Keeping Pace with Change by Robin Trimingham
In my unending quest to stay relevant and bring the best quality information to the Olderhood audience, this past week I took a crash course in retail therapy for the modern girl.
What is that you might well ask?
In short it means I watched several hour's worth of YouTube videos on the shopping habits of teenage girls. I found this exercise fascinating, terrifying and extremely instructive.
Let me tell you, I now know why the North American big box stores are going down in flames. Their up-and-coming target audience is no longer shopping there. Instead, these internet savvy teens with PayPal accounts are going to www.wish.com and www.shopmissa.com and buying up armloads of stuff priced between $1 and $5 USD per item.
Then they are unwrapping their purchases, which they call "hauls", online on their YouTube channels and providing product reviews and advice regarding what to purchase and what to avoid at all costs. Some of the braver girls even model their clothing purchases (whether they fit or not) and explain whether they would wear the outfit in question in public, and whether they feel that it was good value for money. The phrase "what you can expect for a dollar" is a common and sincere rating classification.
So how does this work?
Apparently Chinese wholesale manufacturers are now able to sell to the public directly on a single unit basis, and more importantly, they can ship these items very cheaply through the postal system. The only catch is that all clothing items are listed in "Chinese sizes" which run at least two sizes smaller that US and UK sizes â€“ meaning be ready to order XL if you normally wear a medium!
Is this a scam?
My thought exactly, so I decided to test it out. After surfing www.wish.com for way longer than I care to admit (but it was fun) I have ordered a dress, a top, a blouse and a pair of shoes. My total spend including shipping and duty is about $35 USD.
So far, the dress is the only thing to arrive. And I must say it was a disaster! (silly me for not taking that order two sizes bigger thing seriously). Not to be defeated, I have cut it off at the waist and made it into a rather nice skirt which I have already worn. Not bad for $4.50. All other items are MIA but I do think that they will arrive eventually.
Would I do this again?
Yes, I think I would. I am not sure clothes are the best idea if you are an ultra-conservative person but they also seem to sell almost every other item you can imagine. I've seen some very nice looking teapots and twinkle lights that are very tempting.
Would I recommend this?
If you want to be the coolest grannie ever, absolutely! The prices are low enough to fit almost everyone's budget and you can spend some quality time with that hard to buy for teenager picking out a couple of things together. Just remember to order a really big size, and don't worry if you overdo it, she'll grow into it!
By Robin Trimingham