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Old 03-06-2008, 03:12 AM   #1
JeanneP's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098

We have been trying to find a new galvanized steel shackle for an alternate anchor setup. Every shackle we found was made in China.

With the problems lately with Chinese imports, we did not want to take a chance on a possibly inferior piece of hardware in our ground tackle. We couldn't find anything made in the US. If we had been able to find a rigging tackle outfit we might have had a chance of finding something, but we're not someplace we're familiar with, and even many searches on the Internet have come up with nothing.

We'll be moving again and I'll try again, but now I'm just interested in venting. Because y'all don't know me that well, you can't imagine how out of character my following rant is.

We have a friend who is a brilliant businessman. Many years ago he told us that **, a powerful retail etablishment, approached his business to manufacture items to be sold under their label, at a cost about 10% or so lower than his prices to his other retailers. The quantity that this retailer was proposing to purchase was about 10% of his factory's capacity, making it his largest customer. He declined the order.

When I asked why, he said that ** had a history of gradually taking over more and more of a company's manufacturing capacity until it was too important a customer for them to lose, even though profits from the retailer were lower than those from its other customers. Then ** would inform the mfr. that unless its prices came down, ** would switch suppliers. For some manufacturers the ultimatum could push them to insolvency, or at least a company no longer generating enough capital to remain a growing and vital business.

"Dumping", or exporting an industry's product at less than its cost, into a country in order to undermine its own manufacturing industry, used to be a rallying cry for protective tariffs. As a believer in free trade, it's difficult for me to acknowledge that perhaps sometimes they are necessary.

All the above is the background to my personal conclusion that the US, among other countries, just might have made a really bad mistake in allowing so many cheap Chinese imports into the country that their own industries are closing their doors for lack of customers. And some day those cheap products are going to be very expensive, and we won't have a competitor to keep them honest.

I believe that it is still in a country's best interest to have a strong and competitive industrial sector. I worry that the US is allowing that to shrivel and die in the quest for cheap goods.

Enough. All I really wanted was good quality ground tackle.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 03-06-2008, 10:58 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,729

Hi Jeanne, If you buy from a reputable supplier; one who is concerned with reputation and who has a history of supplying good products and who, before cheap labour became the catch-cry of manufacturing industry worldwide, was a manufacturer of high quality goods, you should still be able to purchase good quality ground tackle.

While Chinese manufacturers have developed a bad name, it is largely because manufacturing controls have not been put in place by wholesalers who are keen to make a quick financial hit.

Chinese manufacturing is mirroring the manufacturing booms of Japan in the sixties, Hong Kong in the seventies and so on through Korea, Taiwan etc.

The bottom line is that reputable local firms which have outsourced their manufacturing to take advantage of cheap labour, are insisting that their goods be made to a specification. The majority of Chinese firms are supplying to these specifications ergo, crap specs = crap products...good specs = good products.

However, I understand your frustration. Try to buy Australian made products in Oz. It is virtually impossible! The big chain stores are outlets for Chinese products and, unfortunately for we consumers, they seem more concerned with price rather than quality.



"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 03-06-2008, 11:19 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067

Hello Jeanne,

One of the very best companies I have dealt with for guaranteed quality is McMaster Carr, an American Company.

If you have a look at #1393 products in this Website

you may find what you are looking for .

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