Go and read this downfall of Wish, the basket of impossible bargains on the internet

If you need a $2 pair of jeans, a $1 pop-up pool for your backyard, and waterproof covers for $0.50, Wish is the online store to find all that and more. Or at least it was.

a New York times A deep dive traces the arc of the internet’s most grotesque shopping destination known for its array of exotic merchandise at impossibly low prices. The story paints a picture of the rapid rise of the e-commerce sector that eventually caused its downfall when growth was prioritized over the basic tenants shoppers expected — the timely arrival of products, for example, but also more important things, like absolutely real listings.

One anecdote in the article proves that the impossibly low prices were, in fact, too good to be true—because Wish had posted the listings knowing they weren’t real, according to times.

There were incredible deals on “bestdeeal9,” a store hosted on e-commerce platform Wish, including a $2,700 smart TV selling for $1 and a gaming PC advertised for $1.30.

But none of the shows were real, and Wish knew it.

The company, an innovative online store that had more than $2 billion In last year’s sales by putting up hard-to-believe discounts, “bestdeeal9” was created as an experiment. Lists removed for violating Wish policies are republished on “bestdeeal9” and used in part to track whether shoppers complained when their orders never arrived.

Employees retreated from the fake store, which was bought by more than 213,000 people before closing in 2020.

The staff said times This bestdeeal9 was a symptom of problems with Wish as the company let customer service fall by the wayside and instead focused on growing the business. Wish spent more than $1 billion on sales and marketing last year — you might recognize the company’s logo as the one affixed to the Los Angeles Lakers’ jerseys. The company has rented a Bel Air mansion for influencers to create content in, which is now available for rent for $300,000 per month. Jennifer M. Gregel, assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University, said her digital advertising strategy was like “throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what gets stuck.” times.

Scams like bestdeaal9 were too much even for Wish shoppers, who weren’t exactly expecting white glove service. Items often take weeks to arrive, and there’s a whole kind of memes making fun of the difference between what’s been announced on the Wish List and what’s actually arrived. The company’s user base and revenue have declined in the past year times ReportsAnd the As Wish tries to turn things around.

Even with strict quality controls over products, merchandisers and delivery, revenue in Wish’s last fiscal quarter was down 76 percent from the previous year, it reported May 5. There were 27 million monthly users at the end of the first quarter, compared to 101 million a year earlier. The company went public in 2020 at $24 a share and is now trading at less than $2.

“Companies are supposed to evolve and mature,” said Christian Lemmon, who was Wish’s head of growth and acting chief marketing officer in 2016 and 2017. “The easiest way to say what happened is that what worked for it stopped and never progressed.”

Internally, employees describe stressful working conditions, high employee turnover, absent founders, and overlooked concerns. In March, several hundred employees lost their jobs. More recently, Wish says it is trying to reverse course with new leadership and more accountability measures for merchants on the platform.

Read the report here.

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