An Observation

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Made In China

I don’t know what your experience is, but whenever I buy something that is made in China and it is in a box with “some assembly required”, there are bolts, and small parts that are required for successful completion missing. WHICH is why I now require that the item be assembled by Home Depot or Lowes on site by their own expert craftsmen — or if it’s an item for delivery, I pay for assembly at my house. I can’t tell you how much grief it’s lifted from my narrow shoulders. 
Based on my personal experience, they open two or three boxes (of crap) to make one complete item. Sometimes more. Sometimes no matter how many boxes they open, key parts are missing. I leave the store, telling them to call me when they get enough items to assemble something complete.
It’s not just Chinese stuff (though that’s the worst). I ordered a gizmo from Ducati and it arrived (parts in a box, fresh off the boat from Italy) without instructions. After pouring over it for several hours, I took it to Ducati to have it assembled and they announced that key components were missing. Given that I just received a box of stuff, how was I to know?
Most of the junk that is actually made in America comes with a few extra washers, bolts and doodads and I put those spare items into the bolt and screw jars. 
What do the Chinese do with the hardware that doesn’t go into the box? It’s one of those mysteries like – where did my pocket comb go, or why is there only one sock in the laundry when I put two in – and why do I have ten pairs of socks (after washing) and none of them match?

32 thoughts on “An Observation

  1. When my daughter was a wee one, she was to get a doll house for Christmas. Some assembly required indeed. The problem, square holes with round pegs slightly larger. Looking closer I saw the the doll house was made in Poland. And that was back when Polish jokes were huge. I got a drill and fixed it.

  2. Having put together a lot of IKEA (made in China) furniture for my kids, and grandkids, I now have enough extra parts & allen wrenches to last me a life time. But it's way better than not enough parts to finish an assembly.

  3. Some people say the cost level will increase in China and the benefit of manufacturing whatever it is will be reduced in some 10 years time. Other countries will offer cheaper labor and companies will move their production where the profit will be maximized according to some. Others claim that robotics and smart production systems like 3D printing will enable local production closer to the market with reduced logistical expenditures benefiting the customer. So maybe some day American flags will be produced in the US. At some point in the past they discovered the coating used on stealth planes was produced in an Asian country. At that time it was said there was no US manufacturers. Maybe there will a change in attitude about what matters when you take into account all that matters beside the profit to the owner of the ones selling the product.

  4. My experience in such matters is completely different: regardless of whether it comes from China or Sweden (IKEA), I have found that things go together pretty nicely these days, unlike the old 'tab A into slot B' era.

    Nowadays, the instructions no longer contain written language, only pictorial descriptions. LL, you must be shopping in all the wrong places.

    Or maybe you just don't live right.

  5. "At that time it was said there was no US manufacturers."

    Indeed. I wonder if the day will come when we have to call for a cease-fire so we can buy more ammo from the enemy who is shooting at us.

  6. Very possibly there weren't any US suppliers of said coating because it was "too toxic" to be made here.

    When I was working at my last job in Kalifornia, the only solvent we were allowed to use for critical cleaning was isopropyl alcohol. IPA is a pretty good cleaner, but some things it just wouldn't budge. I took in a spray can of Birchwood Casey "Gun Scrubber", did what I had to do, and then took it back home.

  7. I had a very hard lacquer surface applied to a wood floor and naturally, was completely illegal in California. My sense of it was this: If California can sanction illegal immigration, I can sanction a toxic (but nearly bullet proof) material to seal the wood on my floor.

    PS – the material is legal in Arizona…

  8. When I refinished some of the flooring in the Long Beach house I went to buy some urethane finish. ALL that was available was a reformulated water-based version.

    I followed the instructions exactly, and even after the 72 hour wait for it to dry, the dogs had it peeling off the wood within a few days.

    Complete GARBAGE, but "environmentally friendly". I had our in-laws in Colorado send me some of the real urethane, refinished the floor again, and it worked properly, with no peeling.

  9. I keep winding up with all the parts, but assembly instructions in "Engrish".
    Ducati story: I worked at the Tucson, AZ Ducati dealership for a short while in the mid '90s, between real-paying jobs. The owner told me a story of a bike that arrive new in the crate from the factory with a fly painted onto the fuel tank. As in, the fly landed on a coat of paint while still tacky, and the painter then applied several additional coats over the fly. Right next to the cap on the tank. Sealed into the box, shipped from Italy with said fly.

  10. I buy them at Costco these days – a bale or two of them at the same time and yes, they're the same. It sucks the joy out of having interesting socks, but I'm old enough that I don't care.

  11. Being a cheapskate, buy a lot of stuff from the Full Bore China Outlet, aka Harbor Freight. I'm thrilled when what I purchase actually works.

  12. And it's usually an iffy thing if it will. But I agree. Every so often there is a purchase that works better than expected.

  13. The last item I had to assemble was a Chinese made poly garden cart. It was perfect. Every bolt hole lined up, the fasteners had nyloc nuts, the rust prone ones that fastened the poly bed to the steel frame were stainless steel, every single fastener was blister packed. Gorilla brand, if it matters-
    On a machinist forum I frequent, someone who does a lot of work with the Chinese companies said the Chinere can and do make machine tools as good as anything in the world- the problem is, Americans want cheap stuff and expect the Chinese to deliver, so they do.
    We always hear these comments about how the Chinese only spend X amount of money on their military, compared to a vastly greater sum spent by us. My gut feeling is they get a hell of a lot more bang from their buck.

  14. Having more than just a little experience in the manufacturing end of things, I've heard from several business associates, with actual experience in these matters, that the Chinese are capable of producing extremely high quality items; as good as or better than anyone else in the world.

    BUT….You have to watch them like a hawk! I've heard first-hand stories of component substitution, specification and testing "fudging", and poor QC unless you have 24/7/365 QC of your own to ensure the contract is met.

  15. I'd rather lock out of a torpedo tube in a perfectly good submarine than shop at IKEA…and locking out of a torpedo tube is something that I really DON'T like to do. (only did it in training, never in a mission scenario)

  16. A friend of mine set up a Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise (Pronounced "woofie") and manufactured on the mainland. I helped him do it through friends of mine but he did all of the heavy lifting. Raven is correct in that the Chinese can do things just as well as anyone else. But there is a concept in China, and that is "good enough". Good enough in China for the Chinese public is almost never good enough for a First World market. Quality control is an issue and if you have people that stay on that, there's nothing wrong with Chinese goods. Many companies are lax in their oversight of QC and thus the problems.

  17. Me too. But if it is a box of stuff that requires assembly, I still have it assembled elsewhere. My last experience in that was with a ceiling fan. It took three boxes of this particular ceiling fan to get one complete (in all respects) fan. In the end, I returned fan #1, simply unpacked fan #2 at the store and rejected it – and then unpacked fan #3 at the store and found that it had everything that I needed.

  18. My sense is that being obliged to eat Aunt Sally's cooking has squared any gripe that the universe had with you.

  19. Thanks, Globalist, NWO elites for making all our lives so much better. But seriously, how long can a country continue when it doesn't produce anything except debt?

    Answer? Sell the debt and doubles all 'round!

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