PORTLAND, Ore. — You see ads for these cute clothing companies all over the internet.
These fast fashion sites started popping up a few years ago, became huge on Facebook and now have taken over other social media sites like Instagram.
However, KGW Investigates found thousands of unhappy customers complaining of ill-fitting clothes that hardly ever match the picture on the site.
We put four of these popular sites to the test with the help of some KGW anchors and reporters to see what you really get when you order.
“I’ve seen them all over social media,” said KGW reporter Christine Pitawanich. “Facebook, Instagram, the more I click on them the more I see.”
There are dozens are similar sites all based overseas selling trendy clothes at low prices.
“They are super, super cheap,” said KGW Sunrise anchor Ashley Korslien.
Each KGW anchor chose a different item from a different site.
KGW Sunrise anchor Brenda Braxton chose a red coat for $19.99 on the site Romwe.
Korslien picked a red work dress on Chicme for $25.60.
Pitawanich went with a wrap coat on Novashe for $35.00.
Tonight with Cassidy host Cassidy Quinn chose a faux fur coat from CiChic for $34.14
We paid an extra $15 to $21 for rush shipping on all items except Brenda’s coat which didn’t cost any extra to ship.
The clothes all arrived from China in two to four weeks.
Braxton was not impressed with her Romwe coat.
“Oh, it feels like felt,” said Braxton. “It feels like a fricking craft project. I would not wear this to work, I would not wear this to walk my dog.”
Korslien didn’t do much better with her red dress from Chicme.
“Yikes, it’s see-through. I can see through it,” said Korslien. “It’s not cute, it’s ugly, it looks like a sack.”
Pitawanich was confused by her black wrap coat.
“Are these wings,” she asked about the flaps of fabric. “It’s a little tight, right here. I’m not all the way certain about this. I don’t know what’s happening.”
Quinn was pleasantly surprised by her purchase.
“Oh, it’s actually pretty soft, very soft," she said. “But are the sleeves supposed to be short?"
Entire Facebook groups are dedicated to warning other customers about what people have purchased from these companies.
A comment from a Romwe customer on Trust Pilot a few days ago says “I was promised clothes and I got unusable items.”
Trust pilot also warns of a large amount of fake positive reviews for Romwe that they removed in 2018
KGW reached out to all four companies about our experience and these complaints but have only heard back from Romwe.
A customer service representative said, “About the size issue, our size guide converts international standard sizes. As products on our site are manually measured, please be noted that there may be up to a 2 cm difference between actual size and listed size.”
We sent pictures of what we purchased.
We’re waiting to hear back.
The FTC has been hearing about these companies since at least 2016 when Senator Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter requesting the agency look into these companies.
“We write to bring to your attention the rise of fraudulent, online apparel websites that use stolen photographs and deep discounts to lure consumers into buying products that are indeed ‘too good to be true,'” Blumenthal wrote in the letter.
The FTC told KGW no public action has ever been taken.
FTC’s Northwest Regional Director, Charles Harwood, told KGW customers should file a complaint if they feel they’ve been duped by these companies.
“If consumers really feel like they are making misrepresentations in the way they describe the product, the way they depict it, we really want to know because that is a potential violation of the FTC deceptive trade practice act,” said Harwood.
Consumers can file a complaint with the FTC here. Hyperlink: www.ftc.gov