Monday, January 21, 2013

The Chinese Dilema

If you go on Ebay and type "cloth diapers", you enter another dimension you didn't know it existed.

I go there to find good deals in used Pockets or AIOs, although lately I've been disappointed to see that they go almost for full price (they are THAT coveted).

But then, you see tons of prints and low prices in Buy it Now for as low as a single buck. So how come there are brand new diapers that are sold for 20 times less than the high brands? Answer is simple: China.

Wait a second, aren't Gorvias, some Swaddlebees, Charlie Bananas, Real Nappies and who knows what else made in China too? why then are these considerably cheaper?

Mainly, because there are big factories selling the product directly, sometimes the same diaper that they make for American companies. Should you buy it? well, I'm not anyone to tell you that you shouldn't, since times are hard and the initial investment is high; whereas with these, one could put some $60 and get a full 2 day stash.

Some people argue that they are infringing copyright laws, others that they are not tested for quality control or that they may contain damaging chemicals. Others say that working conditions in China are slavelike and if you buy from them you are contributing to slavery. Finally, other group says that they just are cheaply made and won't offer the guaranty or customer service that their counterparts here will.

Certainly, they are not paying taxes, neither are you. They are also not paying importing primes, neither are you. As for the working conditions, everything we buy these days, from electronics to clothing including musical instruments, is manufactured overseas. If you are concerned about it, well, don't go to Walmart again.

Anyway, asides from quality, which tons of parents claim is just as good (and others claim otherwise), my reason for not going that direction is very simple.

I come from a shoemaking capital. Although I'm not involved in the business and never was, I know a considerable amount of people there that is. Ever since Chinese products started infiltering the system, the economy went down. Now, last year, the taxes imposed on Chinese merchandise were lifted, so you can go and buy a shoe made in the other side of the world for a third of what you pay for a shoe made in your own block. It is impossible that, with the cost of materials and wages, we can match those incredibly ridiculous price tags. That's their goal. They wan't to break our economy and lower their prices to the max, losing money for a couple of years, just so that they get rid of the local competition. That is unfair trading, my town is fighting heavily to bring back the regulatory tax and have a chance, if nothing else.

Seems to me that these diapering companies are doing the same. They don't want people in here working in factories, they want our market and they want to sell as much as they can, with little to no regard of who goes bankrupt.

This is a virgin unexplored industry in which there are no big corporations. It's glowing and growing at a steady pace, improving the lives of thousands of people, even if some are manufactured in China, the companies are here, paying taxes and licenses, testing quality and safety, employing people for handling, for online stores, for shipping and customer service and local retailers. And then add to the list the ones that do manufacture here. In my humble opinion, if I am going to not spend around 1200 in disposables, I can afford to spend 300 in cloth, specially if I use a credit line and I'm paying by the week with the money that would go in the landfills otherwise.

So there you have it, I'm boicoting companies that lower their prices on purpose. That's my reason and my reason only. As I've said before, this blog is not a manual or a Bible, just a simple mom's point of view.

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