Metal Table Legs and Bases: Made in the USA vs Overseas

Products made overseas tend to have a negative stigma applied to them, whereas people are often willing to pay considerable more for a product made in the United States, but is that mentality warranted?

 

Just because a product is made overseas does not necessarily mean it is any different than a product made in the USA. In fact, there are some commodities that are only made overseas due to availability of certain raw materials. However having products shipped from a different hemisphere is very expensive, so why do people buy products manufactured overseas? It all comes down to price. Most people will associate this cheaper price due to lower labor wages in other countries, and while this is true, the average percentage of a product price manufactured in the USA is roughly 12%. So that means apples to apples, a product made overseas vs a product made in the USA should only be able to be 12% less, and that’s not even taking intercontinental shipping charges into account. So how are products made overseas able to be so much cheaper?

Subsidized by their Government

In many underdeveloped, and even in some developed, countries, if laborers don’t have any work to do, their family starves. It is in their countries best interest to keep these workers working, and getting paid. It is common to see part of a products cost or the shipping costs paid for by the government so the manufacturer can offer a lower price to the consumer. While this aspect doesn’t directly affect the quality of a manufactured product, it definitely sets a standard of quantity over quality. This is true even for metal table legs.

Cutting costs wherever possible

We are frequently contacted by overseas suppliers of metal table legs trying to get us to buy and resell their products here. There are products they are offering to us for $17/Each for something that we sell for $140/Each. Even with cheaper labor rates and government funding, how can these companies offer a product that is almost 90% cheaper than our products? Some of the biggest differences are in the quality of the materials. We have seen products that based on the spec sheet are apples to apples identical to our product, but you can see the metal flexing under any amount of applied weight on the foreign product. We even had one that you could dent and bend the metal just by pressing it hard enough with a finger. These manufactures use very low grade materials, usually scrap metal that does not comply with any kind of standard. In 2023, China used more than 3x the amount of scrap metal produced in the United States alone. What do you think they are doing with all this scrap metal?

Mass Production

Most people understand that making 100,000 of a piece is going to have a cheaper cost per item than simply making 1. Overseas manufacturers try to constantly keep their workers and machines running to avoid downtime. Many of these manufacturing facilities surprisingly use state of the art machinery and technology, but this equipment is selected and implemented to increase production, even if it is as the expense of product quality. Think about how many novelty toys or trinkets kids get from easter eggs, goodie bags, etc that simply do not work. These are cheap, mass produced items that are manufactured knowingly as non-functional items and people buy them because they are cheap but have little to no expectations that these items will even work. Mass production does not always mean a compromise on quality, but with lower priced metal table legs and bases, the equipment utilized is design to get the product in the desired shape and hold it there as quickly as possible. The joints are often sloppy and very pronounced. We’ve seen foreign products where the welds missed the seam, and some where the products were glued together instead of being welded. Don’t expect any kind of longevity on a product like that.

Sales Support and Product Warranty

Generally speaking, when someone buys the cheapest price they can find on a certain product, they are not expecting any kind of support or warranty on their purchase. If the product fails, or is defective, they will often throw the product away and try again somewhere else. Product and sales support costs money, so cutting these out of your business offering will allow you to offer a lower product price to your customer.

 

How are we Different?

Here at ECon Welding, all of our metal table legs and bases are hand-made here in the United States. The material we use is also sourced and made in the USA, conforming to standards in the metal industry. We don’t cut corners and our products are not mass-produced. Each item is custom made by a metalworker who takes pride in their work. We all love to see our products in use and know that we can be part of supplying a high end, heirloom quality piece of metal furniture to your custom build. We go the extra mile in making sure you are completely satisfied with your purchase. That is why we offer a LIFETIME ECon Satisfaction Guarantee. We know we aren’t the cheapest, but we guarantee you will be completely satisfied with your order from us.

 

Browse through our Metal Table Legs or our Metal Table Bases to see which design will work the best for your application or Contact Us with any questions.

 

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