CPA recently featured a story about a few investors, including Mark Cuban, playing offensive for American Made during a current Made in China e-commerce boom. Below is a snippet featuring Don Buckner.
E-commerce imports rose over 230% in the first quarter of 2021 versus 2020, according to SEKO Logistics. It’s still rising. There are not enough shipping containers to hold all the stuff Americans are buying from online retail; a business that has effectively merged the American economy with China. In the process, we are watching the build-out of a new retail model – the American-consumer-direct-to-China-manufacturer model.
Everyone is in on this, not just Amazon. Over 50% of their goods are coming from China, according to some estimates. Numerous sellers on Amazon are China businesses, though you will have to hunt to discover that as Amazon is not required to list where their products are manufactured.
Moreover, some of the Chinese sellers on Amazon, like mask maker Dr. Moxa, will say they are made in the U.S. when they are actually made and shipped directly from China, as the Cultivate algorithm can prove.
Don Buckner from Florida is also on the front lines.
He bought the MadeinAmerica.com domain way back in 1998, but it didn’t take off as a potential real business until 2018.
“For us, we have MadeinAmerica.org, which is the flagship enterprise. Our mission is to change American minds and behavior to consider origin, not just, price and raise that awareness,” he says. “One of the catchphrases we use is the power of change is in your pocket. Make it your patriotic duty to buy American-made products,” he says.
And if words like “patriotic duty” sound too political, then consider it a contribution to your community, or the people in your home state, or to manufacturing hubs in hard-hit areas of the country that need retail and business demand to remain alive.
“When you’re buying an imported product, you could be contributing to climate change, or human rights abuses,” Buckner reminds us.
Their e-commerce project’s strategic plan is finishing up. They are about to put it in the hands of fundraisers. They’re building their entire platform and cloud service. They won’t be relying on Amazon’s AWS that is for sure.
“Politicians and big business are not the answer to solve this problem,” Buckner says. “The most powerful engine in the world is the U.S. consumer.”
The American consumer is really the driving force, not China. Everyone wants to sell here. Including all of Asia. We keep hearing from Wall Street that Asia is where it’s at, led by China, of course. But China knows where its bread is buttered. It is by the American multinationals outsourcing factory work there, all to sell goods here, not to Thailand. Not to South Korea. Not to ship it by train to Chengdu. It’s all to ship it by boat to the Port of Los Angeles to reach the American consumer, whether an individual or a business.
Buckner’s MadeinUSA.com is finishing up on a prospectus now and will do a Series A funding round for venture capital, hoping to raise around $5 million to launch what he calls “the world’s largest online store of American made products.”
There are several people who have tried this in the past and failed. The “My Pillow guy,” Mike Lindell, has his own made in America store as a tab on his My Pillow website, but the product list is minuscule and some things are actually imports, the Cultivate algorithm can show.
“The reason people have failed is that they started out with 1,000 items or maybe 10,000 items and then people don’t find what they are looking for, they never come back,” Buckner says. “Our objective is to have between 300,000 to 500,000 products listed so when people do come, they can find, identify, and purchase an American-made product,” he says.
Consumer Reports says 80% would prefer to buy an American product but they don’t because of convenience.