How can I make money with Wish

Wish app - when cheap shopping can be expensive

From the latest fashion to electronics to home decorations - and all at a bargain price! The Wish shopping app is attracting ever larger circles, and claims that it has more than 300 million users worldwide. No wonder, since the shopping app lures with strikingly low prices: A smartwatch for under 20 euros, a new bikini for 5 or a Bluetooth earphone for just one euro?

Wish advertises that products there are between 60 and 90 percent cheaper than in retail. The bargain prices are justified by the fact that customers purchase the goods directly from the manufacturer. But this is exactly where the problem lies - and in some cases the initially cheap offers cost buyers dearly.

In the event of a return, Wish customers are threatened with account blocking

The market watchdog experts at the Brandenburg consumer center are currently warning of involuntary account blocks at Wish. Without any warning, those affected lose access to customer service and thus the opportunity to cancel open orders or to make a complaint. The provider accuses some of its customers of abusing the "generous refund and return policy": "Your account has been flagged for excessive refunds," says the message that more and more Wish customers have been receiving for some time.

What exactly Wish means by "excessive refunds" remains in the dark. There is no advance warning. Some consumers report returning only a single purchase prior to being blocked.

Once the customer account has been marked by Wish, you no longer have the option of returning open orders, complaining about defects or reporting lost deliveries.

Particularly bold: Wish calls on its customers to continue shopping on the platform despite the blocking of customer service. Because only through an also unknown number of further purchases can you restore the "good reputation" of your account and reactivate access to customer support.

Wish mediates to sellers abroad

What many users of the app do not know: Wish is not a typical online shop. The California company does not buy or sell itself, but merely acts as an intermediary. The actual salespeople are often located in China. The customer usually does not find out exactly who that is.

As an intermediary, the company is not the contractual partner in your sales contract. However, it is often difficult to establish contact with the actual seller, who is usually based abroad.

Cheap products, expensive purchases: shipping costs, duties and taxes

Since the sellers are not infrequently located in Asia, taxes, shipping and customs fees can also increase the total order value. This quickly results in high shipping costs for a package. Especially since you sometimes have to pay shipping costs three times when you buy three identical parts.

If, together with the shipping costs, you come to an amount of more than 22 euros, you also have to pay import sales and, if applicable, consumption taxes for international orders. From an order value of 150 euros (including shipping costs) you will have to pay customs duties.

Wish app received a successful warning

The consumer advice center Hessen has issued a warning to the American online platform Wish. Wish then undertook to translate the terms and conditions and add to the imprint so that customers can see who they can turn to if they have problems.

Wish complaints are mounting

For these reasons, too, the consumer advice centers receive complaints about the Wish shopping app. There are always problems after the purchase: Not only are the often poor quality of the goods criticized, but also the very long delivery times and the goods that have not been received. As far as the orders are sent from the Far East, there can be long delivery times - sometimes several months.

The bills can also confuse buyers. Because they do not come from Wish itself, but from the invoice service provider "Klarna" via email. Anyone who ignores the request for payment therefore receives mail from Klarna: The company sends reminders after relatively short deadlines and also switches on debt collection services, which cause additional costs. A dispute about a few euros expensive items can quickly cost you many times the value of the goods due to the fees.

In some cases, due to the long delivery time, this started even before the ordered goods even arrived. Payments are due 14 days after the order has been placed. If you still don't have any goods, you should take care of yourself and tell Wish or Klarna in order to get a deferred payment.

 

Problems after purchase at Wish

Complaints and returns in the event of complaints are also problematic at Wish. Although you can complain to online customer service and complain about faulty goods, you cannot contact Wish over the phone. In addition, Wish only accepts complaints within 30 days - as an intermediary, Wish is not responsible for the significantly longer, legally prescribed warranty periods.

If a product has to be returned, this can also become a high cost factor for you. Because you have to pay the postage and customs fees for a package yourself according to Wish's return policy. You will also not be reimbursed for any taxes or duties on the original delivery when you return goods. Often times that is a large part of the price you paid - so you hardly get anything in return.

Questionable Wish app permissions

Wish also raises questions about privacy. The app can request special permissions such as access to your contacts and the camera. The receipt of e-mails and push notifications is preset when the app is set up - if you don't want that, you should change the settings in the app.

Alternatively, you can also shop via the web browser at wish.com. However, you need to log in using your email address or your Facebook or Google account. You cannot view any products without registering.

Shopping with Wish: What to consider

In general, you should be careful when shopping online through Wish and similar marketplaces for goods from abroad. Alleged bargain prices can end up being expensive. If you still want to use Wish, you should pay attention to the following points:

  • Before buying, check where your desired product comes from. Be careful with supposed bargains from the Far East.
  • Note that you may have to pay high shipping costs in addition to the actual purchase price.
  • Find out about the applicable customs regulations when ordering from dealers outside the EU. Otherwise you may incur additional taxes and customs fees.
  • If possible, do not pay in advance, but only pay when you have received the goods and are satisfied. If you receive payment requests before you have received the goods, do not ignore them, but contact the online customer service of Wish or Klarna and explain there that you have not received anything.
  • If goods come from dealers in the Far East, delivery times can be long. We have summarized for you what you need to consider when shopping online abroad.

Read here what to do if your order doesn't arrive.

This content was created by the joint editorial team in cooperation with the consumer centers North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg and Hesse for the network of consumer centers in Germany.