The Real Reason Buying From Wish Has Left Customers Seeing Red

The world of online shopping has boomed in recent years, and countless e-commerce sites have popped up on the world wide web that offers various products from around the world. What is only available in China can now be bought and shipped to the U.S. in just a few clicks of a button.

Peter Szulczewski, a Polish-Canadian entrepreneur and computer engineer, created the Wish app. He worked for Google and resigned from the company in 2009 to start his own business. A smart move? Well, he made a particular type of software that determines each individual's searches, which can predict their interests. Initially, he named the company ContextLogic, then re-launched it with his friend, Danny Zhang, to what is known today as Wish. Szulczewski is worth over $1.8 billion (via Forbes).

Since the pandemic, online shopping became a safe haven for many individuals. During the lockdown, the closing of shops didn't stop shoppers from purchasing goods from shopping apps and websites. Even ordering groceries online is as convenient as buying on Amazon.

Like the American e-commerce giant, Wish has been a popular go-to site for China-made products that are affordable — but not always reliable. A lot of times, buyers get a different product from what they ordered. YouTuber Patricia Bright did a Wish haul, and most of the items she got were not of the best quality. "What you see on there isn't necessarily what you'll gonna get when it arrives," she said in her YouTube video.

Different shipping fee for different Wish products

The products on the Wish app may be pretty affordable. Buying them, however, may not always be pocket-friendly. An item may cost $1, but the shipping fee can cost you up to $4. In other words, it is possible to pay more with shipping than the actual product, though it depends on where you are in the world.

Shipping can also take a long time. Yes, it's a bummer. China's postal service is not the best in the world, and most of the time, Chinese merchants choose the standard shipping time frame — which is the cheapest (and the slowest) option (via Hacked). Furthermore, customs checking can also add more waiting times (via The Atlantic). Worst case scenario is when they hold a parcel for added verification. So, think twice before buying any counterfeit items. Customs can also add charges, depending on what the things are and how much they all cost.

Chinese products can be of different safety standards than the U.S. or other countries. What is unsafe in the west can be regarded as safe in China. That said, the ingredients used for their cosmetics and electronics, or even food, can be unsafe (via Hacked). A report from Bloomberg revealed that makeup products from Wish had caused some buyers to get pink eye. So if you noticed odd-looking eye-boogers from using certain cosmetics, immediately stop using them. Also, U.K.-based researcher Which? (in 2019) conducted safety tests of Christmas lights bought online, including two sets from China, and found them to be fire threats.