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Does it matter to you when you buy a gift whether that gift was made in the USA?


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Initial post: Apr 23, 2012 8:50:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 10:07:28 PM PDT
I need your honest feedback on this question. I am trying to help my brother with a new board game he has invented. Sales are going quite well. Currently the game is made in the USA (which costs more to produce than in China). He does not want to have to make the game in China if at all possible. The question is: Does it matter to you whether a gift or game that you buy is made in the USA? In other words, do you mind paying more for a gift or a game that is made in the USA?

P.S. Since I have started this discussion, I have been receiving a number of emails asking about the game and requesting more information. I am happy to make it easier for those of you who wanted this information. The game is called Outside the Box™ and is not available in any stores. However, it is available on the internet and, of course, right here on Amazon. Here is the Amazon page: Outside the Box - The NEW fast-thinking team and party game! By the way, if you like the fact that the game is proudly made in the USA, please feel free to "like it" by clicking the "like" button. Thank you all so much for your kind words of support. It is so hard to be the small fish in a sea of very big sharks.

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 4:54:12 PM PDT
LRC says:
Yes it matters if it is made in America, and yes I would pay more...and have done just thay.

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 8:54:14 PM PDT
Cara Hansson says:
no, i don't care where things are manufactured.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 7:57:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 24, 2012 7:57:58 AM PDT
This question reminds me of an episode that I watched recently. The show was called Shark Tank and the premise of the show was that inventors come on and pitch their ideas in an attempt to seek capital from one of the five (?) billionaires on the panel.

In the particular episode that was relevant to this discussion, a man had a great idea (by all accounts) however, he insisted on only creating his product in the USA.

While the panel appeared to want to help him, they did make some good points that your brother might find of interest.

Here is the link so that you (and your brother) can watch it yourself.

http://www.sharktankzone.com/content/donny-mccall%e2%80%99s-invis-rack-made-usa

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 8:23:49 AM PDT
Twofingers peace,

Thank you for sending me that link to Shark Tank. I watch the show every week...and I understand your points here. I would like your opinion, though. Do you think my brother's game would fit the show, if he was chosen to go on it? It is a great game that was test-played on over 2000 people (teens, college students, adults and seniors) during a three year development phase before the actual production of the first 1000 games. It was copyrighted, trademarked, and there is a patent pending on the game. Here is the link, so that you can read about the game and the Amazon reviews (16 are 5 star rated, 3 are 4 star) Outside the Box - The NEW fast-thinking team and party game! (This is the premier limited first edition and is personally signed by the inventor.)

Thanks again for your help and best regards,
Glenn

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 8:40:56 AM PDT
Cheri Coble says:
Yes it matters!!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 11:57:20 AM PDT
web wolf says:
Yes it matters to me! Living in America, I like to buy American-made products. I'd rather support my economy vs. another country's and will pay more in doing so.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 5:03:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 24, 2012 5:06:47 PM PDT
Glenn, your brother is so lucky to have you in his life.

I think that with all things being equal, most people in the USA would want to support made in the usa items. The shades of grey come into play when we are talking about prices of things that are 'luxuries'. Unfortunately, this is a luxury item so PRICE is much more important IMO then the made in the USA label. As with the Shark Tank episode, make the parts elsewhere and assemble (sp?) in the usa for now.

At $50, many people in your target demographic (or what I think is your target demographic) will not buy this item WITHOUT STRONG MARKETING since it is in direct competition with not only other board games, but also with electronic games (wii) that are all less expensive.

I am not stating that your game is not great or fun (I don't know), but at that price point, many might buy another game and a case of beer for the same effect. It is for this reason, I would think that creating this product elsewhere would be a huge benefit to you as it would lower the cost of production and/or allow you to spend more money on marketing.

Speaking of Marketing-
The shark tank show

Yes, your brother should try to get on it. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. If they say yes, he gets money for marketing his game, if they say no, he still has his face and his game in front of a crowd who might not have otherwise known that him or his product ever existed. If he has a website, people may just stop by and see the game. (I am embarrassed to admit that I went to 'cat guy's' website).

One of the things about the show is that there is a certain level of "WTF" to how they select the winners based on the products (think: the cat drawing guy).
If your brother wants to get on the show, it appears that the secret for sucess IMO is to 'sell yourself' first.

The aforementioned 'cat guy' had self depricating jokes and he just did not mind explaining just how crazy the entire idea was to the judges.

They loved him.

Any of them could have had a group of day care kids or a 6 year old relative draw the same (if not better) picture(s) for them.

They liked this guy's energy and basically invested in him.

The product that he was selling was secondary to the sale of himself.

You can also see a variant of this 'style' in that 'Shamwow' guy (R.I.P) where he comes on the infomercial type commericals and shouts at you about how great the product is.

Does your brother have a bit of that salesmanship to him?

I have guessed that the target demographic for this game is 18 thru 25. Because of the price point, many of the men in that demographic will probably use that $50 to buy a game for their playstations or xboxes without a great marketing job to convince them otherwise.

Obviously you don't currently have a lot of money to devote to the marketing budget, so it is time to get creative.
Why not go to your local college and find some up and coming film students to give it a try. If you sponsor a contest, you will get several ideas that you can pick from and you only have to pay the winner. In the meantime, you have created a buzz on the campus because some of the film students are going to have their friends as models and extras in the videos that they submit to win your contest.
Cheap PR made BY your target demographic FOR your target demographic!

If you really want to create some buzz, have the students themselves pick the winning video and participate in some sort of drawing to win one of the games (and $50) too. It will be the best $2000 +/- that you have ever spent. If you have set up your business correctly you can simply write off the majority of that expense on your taxes.
By letting the student's pick and win something they are forced to watch ALL of the videos and thus reinforcing the exposure to game.
Out of ideas but wishing you the best of luck

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 4:36:16 PM PDT
K. Holt says:
Price is important to me, money is very tight. I do want to support the USA, but when it comes down to it, would not buy a $50 game. Of course, I don't buy cheaper games either since things are so tight. Games are not a necessity. Anyway, something in the ballpark of $20 is more doable for me if I did actually want to buy a game.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 6:42:29 PM PDT
NY Dululu says:
I'm looking for quality and do not care where product come from. If American product has the same quality and price, of course I will choose American.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 7:34:24 PM PDT
Lexy Bourne says:
Yes!

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 11:22:58 PM PDT
s t says:
Well, China's economy is good because all of our jobs are over there and America's economy is not good because all of our jobs are in China. H*ll yes it matters to me. Buy American every chance I get. Something is wrong when our firecrackers that we celebrate the Fourth of July with are even made in China. Haven't bought Fireworks for a long time.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 2:29:54 AM PDT
Yes, it matters a lot to me but you really have to do your research because "made in USA" can be hard to find. Then there are the companies like Levi's that sell their USA made items at about 3 times the imported items and you will see the imported items on sale but not the USA items. Hang on to your old 501's made of "real" denim. Try the Neiman Marcus website for items mostly made in the USA and some really good markdowns on sales items - you might be surprised because the merchandise is very good quality and still in style.
Buying American just makes me feel better, especially in this economy.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 4:04:41 PM PDT
PennyLane says:
for myself it has always mattered to some extent but I've had to adjust to reality; when it comes to a gift that isn't just "any old thing" it is quite important to have it made in USA especially if it matters to the giftee too. heh once I asked my MIL who was going to France to bring me a gift of "french lace" (meaning something made IN France) she said it cost too much and brought me a scarf she purchased there ...made in India :D

Posted on Apr 29, 2012 4:17:28 PM PDT
Asuigeneris1 says:
Yes & No, it's a nice thought...but the options become more and more limited daily, so as to it being feasible most of the time.

...it really isn't.

Besides, if I want it, I want it...where it was made will not play much of a role.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 2:41:17 PM PDT
S. Varga says:
YES it matters, OUR future depends on the US making things. I know it is just a game ,but itis
the idea. For those who do not care, if you end up un employed, think about where you spent your money in the past.

Posted on May 1, 2012 7:28:02 AM PDT
Wendell says:
To your target demographic it does NOT matter. Anyone under the age of 30, grew up in a world where manufacturing had already left the US. They don't check labels for things so archaic as where it is made. The people on this thread who say it matters are not going to buy your game (they have already said so).

One really important somewhat related thing is what Varga said: "Our future depends on the US making things". This is simply not true. Is Varga raising his/her kids to get a job at a factory? No. Then who exactly will "make things". None of us (in 2012) want our kids to grow up to be factory workers. So who exactly will make all this "made in USA stuff. As the Shark Tank pointed out; making the product over-seas allows you to hire marketing people, sales people, and supply chain managers and other "information workers" as opposed to laborers. Who wants their kid to be a factory worker vs. a marketing manager or marketing executive?

I'm always amazed when people are amazed by the harsh working conditions of the people in Chinese factories. What do you think it was like in this country when we made things. Read your history. 7 day work weeks, child labor, dangerous conditions, deaths. It all happened here to. As a country we've moved past this.

Posted on May 1, 2012 8:10:30 AM PDT
widowTink says:
Yes, it matters to me now. I'm currently refusing to buy Waggin' Train and Milo's Kitchen dog treats. They are made in china by people who eat dogs. There have been reports of dogs poisoned by these treats. It seems to me these simple things could be made somewhere in America by Americans with American-raised chickens and cattle.

I've been giving handmade gifts a lot more these days....absolutely American made! ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 8:13:10 AM PDT
widowTink says:
And in answer to your question yes, I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for American made product. Whether it's a board game or dog treats. Just be sure to advertise the fact that the game is made in America by Americans. If we don't know about it, or it's just in little writing on the box or that little American flag logo that is too small to be noticed, then we can't make the "right" choice.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 4:19:03 PM PDT
Asuigeneris1 says:
You made me laugh.

...when my sons were little, the youngest wanted to be a surgeon. {So he thought}

At a doctors appointment, he got caught looking over the equipment in the examining room and was asked by the PA what he wanted to be when he grew up...after elaborating on all his future plans, the PA looked at my other son who is a year older and asked the same of him.

...I think he was just trying to be inclusive, but my son twisted his face a bit and answered.

A Grave Digger.

I smacked him upside his head and laughed on the way out of the office...and asked why the smart*** reply. : P

...he looked at me and said, "I'm nine years old, how the heck do I know what I want to be when I grow up?" >.<

I doubt he ever wanted to be a factory worker though. LOL

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 6:48:45 PM PDT
A grave digger: that was hilarious! Not sure why you hit him upside the head (playfully I am sure), I would have been to busy clutching my own ribs to even lift my hand. Great story, hope you hug him again for making strangers laugh on the Internet.

I also agree with you 100% about no one wanting their kids to be the ones who are actually making the stuff that says made in America. From any trailer park and/or any ghetto every mom has a desire for their kid to go to college despite some politician trying to say it is elitist to feel that way.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 7:05:43 PM PDT
I agree with your statement 100%. When my kid (19) went to buy a car he didn't think twice about buying American. He read consumer reports and went from there. He lives in a much different world. He plays games on line with people in different countries and has dated women whose names I can't even pronounce. Buying American doesn't really resonate with him or people in his generation. I doubt he is unique in his thinking.

Posted on May 1, 2012 9:18:06 PM PDT
Joey says:
If it is cheaper being made offshore and it still remains at the same level of quality, then make it offshore. I can understand with larger items such as cars and furniture (although they are vastly improving) but when they majority of your product is paper, then it does make sense to keep your costs down. The quality of Chinese products has improved vastly within the last 5 years. The other side is that other markets that you may sell into may not care where your product is made. I live in New Zealand and most products we buy come from China anyway.

Posted on May 1, 2012 9:56:04 PM PDT
S. Robinson says:
I'm glad your brother is so talented. The American economy was founded on inspiration and invention. Ask any unemployed person if it matter whether a product is "made in the USA" or off-shore and see what they say. If you have a job it might not matter, but if you don't it's frustrating to see everything coming from foreign countries. Your brother might look it to getting government grants to employ the mentally disabled or homeless as a way to both keep costs in check and give back to society.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 9:56:46 PM PDT
Asuigeneris1 says:
Nah, that's all we have as parents...that dream and hope they will become more than we were/are.

...I lucked out and all turned out well, I still may end up with a grave digger in the family, but he will be a highly educated one. : P

My eldest son went on to be my clone, I shoulda smacked him upside his head more often...maybe I could have prevented that. >.<

...but doubtful. LOL
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Discussion in:  Gift Idea forum
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Initial post:  Apr 23, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 19, 2014

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