Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Starbucks SUCKS!

For the first time in 3 years, I decided to go Christmas shopping yesterday.  My goal, all be it remote, was to locate a gift Made in the USA for around $20 at the only "local" stores in that area Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Ross Dress for Less and Old Navy. 

I didn't really hold much hope for accomplishing my goals at these particular retailers but in a time crunch I thought I'd do the experience anyway.  I started at Target with the thought that they have a wide range of goods and the odds of finding something made locally was at least a possibility.  I wanted to get a insulated Thermos and some coffee for a co-worker.  Since the plastic items we use in our product are made right up the street from our shop, I thought for sure there would be at least one in the bunch but that it might cost more than my $20 budget.  I began turning over the Thermos' one by one to find each was Made in China.  One even said Hecho en China and had no English on the tag whatsoever! To add insult to injury they were all $15+ and I learned later in the evening that the same model could be purchased up the street at the Dollar Tree!

Disgusted by my discoveries I made my way over to Ross Dress for Less.  If I was going to spend money on a product Made in China I wasn't going to pay what Target wanted! So I roamed through the isles, saw a few options also Made in China, no big surprise, but I was shocked that the price was only $5 to $10 less.  Finally I decided to stop by the Bed Bath and Beyond that was right next door.  After my discovery at Target I didn't hold much hope at all.  True to form after scouring the inventory I left empty handed after 30 mins. Along my way I noticed a plethora of "Earth Friendly" products which of course we're priced at a premium but sadly non where Made in the USA. Exactly how does freighting a "Green" product half way around the globe save the planet anyway?

Tired and frustrated the thought to change my gifting goal all together came to mind and I popped into the Old Navy to check out their Techno Gear clothing. The price was right, the product seemed ok, but I couldn't bring myself to plunk down the dough when I really wanted to stick to my convictions and buy something, ANYTHING, Made in the USA.  Again I walked to my car without a bag in tow.  In a last ditch effort I pulled into a Starbuck's Coffee along the way.  I knew I wasn't going to find anything there, I don't even care for their coffee but the person I was buying for did so I thought I'd give it a look.  Years ago I worked for the Green Monster and they would give a free drink with any mug purchase so I figured at the very least my gift recipient would enjoy a cup of joe and have something to show for it.  But Starbucks has gotten greedy over the years and no longer gives you a drink voucher for your $20 contribution.  In addition to that all of their mugs were again made overseas.  However, I made a really funny discovery that I wasn't looking for.  Next to the registers was bracelet attached to a piece of cardboard that read "Create Jobs for USA"- out of curiosity I decided to  investigate this bracelet and what I discovered almost made me loss my breakfast. 

Seems this campaign to raise money for small business owners like me is JP Morgan Chase's way to make interest off of donations.  This money isn't been given to business owners, oh no, we're expected to pay interest on it.  Something is wrong with this picture don't you think?  The bulk of the economic calapse is predicated on debt and this marketing ploy only feeds off of struggling businesses need by padding the pockets of wealthy bankers and greedy corporations. If you really want to help us small businesses grow please don't waste your money on a bracelet that funds corruption and greed! Instead why not pay $5.00 more on a US made product that actually helps businesses grow and keep their doors open!!!


Melanie Belshee said...

I just learned I missed a tumbler made by Tervis in the USA at Bed Bath and Beyond. If anyone is in need keep an eye out at your local store.

Ryan Belshee said...

Here is what I wrote about a similar topic...

HELP spread the word, Starbucks is starting a campaign to supposedly help small businesses. The Ploy is that you donate $5 and they will help small businesses, in reality the money goes to JP Morgan Chase who will loan it out to small businesses. Ummm the money we sent to starving kids in third world countries does not need to be paid back, why should small business need to repay generous donations to them? Why does JP Morgan get to make money off your donations when this is supposed to be helping small businesses?

Also isn’t the reason for the collapse of our economy based on everyone having too much debt, how is adding to the debt of a small business going to help them?

Please tell everyone you know to NOT SUPPORT this campaign, if you want to help small businesses, simply buy American products, ones actually made here not just designed here. If you are feeling especially generous find a small business and donate directly. Together we can make this country stronger, but we need to get away from debt.

I can not believe the audacity of Starbucks and JP Morgan to market this as a way to help small business. In the short term it may give us some money for capital or materials but in the long term we will have repay the debt which will mean that we need more income… income comes from increased sales not a loan, just buy American products and American businesses will have more money to pay for materials, employees and be benefited in the long term. This plan is only a band-aid solution and will cause more damage in the future.

As a small business owner it is tough, going out on a limb here for a moment I will say that not all big business is bad, if run correctly. They need supplies and materials, if we can push large businesses to buy materials from American manufacturers or suppliers of raw goods that can in turn cause a recovery in our domestic economy. That said it would be good to support only large businesses that do not eat small businesses for breakfast like Starbucks. Ever see your favorite corner coffee shop run out of business because the green monster came in across the street? Living in Portland we had a place called Coffee People a medium sized local chain, bought up by Starbucks dismantled and destroyed, most locations were just closed and the ones that were still open were converted and the product suffered.

I hope that together we can boycott his insanely destructive ploy. Like when Bank Of America wanted to charge to use a debit card, together we stopped the corporate greed! DO NOT DONATE TO STARBUCKS "Create Jobs For USA Program" it is a fraud

Please share with everyone you know!

Thank you,

Ryan Belshee

President / Inventor

RocLok Hide A Key Inc