The United States offers its residents and newcomers alike a bewildering array of goods, from food shopping to baby clothing, and services, from rug cleaning to shoe repair.
For some goods and services, a few large “category killer” chains control the market. This is so in hardware and home improvement goods, as an example. Even in this area, however, smaller entrepreneurs and even “Mom and Pop” operations fill their own particular market niches. Competition for customers brings great variety to the marketplace, which means it is not always easy to choose where or how to acquire a product or arrange for a service.
If you want any product or service in the United States, you will have to do some work to familiarize yourself with the choices. Products and services vary greatly in quality, accessibility, price and suitability. Because America is so free, and because, in many respects, it has an unplanned, market economy, you will have to become an informed consumer to get the greatest value out of the American system.
The pages that follow give a detailed picture of the types of retail and service establishments you will find in the United States, followed by sections on sending letters and packages and a number of sections on telephones and communications.
www.lifeintheusa.com/services2 covers restaurants, hotels, and further retail and service establishments.
Next Section:Information Sources
Life in the USA Home Page.
—Long Distance Service
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—Modems and Computer Data
—Telephone Answering Machines
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