Tariffs: Why You Should Buy Now

If you work in manufacturing or importing industries, you’re probably familiar with the recent increases in tariffs on Chinese goods. For most Americans, however, this tariff business is a little foreign--pun intended. In this brief article we’ll explain just what these tariffs mean for you as a consumer, and why it’s wise to make your purchases sooner rather than later.


Tariff Timeline & Basics

Many imported goods are shipped across the water inside of metal containers.

Tariffs are expenses that US companies pay when importing products from outside of the country. These products can range from small steel fittings and parts to completed goods, such as fireplace inserts and fire pits, within the hearth and home industry.

As noted by the Federation of American Scientists’ article on Tariff Escalation, the tariffs placed on Chinese goods have come in the form of four stages, three of which have gone into effect at time of this article’s publication. Stages one and two took place in 2018, and affected 1,097 imports, totaling around $50 billion. Way back in 2018, you may think to yourself, why haven’t I heard anything about this since then? Simply put, most companies affected by these tariffs took on the burden themselves, wanting to prevent consumers from having to pay.

The most significant of the stages thus far has been stage three, which was done in two parts. In September of 2018 a 10% tariff was put into effect on 5,733 imports. As with the other 2018 increases, this primarily did not get passed onto the public. However, in May of 2019 the third stage was increased to 25%, totaling $200 billion in imports. A final phase, stage four, is proposed for some time in 2019, and would be another 25% tariff on 3,812 imports, totaling $300 billion.


What This Means for You

As a general rule of business, when cost goes up, so does the sale price.

To put this 25% tariff into perspective, let’s pretend a manufacturer brings in a container of goods at a cost of $150,000. Once the container hits port, the customs office will bill this same manufacturer $37,500 in tariff fees, costing the retailer a grand total of $187,500. Many people believe that this is billed to China or that somebody else pays this tariff, but that just isn’t the case. The manufacturer pays this tariff, but to cover this 25% increase in cost, they must ultimately raise prices to the US consumer.

The silver lining is many of our manufacturers have given us advance notice of their price increases, allowing you time to make your purchase before they raise their sale prices. So, if you’d been shopping any of these brands, consider buying before their price increase:

HPC: Hearth Products Controls

A favorite of commercial designers and installers, HPC puts an emphasis on ease of use with their fire products. They offer powerful ignition systems, such as their Electronic Ignition, that allow you to control your fire from your phone, while carrying a CSA safety certification. Prices change 7/1/2019.

Blaze Outdoor Products

When it comes to outdoor kitchens, this is a brand that has it mastered. Their grills feature a lifetime warranty, a testament to their devotion to high quality products. Blaze products are perfect for homeowners and commercial installers alike. Prices change 7/1/2019.

Modern Flames

This manufacturer produces electric fireplaces and fireplace accessories perfect for any indoor space. Offering both modern and traditional looking inserts, this brand is a wonderful and cost-effective alternative to wood and gas burning fireplaces. Prices change 7/15/2019.

Brown Jordan Fires

An industry leader in outdoor ethanol and gas fire features, this manufacturer offers a wide selection of fire pits, bowls, and tables, as well as accessories such as glass wind guards and covers. They even offer finish options to ensure your new fire pit perfectly suits your space. Prices change 7/15/2019.

EcoSmart Fire

Like Brown Jordan Fire, EcoSmart also focuses on offering high quality outdoor fire features. However, they also offer a unique line of indoor bioethanol fireplaces. Configurable to any space, these products are a favorite for commercial designers and homeowners alike. Prices change 7/15/2019.

Blue Rooster

When it comes to small--and some would say quirky--outdoor fire features, chimineas are a fun option. Blue Rooster offers their chimineas in both wood and gas burning models, and most are also available in three colors. Prices change 7/15/2019.


Want More Info?

Shipping containers often sit in large groups in shipping yards near ports.

We hope this article has helped you understand the impact these tariffs and future tariffs will have on your purchases. If you have any questions, or are looking to make a purchase before these tariffs effect prices, please contact us via live chat, call us at (866) 578-8538, or contact us here.

Additional Reading

Main Image: Stacks of shipping containers fill a yard, a common sight near ports.


Emily Lozano