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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

TikTok shop is essentially a virtual mall

TikTok+shop+is+essentially+a+virtual+mall
Solen Feyissa

I’m sure everyone who has TikTok has noticed the newish shopping feature. 

The new addition to TikTok allows creators to sell items and for viewers to purchase items all without having to leave the app. Along with the new selling abilities came crazy coupons that made the already cheap items even cheaper. Due to the cheap prices, I could only be curious if the quality of the clothes is similar to Shein’s and if the shop would contribute to the problematic fast fashion business that I tend to try and stray from.

When scrolling on my For You Page (FYP) as I do all too often, I am ambushed by crazy coupons and video after video reviews about products or people trying to sell products. My FYP has practically become a virtual mall. What once were amusing cat videos are now endless product endorsements with the item linked with a little cart in the corner of the video.

That little cart link in the bottom left corner of my screen became a problem much faster than I would like to admit. 

When you click the link, it immediately opens whatever item the person who posted the video was endorsing. A little shop page comes up all while staying in the app, showing images, reviews, purchase count, stars, price, and the estimated shipping time along with two different buttons: add to cart or buy now.

The buy now button is a problem. It allows you to purchase the item in practically one click if you have your card linked to TikTok Shop (which I regrettably do). This has led to many impulsive purchases for me, and I’m sure for many others also. 

Along with the concerning ease of purchase, there is the problematic fast fashion aspect of the new shop. While there are sellers who put hard work into their items and sell them for a reasonable price, there are also a plethora of small shops that are like mini versions of Shein and Romwe that sell clothes for insanely low prices. As if we needed more fast fashion businesses.

Out of curiosity and because I had an excuse to spend money, I ordered a variety of items from the TikTok Shop to feed my curiosity (and spending issues). I ended up purchasing 15 items total, mostly clothes apart from a few accessories. The price of my cart was not awful, but still too much than I care to admit spending on TikTok Shop. 

The delivery times were set to about one to two weeks after the original order date, and after patiently waiting, the items finally arrived. 

I was instantly disappointed. As I expected, the quality of the items was like that of Shein, very cheaply made. All the items were extremely stretchy and thin, so they became see-through. 

The shop allows small businesses to get more attention and for people to get real reviews and opinions on purchased items.

Despite my personal mediocre experience with TikTok Shop, I still do think that there is some good in it. The shop allows small businesses to get more attention and for people to get real reviews and opinions on purchased items. While much of the stuff on TikTok Shop is fast fashion, not everything is. Upon further inspection, there are a lot of high-quality items made by people on the site, but they do not tend to be as popular due to their higher costs. 

If TikTok Shop were to focus a lot more on smaller businesses and promote them despite their higher costs instead of pushing so much fast fashion, I think the shop would be a lot more appreciated. It would also be for the best if every other video was not an endorsement of a product.

TikTok Shop has potential, but currently, it is just another fast fashion site. 

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About the Contributor
Litany Gaines, Staff Writer
Litany Gaines is a senior entering her first year on The Central Trend. Since she was young, Litany has had a love for words, whether it be reading, writing, poetry, or song lyrics, and she is beyond excited to further her writing skills this year. In her free time, Litany enjoys being outside and spending time with friends along with reading and writing. During her final year in high school, Litany hopes to create many memories and strive to be her best before setting off on her next path in life. Favorite poet: Sappho Favorite movie: My Neighbor Totoro or Coraline Favorite Time: 11:11 am Her Car: A 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix named Daisy Jones that is somehow still running  

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