16 Things That Are About to Get Way More Expensive
As tariffs kick in, here are the items you can expect to carry increased price tags soon, and strategies to protect your wallet.
What are tariffs?
As the trade war with China escalates, tariffs on Chinese goods are increasing and expanding in scope. Experts say that Americans will see jumps in price tags they’ve grown accustomed to, some bigger than others. (A tariff, as defined by Investor’s Business Daily, is a tax on imports, the purpose of which is to protect domestic production and jobs.)
President Trump’s policy has put a 25 percent tax on $250 billion worth of consumer goods that China exports to the United States. And he’s poised to impose tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of goods imported from China. “That would mean almost all imports from China would be subject to a 25 percent import tax,” writes Reuters.
The stated goal of these tariffs is to have a positive impact on America’s trade deficit with China (the BBC defines a trade deficit as the difference between how much your country buys from another country vs. how much you sell to that country.) As of last year, the U.S. trade deficit with China was approximately $375 billion.
While the long-term result of these tariffs is unknown, in the short term, consumers will undoubtedly see a rise in the cost of a host of goods. ““The supply chain will try to absorb as much of the blow as they can, then they will move those costs forward to consumers,” David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation told CNBC.
Here is a look at some items you can expect to have increased price tags, and some strategies to get them at the best price possible.
Katheryn Russ, professor of economics at University of California, Davis, recommends buying any seasonal items you can now rather than waiting. Back-to-school supplies, including backpacks, will be in the next round of tariffs and their price tags will likely soar.
CBS News reports that heavy hitters in the footwear industry like Nike, Teva, Foot Locker, Johnston & Murphy, Rockport and Under Armour sent a letter to President Trump warning of what they called “catastrophic” consequences of the new proposed tariffs. Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America foresee increases of $50 on athletic sneakers, and $80 on specialty boots made for firefighters.
Walmart’s Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said in an interview with Bloomberg, “We will do everything we can to keep prices low but increased tariffs lead to increased prices.” He added, “It’s very item- and category-specific. There are some places where as we get tariffs, we will take prices up.”
“There are so many tech companies in the United States and around the world who outsource their manufacturing to China and the tariff on these products are likely to cause consumers to not buy as impulsively. Expect many TVs to cost around $50 dollars more. What can you do about it? Wait on purchasing your electronics. Trade wars aren’t meant to last long, it’s meant to be more like a game of chicken. The key is to wait it out for either side to discuss a better alternative.” —Nate Masterson CEO of Maple Holistics. Here are some Best Buy shopping tips employees won’t tell you
“Imported fruit will cost 15 percent more across the board. By the time they reach the shelf, 30 percent of the price will be various duty taxes.”—Nate Masterson CEO of Maple Holistics
“Computers, even ours—Psychsoftpc, which are made in the USA—are going to get more expensive especially after January when the 25 percent tariff takes effect. Parts pricing will go up and this will have to be passed on to consumers. Additionally, we are seeing some shortages in parts like entry-level Intel CPUs as the industry adjusts to the new normal, so these particular parts will see an increase in cost over and above the tariffs due to supply and demand.”—Dr. Tim Lynch, CEO of Psychsoftpc
As reported in Bloomberg, Apple warned that tariffs would raise prices of the Apple Watch, AirPods, accessories, chargers, adapters and even equipment that the company uses to manufacture products in the United States. The L.A. Times offers this breakdown: “A $1,249 iPhone XS Max with 256 gigabytes of storage has $453 worth of parts, according to TechInsights. A 25% levy on that would be $113, raising the purchase price by about 9%.” Check out these 13 savvy shopping tricks you’ll wish you knew all along.
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“Washing machines and refrigerators are expected to be impacted by the proposed tariff on Chinese goods. Imported washing machines alone have already seen an increase of nearly 20 percent in cost since the beginning of 2018. If you have a large home appliance on its last leg, shop for deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday in order to get the most savings. With Sears’ recent bankruptcy filing, liquidation sales are well underway in their brick and mortar stores, with savings on home appliances at up to 40 percent off. Consumers can expect even higher markdowns from Sears as the time gets closer to the end of November when their liquidation sales are expected to be completed.”—Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com
“Products made with steel or aluminum, such as cars, will increase in price as a result of the 25 percent tariff on imported steel, and 10 percent tariff on aluminum. While not all cars are imported from China, General Motors imports the Buick Envision crossover, and will likely be raising the sticker price on that model.”—Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com
“Additionally, Chinese-made auto parts will incur a 10 percent tariff, so consumers should expect to see a rise in the cost of auto parts and regular car maintenance.”—Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com
Beer, soda, and soup
“With the proposed 10 percent tariff on aluminum, consumers can expect to see prices go up on canned goods such as beer, soda, and soup, which are mostly made with imported aluminum. Consumers can still get a great deal on beer by buying in bulk at Costco, and signing up for coupon books at both Costco and your local grocery store to stock up on canned goods as they go on sale.”—Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com. Check out these other secret store policies that will save you money.
Produce, eggs, and meat
“China is a mass producer of farming equipment such as poultry incubators, which will be impacted by the 25 percent tariff. The bottom line on produce, eggs, and meats will be impacted. Buying meat in bulk from Costco or Sam’s Club and investing in a vacuum-sealing system such as FoodSaver, will help keep your food fresh for up to five times longer, saving you money in the long run.”—Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com
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“As the proposed tariff has targeted Chinese-made medical equipment such as X-ray tubes, CT scanners, and EKG machines, the cost of those goods will increase within the medical profession, and thus could lead to a potential increase in health care costs to Americans. While we can’t predict when illnesses will occur, if you’re an individual who gets annual screenings done using specialized medical devices, it would be a smart idea to schedule those appointments before the end of this year in order to avoid potential added costs.”—Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com. You won’t believe these 10 wildly overinflated hospital costs.
Ralph F. Tschantz, the Vice President and General Manager, Fun Express, which sells and ships party goods, novelties, and holiday items, sent the following email out to the company’s customer base:
To our valued customers,
As many of you are aware, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office recently implemented increased tariffs on items imported from China and announced that more are anticipated. We are hopeful that these tariffs are temporary and the trade issues between the U.S. and China will be resolved soon. In the meantime, we have worked diligently to minimize the impact to our customers, but at this time we know the tariff increases will range from 10 to 25 percent. Additionally, there are anti-dumping penalties being enforced which go as high as 380 percent on select items. These increased fees are strictly enforced.
Consequently, Fun Express will be implementing a price increase, effective on all deliveries after December 1, 2018, to cover these increased tariffs and other cost increases we’ve experienced the past three years in raw materials, labor, and transportation on products imported from China.
“According to our findings at EnergySage, the tariffs on imported solar panels created a whopping $236.5 million in additional costs for U.S. solar customers. Though prices have since restarted their decline, they’re decreasing at a slower rate than before, resulting in prices 5.6 percent higher than would have otherwise been expected. This is an increase of $960 for an average installation. It’s certainly not ‘way more expensive,’ but adding nearly a $1000 to a big-ticket item is significant…The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that shopping for solar online and comparing multiple bids can save thousands.”—Nick Liberati, EnergySage. Don’t miss these 8 other savvy new ways to save big when you shop online.
“New tariffs have already started impacting the prices of new construction homes. Most materials such as lumber come from countries like Canada while our finishes like cabinets and vanities come from China. We’ve already seen an increase of 40 percent in lumber prices in the North East over the past year and this is bound to rise higher with the introduction of new tariffs on material imports.”—Evan Roberts, real estate agent, and construction manager with Dependable Homebuyers
“Since so many imported raw materials are impacted, the ‘buy American’ approach isn’t a guarantee of savings. Many American-made goods still incorporate imported materials. For example, Harley Davidson Motorcycles—U.S. made—speculate that tariffs on Canadian steel will add upwards of $2,000 to each unit produced in America… To save, consumers can consider purchasing gently-used items via the trending online sell-to-buyer networks like LetGo and Facebook Marketplace. Or, they can rethink major purchases and plan them for major shopping-deal days, like Black Friday or Amazon Prime Days. Of course, a wait-and-see approach to major purchases can lead to savings, too, as prices might smooth out since further negotiations in 2019 could swing the tariff pendulum back a bit.”—Krista Fabregas, Retail Analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com
“Carbon fiber, which is what high-end bikes and components are made from, is made almost exclusively in China where the tariffs are hitting. This will lead to a significant price increase on our favorite two-wheel transportation.”—Jennifer McDermott, Consumer Advocate at Finder.com
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“There are two approaches to take to combat tariffs: Buy now before prices go up, or do your best to combat the price hikes once they take effect. For that latter strategy, you’ll want to maximize your credit card cash-back programs whenever possible, and use a website like SlickDeals which gives you alerts on special pricing and deals from websites all over the Internet. Buying American-made products might protect you from some of these price hikes as well. You could also leverage the upcoming holidays: Almost everything will be on sale, and even though the goal is to save on gift purchases, you can use this time of year to buy some of these products and items for personal use. Just make sure you do the research and take advantage of Black Friday as much as possible.”—David Bakke, a writer for Money Crashers. Next, find out insider secrets to saving at all your favorite stores.