Whether you’ve bought something from them or not, we’ve probably all seen ads or heard mention of let’s call them “sketchier retailers.” The shadier sellers on Amazon and eBay or the shockingly cheap products on sites like Romwe and Shein. I think Wish is probably the most easily recognizable of the cheap sites. It’s well known and, at one time anyway, it was heavily talked about and criticized for being cheap but having shitty products. Having purchased some items years ago from Wish, I can absolutely confirm how bad the products were…when compared to their more expensive counterparts, like from Walmart or Target or even good sellers on Amazon. Sure, a tee-shirt from Target is going to be nicer quality than one from Shein, but a tee-shirt from Target can also be 3 times the price as of one from Shein. So, I mean, what’s the real issue with cheaper and sometimes not-that-bad-for-their-price products?
Let’s take a walk and talk about the main reason the average person would want to eliminate these producers: the quality of the products. Some of the products sold by these sketchy retailers can simply suck; the materials sucks, the durability sucks, the smell from the packaging sucks. How about how some of the products can be properly dangerous and harmful to the buyer? Most sellers of these cheaper products just kind of negate some of the ingredients or materials used in their product; some even lie or just don’t put ingredients on the packaging. But it’s the quality people care about. “tHe CoTtOn Is ToO rOuGh.” “ThE fIt IsNt RiGhT!” “tHe PaCkAgInG sMeLlS bAd!” Listen, I can talk about how yeah, you’re obviously going to get what you pay for when “the cheaper the price to buy, the cheaper the price to make” but there are MILLIONS OF PEOPLE FORCED INTO SLAVE LABOR IN CHINA ALONE. I don’t particularly care if your $3 sweater is tight and itchy or you knock-off eyeshadow palette gave you pink eye.
From an ethical standpoint let’s talk about the alleged forced and/or child labor in the factories some of these places produce or acquire items from. But with that said, it’s not as if bigger, more expensive companies don’t allegedly use forced labor. For example, Nike and Apple (and dozens of other companies) came under fire earlier this year for connections with the forced labor of the Uighurs in China. Those are two of the most well know multibillion-dollar companies that sell luxury items of the highest quality allegedly using forced labor. I really think this is the only argument you need to shut down cheaper producers and sellers and place higher restrictions/standards on the higher-end producers and sellers to maybe use their BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to legally hire able-bodied adults and pay them fair wages. But, you know, capitalism > ethics!
Educate yourself, spread awareness, help how you can.