Made in China??

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How do you tell whether an item is 'Made In China'?

I, like many other people avoid goods made in China.  For some this is a political decision (I do not intend to even start on that one).  For others it is a question of quality.  There are numerous guides here relating to Chinese made goods, the vast majority of the guides suggest avoiding them.  I have purchased a couple of items; a fishing reel for which I have also written a guide and also a motorcycle (not from e-Bay). 

The fishing reel was nothing short of just a pile of junk, my motorcycle is now just over a year old and I am still waiting for the day when everything works on it and it is road legal.  With less than 2000Km on the clock it has been back to the dealer 3 times and I have now been waiting over 6 months for a replacement part to arrive.  This is a standard service item, an air filter, not anything unusual. Chinese goods are undoubtedly cheap and for good reason - the general quality compared to similar goods from other countries is abysmal and their back-up in the event of problems is non-existent.

I recently bid on e-Bay for a solar powered water pump for a garden water feature.  As usual I was inundated with items from Hong Kong.  I narrowed my search to 'Items located in EU' and selected one which claimed to pump water to a height of 65cm.  The item was listed as being located in London but strangely enough the price was listed in Australian dollars.  A quick e-mail to the seller confirmed that the item would be posted from UK, the listing in Australian dollars was because these items were so popular in Australia.  I bought the pump as a Buy It Now and paid by PayPal.

When it arrived it had a Hong Kong postmark and a 'sender's address of a PO box in Hong Kong.  The pump itself was no bigger than a matchbox and had the obligatory 'Made In China' sticker attached.  It was obvious to me that without divine intervention there was no way it would pump water half a meter uphill.  I tested it anyway and, sure enough the maximum it would pump was about 8cm.  I live on a Greek island, it is now July so it was getting about as much sunshine on the solar panel as is possible - I would hate to think how it might perform in UK.

What I find annoying is that firstly I did everything I could to avoid buying a Chinese pump but still ended up with one and secondly I have wasted 2 weeks waiting for something to arrive which is next to useless.  If this item had been on sale in a shop in UK the seller would be in breach of the Sale Of Goods Act for advertising it as something it is not.  It's the equivalent of buying a Ferrari and then finding it only does 40mph.

The only advice I could offer to anyone who wishes to avoid Chinese goods is to e-mail the seller and ask them straight whether the item is of Chinese origin.  I felt that I had asked sufficient questions but apparently not. 




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