Shopping today is trickier than ever, but that’s what having more products than ever before will do. Many people are trying to curate their purchases more closely, with an emphasis on shopping for American-made and locally sourced projects. There are many reasons people make this choice, ranging from wanting to support local businesses to believing they’ll be of higher quality.
However, it can be tricky to maintain this shopping method because tracking these products on the shelves can be challenging unless you know where to look. More distributors specialize in American-made and locally sourced products. These simple tips can make it easier to vote with your pocketbook and be confident that you’re only supporting the products that meet your standards.
Use Filters Online
More and more shopping transactions are done online now, giving you a major customer edge. Previously, you either had to do your research before you came to the store or rely on customer service to guess what you were talking about, which would help you find locally sourced or American-made products. Now, not only can you do your research online before you purchase, but many sites are making it easier by including built-in filters you can use to narrow down your search.
How do filtering features work? Simple – just look at the search bar or sidebar to click for what you want to include or exclude. Not all sites have filters for American-made or local products, but those that do will save you a lot of time – and it’s an indicator that the company may share your values. When combined with filters that narrow down the product to the subgenre you want, this can turn an intimidating shopping trip into a one-stop snap in seconds.
Look Up American Brands
Knowing what you want before you start can save you a lot of time. If you’re looking for American-made products, it’s important not just to look at which companies are American – many of the most well-known names in business started here – but which are still manufacturing their products in this country. Go deeper because so many big corporations have decided to save pennies by shipping jobs overseas – and many people might not even know it.
When it comes to locally-sourced companies, unless you’re in a hub of industry, the odds are you’ll have to look a little further. These are likely to be small businesses that aren’t household names yet. They may have their products in bigger stores, so coming into a big-box store with this advanced knowledge can make your job much easier. If you’re manufacturing your own product and want everyone to know you’re American-made or local, applying stickers from American-made sticker company StickerYou can help.
If you’re having trouble finding locally sourced or American-made products, you might be making it harder on yourself with where you shop. If you primarily shop on major online retailers like Amazon or at stores like Walmart or Target, finding these products can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. The business model of these huge retailers is providing a massive number of products at the lowest cost possible, and that rarely allows for smaller business owners.
On the other hand, your local community might be a haven for this type of product. Do you still have a traditional main street? The odds are some small boutiques might have exactly what you’re looking for. Surprisingly, another place that can be a source is your local mall. As malls see major chains exit, small local businesses are moving in to those storefronts and kiosks and bringing a wide variety of local products with them.
Reach Out to Handmade Curators
To find the product you’re looking for, you might want to go VERY small. Places like local flea markets, farmers’ markets, and art fairs are a great place to meet local talent looking to sell their wares and start from the ground up.
In the digital age, another place to look is sites like Etsy, where people can sell their handmade crafts and start their own digital storefront. With these small businesses, it’s important to spread the word and provide positive reviews if you like their product because that will allow the business to expand and compete with the bigger companies.
Keeping it Local
It’s not always easy to stick to American-made and locally sourced products. However, those who do are often rewarded with superior quality and the knowledge that they’re helping their community. The market is only expanding, and these products are gaining popularity by the day.