Any product from China worth buying?

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Mercury... sorry not lead.
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clipped

My '76 Chevy was great. My '84 Buick is still great. Salt air is tough on her, though.

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RichK,
you know you are only getting what you paid for.
Btw: Isn't Target for poor asian kids?
I have two electric space heaters: a Lakewood oil radiator and an AdobeAir oscillating ceramic heater. Both are many years old -so I can't speak for the newer models However, my LakewoodModel 7000/A electric oil radiator space heater still works well with the exception of one bad power level lights (it is very old and the least expensive of the two units). The AdobeAir, Inc Model C300000 has also worked for years but I don't use it too often - it has its own floor stand. Both can operate from 600W to 1500W. Both were made in China. I inherited my Lakewood oil radiator from my father when he passed away - my guess is that it is about 20 years old. The AdobeAir unit is about ten years old.
The chinese export market is price sensitve but currently it is not quality sensitive. This is because the general market is more or less price sensitve not quality sensitive. Much of that is due to the rise of big box retailing and how it has put significantly greater price pressures on manufacturers in recent times. I'd check consumer reports next time before buying an applicance if I were you.
Wrt to when will export quality rise?
We look at Japan as an example.
The quality of Japanese manufactured goods rose when its society became more affluent and more of its production was domestically consumed rather than exported abroad. As Japanese society became more affluent, they affected the quality of the goods manufactured there - often test marketing japanese manufactured goods before they were being exported abroad. For example, japanese hybrid cars were market tested in Japan before being exported to the USA. Thus it is not the influence of export consumer but the domestic consumer that is key to raising the quality of exported chinese manufactured goods. so.... As Chinese consumers become more affluent ( i.e. there are more rich chinse kids in China) they will consumes and demand higher quality goods and products from chinese manufacturers. Eventually the effect of this demand for higher quality within the domestic market will trickle down to export markets.
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correction: I just went upstairs to check my old Lakewood and found out that my Lakewood radiator was made in the USA (Illinois) not China. My bad. Amazing how it still works, too. :-)

I expect that as the chinese manufacturing sector matures - more chinese manufacturers will start to do more independent research and product development which eventually lead to chinese manufacturers dictating higher levels quality. Big Box retailers whose primary focus is just price will start importing from other countries, where they can dictate price.
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others said:

The quality of Japanese products and affluency rose when the workers were unionized. Which was also their downfall, costs became too high so that production found Southeast Asia, then India. But Japan's improved technical education allowed them to move into high technology production where better margins moved them from quantity to quality.
SE Asia didn't do the tech education thing right and lost out to China. India is now loosing some markets to China, high tech education is there, yet to see how they go. They are exporting a lot of their educated.
> Exactly, there are thousands of companies in China that > only have the capability of crankin out crap. There are > also thousands of companies in China capable of making top > of the line anything. > China likes the aroma of success, but can the government handle success and their people. If so, the unionization and market outpricing can't be far behind. There seems to always be someone ready to fill the need for low cost production.
> We get what we pay for. I think your > dissatisfaction should be directed at the parent companies > who clearly ignore quality control. > The companies are providing exactly what the market demands. That's the only way any business stays around.
You ARE the market, you determine what is made, at what price. But you could be in the minority, for the time being. Or simply buying at the wrong place ;-)
-larry / dallas
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