America Is A Dumping Ground For Junk

Troller

Pelican
Even with good brands/products there’s no guarantee the quality will persist, despite the best intentions, if their subcontractors and suppliers cheap out it’s over. If you find something you like and will need again (clothing, shoes, tool, small appliance, etc.) buy more and store it, a year or two later the “same” item may be produced in a different country or even deeper in China, reviews are replete with “this isn’t like the one I bought before” stories.

I suggest eBay to track down some of these vintage or NOS (new old stock) products, you can set alerts for when new listings are posted. I like Next Door, it’s the best local app I’ve found with a good “for sale & free” section. No one has unlimited space so it’s a good way of selling or getting rid of things (especially bulkier items it’s not worth shipping or paying to dump) so you have some space for quality items. I’ve discovered some cool products this way too, bought a pair of US-made Pendleton shirts for $70. It’s a rarity but I managed to buy four pieces of high-end McIntosh audio equipment for $500 total. I’m not an audiophile so I will sell these for roughly $1000 each.

Networking with people that have similar hobbies and tastes in quality products is important too. If someone knows and likes you they’re far more likely to sell or even give you something of value than someone who’d be willing to pay much more. If you’re really after something that you can’t find you can post ISO (in search of) posts on Next Door, Craigslist or whatever app is best in your area. Yes quality has taken a nosedive but we’ve also never had the ability to search for and find things worldwide. I’m a bibliophile and regularly buy books from international sellers, New Zealand most recently. I always try to reach them directly through their own stores so they aren’t charged a commission and make reasonable offers below their list prices.
I think one of the problems of Mercedes was a component which they changed from Bosch to another brand. But it´s true even if they tried to make the cars of the 90´s it wouldn´t be possible. Also at some point because of climate they actually made biodegradable parts. Your buying a car expecting it to disintegrate...
 

SUNNDANCE1

Chicken
Originally posted on RooshV.com

made-in-china-1024x650.jpg

In the past two decades, the quality of products I purchase online or in retail stores has greatly declined. Most of what I buy today are not even finished products—they require a bit of tinkering or modification to perform as advertised, regardless of how many “five star” reviews they’ve garnered. I’m coming to the realization that corporations see us as fools who will buy anything, and will keep unloading junk onto us because we’ll keep buying it.

A friend told me a curious fact. Weber barbecue grills that are sold in America are made in China, while the Weber grills sold in Germany are made in the United States. Why wouldn’t American-made grills be sold to Americans instead of being shipped halfway across the world? “Because Americans prefer cheaper prices over quality, so they buy the inferior grills made in China. Germans do not tolerate inferior quality, so they get the better-made grills that are produced here.”

Could it be that Americans prefer junk over quality? It’s not like we’re an impoverished country (not yet, anyway) whose citizens can’t afford to spend $10 more on a grill that lasts twice as long, if not forever. I can’t help but recall my most recent purchases and how they’re faring.

—I bought a bed frame and mattress from Ikea. Within a day, I noticed a loud creak whenever I moved. I looked on YouTube and—judging by the view counts—thousands of other people had the same problem. After trying a few remedies, the only one that worked was coating the inside of the frame with duct tape to minimize friction with key contact points.

—When I lived in Europe, I don’t remember ever having to replace a pillow, but in America, pillows quickly turn into flat rocks. It’s like they have a self-destruct mechanism built right in. Pillow manufacturers are obliterating the lifespan of a pillow by saving a few cents using inferior polyester filling.

—I bought a screwdriver set from Amazon that came with a dozen bits. On the very first time I used it to tighten a screw, one of the bits started stripping.

—My mom told me she needed a knife set, so I bought her one at a department store. I made sure not to buy the cheapest set because I wanted them to last my mother for the remainder of her life. It didn’t even last a year. The handles all became loose, and one of them detached completely from the blade.

—I bought a three-pack of Type C USB cables from Amazon with “heavy duty” coating. In three years, all of the cables have failed. I fondly remember how USB cables would last forever, and grew up not knowing that it was even possible for them to fail.



—During my long USA road trip, the weather was getting cool so I bought a pair of gloves from Walmart. There was a stiff tag on the inside that was stabbing my skin and turning it red. I had to use my Swiss Army Knife to surgically remove the tag, which was aggressively sewed into the fabric.

—One Asus laptop I bought was not completely level when placed flat on a desk. I fixed it through the use of velcro pads. Another laptop I bought had protruding keys that left marks on the screen. If a laptop unit is defective in any way, I’m guessing that they dump it to the Americans.

—I use a soft lighting box for my live streams. The light bulbs are meant to last for hundreds of hours, but one burned out after I used it for less than fifty.

—A fan I bought from Target made a clicking sound so loud that it disturbed my sleep. I had to stuff folded paper into the mechanism to silence it.

—When buying t-shirts from a store like H&M, I learned that they are all different even if they’re the same size. I must now try on multiple shirts of the exact same cut and size to find one that is not defective. This is difficult in the post-coronavirus world where you may not be able to try on clothing.

I could go on. Almost everything I buy is junk. One of the few items I have bought that is not junk is a Japanese-made hand coffee grinder. I’ve been using it for years and besides the fault of a slightly bent steel notch (from all the grinding), it works perfectly. In fact, when I think of my possessions that have lasted, the only real winner is my 1999 Toyota 4Runner, which was also made in Japan. Even my fancy Samsung Galaxy S9, a premium phone (made in China), has started to have camera focusing problems, and I’ve only had it for two years. In essence, all my possessions are junk. I own a little junkyard. I’m like Redd Foxx in the old television show Sandford and Son. Maybe I can combine my possessions with yours so we can have an even bigger junkyard.

I don’t know how to even begin solving this problem. Do I simply buy the most expensively priced item of whatever I’m looking for, only to find out that I’m still buying junk albeit with a fancier brand name? Or do I seek out craftsmen who are making items by hand? Or maybe I can buy the wires and plastics to make a USB cable myself. Until I create my own workshop, whenever I need something I go to Amazon, Target, or Walmart, and willingly and knowingly buy a piece of junk that I know will not last. It’s not a good feeling.

I want to punish those who are selling me junk by not buying their products, but the economy is so centralized around only a handful of producers that that would be impossible. If I need a fan, there are only a couple of options, and they’re probably all made by Kung Pao Trading Company. When globalization was sold to us as “cheaper prices,” they concealed the downside of inferior products. It’s no surprise that a people who tolerate junk are also seeing their country’s politics and culture turn into junk. I wonder if it’s all related.

Read Next: The Goal Of Corporations Is Not To Make Money
Permalink
I would love to combine my junk with yours, as long as you don't call me.. "Big Dummy!:)"
 

Scot Samurai

Chicken
Woman
I echo the comments made by all with respect to abysmally low product quality in the USA. We've lived on and off in Japan for 30 years and try to buy long-lasting items like music equipment, etc., there when we need to. As for our solution, we are simply very selective and basically minimalist shoppers in the USA. We buy only what we really need, and we don't ever buy the junky mass items at Ikea or Walmart which are designed to be faulty. Minimalism is the only current solution.
 

RexImperator

Crow
Gold Member
My big gripe is the horrible degradation of fabrics.
It’s even more depressing if you make a comparison to vintage clothing from the 1940’s-1950’s. In fact a lot of the textiles machines for making those fabrics were sold off to Japan where they now make high quality versions of old American clothing.
 

emjem24

Chicken
Woman
I couldn't agree more with this article. The overall quality of products that Americans buy and consume has drastically declined. If there was a word to be used in association with this phenomena I would say it would be mediocre. In my own life and experience, I've noticed, that from the small products (cords, light bulbs, etc.), to the bigger ticket items (cars, houses, etc.), the quality has been sharply reduced. I was born in 1970's and grew up in the 1980's, and don't remember my childhood being marred by so much, to be impolite, crappy products.

I feel like Americans no longer demand better. Our society demands short cuts, lower prices, instant rewards when, in essence, what we receive is a compromised facsimile... in all aspects of our lives. In our major institutions and in our interpersonal relationships. I think that the US needs to start having a conversation on the effects on globalization and what we're willing to accept (and not accept). We were starting to have such a conversation until different crises hit.

I wonder what the average American can do about the heaping junkyard that is overtaking our lives. Do we continue to put up with it and hope that it will eventually change? Do we look the other way while Main Street is finally, once and for all, wiped out for good? Or do we fight to keep the culture of our hometowns and Main Streets alive for generations to come.

I want better. I'm now in my 40's and can see just how bad things have become. I don't want to wake up and find that we're a failed state because we stopped demanding better from our corporate overlords and those who hold the reigns of power. How we get out of this mess to something better that we can all enjoy is the question in search of an answer.

-Erin


Originally posted on RooshV.com

made-in-china-1024x650.jpg

In the past two decades, the quality of products I purchase online or in retail stores has greatly declined. Most of what I buy today are not even finished products—they require a bit of tinkering or modification to perform as advertised, regardless of how many “five star” reviews they’ve garnered. I’m coming to the realization that corporations see us as fools who will buy anything, and will keep unloading junk onto us because we’ll keep buying it.

A friend told me a curious fact. Weber barbecue grills that are sold in America are made in China, while the Weber grills sold in Germany are made in the United States. Why wouldn’t American-made grills be sold to Americans instead of being shipped halfway across the world? “Because Americans prefer cheaper prices over quality, so they buy the inferior grills made in China. Germans do not tolerate inferior quality, so they get the better-made grills that are produced here.”

Could it be that Americans prefer junk over quality? It’s not like we’re an impoverished country (not yet, anyway) whose citizens can’t afford to spend $10 more on a grill that lasts twice as long, if not forever. I can’t help but recall my most recent purchases and how they’re faring.

—I bought a bed frame and mattress from Ikea. Within a day, I noticed a loud creak whenever I moved. I looked on YouTube and—judging by the view counts—thousands of other people had the same problem. After trying a few remedies, the only one that worked was coating the inside of the frame with duct tape to minimize friction with key contact points.

—When I lived in Europe, I don’t remember ever having to replace a pillow, but in America, pillows quickly turn into flat rocks. It’s like they have a self-destruct mechanism built right in. Pillow manufacturers are obliterating the lifespan of a pillow by saving a few cents using inferior polyester filling.

—I bought a screwdriver set from Amazon that came with a dozen bits. On the very first time I used it to tighten a screw, one of the bits started stripping.

—My mom told me she needed a knife set, so I bought her one at a department store. I made sure not to buy the cheapest set because I wanted them to last my mother for the remainder of her life. It didn’t even last a year. The handles all became loose, and one of them detached completely from the blade.

—I bought a three-pack of Type C USB cables from Amazon with “heavy duty” coating. In three years, all of the cables have failed. I fondly remember how USB cables would last forever, and grew up not knowing that it was even possible for them to fail.



—During my long USA road trip, the weather was getting cool so I bought a pair of gloves from Walmart. There was a stiff tag on the inside that was stabbing my skin and turning it red. I had to use my Swiss Army Knife to surgically remove the tag, which was aggressively sewed into the fabric.

—One Asus laptop I bought was not completely level when placed flat on a desk. I fixed it through the use of velcro pads. Another laptop I bought had protruding keys that left marks on the screen. If a laptop unit is defective in any way, I’m guessing that they dump it to the Americans.

—I use a soft lighting box for my live streams. The light bulbs are meant to last for hundreds of hours, but one burned out after I used it for less than fifty.

—A fan I bought from Target made a clicking sound so loud that it disturbed my sleep. I had to stuff folded paper into the mechanism to silence it.

—When buying t-shirts from a store like H&M, I learned that they are all different even if they’re the same size. I must now try on multiple shirts of the exact same cut and size to find one that is not defective. This is difficult in the post-coronavirus world where you may not be able to try on clothing.

I could go on. Almost everything I buy is junk. One of the few items I have bought that is not junk is a Japanese-made hand coffee grinder. I’ve been using it for years and besides the fault of a slightly bent steel notch (from all the grinding), it works perfectly. In fact, when I think of my possessions that have lasted, the only real winner is my 1999 Toyota 4Runner, which was also made in Japan. Even my fancy Samsung Galaxy S9, a premium phone (made in China), has started to have camera focusing problems, and I’ve only had it for two years. In essence, all my possessions are junk. I own a little junkyard. I’m like Redd Foxx in the old television show Sandford and Son. Maybe I can combine my possessions with yours so we can have an even bigger junkyard.

I don’t know how to even begin solving this problem. Do I simply buy the most expensively priced item of whatever I’m looking for, only to find out that I’m still buying junk albeit with a fancier brand name? Or do I seek out craftsmen who are making items by hand? Or maybe I can buy the wires and plastics to make a USB cable myself. Until I create my own workshop, whenever I need something I go to Amazon, Target, or Walmart, and willingly and knowingly buy a piece of junk that I know will not last. It’s not a good feeling.

I want to punish those who are selling me junk by not buying their products, but the economy is so centralized around only a handful of producers that that would be impossible. If I need a fan, there are only a couple of options, and they’re probably all made by Kung Pao Trading Company. When globalization was sold to us as “cheaper prices,” they concealed the downside of inferior products. It’s no surprise that a people who tolerate junk are also seeing their country’s politics and culture turn into junk. I wonder if it’s all related.

Read Next: The Goal Of Corporations Is Not To Make Money
Permalink
 
Long ago in open air type market selling simple things, it was buyer-beware. The goods are plain to see, so if you do not like it, do not buy it was the idea. In the US it became different as higher tech goods came to market: no one could just look at something and determine if it was good or not, so there was the legal concept of implied warranty of merchantability. E.g., if you sell a "car" it needs to, you know, start, go forwards, turn, brake, not catch on fire right away, etc., as the buyer can not reasonably disassemble and inspect the whole thing before buying. I.e., if you claim that product is an X, it needs to actually do what X's do. Also, there was a time in America when getting specific goods could be time consuming and there was no nonsense about waiting weeks for something to be delivered only to have it fall apart a within a week and gumming up the works on the farm. And there were movements, like the Shakers, who insisted on making good quality items at set prices.

China went from an open air type market to the modern world in one step and never got the memo. Actually, they think that anyone putting effort into quality is a fool if they buyer would buy it anyway. This is not trashing Asian goods--when electronics manufacturing moved from Japan to Malaysia before the mad rush to make stuff in China, they were still quite good.

Why people buy junk, I think it is because it is cheap in the short run and people like buying things. Few people will spend twice as much for something that will last four times as long. If importing from China saves us so much money, why does not everyone have a big savings account to show for it? Because it is bought over and over again. But at least it gutted middle class American jobs in the process...

The WWII generation were brought up to "use it up, wear it out, make it do" and tended to do just that. Manufactured goods during their era were nearly all made in America, were generally of high quality, were comparitively expensive, and when something broke they had it repaired. They would buy a Curtis Mathis TV set and use it for 15 or 20 years. Now, people run out and buy stuff and have all the pride of a hunter bringing home food from the jungle.

There are still lots of quality goods out there, you just have to look around. And do not throw stuff away when it does break without having a go at fixing it or having someone else fix it. I wear SAS shoes (made in USA), wear them for years (I have one pair of normal, everyday shoes and wear them 7 days a week), then have them resoled at less than half the cost of a new pair and wear them for a couple of years more before they are relegated to being worn for yard work.

Repairing and refinishing is not a bad hobby, and one that can save money. It does not take a mechanical or electronics wizard to fix most problems. The problems that require great diagnostic skills (e.g., a bad computer chip) are not likely to be fixable anyway. The other problems, maybe 25 - 50% of them, are fairly simple and sometimes highly obvious once the cover is off. In the past three years or so I have fixed: a microwave oven, an e-reader, a DVD player, old radios, three mechanical clocks, a belt sander, two safes, a sewing machine, a dish washer, a toaster oven, a door lock, a stove, a tape player, a weed eater, car brakes, a lamp, a vacuum cleaner, a hydraulic jack, Coleman lanterns and stoves, a clothes washer, etc.

Also get used to maintaining things to make them last. My house has a 1980's era garage door opener. Replaced the belt and the motor start capacitor a week ago, then adjusted it and lubricated it and it is very smooth running and ought to run for years more. The hot water heater got a new anode, which should add years to its life. Have had the same lawn mower going on 10 years now--still uses the original spark plug. Been driving the same car for 18 years now. I have an automotive and home to-do list for each month for what to change, what to check, etc.
 

Robert High Hawk

Kingfisher
There's an enormous gap in wealth when it comes to the consumption of quality goods. The wealthiest Americans live in houses made from Mahogany wood, imported Italian marble, with German Miele appliances, and French porcelain tableware. Their closets are filled with imported clothing that lasts a lifetime, and their fridges are stocked with high-quality food. As for the carnivores, they'll have a good ol' American barby hanging out in the backyard.

Now... your average, run-of-the-mill, "first of the month paycheck" American tends not to appreciate these things to the same degree. There are exceptions, but they are rare. The average consoomer will simply search a product on ((google)), which returns ((amazon)) listings as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd results, and will buy whichever product has the highest "rating" from their fellow consoomers. Very seldom is there any regard to the country of manufacture or the expected lifetime of the product. I find boomers and women (and especially boomer women) to follow this pattern to a T. I've personally witnessed my parents vow to shop exclusively from Amazon, simply to save a few pennies on a Chinese toaster and to have it dropped on their doorstep two days later. Absent is any regard to the quality of the product or the fact that they're inadvertently putting the local appliance store out of business. The path of least resistance, I suppose.

From a macro lens, Americans in general don't seem to care that much about quality. Just look at the women guys tend to choose. In selecting a product, it's typically more important that they can have it now, that it's cheap, and that it functions in the near-term. Anything beyond that seems to be a "I'll cross that bridge when I get there", which translates to: "I'll just buy another cheap shitty Chinese toaster off Amazon when the first one breaks." The phenomenon of eschewing quality for price extends to newly constructed houses, public infrastructure projects, telecommunications networks, and any other industry where cutting corners is profitable and viewed as socially acceptable. These values have seeped their way into the general American culture, with little sign of reversal.

Bottom line: Be a wealthy American or move to Europe if you seek higher quality goods.

I just want to say this was an excellent synopsis and analysis.

I think it's sincerely worth it to visit some of the last small artisinal small artisinal oriented cities in Italy, where the tailor, cobbler, coppersmith, butcher, baker etc... all play a NORMAL and everyday role in peoples lives. Seeing such a society in action is a paradigm shift.
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
I think it's sincerely worth it to visit some of the last small artisinal small artisinal oriented cities in Italy, where the tailor, cobbler, coppersmith, butcher, baker etc... all play a NORMAL and everyday role in peoples lives. Seeing such a society in action is a paradigm shift.
This is good! But I'mma take this and put my own spin on it, as someone who may very well NEVER have the disposable funds for leisure/recreational travel (and not much interest in traveling regardless):

I think it's sincerely worth it to BECOME the small artisan in (YOUR TOWN) - tailor, cobbler, coppersmith, butcher, baker, etc... and play a NORMAL and everyday role in people's lives. Building such a society in action is a paradigm shift. :blush:
 
My
Long ago in open air type market selling simple things, it was buyer-beware. The goods are plain to see, so if you do not like it, do not buy it was the idea. In the US it became different as higher tech goods came to market: no one could just look at something and determine if it was good or not, so there was the legal concept of implied warranty of merchantability. E.g., if you sell a "car" it needs to, you know, start, go forwards, turn, brake, not catch on fire right away, etc., as the buyer can not reasonably disassemble and inspect the whole thing before buying. I.e., if you claim that product is an X, it needs to actually do what X's do. Also, there was a time in America when getting specific goods could be time consuming and there was no nonsense about waiting weeks for something to be delivered only to have it fall apart a within a week and gumming up the works on the farm. And there were movements, like the Shakers, who insisted on making good quality items at set prices.

China went from an open air type market to the modern world in one step and never got the memo. Actually, they think that anyone putting effort into quality is a fool if they buyer would buy it anyway. This is not trashing Asian goods--when electronics manufacturing moved from Japan to Malaysia before the mad rush to make stuff in China, they were still quite good.

Why people buy junk, I think it is because it is cheap in the short run and people like buying things. Few people will spend twice as much for something that will last four times as long. If importing from China saves us so much money, why does not everyone have a big savings account to show for it? Because it is bought over and over again. But at least it gutted middle class American jobs in the process...

The WWII generation were brought up to "use it up, wear it out, make it do" and tended to do just that. Manufactured goods during their era were nearly all made in America, were generally of high quality, were comparitively expensive, and when something broke they had it repaired. They would buy a Curtis Mathis TV set and use it for 15 or 20 years. Now, people run out and buy stuff and have all the pride of a hunter bringing home food from the jungle.

There are still lots of quality goods out there, you just have to look around. And do not throw stuff away when it does break without having a go at fixing it or having someone else fix it. I wear SAS shoes (made in USA), wear them for years (I have one pair of normal, everyday shoes and wear them 7 days a week), then have them resoled at less than half the cost of a new pair and wear them for a couple of years more before they are relegated to being worn for yard work.

Repairing and refinishing is not a bad hobby, and one that can save money. It does not take a mechanical or electronics wizard to fix most problems. The problems that require great diagnostic skills (e.g., a bad computer chip) are not likely to be fixable anyway. The other problems, maybe 25 - 50% of them, are fairly simple and sometimes highly obvious once the cover is off. In the past three years or so I have fixed: a microwave oven, an e-reader, a DVD player, old radios, three mechanical clocks, a belt sander, two safes, a sewing machine, a dish washer, a toaster oven, a door lock, a stove, a tape player, a weed eater, car brakes, a lamp, a vacuum cleaner, a hydraulic jack, Coleman lanterns and stoves, a clothes washer, etc.

Also get used to maintaining things to make them last. My house has a 1980's era garage door opener. Replaced the belt and the motor start capacitor a week ago, then adjusted it and lubricated it and it is very smooth running and ought to run for years more. The hot water heater got a new anode, which should add years to its life. Have had the same lawn mower going on 10 years now--still uses the original spark plug. Been driving the same car for 18 years now. I have an automotive and home to-do list for each month for what to change, what to check, etc.

My grandparents had a locally built fridge from the 1950s that lasted until the mid 80s. My parents when they got married in the mid-1980s bought a Sharp fridge (made in Japan), and they had that until 2014. The Samsung fridge they bought to replace it broke down after six years, and it would have cost more than $1k to repair it (half of the RRP new).

The WWII generation bought a lot less things, but what they did have would still work today. It would have been ludacris to even suggest that a fridge wouldn't last less than 30 years in the past.
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
The thing that really gets me riled up is that we're scolded as INDIVIDUAL HUMANS if we don't do stupid things like recycle the plastic bottle, or turn the light off when we leave the room...

"muh environment"

But there is ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY WHATSOEVER for giant manufacturers that just pump out garbage "product" that is destined for the landfill as soon as some poor sucker buys it.
 
...

But there is ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY WHATSOEVER for giant manufacturers that just pump out garbage "product" that is destined for the landfill as soon as some poor sucker buys it.
^^^^^^^This exactly.

My 2003 Honda has 235K miles on it, I drive it to work every day, and it gets >30 miles to the gallon. I expect it to go past 300K. It still drives like new and very little unplanned maintenance over the years. But now cars are overly complicated to get just a couple more MPG, and might last half as long if one is really lucky. Any guess as to how much electricity and natural gas is used to melt down old car parts to make new steel and aluminum? And what about all that plastic? All the energy used in manufacturing. The bump in CAFE standards are an environmental disaster. Do not even get me started on putting turbo chargers on tiny engines for fuel efficiency, or engines that turn off at stop lights. Or, to be really environmentally friendly go do some strip mining for lithium to make battery powered cars. Coal strip mining = bad, evil. Lithium strip mining = good, happy.

For so much Chinese junk, they really ought to just simplify the supply chain and trash it over there as well, and just give the person buying it a certificate of ownership that they can proudly display for getting such a great deal.

I really suspect that Americans of 30, 40, 50 years ago put out far less garbage than we do. What was thrown away very rarely included nasty things like printed circuit boards. They may not have recycled cardboard boxes, but it is disputable how much of that gets recycled anyway. Now everyone tosses a mountain of Amazon boxes every year for the most inefficient factory to home supply chain ever dreamed of. Yet another recycle bin is another invitation to throw more stuff out.
 
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The thing that really gets me riled up is that we're scolded as INDIVIDUAL HUMANS if we don't do stupid things like recycle the plastic bottle, or turn the light off when we leave the room...

"muh environment"

But there is ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY WHATSOEVER for giant manufacturers that just pump out garbage "product" that is destined for the landfill as soon as some poor sucker buys it.

Corporate Persons are exempt from accountability. That's the problem with our current Legal System. Now what happens when Corporations can have personhood stripped from them for crime.
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
I don’t know how to even begin solving this problem. Do I simply buy the most expensively priced item of whatever I’m looking for, only to find out that I’m still buying junk albeit with a fancier brand name? Or do I seek out craftsmen who are making items by hand? Or maybe I can buy the wires and plastics to make a USB cable myself. Until I create my own workshop, whenever I need something I go to Amazon, Target, or Walmart, and willingly and knowingly buy a piece of junk that I know will not last. It’s not a good feeling.

You have to think of the fitness for a particular purpose - how long and for what purpose do you intend to have this item? I never liked cheap tools for anything since by the nature of a tool, it should be used multiple times to fix other things. I shouldn't have to fix the thing doing the fixing-!

As for what brand and where to get it, I go by word of mouth, maybe reviews, but even reviews are so polluted with fakes and promotions it's hard to tell what's real feedback.
 

skullmask

Woodpecker
It's hard to tell what's good and bad anymore unless you open something and look it over. And even then you have to know what you're looking for. I bought a small dual RTL-SDR box for use as a radio scanner. When I opened it up, well, it looked like something you'd put together with a 5 dollar radio shack soldering iron and NO flux paste. The quality of the USB Y cable connected to the two receivers in the case was especially bad, with intermittent contacts causing the computer to drop the connection if you so much as sneezed at it. You'd have been better off just buying two RTL-SDR's and hooking them up to a USB hub.

It takes a lot of research to find good quality products. It doesn't help that we have so many options these days, so quality tends to get lost in the sea of mediocrity. I find it easier to focus on the big ticket items and just do my best with the small stuff.

Another thing I found is that buying things individually rather than in sets seems to yield better results. If you buy a knife set the big chef's knife included with it will probably disappoint. However, if you buy just a chef's knife, even an inexpensive one will be of better quality. I do the same with all my cookware.
 

SouthernTory

Woodpecker
The thing that really gets me riled up is that we're scolded as INDIVIDUAL HUMANS if we don't do stupid things like recycle the plastic bottle, or turn the light off when we leave the room...

"muh environment"

But there is ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY WHATSOEVER for giant manufacturers that just pump out garbage "product" that is destined for the landfill as soon as some poor sucker buys it.
Indeed it does nothing when huge Chinese plants can pump out whatever they want into the air or water. Yes there are supposed to be restrictions but China is very corrupt and lax on enforcement (money talks, party ties and of course a massive population) for all the draconian commie chest beating.

Often 'recycling' doesn't really happen and again it is down to corruption and money. Welsh waste found in Malaysia for example.


The council of course blamed 3rd party contractors and did what tgey could to minimize the problem.
 
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