Country Living Series

Thursday, April 2, 2020

More on Lehman's

With regards to the blog post on Lehman's I put up this morning, I received a comment as follows:

"I do like their stuff and have bought from them in the past. Looking through one of their latest catalogues a while back, I was sad to see how many of the items were made in China though. Perhaps they will rethink that moving forward?"

Within a couple hours of posting, I received a reply from Galen Lehman himself, CEO of the company, as follows:

"Dear Anonymous - I'm sorry you were disappointed with the amount of product we have from China. I am too! The problem is that we have no choice. If we want to offer a full line of product, we have to include Chinese product, because there is so little made here any longer. I can tell you this: If we know of a USA made version, we carry it. I challenge you to find anything in our store that is made in China but has a good source from an American factory. If you find it, I will carry it.

"Here are some areas where we have problems: Cast iron (yes, we carry USA-made Lodge cookware), tools, stainless steel and glass. For example, when was the last time you saw a stainless steel USA made teakettle. (For me, it's 1970.) We have American made glass from the last family owned commercial glass factory in the USA. But the rest comes from you know where. It's a sad situation."


Please note I've never communicated with Mr. Lehman before. He obviously came to the blog through my emails to his sister Glenda.

Personalized replies. Just part of Lehman's customer service. Gotta love it.

13 comments:

  1. We had purchased a metal mole chaser from them and I dug up the manufacture for some parts. I asked them if they were still producing them but all they had was a few parts. I contacted Lehmans and they had some coming from China. I have no idea what had happened but the person that took my order was not happy about having to go offshore. So there was a usa company that for whatever reason decided to quit making a very good product and Lehmans had no choice but go offshore.

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    1. Thank for understanding! What you describe with the mole chasing windmill is exactly how it happened. We spent a year working with the US manufacturer trying to get him to make them again. Eventually they stopped even returning calls and emails.

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    2. Thank you for the reply!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. I cannot fault any organization for going offshore because that is where they coming from. The fault is the the constant pursuit of the lowest cost item instead of a fuller view of the economic impact of our spending. That, sadly, belongs to all of us.

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    1. You’re exactly right! Because we try so hard to keep US products, we often see how the price battle between products sourced off shore and domestically plays out. Most Americans prefer USA product. If the price is the same, the USA product takes 90% of the sales. Once the USA product is more than 10% higher, usually only about half choose the USA product. Once the difference goes over 20%, sales of the higher priced item drop to near zero. When we find items sourced both places we always carry the USA version, unless the USA version has a quality problem.

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  3. Twenty plus years ago we bought an 'Amish' post hole digger. It was about $160 then. A 'regular' one was $30. No comparison. The design of the Amish one was far superior.

    Fast forward to another century. We have a big tractor and a hydraulic digger (and Titanic sized granite chunks) in our property. The Lehman's PHD is the hole cleaner. We can still use it when we dig holes.

    Remember the utility workers during these times. I know of at least one in Lockdown at his generation facility. His wife and young kids are home. Fortunately they have a super support system. Think about how the medical folks (and the rest of us) would fare without power, fresh drinking water and sewage treatment and all of those disposable oil based medical plastics.

    Natokadn

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    1. Forgot to confirm it came from Lehmans. We had to replace a wooden handle on it once. It came from them also. Natokadn

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  4. It was a terrible mistake to move our production offshore, we are at least now beginning to realize this. I would be in favor of mandates that at least 50% of all products we use be manufactured here and to support this a tariff on foreign made products that equalized the prices. I would also be in favor of 100% of critical supplies be manufactured within our country simply because they are critical.

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    1. Did you read that 3M who makes makes in this country is shipping them overseas. They claimed other countries are paying more. That is sad.

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  5. I wonder if life ever gets back to normal we as a country seriously consider making what we need and not depend on other countries.

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  6. Wow, I can't remember the last time a CEO responded with such truth and clarity. Mr. Lehman is a stand-up guy.
    Montana Guy

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  7. Wow! Thanks for posting this. A visit to Lehman’s is on my bucket list! Impressive.

    A jones
    Florida

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  8. Speaking from the other side of the pond, I wish we had a Lehmans here. Also the CEO is 100 percent right. We should all be looking to manufacture domestically as much as possible. Yes it may cost more but at least your fellow country folk have useful jobs that pay. The reliance on service industries for an economy it sheer idiocy!

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