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Back to School Supplies Made in the USA

Friday, July 8, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

Americans spent a staggering $52 BILLION on “Back to School Supplies” in 2010.   

We believe that very little of your $52 BILLION spent at big box retailers benefited American companies and US workers. 

If you are worried about the future of the US economy….  If you care about the millions of unemployed and homeless Americans…Make a Pledge that in 2011 you will buy Back to School Supplies that are Made in the USA!!!    It’s that simple.  Keep your money in your pocket and Say “NO” to rewarding retailers and companies that sell out American companies and support foreign workers.

It’s easier than you think to find American Made Back to School Supplies.  Here is a short list of companies to get you started!

Duluth Pack  
Tough Traveler  
Mimi the Sardine  
Laptop Lunch  
General Pencil  
Clementine Art  
Basic brand  
Mead (select items)  
New Leaf  
Union Built PC  
Green Guru (laptop sleeve)  
American Jeans  
Levis Capital E  
True Religion Jeans  
Rock & Republic  
Paige Premium Denim  
Robin’s Jean  
Frankie B.  
Genetic Jeans  
Hudson Jeans  
Rich & Skinny  
Earnest Sewn  
Citizens of Humanity  
Rag & Bone  
American Socks  
Fox River Socks  
American Shoes and Boots  
Alden Shoes  
Allen Edmonds  
New Balance (select)  
American Clothing  
Hard Tail  
American Apparel  
Basic Threads  
Fresh Produce  

SOURCE Made in the USA Foundation

Thank you for visiting  We have been making InfoTubes and InfoBoxes here in the USA since 1988.  We appreciate your business and please visit our website for FREE home selling services.   Thank You!

Made in America Update

Thursday, June 9, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

Our discussions with The Hillman Group and our fight to save InfoTube, InfoBox and American jobs is still ongoing.   Our face-to-face meeting with senior management at Hillman is scheduled for next Wednesday, June  15th.  We hope to have “Good News” to share!!! 

Please continue to Sign Our Petition to Save American Jobs .   We are approaching 600 signatures and the comments made by concerned Americans is powerful, enlightening and motivating.  

For those of you who fear things have gone too far with China.  For those who think that little people stand no chance of influencing big corporations.  For those who believe that the people in power don’t listen and don’t care …I have some encouraging news for you that disproves those fears.

The Smithsonian opened its Made in America gift shop yesterday and ABC News went shopping.   The US made products offered in the new store were just what you would expect to find, when looking for a souvenir to take home.    They looked no different than the previous products that were purchased from the Chinese and they didn’t cost anymore, either.

A manager for the Smithsonian was so happy with the results and consumer feedback, he said the store wants more Made in the USA products to put in the store.   Buyers for the Smithsonia will be attending Made in the US trade shows and they are asking  US businesses to contact them about their merchandise.

If you or your company make or manufacture a product that would fit the retail niche offered at the Smithsonian gift shop, click the link below and submit your goods to their buyers.    Think souveniers…T-shrits, earring, caps, hats, postcards, etc.  Wouldn’t it be cool to see your products at the Smithsonian?   I certainly wish I could find a reason for them to sell InfoTubes and InfoBoxes!!!


Thank you for visiting  We will keep you posted on our efforts to save American jobs and promote American business!!

Paul Choi, a long time supporter of US workers and US jobs, wrote and posted the following article about Helping InfoTube Save Jobs in the USA.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who are fed up with Chinese tsunami that is washing away the quality of life in our country…then, Mr. Choi has a great source of helpful Links for you…located all in one place!


Our Votes may not be powerful…but our Pocketbook and Money sure are!  Refuse to pay a Chinese toll charge on everything you buy! 

Click to Fight Back!

Thank you for helping InfoTube save American jobs.  Please Share our Story!!!

2010 Rotary President  Carol King , CPA, responds to The Hillman Group with a global view about outsourcing American jobs and products.

Hillman Group VP Dan Smercina wrote the following email reply to Ms King last week….

Ms. King,

This is to acknowledge your recent e-mail and interest in The Hillman Group.  While it is our strict corporate policy to keep all supplier information confidential, I want to assure you that your message was sent to the appropriate parties within our company.

Thank you for expressing your opinion and please be assured Hillman remains committed to providing top quality products, competitive prices and ‘World-Class’ service to our valued customers.


Dan Smercina

Vice President of Marketing

The Hillman Group,  Inc.

Ms King’s response to Hillman and Mr Smercina

Mr. Smercina,

Thank you for responding to my email.  As mentioned below, Crow-Erickson is my client so I am well informed about the details of this issue.   

I hope that as you move forward,  you will make a genuine effort to resolve this matter in Crow-Erickson’s favor.  However, further cutting her profit margin to replace your volume manufacturing discounts or other arrangements with the China government and China vendors does not solve the problem.  It only serves to keep you in the $$$ loop and give you a conversation point to share with the public about “how hard you tried”. 

These are the questions that you should be addressing:

            Is it the truth?

            Is it fair to all concerned?

            Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

            Will it beneficial to all concerned?

In case you do not recognize these  questions, this is the 4-Way Test for every member of Rotary International – all 1.2M members, business people from 235 countries around the world.  These guiding principals have led this organization for 106 years.

As Lowes and Home Depot move forward in their “Buy America” campaign, somewhere in the back of their minds they must know that it is only a matter of time before the world knows the truth. 

As you are aware, a growing number of people are watching how you handle this issue.  They watching to see if you, indeed, will choose to “Buy America” as well.

 Carol L King, CPA  

Carol L King & Associates, PA … 40 N French Broad Avenue … Asheville NC 28801… 828-258-2323. fax 828-258-9982

For those of you who are following our struggle and have ask how you can help next…  

I think that continuing to send requests to ABC news (the direct link is below) would really be helpful for moving our negotiations forward and for highlighting this David and Goliath story.   

My recent experiences have proven that the tide of consumer awareness is shifting in our country.  The grass roots support for American business, workers and products is gaining momentum quickly and we all need to stay involved to turn our economy and future around.

I would encourage everyone to submit your favorite American made products to ABC News.

I hope to see a lot of love for InfoTube and InfoBox, of course, but I know that a lot of American businesses are fighting against the outsourcing tsunami, as well.   Each one of them would appreciate your support and there is no limit on the number of products you can submit.

Thank you again for all your help!!!!  Without you, we wouldn’t be here today.   Please mention us to ABC News…I would love to tell our story to Diane Sawyer :)

Tommi Crow

President, Crow Erickson, Inc.

I was interviewed on Clear Channel News this morning about our Fight to Save our Company and American jobs from the chinese, copycat imports of InfoBox that are being brought into the US by The Hillman Group, distributors for Lowes, Home Depot and Menards.

After the radio interview, we received a call from Senator Richard Burr’s (R) office to inquire about our story.   The Senator’s office is looking into the matter to determine how they can help.   Thank you, Senator Burr!

Tommi Crow radio interview on Jameson show

I would like to say a BIG thank you to Jerri Jameson at WWNC News Radio 570 for having us on her show this morning.  

Thanks for following our story and for your support!  Please continue to sign our petition and send emails to Lowes, Home Depot and Menardsn telling them that InfoTube and InfoBox SHOULD NOT be replaced with chinese imports.

Yesterday, I shared the story of our fight to save our small, US company from obliteration with my small circle of friends, family and collegues.    Our news must have hit a nerve in a number of people because the number of  Facebook posts, emails and phone calls I have received in support of our situation has been nothing short of phenominal!  

I have 3 Things to Report to You, so far!

First, WE ARE STILL IN BUSINESS!!!    We have received a number of calls from concerned customers that we are no longer manufacturing product.  I am happy to report that we are still working and don’t intend to stop anytime soon.    Everyone can order product directly from our website, via fax, phone or email.

Secondly, and sadly, we have received no response  from Lowes, Home Depot or The Hillman Group.

Thirdly, our fight to save the little, and in the scheme of things, perhaps insignificant, InfoBox and InfoTube has inspired and motivated so many of you.  Your support has really picked up morale here and words can’t express you how much we need it and how thankful we are.

Truefully, I’m not sure whether the idea of a chinese knockoff, swinging on “For Sale” signs in front of American homes, many of which are foreclosed, touched a raw nerve…or, whether the idea of a forced layoff of hard working Americans, many disabled and handicapped, was infuriating…or, whether the picture of one of the last American made products, being washed away in a chinese tsunami was just too much to take…but, the anger and frustration that you are expressing about our retailers and their lack of support for available American products is powerful, loud and clear!  WE DON’T UNDERSTAND AND WE HATE IT!

i pray that they are listening.  I have proudly worked with the largest retailers in the land for nearly 20 years.  My growth, as a company, I owe to them.  I still believe in them.  I believe that they care what their customers think and they want to deliver what we want to buy.   Your voice matters, so please keep sending those heartfelt emails and Facebook posts.   Eventually, our voice will reach someone in charge who cares.

Thank you for your support and for sharing our story with your friends and collegues.   I will issue updates and share any information or responses I receive, so you can follow our progress.   We hope every second of the day that we will have something good to report!

Where Did the First Time Buyers Go?

Thursday, March 31, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

The lack of first-time buyers is hurting the housing market and their absense is hampering the recovery.

In normal markets, first time buyers make up 40%-45% of all home purchasers.  Since January of 2011, purchases made by first time buyers averages only 32%

Why is this important for existing home sales? 

First time buyers are crucial to the market because they buy starter homes so those owners can step up to a more expensive property.   Despite low mortgage rates and deeply discounted prices, they are remaining on the sidelines…at least for now.

What may be keeping first time buyers out of the housing market?

Some experts point to a hangover from the  Expired Tax Credit of 2009 and 201o, which may have lured buyers into a home sooner than later.   Some point to tighter lending standards and increased down payment requirements.  The best loan terms now kick in with a down payment of 20% or more, which may be very difficult for a first time homeowner.

The Silver Lining — The National Association of Realtors reported that a record 33% of all existing home sales in Febuary were to Cash Buyers.  In some parts of the country, cash buyers accounted for more than half of all the existing homes sold.

Thank you for visting InfoTube.NET a FREE homes for sale and rent website.  Visit our site to view listings or to purchase one of our Made in America InfoTubes or InfoBoxes to help you market your home on the street.

We can also arrange for your property to be shown on your local MLS and/or and all major real estate websites.  CLICK HERE for details.

City by City Home Sales Results

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

Existing home sales were up 2.7 percent in January 2011.  Take a look at the chart below to see how your area ranked.

Single-family existing-home sales and prices


Metropolitan statistical area
Median price Jan. 2010
Median price Jan. 2011
Annual change in price
Annual change in sales
Dallas-Fort Worth
Kansas City
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
Minneapolis-St. Paul
New Orleans
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island
San Antonio
San Diego
St. Louis
Washington, DC

Source: National Association of Realtors

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Is the Media too Pessimistic About Real Estate?

Monday, December 6, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

 Does the media correctly report the facts about the housing and real estate crisis in the US?

Click Here to Read what the Boston Globe reported about the accuracy of the media when comes to buying or selling a home.

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Where will the Next Real Estate Boom Occur?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

  Where will the next real estate boom  happen?  According to research conducted by Patrick Doherty, of the New America foundation, it will likely be right in your home town.

The Great Recession has highlighted a fundamental change in what consumers do want: homes in central cities and closer-in suburbs where one can walk to stores and mass transit. Such “walkable urban” real estate has experienced less than half the average decline in price from the housing peak. Ten years ago, the highest property values per square foot in the Washington, D.C., metro area were in car-dependent suburbs like Great Falls, Virginia. Today, walkable city neighborhoods like Dupont Circle command the highest per-square-foot prices, followed by dense suburban neighborhoods near subway stops in places like Bethesda, Maryland, and Arlington, Virginia. Similarly, in Denver, property values in the high-end car-dependent suburb of Highland Ranch are now lower than those in the redeveloped LoDo neighborhood near downtown. These trend lines have been evident in many cities for a number of years; at some point during the last decade, the lines crossed. The last time the lines crossed was in the 1960s—and they were heading the opposite direction.

There are some obvious reasons for the growing demand for walkable neighborhoods: ever-worsening traffic congestion, memories of the 2008 spike in gasoline prices, and the fact that many cities have become more attractive places to live thanks to falling crime rates and the replacement of heavy industries with cleaner, higher-end service and professional economies.

But the biggest factor, one that will quickly pick up speed in the next few years, is demographic. The baby boomers and their children, the millennial generation, are looking for places to live and work that reflect their current desires and life needs. Boomers are downsizing as their children leave home while the millennials, or generation Y, are setting out on their careers with far different housing needs and preferences. Both of these huge demographic groups want something that the U.S. housing market is not currently providing: small one- to three-bedroom homes in walkable, transit-oriented, economically dynamic, and job-rich neighborhoods.

Thank you for visiting for real estate.  We have provided marketing and sales assistance for owner, builders and real estate agents since 1988.  We can certainly help you with your sale, too.  Visit our site for details and Free Offers!!

    While Wall Street wrings its hands and pulls its hair over the banking problems and foreclosure moratorium, home seller’s and home builder’s have a BIG reason to celebrate.  Their competition dropped the ball!!!

The moratorium on foreclosures effectively removes ONE THIRD of all the homes For Sale from the market!!   33 Percent of the competition is GONE!!!   For how long, we don’t know…but, we do know that this is a RARE opportunity and all property seller’s should take full advantage of it.

What can home seller’s and builder”s do to take advantage of the Bank Error?

  • Realize that Time is of the Essense!  The banks will work hard and fast to get their inventory back on the market.  And, when they do, they will no doubt offer special incentives that individual seller’s can not compete against.  The clock is ticking…….
  • Price Right and Show Well!   If your home is priced right against its remaining competition, and it is staged, depersonalized and shows well, Your House Will Sell.
  • Marketing to the Masses is Key!    The MLS sells over 90% of all the homes in the United States.   If your home is not on the MLS, your chances of selling are less than 10%.   If money is tight, know that you don’t have to pay 6% for an MLS listing.  You can purchase an MLS listing for your Home for only $399.

                                                              believes that “a bank moratorium on foreclosure competition” is a very unique opportunity and the window is open for a short period of time, only.   We are here to help you . “The clock is ticking”.  Don’t let this unbelievable opportunity pass you by!! 


Landlords Gain Ground in Rental Market

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Wall Street Journal Blog Post:

Perhaps tired of doubling up with family or living in mom’s spare bedroom, renters are heading back into the market, driving down vacancies and driving up rents.

Nationwide, the vacancy rate measured 7.2% in the third quarter, down from 7.9% a year earlier-one of the sharpest declines on record, according to new data released Wednesday by Reis Inc.

“Despite lackluster economic growth and continuing uncertainty in the labor markets, households appear to be returning in droves to the rental market and signing leases,” writes Victor Calanog, Reis’ director of research. (See Apartment Market, Rents Rebound)

Landlords took the opportunity to bump up rents for the third quarter in a row. “We are getting more rent every time we either renew the lease or a new resident comes in,”  Jeffrey Friedman, chief executive of apartment owner Associated Estates Realty Corp., tells Developments. The days of renter perks like free rent and flat-screen TVs are largely over, although landlords could be back in the incentive game if job growth doesn’t materialize next year.

The New York City metro area saw the biggest jump in rents, gaining 2.2% from the second quarter; to an average of $2,756–the costliest rent by far in the country. ( If you want cheap rent move to Tulsa, which ranks last of 82 markets with average rent of $540.)

Greenville, S.C., and suburban Virginia also saw rental gains topping 2%. Not surprisingly, rents continued to decline in some of the markets hardest hit by the housing crash. The usual suspects–Miami, Jacksonville, Fla., and Las Vegas–each dipped 0.2%.

When measuring vacancy, the nation’s tightest market is New Haven, Conn., with just 2.3% of units empty, thanks to those college kids. New York follows with 3.6%, while Long Island’s vacancy rate is 3.9%.

Jacksonville tops the list at 12.1%.    

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Up to 1,000,000 Homeowners Dodge Foreclosure

Monday, October 4, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

An estimated one million U.S. homeowners, behind in their mortgage payments, are breathing easier today after three of the country’s largest banks agreed to immediately stop new foreclosure actions until they could review sloppily-read foreclosure filing by their own staffs.

The lenders are Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and GMAC Mortgage Co. owned by Ally Financial Inc.  They are temporarily halting foreclosure actions in 23 states.

They are Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin.

For the homeowners, the action by the banks gives them a little more time to catch up on their delinquent mortgage payments.

For the residential real estate market, the action means fewer houses will be dumped in the for-sale arena, giving falling prices a chance to stabilize.

For the real estate market as a whole, the banks’ actions give the industry another black eye at a time when it is struggling to regain the public’s confidence.
(This article posted by Alex Finklestein

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Tips for New Landlords

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Given the millions of homes that are languishing on the market, it’s no surprise that many owners are considering leasing their homes in order to avoid big financial losses.  If you are an owner that is debating the pro’s and con’s of leasing your property, we have some very valuable advice to share with you.

Leasing out your home can be a great experience.   A good tenant will care for your property, while paying your mortgage.   Owning investment property also has tax benefits, and while the home selling market maybe soft…the present rental market is stronger than ever.


  • Don’t be afraid of bad credit.  References are as important as a credit report.   In addition, many renters who lost their homes have gotten rid of their biggest expense…their mortgage.  So, if their references check out and they have good jobs, don’t let a bad credit report scare you.
  • Ask the tenant to provide a current copy of their credit report, references and their last paycheck stub. 
  • Call the renter”s employer to verify that they are still working there.
  • Consider hiring a private investigator for less than $50.  They can immediately find out whether the tenant is a scammer or not.
  • Check you local laws to see if you have to have a permit to rent out your house.
  • If you are using a standard lease agreement, ask your lawyer to look it over and avoid potential surprises.
  • Build in convenience for yourself.  Requests wire transfers and automatic deposits for monthly rent payments.
  • Craigslist and are fantastic places to advertise your rental.  Best of all, both sites are Free and allow pictures.

Thank you for visiting, your FREE homes for sale and rent listing website.  Please check back in with us tomorrow when continue our blog with Property Management Tips for Homeowners.