Tariffs: 5 Ways to Avoid Rising Costs on Consumer Products
As the leader of a 2nd generation “All American Made” USA manufacturer, I share my thoughts on how consumers can avoid tariff war worries.
Tariffs are becoming a way of life and, realistically, there is no way for consumers to 100% avoid being impacted by them. Even many “Made in America” products incorporate offshore raw materials which are now having their prices elevated by tariffs.
However, I have seen a lot of ups and downs in my 40-year career. As president of Isaiah Industries, a leading manufacturer of residential metal roofing and other building materials, I understand ways to avoid lightening your wallet with products impacted by tariffs. Here are my 5 Top Tips on how wise consumers can avoid tariff burnout.
My Top 5 Ways Wise Consumers Can Avoid Worry About Tariffs
- Buy American-Made. The best way to avoid the tariffs is to buy American-made products that incorporate all-American raw materials. Companies like Classic Metal Roofing Systems are working hard to avoid the tariffs this way. Of course, the purpose of the taxes is to bolster US manufacturing, which is what you do when you buy American Made.
- Buy Discount. Most US manufacturers and distributors have been caught in the crossfire of the tariffs and have been forced to pass these taxes on to consumers. However, in some cases, they are still selling products and raw materials that they acquired before the tariffs took effect. It never hurts to ask if a discount is available for a pre-tariff product!
- Buy Smart. Realize that in many cases, US companies are absorbing rather than passing through a part, if not all of the taxes. If they weren’t, then we’d be seeing large increases in the cost of virtually everything right now. Also, in some cases, overseas suppliers have made price concessions to compensate US purchasers for the tariffs. All is not lost – your favorite supplier may have found a way around the tariffs!
- Buy Small And New. Consider buying products from smaller companies as well as products that are recently developed and new to the market. In many cases, these products will have minimal dependence on foreign components and therefore not be impacted by the tariffs. Look for new or smaller scaler “niche” products as they are less likely to incorporate foreign materials.
- Buy Later. The current situation will likely be worked out within the next 12 – 18 months. If you want to make sure your money is going for what you’re buying and not to a federally imposed tax, delay your purchase for a few months and watch what changes between now and then.
Though there is already much discussion about the subject of tariffs, I welcome your comments, concerns, and questions about how they can and do impact our purchasing decisions.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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