Are Cheap Clothing Sites Like Romwe & Wish Worth It?

If you've been on the hunt for new wardrobe additions lately, you've probably noticed ads for sites like Wish, Romwe and YesStyle, among plenty of others. In the past few years, these inexpensive, China-based sites have gained massive notoriety for claiming to offer super cute, super affordable clothes and accessories, all the way from simple graphic tees to wedding gowns. Reviews always seem to be mixed, with some saying it's all a massive scam, while others can't seem to get enough! We had collegiettes from around the nation pitch in their two cents on their experiences with the Internet's cheapest fashion sites. Here's what they want you to know before you click 'purchase'. 

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1. Check the reviews 

One of the easiest ways to make sure you're not wasting your money (or worse, getting your bank information stolen) is to research reviews. Casey Brandon, a student at Gaston College, says that you can potentially find good things on Wish, but "only buy things that have reviews on them that say something other than 'so cute, wow!' and look for ones that have posted pictures of the product in the reviews. I'd still be super cautious with [these sites] because a lot of the stuff on there is kinda crummy quality."

According to another collegiette, some sites are better than others. "I've never purchased anything from YesStyle or Romwe because I've seen consistently bad reviews on these sites,” Chelsea Jackson, a junior at Iowa State University, says. “However, I've been using Wish and AliExpress for the last several months and have yet to be disappointed. Even if something doesn't live up to all my expectations, the most I've spent on the shipping is $3 so I can't be too devastated. As for AliExpress, I've been let down a few times. I also accept the fact that buying from sites like these is a gamble, so I don't spend too much money on these apps and I always search for sellers and products that have high ratings."

2. Beware shipping 

So you've checked reviews and found a site with a pretty solid reputation. You've loaded up your shopping cart with loads of cheap goodies and you're ready to check out, but then you notice the shipping cost is sky high! Unfortunately, most of these sites don't boast a flat shipping rate. Since each product is sold by an individual vendor, it means they can charge whatever they want for shipping. It also doesn't help that most of these products are coming from Asia. 

On a related note, don't buy from these sites if you're on a tight deadline. Since your haul is coming from places like China and South Korea, it'll likely take at least two to three weeks for it all to arrive at your door.  

3. Order a size (or two) up

If you dig around these sites, you'll quickly find out that a lot of the clothes are one-size-fits-all. If that's the case, try to stick with sweaters or other slouchy pieces that'll be more likely to flatter most shapes.

If you are able to choose a size, Kayleen Parra-Padron, a senior at FIU, has a bit of advice. "I shopped at wish for a dress or two and, to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality,” she says. “They run extremely small so you always have to be careful and order at least two sizes up."

4. Skip the cheap makeup 

"Never [buy] makeup products. I'll try beauty blenders but never like lipsticks or shadows, etc," says Briya Ware, junior at Elon. She's absolutely right. By purchasing 'dupes' of popular makeup products, you're opening yourself up to potential counterfeit products, which can actually be harmful if used. Don't risk having an adverse reaction to that $5 Naked Palette dupe, and just go to Ulta. 

5. Check the return policy 

Stephanie Huynh, a sophomore at Lehigh University, says she "wouldn't recommend shopping on [these] kinds of websites mainly because a lot of them don't offer free returns. If something doesn't fit right or doesn't look like it did in the picture, you have to spend money to send it back. You're spending money on something you didn't want and it can become a waste of money over time!"

If you're worried that what you buy won't turn out how you wanted, do a test purchase. Buy one or two things and if they work for you, then you'll be comfortable using that site for larger purchases. 

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Bottom line? While these sites may be a great place to get a cheap, trendy t-shirt or sweater, you’re probably better off purchasing from a reputable brand. The often lackluster quality of these items coupled with ridiculous shipping policies often makes it more of a hassle than a steal.