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Christmas wishes come true - or not?

Why many are turning to Asian Marketplaces this festive season


Although Christmas is a time of cheer, it also brings the inevitable stresses a gift-giving occasion can go hand in hand with. Many people often worry about having the money to ensure they get good gifts for all of their loved ones.

Due to their quick and cheap nature, many people are turning to Asian marketplaces like Wish and Alibaba to get gifts at a much lower rate than the high street this Christmas.

How can marketplaces like Wish and Alibaba offer such cheap products?

Many different tactics are used by marketplaces in Asia to offer cheaper products and delivery to customers in the west. Wish in particular takes advantage of having many delivery options which differ in price.

But the ultimate answer is, the products are just produced more inexpensively on the Asian market. As customers are ordering direct from countries like China, they are getting the benefits of that price cut.

Are they reliable?

Whenever we have completed test purchases on inventory from marketplaces like Wish or Alibaba, we have always found the product to be intact, and delivered in a timely fashion. The only risk posed is that you are buying from countries that do not have as strict regulations as many countries in Europe.

Product quality is usually the compromise customers make to save money.

It stands to reason that products will not be as good quality as their European counterparts, which isn’t such an issue for products like clothing, but can be risky when it comes to electricals.

What are the drawbacks?

While counterfeit products are not allowed on Wish, there are a few that still filter through and even Wish themselves have admitted they have this problem. While everything is done on Asian marketplaces to ensure they regulate the sellers and the quality of products they sell, the sheer scale of the environment makes it easy for fraudsters to slip through. 

Buying online, you also run the risk of the product being nothing like the image. We put the Wish app to the test ourselves by ordering a Christmas tree for UK GBP £9.99. Most Christmas trees of this size (6ft) are around £30 for artificial trees and around £30 - £40 for real trees. Unfortunately, even though the poor tree we received was as tall as advertised, it looked like it had not been fed for a long time as it was very thin.

The returns policy for Wish is fairly straightforward, but as you can imagine due to the cheap nature of the products many people don’t bother. This means that you are stuck with a skinny Christmas tree you can’t use and still have to pay out for a new one, and Wish have lined their pockets with your money.

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