questionsif shirt.woot could have remained at $10 by…

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No.

I'd rather pay $2 more for the US branded.

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I agree with @okham, the increase if fine with me to stay with made in the USA shirts, now if the quality of those shirts begins to decrease then shirt.woot will need to look into a new supplier

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@okham: That seems like the obvious choice but I wonder if anyone will not agree.

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@shrdlu: He did not ask this question exactly and I did link him "for more information". I wanted rephrase this question in a different way but will wait, you will understand later....

Oh man that almost seem mysterious.

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I love the quality of Woot shirts. I am happy to pay 2$ more. Id be willing to go Otto 15. And offten do when I miss debut day

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Honestly if the quality is the same I wouldn't care where they come from. I mean half the stuff I buy already comes from China, India, etc.. Why not woot shirts. Though we do need some business to stay in the US.

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$2 is fine with me & worth it to keep a supplier in the US. be interesting to see the responses of people who semi/regularly buy shirts vs those that don't.

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For all the jobs that have been lost because companies were looking for the cheapest instead of what's best, abso-fricking-lutely no.

Being made in the USA is a reason why I buy as often as I do.

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Well worth the extra $2 IMO... I LOVE the quality of my Woot shirts, soft yet able to withstand daily abuse. Only managed to destroy one so far, my 8 bit "Poison" shirt. sigh Bacon grease is immortal...

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I also give a yes to paying $2 more to have a shirt in the US. The woot shirts are better quality shirts by far. I have only had one problem with a woot shirt, and that may have been my laundry mistake. I cannot say that for some big name shirts I have bought.

Woot shirts fit me better, not so sloppy around the waist like most. I do exercise and it is nice to let people know I don't hide a beachball under my shirt.

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@caffeine_dude: I plead not enough coffee, and being unable to resist channeling Ms Catz, so early in the AM. I did vote up the question, you know.

For the record, if I were going to buy shirts, I'd be happy to pay the extra $2 for them.

[Edit] Could we please, just this once, NOT downvote people when we disagree with them? Since it just happened, there's time to take those downvotes back off. :-(

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@shrdlu: Ok. But just this once.

Actually, I agree with you. I try only to downvote when something is blatently stupid or offensive. The first occasionally requires me to downvote my own comments. :/

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I love shirt.woot. I love the feel of the shirts, I do not though love how much they shrink. I would prefer the shirts to not shrink and still be US made, switching to a blend should help and be cheaper just not as soft. If they were to find the same quality elsewhere and chose that route I would support them even as I support them now, but if they did switch and the price was cheaper I would buy more. Now that I have moved to Japan my shirt price went to $15 this has made me think twice about buying a shirt when I liked it, now at $17 a shirt I will just have to pass on the shirts I would have bought.

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@shrdlu: No worries, I deeply respect your opinion and did actually wonder if I made a mistake. I should be working but wanted to see what you said instead.
Thanks for the correction.

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There was another thread recently (forgive me for not linking it) about the perils of AA as a company, how they engage in some controversial modeling and advertising practices.

I still think they are leaps and bounds better than imported companies, so yep, I'd much rather keep the AA US made shirts for an extra $2. Given the limited opportunity we have in this country to avoid sweatshop produced textiles (or anything, really), I appreciate the opportunity to avoid it on shirt.woot.

Plus I really like AA shirt quality and how they fit. If they imported those horrible scratchy box-like shirts, I'd never buy another one, not just because they're imported but because they have a really sucky fit.

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Yes I would. I live here in China, in a city that is very poor. I'm the first foreigner to ever live here.
That money is going to people who need it, and I really want to support them! The common elitist will say "Oh but they're severely underpaid. We need to make a stand and show those evil companies that we don't support them."
All they accomplish is hurting the people they think they are helping. Americans think happiness depends on the ability to have a fair wage.
I do agree with the people who are arguing form a basis of quality. It's only when you start thinking that you're achieving some greater good by boycotting overseas companies, that you accomplish nothing. The vast, vast majority of these "poor" people live happy lives on their small wages, and find pleasure in the simplest of things. Don't try to tell me that you're helping them by withholding your money from them. That holds about as much weight as wet toilet paper.
All in all, I'd rather they did come from here :)

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@dmaz: I think calling us "elitist" is a bit harsh. I also think you are severely overgeneralizing a situation. Your interpretation of one community in no way reflects the great, global problem that is sweatshop labor.

These people might not be so poor if massive conglomerate corporations, often with government support as in China, didn't control all the industry around them. You say that these people are happy with their minimal wages, and yet you also say we are hurting them by withholding money and that they are so underprivileged no foreigner has ever even been with them. Which is it?

We're not withholding money from poor people, a terrible and unjust system withholds money from them.

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..continued

Also, China has faced massive protests and even group suicides at its "labor villages" where Foxconn produces computer chips for Apple, Dell, HP and others over low wages and abusive hours. Many small villages were put out of work by Foxconn and other technology firms so factories could move closer to the coast where transportation costs are lower. This problem isn't just textiles and it is much broader than any single community or even any single country.

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I'm happy to pay $2 more for shirts made in the USA, BUT...

are they made in the USA?
Is the cotton grown in the USA?
Is it woven in USA?
Is it stitched in the USA?

Is it one, two, or all of the above?
Toyota cars are more made in the USA than Ford cars...

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@dktiger2001: Info on American Apparel wholesale fabric: http://americanapparel.net/wholesaleresources/fabrics.asp

Unclear on where the cotton is grown, but I'm sure it's out there somewhere.

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@meh3884: I was starting to write a response along the same lines ... but since you covered most it already, I'll just upvote you instead. :)

I will add that since most of our electronics and small appliances are made in China already, our dollars will end up there anyways. In the meantime, without jobs here in the US, how could we even afford to buy anything at all?

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@meh3884: I never called any of you elitists. You did that on your own.
Everyone has they're own set of glasses that they look at life through.
I'm not denying that I have my own biases. But at least I personally know the people that I'm talking about. I can't talk politics in the states because I have no experience or grounds to do so. But I can tell you about Xiaoping, who is excited that everyone at his factory is getting a raise because of money from foreign countries coming in, due to China becoming more global.
You were right about the government being the problem though. You may not have seen this discussion topic from not to long ago. It answers your questions pretty well. http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/3c83d636-61a5-48f1-8962-39526f834aa1/should-we-consider-corporate-ethics-when-posting-deals-specifically-foxconns-em#13

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@meh3884: hehe, I did that before you responded :)
But honestly, I know I'm very biased towards the Chinese people, and it definitely clouds my judgement sometimes.

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@dmaz: I would say it was while I responded :P

I get biased the other way; I work in logistics and I know very well how government and corporate contracts just in shipping take severe advantage of communities all over the world, though especially in China. I guess that makes my view much more high level than yours on the ground with the people, but I think both sides have valid points.

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@meh3884: I agree! I definitely need the over-arching, big picture, viewpoint every now and then to balance me out :)

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Quality is the only thing at matters. If it needs to be $2 extra for better quality, I'll buy it.

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Love the shirts and the fact that they are made in the U.S. Two bucks more is okay with me, as long as they continue to be U.S. made. USA! USA! USA!

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Sadly I woulddn't ever buy another Woot shirt agian. I left other shirt sites over this, most noteably threadless.

Woot, I support you!!! Thank you for being a company worth doing business with.

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@wakingmind: A few years ago, Threadless went import AND increased their price ...

They used to use AA blanks. Then they switched to FotL. Then they went to Bangladesh. And Mexico. Currently, they use blanks made in India. How much has their price gone up ... PLUS having to pay for shipping?

Needless to say, I don't have too many Threadless shirts ...

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@narfcake: and I was getting "brand new" shirts with holes in them too

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@wakingmind: Just pretend it is a $2 shipping fee. Does that make everything better?

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@dmaz: I find your view fascinating. My view of the outsourcing has more to do with moving jobs.
Moving large 'well paying' (for the area) jobs is very destructive as each job, created or lost, ripples over an existing local economy. As the employee no longer has a job they are unable to contribute to the economy as a whole causing others to loose jobs.
For the factory leaving an area it is obvious (think Detroit), unemployment where employment was a standard.
For the large factory introduced to an area that that had none before. It causes inflation and upsets the established balance. As workers will be drawn the the area (both to work at the newly established factory, and to support said workers) housing and goods will raise in price. Eventually when the cost of employment raises high enough to justify leaving the area and starting over.

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@caffeine_dude: Correction: "Think Flint"

But to the original question... I would be ok with the increase if woot considers to make the price cheaper if you buy more shirts (due to the decrease in shipping costs per each).

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@dmaz: I cannot agree with moving jobs from the US to China. More importantly, cheaper shirts come from Malaysia and India, than China (just flip the label over on the 4 dollar blank pocket tee Fruit of the Loom/Haynes shirts at WalMart)

Sure, 5 people in China can be paid for the same amount 1 person at American Apparel makes running a loom, but, you have to look at it from the overall economic standpoint: If we take say 50 jobs from American Apparel, that's 50 people who no longer can contribute to the US economy. In many cases, that's 50 people who are now burdening the economy by going onto unemployment for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 years, who are no longer able to buy anything but the necessities, which in turn pumps more money into stuff made in china, which is money not going to a US made product that means someone else will be jobless in the near future as well.

Its a giant rolling mess when you get down to it, and it's also Highschool level economics. (more)

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Another thing to remember, is labor in china has quadrupled in price over the last 3 or 4 years, due to people actually having a choice in what jobs they work now, as compared to there being few jobs when the Chinese economy was starting to modernize. If I recall from a "Wired" article on the FoxConn Factory suicides and the slaveshop conditions iphones are made in; 5 years ago the average hourly wage was 35 to 50 cents an hour. Now its $1.50 to $2.00 per hour. This increase cuts into the profit margins of having it made in a chinese factory, then shipped to the US, on top of several issues with quality and language/cultural barriers.

In short, many companies have quit outsourcing to China, because of poor quality, poor turn time (takes 6 weeks for a container ship from China to arrive at Long Beach) inability to do custom work, and ever shrinking profit margins/loss of money from product failure out of the box.

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Wow, it seemed like such a simple question. I would pay the $2, I love the quality of the WOOT shirts I own. The first thing I tell people is...and they are made in the USA. I purchased the FOX hoodie which was imported. It's not at all the same quality, the sizing is way different to. I don't like the hoodie at all. I would stop buying shirts from WOOT if they are imports. .....we can buy junk shirts anywhere the fact that there are made here sets them apart.

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I prefer heavier weight T-shirts. I just compared one of my St. John's Bay T-shirts which are made in Honduras, to my most recent Woot T-shirt purchase, which was December 31,2011. The SJB is a much heavier weight and they tend to be the T-shirts I prefer to wear. I love the Woot designs, but I detest having to buy a 3xxx which looks like a tent on me, to get one that is long enough for me. The standard price for SJB T-shirts in 2XLT is like $20.00 but the sale price is about $10. I like the concept of buying US, if the US supplier can provide the same quality, the same variety of color and style, and within the same price structure, but if the US supplier can cannot equal a foreign source the go with foreign source. And another question does a shirt Made in The USA mean that the materials for that shirt came from USA producers?

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I think there are three issues on hand.

[1] Quality: This is easiest to address, as, I think everyone agrees that it's fine to prefer US products if quality is a concern, and the amount that you value the quality increase is less than the incremental price increase.

[2] Human Rights: This area is more debatable. Basically, it is true that the living conditions are worse in sweatshops than in the US -- but they are often better than the alternatives. Let's not kid ourselves, reports suggest that FoxConn is a horrible place to work. That said, reports on it's suicide rate may be misleading, as it's rate appears to be lower than the suicide rate of China. As another example, one of Cuba's largest "exports" is prostitution, partly as a result of the US embargo on trade with Cuba. In this case, there's a formal ban on trade (rather than a consumer-driven one). Despite what internet pundits may say, ...

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... it is not obvious whether human rights are better served by buying from sweatshops and probably raising these people's welfare's incrementally (but not above a condition of which we would approve), or withholding purchases from these companies, probably leaving these people -- at least in the short run -- more impoverished in the hopes that this would lead to more substantial change in the future. It's worth noting that this becomes more complex when we realize that China does not export solely to the US (so in some ways, we would want to coordinate our actions with global consumers).

[3] Nationalism: Finally, you may just care more about the US than other countries. That's a subjective thing -- so I'm not going to make a judgment call on it. However, using a previous example of 1 US job -> 5 Chinese jobs. The idea that 50 lost US jobs result in greater losses to the US economy, given reduced spending power, ...

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... omits the corollary that 250 Chinese people would have a higher spending power, leading to a generally stronger Chinese economy. If you're a nationalist -- this may make the situation sound even worse. If you focus more broadly about people around the world -- then this may not seem like a particularly bad trade-off. Again, this is complicated by our global economy -- so it may be that the 250 richer Chinese people would actually be buying imported American goods (and thus, the ripple effect is not as severe in the US as you might expect) -- likewise, the 50 poorer Americans may have been buying Chinese goods already.

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I'm fine with paying a little more to keep those comfy shirts coming.

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Call me an evil capitalist or libertarian, but to me it boils down to whether the labor is slavery or not. Assuming that the workers have the right to quit I don't have a problem with imports. (Maybe the right to unionize, as well; I have to think through that one.)

Sweatshop workers are in an awful position. But as awful as that position is, the employees obviously consider it a better position than the one where they don't have the job, by the very fact that they're working the job. The way to improve the life of a sweatshop worker is to improve their choices, not remove them.

I'm just spitballing here, and I'm not targeting Woot but rather anybody. But how about investing/donating to educational opportunities in developing nations? How about investing capital in factories who can compete for labor via better working conditions? How about helping these workers to unionize?

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The majority of my shirts have been randoms, with 55 shirts purchased I have spent an average of $7.63 a shirt. Waiting to see how much the randoms will cost.

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If the quality of the shirts remain the same, I don't mind paying the extra $2 (it's inflation people). TeeFury and RipT already charge $12+ for their daily shirts.

I am also curious to see how much the randoms are

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Keeping jobs and products in the US is worth the extra $2 to me. It doesn't hurt that I love the quality of the product.

For those that think that a nationalistic view on consumerism is short sighted:
The global economy is not able to sustain itself at this time. The USA does better overall with local products and a strong middle class labor force making products that last. If we someday find a way to balance having fair wages across the board, with a higher quality standard, AND a stable global economy, then I may change my position. As it is, the US needs to stabilize it's economy with a stronger middle class, which means supporting local products and local labor forces. It is not the job of the US consumer to subsidize another country's labor force.

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@devexityspace: Random shirts will remain at $6.66 per shirt.