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Mobile App Review: Wishing For Super Deals
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Mobile App Review: Wishing For Super Deals - Executive Leadership Articles

Mobile App Review: Wishing For Super Deals

Executive Leadership Articles

Mobile App Review: Wishing For Super Deals

Late last year, the Wish app surpassed Amazon’s mobile app to become the most-downloaded shopping app of the year. With a reported 300 million users worldwide, it is the rock star of super-discount-offering mobile shopping apps, generating enough buzz to lead Amazon to create a similar-functioning section to draw the same shoppers, adding the extra bonus of free shipping for its Prime members.

It’s popularity has made it the darling of investors as well, to the tune of $1 billion in venture capital and a reported $10 billion dollar purchase offer from Amazon. People everywhere on social media lament and praise its addictiveness and the ease with which the app and web interface make purchasing far too many deals too good to pass up.

Wish offers a wide range of products, including clothing, electronics, and household items, each marked down sometimes eye-boggling amounts, displaying (for example) $14 prices on items regularly priced at $90. Because no brand names are given for any products, it’s impossible to tell while you’re shopping whether the stated regular price applies to the item you’re actually looking at or some similar product, but fans say the dice-roll is part of the fun. Since in many cases shoppers are risking just a handful of dollars, they consider the gamble worth it.

Products on Wish are offered directly by manufacturers in China and other Asian countries, which explains the discounted prices. These items, ostensibly on their way to retailers elsewhere, skip the markup and offer shipping right to you from their places of origin. This means international shipping, which adds another layer of mystery. You might receive your product in a few days, or you might get it a month later. Again, fans say it’s part of the fun. Since many are using the app every couple of days or so, shoppers are in a constant state of having many different items on their way, so coming home to check the mailbox after work every day is something of an adventure.

We placed a few orders and compared our experiences with a few Wish addicts nearby. Unwilling to gamble on expensive items or anything electronic for starters, we ordered two t-shirts and a smartphone case. Wish also offers many products “free,” leaving only the shipping costs for the buyer, so we ordered something from the free section, a plastic smartphone stand shaped like a pair of gloved hands.

The tees were listed at around $9 each, with shipping charges bringing them to $15 and $16, or about $10 less than they cost at concerts. One merchant warned that t-shirts were sized for Asian markets, offering a sizing chart so non-Asian buyers could get a better sense of what to order. Shipping on the smartphone case and holder were around $5 each.

Items arrived in the mail between one and two weeks later, each on its own from a different merchant. One of the tees was a good-quality Hanes shirt, just like one would buy in a store. The fit was excellent. It bore the logo of an NFL team, however, and the usual “officially licensed NFL merchandise” statement was nowhere to be seen, so neither the NFL nor the team got its cut on a shirt bearing its trademarks, something to consider if you’re concerned about such considerations. The other shirt, bearing the logo of a popular band, was far too small, which explains the difference between Asian and American sizing. It’s a decent shirt nowhere near the quality of the Hanes shirt, but definitely something we’d wear if we could wedge our bodies into it.

The other items were fine. They felt a little on the cheap side, but they do the job, and at least for now, the low price is worth the tradeoff in quality.

One friend ordered Bluetooth airbud-type earbuds for her smartphone, paying around $5. When she received them, she noticed immediately that they were sized strangely, too big for her ears! She thought she’d try them anyway, but the earbuds would pair with her phone one at a time, never together. She never used them and shrugged the loss off to the gambling nature of using the app.

Someone else purchased a flash-drive storage device with a lightning cable attached. The device plugs into an iPhone and allows the user to move photos to it. It didn’t come with instructions, but a YouTube video demonstrated that she needed to install an app, which allowed her phone to communicate with the drive. Although it worked fine in the video, the device never worked with his phone. He feels strongly that he received a defective item and is still considering asking for the refund offered by all Wish sellers.

Besides very low prices, Wish scores with a very easy-to-use app that’s fun to browse. You may find yourself opening it up while waiting in line at the bank or during long commercial breaks while watching TV. A one-time setup using either your Google, Facebook, or email address and a credit card takes just a few minutes. After that, it’s browse, search, add to cart, and purchase far too easily. If you’ve used the Amazon app to purchase something while in a long business meeting, you already know the feeling. Now add a sense of adventure with a little bit of treasure-hunting to the experience, and you’ve got Wish.

Wish is so popular that competing apps, also offering merchandise directly from manufacturers in Asia, have sprung up. We’ll review some of the big ones and a couple of obscure ones next month.


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Mobile App Review: Wishing For Super Deals - Executive Leadership Articles

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