As we prepared to leave for China, the couple we replaced told us, “While everything is made it China, that doesn’t me you can actually buy it in China.” At least as an easy, inexpensive retail purchase. Take clocks for example.
We wanted an inexpensive wall clock for our apartment. We looked and looked. The best we could find was a $20 model. One day it broke. We bought its replacement in America and brought it back with us. Wal-Mart in America had exactly what we wanted – the clock in the photo. Made in China, of course, and shipped to America. Sold at Wal-Mart for $3.99. $4 in America & $20 in China. Who would have thought?
Our American $4 clock
Nike shoes are another example. If a pair are made in China and sold in America for $100, they are likely sold in China for $200. Most luxury goods are priced that way. All electronics made in China and sold in America are sold in China for more than their American price. People think the new higher than America iPhone prices are crazy. Starbucks is way more expensive than America. And on it goes.
Two final thoughts. Counterfeits are a totally different story and quite the story they are. And second, middle class Chinese living is very affordable IF you can survive without prestigious brand names. Only problem is, Chinese culture dictates if others will see it, you want the best. So very interesting living in the midst of this. One of our students visiting an uncle in America this summer said what she liked best about America was, “how inexpensive everything was.”