FTC: ‘Ships from USA’ doesn’t always mean ‘Made in USA’

The Federal Trade Commission has an important warning for consumers: When a seller says a product “ships from the USA” that doesn’t necessarily mean that product was “made in the USA.”

Here’s how the FTC explains it:

Let’s say there’s a product that was made overseas. Sometimes, stores will ship that product to U.S. distribution centers. No problem. Sometimes, stores will let customers know that the product is shipping from within the U.S. Again, no problem — as long as it’s clear those products aren’t U.S.-made. If a store doesn’t make that difference clear, chances are the products aren’t “made in the USA.”

Here’s what else the FTC wants you to know when you shop online:

  • Before you buy, check it out. Search online for the name of the store, plus words like “scam” or “complaint.”
  • Check the reviews. See if others have had good or bad experiences with the store. Focus on sites you know are credible and that offer impartial reviews from real experts.
  • Look up the return policy. Find out if the store takes returns and gives refunds.
  • Pay by credit card, if you can. Credit cards offer the most protection against fraud, including the right to dispute charges if there are problems with your purchase.

If you think a store is trying to pass off its products as “made in the USA” when they’re not, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.