly scarce, reflecting a trend within our education systems and society at large.

We, as a people, simply prioritize other skill sets over these valuable hands-on abilities.

Change seems necessary, but won’t be easy.


Do you have a different perspective? Let’s hear about it. Comment below or email 
-- Follow Pete on X at @peteyboardman


Dean Cress

Thank you for publishing your article.

You are correct on the costs, availability and quality considerations when deciding what and where to manufacture. USA, China or other countries all have pros and cons.

Apparel makes sense to consider lower cost countries than the USA.

The two primary reasons we purchased from your company was the quality of your products—the inflatables, and you are a local company.

I believe manufacturing your products in the USA should be a top priority. And should a proud and valued differentiator!!

Made in the USA is key for me when purchasing high-end products.

Fortunately, I have decades of manufacturing experience around the globe. Having seen the pros and cons first hand.

The turning point to me for buying your product was when I watched your video at the boat show. Having skid-steer tractor ride on top of your inflatable and not damaging it sold me.

If you end up moving your manufactirimg to a low cost country, the likelihood for your IP and processes to be wide spread and counterfeits popping up everywhere are likely. It will destroy your brand. I’ve seen it happen.

Good luck and i wish you much success!! I’m rooting for you!


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