My three rules for successful shopping

You’ve heard of Wish, right? I would be shocked if you haven’t, as it’s pretty popular right now. But essentially, it’s cheap Chinese stuff direct from the source. Buy from the manufacturers and local-to-China wholesalers as opposed to the stores near you that are buying the stuff from China then repackaging it and marking it up. They have an app too, that of course makes ordering stuff extremely easy – preload your card info, then merely swipe to buy! Better returns than Tinder, I reckon.

Regardless, Wish isn’t without its risks. It’s kind of a wild west (uh.. wild east?) of a shopping site because there seems to be little regulation over the sellers. Multiple sellers sell the same items, or so it seems – they reuse photos, steal photos, photoshop photos, and sometimes the item you get is not the item you thought you were getting. Descriptions are full of poorly translated English and often aren’t truly descriptive of what you’re getting. Sometimes, items are just defective. Again – cheap Chinese stuff. (Not to say all Chinese products are cheap or poorly made, of course not – but in general, the stuff on Wish is the same quality of stuff you get at the dollar store.) A lot of the regulation comes from those who buy things as there are lots of reviews. Now, I’m not sure how many of the reviews are legit, but all of the ones I’ve made are posted and public to see, so I have to assume at least some are legit. And I have read poor reviews, so perhaps there is little to no sanitation going on? But still, I’m not confident we can 100% trust the reviews either. So I have developed a set of rules to ensure that my Wish shopping experience results in success, rather than bitter annoyance.

1. Don’t buy anything over $10

Now, the actual dollar amount may vary based on the individual. I picked a price that, for me, is my cut-off point of rage. If I ended up out $10 and a shitty product, then oh well. It’s only $10. But above that is where my rage starts to filter in. Some items on Wish are big and/or expensive, and the idea of spending $50 on something from a site with little to no regulation or guarantees is terrifying. So you need to pick your own $ cutoff but then stick to it to ensure that you never reach flip-the-table freakout over a missing or defective item and lost cash.

2. Don’t buy anything that goes into your body

There’s lots of weird stuff on Wish, including a LOT of knock-off products. Also, see previous points about lack of regulation. Therefore, I have a rule to never buy anything that could be readily absorbed into my body, whether literally (like food) or passively (such as makeup). There’s a lot of makeup on Wish and I don’t trust any of it. Who knows what random chemicals are in them? Is it really worth your health to have cheap makeup?? At least in that case I can still go get ELF products for $1 and I know it’s a company that operates with some measure of oversight. And they have a reputation to maintain, so they’re not particularly interested in poisoning their customers. I’d feel mighty stupid saving a few bucks just to get lead poisoning, yanno?

3. Always ask for a refund when it’s warranted

For the most part, I actually haven’t really been screwed over on Wish (thanks greatly to adherence of the two previous rules). But there have been a couple times where I got items that were defective or definitely not as advertised. In those cases, I decided what the hell, I’ll ask for a refund, what’s the worst that could happen? And every time I’ve requested a refund, I’ve gotten it. Of course, these were items that cost less than $10. So who knows how it goes with large amounts of money. But it seems like they’re more willing to throw me back my $3 for my messed up pens just to keep me using their site. So, just go ahead and ask for the refund. It’s pretty easy to request, you just write why you’re requesting it, and you hear back within a couple days. They seem pretty keen to keep people happy, so in my mind, there’s very little risk as the odds of me getting back my money are high.

Buying stuff from Chinese wholesalers with little oversight is an inherent risk, but in my opinion, the rewards can be pretty great if you take the right precautions. I’ve loaded up on cute stationary and pens, adorable socks, organizational tools, and more through Wish, for only a few bucks. All the fun of the dollar store without having to put on pants!

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