Do you remember when Wal-Mart used to advertise that all of its items were "Made In America?" That seems like a distant memory. I don't shop at Wal-Mart very often. (I don't shop anywhere that often....) I'm not a Wal-Mart hater. After all, aren't we, the consumers, the ones who want the cheap prices?
My pet peeve is cheap quality. And I've seen - and purchased - plenty of it. How do you deal with this? Support your local small business? That can help keep more of your dollars local. It may mean higher quality, depending on where the retail items are sourced. It may mean paying more for better quality.
But why not try another route? Working directly with the person who makes what you want. You might have had a local builder make custom cabinets or bookshelves. My neighbor had her couch custom built by a local maker. In doing this, you can work directly with the maker to get what you want. And knowing that it is being constructed by hand - and that the maker takes pride in his or her work - is gratifying.
Even on the internet you can encounter custom-making. I am excited to be a maker on each of the following websites:
Both of these sites are breaking the "rules of retail." Take a look. "Get what you want, custom made."