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$30 iPhones & $40 Richard Mille’s: Here’s why items are insanely cheap on Wish


Red, orange, and some more red flags should go off in your head if you’re spammed on Facebook with a carousel of sophisticated smartphones with prices as low as $20. Where an iPhone X from Apple should normally cost between $320 and $380 from trusted vendors, you could very easily find listings on Wish for about $30 to $50. A $50 brand-new iPhone.


This is because a vast majority of the vendors and manufacturers on Wish are located in China, the poster country for counterfeiting and piracy. Chinese manufacturers have the highest production advantage in the world due to a series of national policies and time-evolved strategies to greatly reduce manufacturing and international shipping costs. It’s generally assumed that Chinese producers simply pay less in taxes and wages when compared to other advanced countries. This advantage only contributes partly to the overall scene, where manufacturers in China pay close attention to learning curves and come up with “innovative” ways to slash down overall production costs. The result is inevitable – low-quality products at insanely affordable prices.

While Wish first debuted in 2010 as an American international e-commerce platform, they began to market wholesale and retail merchandise in 2013. While they never planned to be the no. 1 “online dollar store”, extreme affordability for a wide variety of products became the game plan over time. 

While the abnormally low prices could be suspicious, Wish can be compared to Amazon and eBay in terms of user safety. It was named the most downloaded shopping app in 2018 and is now ranked the third-largest e-commerce company in the United States. This means that you can very safely key in your user details, order products, and they’ll be delivered to your doorstep or chosen pickup station.

Wish Infringement: The actual problem

While your products may safely arrive (usually takes forever due to the super-low shipping fees), no one promises they are going to be what you saw on the product listing. Hundreds of user reviews on the site and Quora contain bitter complaints about the abysmal quality of clothes, products not being the same sizes, electronics malfunctioning within a single day of use, and when you order a Gucci bag for $5, don’t get upset when a Versace purse arrives.

Wish prides itself as a company that pays attention to the counterfeiting problem. However, a disclaimer in IP rights protection policy states that “as a passive platform, Wish is not actively involved in the listing, sale or delivery of items offered by its merchants.” A nicer way to say, “We are not responsible”.

While Amazon, eBay, and other top sites also deal with counterfeit products and fake listings, Wish has a more complex bite of the problem because it doesn’t supply as many American and international brands as the other platforms. Also, its niche of the market and stronghold lies in supplying products at heavily discounted prices. The only way to sustain the target market at the beginning was for vendors to offer irresistible low prices directly from their factories without resellers or third-party vendors.

However, this means it also has a strong reputation as the “low expectations” kind of e-commerce website. Generally, for actual Chinese brands and companies, the products are cheap, relatively good and if you’re not buying something with the potential to explode or cause harm, you should be quite satisfied.

However, an illegally disappointing situation blooms when registered international brands are counterfeited relentlessly on Wish. These days, it’s almost as if there’s no filter for these vendors as they sell regularly-priced $100,000 Richard Milles and $1,700 Apple products for as low as $20. Sadly, thousands of customers intentionally seek out popular brands as knock-offs – fully aware of the highly likely inferior quality. You can only hope the item would look a little presentable and last longer than 3 days.

How does Wish protect authentic brands?

Wish reserves the right to remove any listing infringing on legitimately registered IP rights from its platform, without the permission of the vendor. Merchants and brands whose rights and trademarks have been abused can file a report to Wish, providing evidence of infringement and identifying the counterfeited products. Upon verification of the report, Wish may disable the infringer’s access to the products or listings and if the culprit user is a repeat offender, they may be totally banned from the platform forever.

The major problem all e-commerce platforms encounter with counterfeiters is recurrence. The algorithms may be able to ban an IP address from creating more accounts, and some technologies are sophisticated enough to fish out VPN users. Sadly, most counterfeiters operate off several devices and it’s only a matter of time before they pop up again.

Simply put, your brand protection responsibilities remain largely up to you.

At AXENCIS, we provide business owners and anti-counterfeiting managers with a 21-st century inspired solution for tracking, verifying, uprooting, and prosecuting cases of infringement and brand abuse. Where traditional methods mostly stop at removing listings and manually searching online platforms for future pop-ups, AXENCIS offers the smart brand protection solution, where an expert team of investigators deploys our cutting-edge software to constantly scan all major marketplaces online – Amazon, eBay, Wish, Alibaba, Joomla, etc. Following the removal of counterfeit listings, we step up the notch to target, track down, and prosecute the culprits, regardless of their location in the world. Their accounts are frozen and assets seized, allowing us to secure compensating payouts for our clients to reclaim their revenue.

AXENCIS offers all these benefits – and then some – completely free of charge to our clients. ALL our operational costs are covered from a percentage of the culprits’ assets, allowing us to offer the ultimate no-loss solution to relentless counterfeiting. 

As a customer shopping on Wish, here are some tips rules to avoid purchasing disappointing items:

  • Always read product reviews. They are not always truthful or authentic on every platform, but they could be very helpful.
  • The product sizes can be very deceptive – or non-existent. Items are usually smaller than they look in the pictures.
  • Edited pictures make low-quality products appear sophisticated.
  • Pay attention to the seller’s information and Wish ratings.
  • If it’s an obvious fake, don’t go for it. It’s usually not worth the toss of dignity.