How To Make Sure A Product Is Really Made In America

If you have ever looked for American made products, you already know how hard it can be. You may think that the patriotic brand name or terms like designed in the USA verify that it was made in America, but that’s not the case. Companies often take advantage of people looking for American made products by using confusing or misleading terminology. They even go so far as using USA and America in their brand and product names when they aren’t American made. So how can you avoid being taken advantage of by companies selling imported products posing as American made? Let’s take a look…

Brand Names

Unfortunately, as mentioned, a brand name does not indicate where a product was made. Patriotic words like American, USA, and Patriot are not an indication of the origin of a product. In fact, it is often used to mislead consumers. One brand went so far as to use “Made In USA” in their brand name even though their products were imported. So remember, a brand name is not a way to verify where the product was made.

Product Names

In the same way that brand names can be misleading, product names can be used to confuse customers. Let’s say that there is a toaster named “American Patriot Premium Toaster” – it sounds like a great American made product, right? Actually, it doesn’t indicate anything about where the product was made, or even where the company is based. It seems like these names should mean something, but the truth is that it’s all just a marketing gimmick.

Marketing Terms

Although there are laws enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent deceptive marketing, some companies use legal, but potentially misleading marketing terms by using somewhat tricky wording. So they won’t say “made in USA”, but they may use terms that make you believe that a product is domestically made. For example, some products will be labeled as “designed in USA” or “assembled in USA”. Many consumers interpret this as meaning that these are American made products, but that’s not the case. 

Designed in the USA means that the product concept and design were made in the United States. Generally, these product designs are sent off for manufacturing in another country. Rather than saying that the product is foreign made, they focus on the fact that the product concept and design are from the US. This is a great way to avoid telling consumers that the product is imported. Sure, it’s great that they employed people in the US to design the product, but why not make it here? The answer is profit. Assembled in the USA means that the parts were put together to make the final product in America. This generally indicates that the parts are foreign made. Again, it’s great that Americans are assembling these products, but they should be using American parts whenever possible.

Images, Logos, and Designs

Another way that companies try to make their products appear to be American made is by using images, logos, or product designs that seem to indicate that they are American made. American flags, bald eagles, and other patriotic imagery do not mean a product is made in the USA. For example, even an American flag can be made in another country. You need to look for other indications about the origins of a product.

There is no standard or official label image that indicates that a product is American made, although there are many designs out there. If the image looks patriotic it does not mean the product is made in America. If the image contains text which specifically states “Made in USA”, “Made in America”, or any similar variation, it is most likely an American made product. When images contain text that directly states the product is made in America, it usually is. This is because the FTC prohibits the use of misleading marketing, so companies are not allowed to say that a product is made in the USA when it isn’t.

The Best Way To Make Sure A Product Is Made In The USA

Rather than using brand names, product names, or marketing terms, look for clear indications about the origin of the product. For example, look for clear information that says “Made in the USA” or “American Made” in the product description. If you are on a website that provides a customer question and answers section, search for questions about where the product was made. The manufacturer or seller may already have given an answer. If not, you can ask them yourself. This not only helps you but also helps other customers who want to buy American made products. You can also check product reviews as people often mention the country of origin listed on the product’s labeling.

The description, answers to customer questions, or reviews are better ways to verify that a product is made in America. The reason for this is because a company isn’t restricted from using an American sounding name, but they aren’t allowed to specifically say that a product is made in the USA when it isn’t. So unless you see specifically that the product is described by the seller or manufacturer as made in the USA, don’t expect that it is. While there is not one official term or label to indicate that a product is American made, clear descriptions or labels are typically accurate. So a description or label that says “Made in America” or “Made in USA” can usually be trusted.

If you’re looking for an American made product, make sure that you do your research to verify that you know where the product is from. Look for information that specifically mentions where the product is made rather than relying on catchy names or uncertain marketing terms or images. If you can’t find information about where the product was made, try contacting the seller or manufacturer.

Buying American made products is important for our country. American made products help to support our economy and protect American jobs. So when you’re buying, look for a quality American made product and make sure you know it’s really made in the USA. All products listed on Pride In America are made in the USA.

To read more about the importance of buying American made products, read our post on the subject – “US Manufacturing and The Importance of Buying American Made Products“.