Bad Grammar, Missing Letters

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you ever bought something and realized that it didn’t work the way it was suppose to?  The T-shirt graphic had a typo or the shoe straps were backwards?  This has happened to me before and I usually return the item to the store, but I never stopped to wonder how that item came into existence.

Somewhere in the world (probably an undeveloped country) a factory worker was careless for one nanosecond of his or her grueling, detailed-oriented work of sewing a button or the like and he made a mistake.  This mistake could mess up one item, but in a factory that churns out thousands of replicas a minute, this mistake will more likely affect quite a bit of merchandise before it can be corrected.

In a world of profit margins, what does a CEO decide to do with the boxes of unsellable items?  They send them to Mongolia.  If you walk down the streets and read the shirts, they won’t always make sense.  This teacup set is an example:

I’m not sure how companies can get away with doing this, but I suppose Mongolians don’t notice the difference.  At some point in the past, a pool of companies came together around a table and discussed how to make a profit out of items they couldn’t sell in developed countries.  After a brainstorm session, they all decided to ship these things to undeveloped countries that couldn’t afford the better items and wouldn’t know the difference.

Is this practice deplorable?  Part of the problem is the amount of bootlegging that goes on in undeveloped countries.  You could shop at the State Department Store if you are very rich, but if you an average citizen, you would shop at the black market or similar places.  Why are the prices for the items so different depending upon where you go?  It makes me question how those items came into the hands of the little shops that are selling it cheaply compared to the department stores that are like the differences between Wal-Mart and Louis Vuitton.

2 thoughts on “Bad Grammar, Missing Letters

  1. Kate,
    Glad to see you’ve got this site/blog going. I’ll be checking it. As to your notes on counterfeiting, I picked up a great baseball cap in Cyprus — it’s a counterfeit Calvin Klein, with the C and K. The C has been added to so it says Cyprus, the K so it says Kypros (in Greek). Great use of someone else’s design.

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