Why does America import trash from China, and pay them for it?

For some time now I’ve been considering the massive fraud China perpetuates on “rich” Americans by shipping ton upon ton of garbage to our shores under the guise of useful products, but instead, quickly end up in our landfills. I have never been rich and most often (out of necessity) look for the cheapest price when buying items I need. After about 10 years of shopping in dollar stores regularly I began to notice a disturbing trend about my purchases. I usually make a trip to the dollar store once or twice a month and spend $20 or $30 on regular household items, and at least every other trip, there is at least one item I purchase that ends up immediately in the garbage because it broke when I tried to use it, or it didn’t work as intended. Each time I throw an item away, I just sort of say to myself “Oh well, it’s just a dollar.” However, after a while you find yourself playing that scene out over and over again and you begin to understand that you were not the only person that threw that item in the garbage and the item was probably sold in dollar stores all over the country, and then you begin to see the big picture. China is perpetuating one of the most massive frauds on the American consumer in all known history. In essence, they are ruining our natural environment and robbing our collective pocketbooks (and probably laughing all the way to the bank…if they have banks in China). You cannot tell me the manufacturers of these defective goods are not aware of the defects and choose to sell the items anyway…to the rich, but stupid Americans. For example, I bought an ice cube tray once that would not release the ice without a hammer and chisel, which I tried, it broke, it was tossed into the trash. They knew those ice cube trays were defective. We may as well take on garbage that is picked up by Chinese garbage trucks and pay China to ship it over here, because isn’t that what we are doing anyway? I cannot be the only person that realizes this. Possibly, there are already organizations fighting against this? I really don’t know, but maybe there needs to be. Maybe it could be called ILL “Importing Landfill is Lame.”

China makes stuff they are contracted to. They’ll make cheap stuff so the retailers can make a big profit but China can make good stuff too.

The fault lies in the contractors not China.

No, the fault lies with the cheapskate who thinks you can get a decent product at a dollar store…

…Over and over again.

Credit where credit is due, I reckon you’ve a few doozies totally of your own making.

They are supplying products to their customers specifications at their customers price point. You know of a US business text from “Passion for Excellence” down that promotes a contrary distribution model?

The rest is of the rant just xenophobic, populist, Occupy USA style trash thunk.

Like several developing countries before it, China is gradually moving from commodity-like cheap consumer goods to higher spec and reliability goods that make a better profit. You may soon have to revise your wall of text rant…

But on the subject in question, if dollar stores just stocked a bunch of things that didn’t work, I don’t think that particular “fraud” would last very long before people stopped going there. The demand is there because in most cases the quality of the goods is adequate and the price is substantially lower than the alternatives.

If I buy 10 items from a dollar store, maybe one or two of those items turn out to be not up to par. Well, no problem: the cost-benefit of buying 8 things that work for $10 still means the whole transaction was worth it, and now I know two things not to buy at such a low price point (which is kinda interesting from a “game theory” point of view…)

After awhile you just learn what stuff is good and what isnt.

Moved to Great Debates.

General Questions Moderator

Missed edit window: on re-read sorry I missed that the OP is saying the quality of goods is much better even than I said. That only 1 in 20 or 30 items is defective.

Yep. Every single American has been duped into buying absolute crap. Alternatively, it’s not mostly crap, but you only notice the stuff that is.

Which thesis does Occam’s razor favor?

And what is it about newbies and paragraphs? Is it too much to ask to use paragraphs?

Twist the ice cube tray and the ice will pop out.

And I agree that Chinese Manufacturers will produce to whatever specs have been ordered. The fault lies elsewhere.

:smack::smack::smack: Sorry my reading comprehension failed me a second time.

The OP is actually saying that “at least” 1 in every 40 items is broken or ineffective.

That seems to me a pretty good hit rate, and extremely misleading to refer to the whole set of goods as trash / “imported landfill”.

We have Pound stores, (obviously more upmarket than Dollar stores :)) The quality of the goods on sale varies hugely, as does the relative value. I see things like brand name shampoo, but in small containers. In fact the regular size in the supermarket is cheaper (per millilitre).

It is usually easy to see the quality of plastic goods like brushes and bowls, but harder with refuse bags etc. However, as pointed out above, once bitten…

Of course the OP is making a political point about outsourcing, and he would fined many people here who agree. When you point out their hypocrisy, they get annoyed and start ranting.

I’m old enough to remember when “Made in Japan” was a joke.

(Literally, it was the punch line of jokes about shoddy imported merchandise.)

Do y’all remember when the dollar stores opened? Lots of good stuff then but when the dollar value plummeted so did the products.

I still have a few things I bought for a dollar and still using it.

Right now I’m drinking coffee out of a thermos cup I bought for a dollar.

I still have the 1/4" socket set I bought for a dollar.

I still have the measuring cups and spoons I bought for a dollar.

I have the two pair playing cards and dice I haven’t opened yet.

I have the domino sets.

Check 'em out. I bought them because they were a dollar! You don’t see these at the dollar store anymore, do you?


Back in the 50s and 60s, outside America, it was “Made in Birmingham”.

As you’ve discovered, buying purely on the basis of price isn’t always the best approach. For some things, you’re better off spending a bit more and getting better quality. (For example, I find that when it comes to kitchen tools and household gizmos, the stuff sold by the OXO brand is, generally well-designed and well-manufactured.) And if you compare prices, you might find you can buy stuff from the supermarket or a place like Target for less than a dollar store, if you wait for a sale, buy in bulk or use a coupon.

China’s building a wall of trash and making America pay for it! How ironic!

Ironic is the OP doing a drive-by dump of a wall of text.

As I recall, Back to the Future had a joke based on this shift. I expect a new viewer of BttF today would think that it was just casual racism on Doc Brown’s part.