Survey: American hunters, shooters prefer to buy American-made products.

Mike SchoonveldWould you rather purchase a product made in America or one that’s been imported from some other country? I believe most Americans would choose American products. I also believe American sportsmen are more likely to choose American products than people living in the U.S. that don’t hunt or fish. But that’s just my opinion.

Southwick and Associates don’t just guess about hunting and shooting issues. They run statistically accurate surveys (huntersurvey.com, shootersurvey.com, anglersurvey.com) to definitively answer questions such as I posed in the first paragraph.

I was somewhat correct according to a recent Southwick survey. When asked how important it is for American sportsmen to buy products made in the United States, surveyed hunters and shooters overwhelmingly support the idea of “buying American.” Ninety-five percent of the respondents to the survey said it was either important or very important to buy U.S. goods. Sixty-five percent also believed American-made firearms, ammo and other gear is of higher quality than foreign imports.

With these results one would surmise foreign products in sporting goods stores would not be top sellers. That’s not the case.  The sportsmen surveyed may shop with their heart, but they select with their wallet. Foreign products are often less expensive and as the price difference for similar products increases, more people opt for the less expensive. 

If an American product costs only five percent more, 12 percent of those surveyed pick the less expensive, imported version. As the price differential increases so does the number picking the foreign product. By the time the price is 20 percent higher, more than half of the buyers choose the import and at 30 percent over two-thirds go that route.

I’m not saying it’s good or bad and it’s certainly not surprising. Like most consumers, sportsmen consider the price and value of a product before spending their hard-earned dollars.

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