Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, a girl had an idea for a blog post. Fast forward a couple of years and she’s finally getting around to writing it. It’s even going to be a series! In order to combat my apparent ineptitude at blogging I’m not going to schedule any of them for publication until they’re all written. So if you’re reading this, be assured that the follow up posts will go live each Wednesday for the next few weeks.
So.. what was the idea? As if you couldn’t guess from the title. Wish is a shopping website that has been the feature of a LOT of YouTube videos. The site sells all sorts of things for very cheap prices, and many creators like to do hauls and see what they get, what the quality is like and so on. I like Wish. You can find all sorts of things for very good prices. Some things are even free. Except that each and every item has it’s own shipping cost. There is no combined shipping for your whole basket, which can seriously up the total price. And of course, with all such websites, these things come from places such as China, so there’s a lengthy shipping time. But I don’t mind that so much.
However, I don’t tend to use Wish very much. I have found an alternative. AliExpress is a similar website. It sells items from every category you can imagine, with some lengthy shipping times, for very cheap. However, nearly everything on AliExpress is cheaper. Plus, the shipping is mostly either very low, or free. I’ve taken to screenshotting things I want from Wish and searching for them on AliExpress where I will usually find them for much cheaper. Which is where the idea for the blog series comes in.
Aside from sometimes being cheaper, is AliExpress actually better? I would do a test. I would get everything I need for a project: paper, pencil, eraser, sharpener, inking pen, colouring implements. I would get identical – as much as possible – items from both Wish and AliExpress and compare them.
First step? Shopping.
Item 1: pencils.
I was looking for a set of pencils, with varying lead softnesses. At the time (back in 2018) the only set of plain pencils I could find on Wish was these “Sell Well Beautiful Painting Tool 6H-12B Professinal Sketch Art Drawing Pencil Sketching Pencils” – the typo is theirs, not mine. The listing was for 5 random pencils in that range, and the item was free, with £2 shipping.
For AliExpress I don’t seem to have a screenshot, or a listing name. You can rest assured that it was probably as lengthy and keywordy as the Wish version. But my notes tell me that I got a set of 3 pencils, and I could pick which grades I wanted. They cost £1.45 with £0.14 shipping.
Item 2: erasers.
My criteria for this was a proper eraser, not a novelty colour/shape or anything. Again, I could only find one listing on Wish. It’s very hard to get accurate search results. You find all kinds of things popping up for no apparent reason. The only listing I found was this one. £2 plus £1 shipping for a set of three.
I learned from this listing that erasers can have a softness grade, so I made sure to find the same thing on AliExpress. These were £0.50 plus £0.10 shipping for a set of five.
Item 3: sharpener.
The only criteria for this was one that had a collection part so I could sharpen on the go and not leave a trail of sharpenings behind me. Wish produced this “1 Pcs Safe and Cute High Quality Pencil Sharpener O578 Sacapuntas School Stationary Sacapuntas Lapiceros” for £1.00 plus £1.00 shipping.
And on AliExpress I found this one. £0.45 with free shipping.
Item 4: pens.
I wanted fineliner inking pens, and I wanted them in black. Wish has a lot of these, but they’re all brands like UniPin or Pigma – or they claim to be at least. I searched for a non-brand set and found these. “9pcs Black Pigment Liner Drawing Pens,Sketch Pen,Needle Pen,Signing Pen,Comic Pen,Student School Office Stationery.” A pack of 9 in various thicknesses for £6 plus £2 shipping.
And on AliExpress I got a set of 10 for £6.77 with free shipping.
Item 5: colouring pencils.
Again, I looked for a non-branded set, with 24 pencils. Wish has a lot of colouring supplies. The pencils are usually bigger sets, and there are TONS of sets of gel pens and alcohol markers. But I found this set: “24 colors Wooden Pencil Colorful Drawing Painting Pencils for Secret Garden Coloring Books (17.5cm ).” They were £3 plus £1 shipping.
On AliExpress I found these. The 24 set was £3.38 with free shipping.
Item 6: paper.
I didn’t mind what GSM (weight) the paper was, as long as it was the same from both websites. But there was very little plain paper – either loose or in book form – on Wish. And after hours of searching I found only 1 that listed GSM at all. So I decided to just use my own paper for this one.
Tune in next week for the haul post.