The Real Reason Wish Products Are So Cheap

Interested in purchasing a 12-foot long pool floaty, underpants for your dog, butt pads, presidential toilet paper, or fake teeth? Look no further than the shockingly cheap e-commerce app, Wishwhere all of your outrageous shopping dreams can come true. For the less adventurous shoppers, the site also offers more typical wares like gadgets, accessories, and clothing. 

Most items are marked down 80 or 90 percent off of their original price, making them incredibly appealing to the frugal shopper. And even though the items sold are so cheap, the company saw a huge increase in its 2018 revenue, pulling in approximately $1.9 billion that year (via Vox).

But how can Wish practically give all of their items away? With each product sold, the company only receives a cut of 15 percent of the sale, meaning that they sold a lot of products to cross that billion dollar mark. Here's how they can still make a profit off all that cheap stuff.

Wish sells its products cheaply because they are cheap

First of all, Wish products don't come quickly, and that's thanks to super cheap shipping rates. Most delivery times range somewhere from two to four weeks since they are shipped from countries like China, Myanmar, and Indonesia. In 2011, an agreement between the China Post and the USPS created special rates on items from China that weigh 4.4 pounds or less, otherwise known as "ePackets." As a result, it typically costs the same price to send an item from China to the U.S. as it does from anywhere in the U.S. (via The Wall Street Journal). Secondly, the items can be priced so ridiculously cheap because the bulk of the products are made in China where there is a low cost of labor and labor requirements are much less stringent (via The Atlantic).  

More reasons for such low prices? There have been reports of counterfeit items being sold on Wish, which obviously can be priced considerably lower than the real thing. Products also come straight from the factory to your doorstep, which erases the middleman, and decreases cost (via Tough Nickel). And lastly, the material and stitching of the clothing are cheap — they are the lowest of quality.

Bargain hunters beware when shopping on Wish

Overall, shopping from Wish means reading reviews, looking at photos from buyers, and diving deep into the description. There have been various scams on Wish, as well as reports of orders being fulfilled incorrectly. Some sizes of clothing have been wrong or have not matched the product description or images. When ordering a red dress, for instance, you may receive a blue one in the mail instead (via Gotta Be Mobile). But hey, if it's a $4 dress, can you really expect anything more? In the end, you get what you pay for. You just might be better off learning how to score legit designer deals for less.