DigitalizationMarket watchdogs warn against cheap clothing from Asian online stores

This week, the market watchdog team "Digital World" of the consumer association in Brandenburg presented its survey results on offers from online shops in Asia. In this regard, consumer complaints from the early warning network revealed that particularly cheap textiles from Asian online stores were delivered either late or not at all and, moreover, in bad quality. Based on these insights the market watchdogs tested nine online shops in terms of garment quality, return process and delivery times making test purchases. Additionally, in October 2017, a total of 1,006 Internet users were interviewed in the forsa.omninet online panel about their purchasing experience.

These are the central aspects:

  • Roughly half of respondents said they had already bought goods online that were shipped from Asia. However, every second person was not aware at the point of ordering that the goods originated from Asia.

  • Quality: In the test purchases, the ordered garments were often poorly cut, ill-fitted, insufficiently labelled and the material did not correspond to the information provided on the website.

  • Return: Three of the nine online retailers refused to revoke the sale contract. Two providers negated the revocation several times and instead offered alternatives such as vouchers or a proportionate reimbursement of the value of goods. In other cases, the test purchaser had to contact the retailer five to seven times in order to obtain information for the return address.

  • Delivery: In the majority of the test purchases, however, the shipment was made according to the specified delivery times on the website.

Kirsti Dautzenberg, head of the team “Digital World”, commented: "Almost every garment that we ordered was much smaller or tighter than the description on the website. In addition, ten out of the 13 tested garments showed significant deficiencies in the processing or the cut. In addition, in four cases the textiles consisted of completely different materials than indicated online. Anyone who gets involved with the cheap offers of such traders should be aware of the risks. These alleged bargains can quickly vanish due to high costs of return, not to mention the effort to find out the return address in the first place."

Source: Consumer association Brandenburg

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