If you like cheap, you’re going to love these apps I’ve been testing.
Buying ultra-cheap from Chinese manufacturers
Wish, Geek and AliExpress are three sellers that offer opportunities for you to buy direct from Chinese manufacturers on the cheap. I’m talking about everything from watches, athletic gear, selfie sticks, shoes, clothing, toys, sunglasses and so much more. And all at prices so cheap, you think they’re a misprint!
The one thing you need to know about buying through these apps is that shipping can take a month or longer. So this is definitely not for the Amazon Prime crowd who expects to get what they ordered in 2 days!
For Chinese manufacturers, reaching the American consumer is costly. Chinese manufacturers have to go through operators in China. Then the operators work with the wholesalers, who eventually work with retailers who ultimately sell the goods to you. So there’s at least a double markup. These apps cut out 2 levels of middlemen.
The goods are off-brand goods, but not counterfeits. In fact, Wish has a strict zero-tolerance policy against counterfeit product listings. The system is entirely self-policing. Merchants have to submit take-down requests for product listings that infringe on their intellectual property. Then the listings are reviewed and removed promptly if need be.
Read more: Walmart offering 10 new holiday deals a day
Here’s an American solution if you prefer
At the same time that you have things like Wish, Geek and AliExpress, more and more Americans want to buy American. In fact, the higher up the income ladder someone is, the more likely their focus will be on buying American. As for me, I never think to look at the label on clothing to see where something is made. It doesn’t even cross my mind.
But if you do prefer to only support American-based retailers, try this one for size: Hollar.com.
Hollar is like an online dollar store kind of site. Everything is priced $2 to $5, with the occasional item at $1. This site has a big emphasis on women’s items, health & beauty aids, school supplies, some toys, kitchen items, etc. The hook is you need to fill your cart with $25 worth of stuff in order to get free shipping.
I don’t understand the business model, and I don’t know how they’ll make money. Nor do I know what the customer service experience will be like. But it is another outlet to find stuff on the cheap and it may be great for stocking stuffers.
Want more money-saving advice? See our Deals section.