What Is Wish.com?

By HighYa Research Team
Updated on: May 1, 2018

Founded in 2011 by former Google and Yahoo engineers, Wish.com is a direct-from-China bargain hunting website that features hundreds of different stores and millions of products from all over the world.

Compared to other “online shopping malls,” Wish.com allows you to personalize your shopping experience using their unique algorithm that recommends products based on your past purchases, as well as products you view and reject (more about this in a moment).

You can even save your favorite products to your Wishlist and buy later, or share them with others through Facebook.

But you’re not stuck browsing items on your computer, because Wish.com also offers apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Amazon devices. Taken together, the company claims to make shopping fun.

There’s no doubt that shopping can be enjoyable (that’s why they call it ‘retail therapy’!). But just because Wish.com might be enjoyable—not to mention their rock-bottom prices—does this mean you’ll get a good value? Or, will you wait a long time, only to end up with junk? We’ll cover your most important questions here.

To start things off, let’s begin from square one: How to set up your Wish.com account.

How Does Wish.com Work?

The first thing you’ll notice after landing on the Wish.com website is that you have to set up an account before browsing their products. This involves entering your email address, first and last name, and choosing a password.

In our experience, this seems to be a trend with many of these online discount marketplaces, but we think it’s a little annoying. In our mind, you should have the opportunity to learn whether or not you like a website before handing over your personal information.

At any rate, you’ll then need to enter your birth date and gender in order to help the site “find products you love.” Remember that algorithm we talked about above? This is where it starts by tailoring your results based on your age and gender. Then, as you browse and view different items, the algorithm will continue refining your selections.

Wish.com’s home page will display their most recent listings, but you can also narrow your search by category (e.g. fashion, accessories, gadgets, etc.), or by product type (e.g. shoes, tops, underwear, and so forth).

If you come across a product you might be interested in, simply click on it and a separate window will appear with a description, pictures, and price. Here, you’ll also be able to view shipping charges, estimated arrival times, previous customer ratings and reviews about the product (as well as the store/seller itself), view related products, and more.

Wish.com's Product DescriptionAn example of what you’ll see after clicking on an item, including product and store ratings, shipping information, and more.

From here, you can buy the item or save it to your Wishlist. If you haven’t created a Wishlist yet, you’ll be prompted to do so, which only involves choosing a name for your list and pressing enter.

Under your account, you can create multiple Wishlists and add or delete items as you see fit. Wish.com also gives you the ability to follow your friends and view their Wishlists, and even make Birthday Wishlists that can be shared to Facebook.

What Products Does Wish.com Sell

Signing up for a Wish.com account is completely free, and you won’t have to pay anything until you decide to buy.

As we noted above, Wish.com features products from a wide range of categories, from gadgets to fashion—and even some products that defy categorization.

Overall though, they seem to specialize in inexpensive electronics and gadgets sourced from overseas (most of which are knockoffs of popular products from mainstream companies, such as smartwatches intended to look like an Apple Watch), Bluetooth earbuds, action cameras (knockoffs of GoPro cameras), storage media (USB flash drives), cables, and speakers.

For the most part, the site’s products are less than $100 and usually fall somewhere between $5 and $50.

Pro tip: According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Mr. Szulczewski [one of the company’s co-founders] said Wish vendors are free to price goods and make claims about discounts as they see fit.” As such, you’ll want to take any listed retail prices (the crossed-out number in the picture above) with a grain of salt.

Since Wish.com only acts as a marketplace for other sellers, each listing comes with its own shipping charges, although we found free shipping to be the norm.

As you browse Wish.com, add items to your Wishlists, and purchase products, you’ll earn rewards in the form of gift cards, which can be viewed in the Wallet section of your account. These gift cards expire within a few days, so be sure to use yours as soon as you get them!

All products purchased through Wish.com come with a 30-day refund policy (from the date of delivery), less S&H charges. In order to initiate a refund, “Simply click on ‘Contact Support’ next to the item you wish to request a return or a refund.”

But is it really this simple? What are customers saying?

A Look at the Reviews and Complaints About Wish.com

You probably understand that, for the most part, you get what you pay for. But despite their ultra-low prices, does Wish.com rank high on the list of their customers?

On ComplaintsBoard, there were dozens of customer complaints about Wish.com, including unauthorized transactions soon after placing an order, poor quality products (especially related to electronics), long shipping times (as you can see from the picture above, it could take a month or more to arrive), difficulty obtaining a refund, and poor customer service.

Wish.com, based out of San Francisco, CA, also had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research, based on 1,144 closed complaints (as of 5/1/18). Nearly all of these appeared to reference difficulty obtaining refunds, and the company’s tendency to continuously send automated email responses to very specific requests.

But what about Wish.com’s apps? In contrast to their business model, their apps were rated highly, earning 4.5 stars on Google Play based on more than 5 million votes, and another 4.5-star rating on iTunes, based on 53,500 reviews.

Is Wish.com Legit?

There’s old project management saying that goes: You have the option of fast, good and cheap. Pick two.

And in the instance of Wish.com, nearly all of the emphasis is placed on ‘cheap,’ basically to the exclusion of ‘fast’ and ‘good.’ So, although you’ll be getting rock-bottom prices, you’ll have to wait a very long time to receive your order, and in general, the product(s) will probably be of less-than-stellar quality.

On top of this, should anything go wrong with your order, you might experience difficulty getting in contact with the original seller (remember, Wish.com only acts as a storefront, but doesn’t sell items directly). And if you need to get Wish.com involved, many customers have complained that they weren’t much more help.

Taking all of this together, Wish.com certainly isn’t a scam, although many of their vendors could be. After all, they’re probably located overseas and completely anonymous (at least to customers), and it’s not clear if they’re required to go through any kind of vetting process before opening their Wish.com store.

Despite this gamble, Wish.com has millions of fans who regularly buy from their vendors, and sing praises about the products they purchased and the ultra-low prices they received. Only you will be able to understand whether or not it’s worth taking the risk.

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Read 915 Wish.com Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 134 4 star: 68 3 star: 40 2 star: 49 1 star:  624
Bottom Line: 25% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 915
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  • Editor’s Note: This company is actively collecting reviews from its customers. All reviews submitted are subject to moderation and approval to ensure they meet our Review Guidelines.
  • Damaged product.

    • Galloway, NJ,
    • Sep 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Wis app is a scam. I purchased a product from them, it arrived damaged and highly inferior. I contact them but they failed to respond. I then turned to PayPal.com to get my money back. PayPal contacted them and when PayPal contacted me, Wish wanted me to return the product and pay for the shipping. The worst thing is that postage is more than what I paid for the product so I decided to dump it in the garbage.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    REFUND AND CREDIT

    • Menifee, CA,
    • Sep 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased several items on Wish and upon arrival over a course of 6 months, the products were substandard. Used their automated refund policy on their site and had accumulated a refund as a credit to use at a later date. Well, when I went to use the credit it was gone. No longer showing up in my account. Well, now its been 8 months of responses from a different country, who just type the best answer from a script. I can't read any of the different languages when their response email is sent in so then I have to find a translation app to figure out what the heck it is saying. And guess what, the same crap about providing them with my bank card info, my order numbers, the dates of purchase and the lust of stupid requests that I know they have in front of them what I purchased. So BUYER BEWARE, the items you will get from them is all JUNK, not worth the shipping fee or the price you pay. I even had one customer service person suggest I send back to China, which the idiot provided the address to send back my purchase to a $2 item but I would have to pay for shipping it back to China. Please, I hope that this coming is SHUT DOWN by whatever means it takes. I understand they are small but the CEOs should vet these businesses better before allowing them to sell on their website. CROOKS is what WISH is. Beware!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Website only comes up in foreign language

    • Lebanon, OR,
    • Sep 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Someone accessed my account on Wish.com and ordered over $1000.00 in electronic items and now any time I try to log into my account to contact the company it will only come up in foreign language.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Never ships goods

    • Canterbury, New Zealand,
    • Sep 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Brought $250 worth of goods as a first-time shopper there. Lots of the goods never shipped, the rest that did arrive were utter crap, nothing like the pictures. Deleted the app. Will never buy anything from them again. It's a con site.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Wish is a scam

    • Painesville, OH,
    • Sep 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered 8 items. The 2 pairs of shoes and the 6 tops were delivered. The shoes are fine except they charged me more than double the advertised price, plus high shipping. The six tops were all either too big or of terrible quality! I got no invoices for these items and there was nowhere to return them. I asked my credit card company (Chase/Slate) to credit my account until I could know where to send the tops. They did and were supposed to ask Wish where they could be returned. All Wish would do when contacted by Chase was give them proof of delivery. This has been going on for 3 billing cycles. I keep telling Chase that I do not deny delivery but I need an address to return the 6 items. I found the 2 invoices on their website - but nowhere to send returns!

    On their website I found I was billed for $77.60 for the items (advertised at $40.67), PLUS $40.80 in shipping! So I am stuck with $117.40 in charges for what was supposed to be $9.00 worth of shoes! I have no order numbers as the item came in plastic bags with nothing but the shoddy mdse and my name and address.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 3 people found this review helpful

    I personally love Wish

    • Ohio,
    • Aug 31, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I personally love Wish and get lost in all the bargains. Do your research on item before purchasing! A $2 cellphone is too good to be the truth; you will receive phone cord. I've literally complained and received all the cash I ave ever used on Wish and have tons of items. I am going to be a loyal customer now as I feel that is not okay.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 11 people found this review helpful

    One and done

    • Surrey, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Aug 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    How I wish I had researched Wish before using it. I have NEVER seen such incompetence or maybe it is a scam. Its rating should be zero to minus 5 zero.

    As my initial foray on the site, I ordered several different items but was alarmed when the confirmation came through that quantities of the same item were wrong along with shipping costs and the overall total. It took several tries and hours of my time to correct the order with each successive order containing new errors.

    Finally, I had to go back and cancel every item. Hundreds of dollars of refunds are now in Wish cash and I'm worrying that I will have trouble getting either my goods if I reorder or my money back currently in Wish cash. I have NEVER seen such incompetence.

    DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE USE THIS SITE.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Bought a 43-inch Vizio TV that did not work at all

    • California,
    • Aug 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    So I bought a 43-inch Vizio TV from Wish, went through an absolute nightmare with FedEx, and then when I finally did get the TV (I had to drive to the FedEx warehouse personally to pick it up) it didn't work at all. I have literally tried to contact Wish twice a week for 3 weeks now, all I get are computer-generated responses that don't seem to be resolving the problem whatsoever. Going on 20 days with no actual response on how to resolve the issue. I highly recommend if you're going to purchase anything over $200 from Wish you just expect that you may not get your money back...if somebody from Wish actually does contact me to resolve this issue I will change my review but as it is now I'll never buy another thing from Wish! With the things the way they are today, just throwing $200 out the window is a hard hit to take...

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    They are scammers

    • Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain,
    • Aug 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought an item and I have not received it. They told me to wait, to wait, to wait, and after waiting months, I asked for a refund, but they told me that I can no longer ask for the refund, because too much time has passed. Whaaaaat? You told me to wait and now don't have the refund? Scammers, scammers and scammers. Now I can't contact the support. Scammers, no more Wish!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    False advertising and receive JUNK

    • New South Wales, Australia,
    • Aug 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought $122 worth of ornaments that said I saved $160. The items arrived were absolutely junk and much smaller than advertised. When I went back on the site weeks later, things I paid $29 dropped to $12 and I found this consistent.

    I recently bought a baby's jacket that said originally $95 my price $12. The jacket is not lined and made rather cheaply.

    Not good quality as the sites say. Total rip off.

    I will only refer a friend to the complaints.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Wish is hit and miss

    • Youngstown, OH,
    • Aug 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have purchased quite a few items on the Wish.com site and, for the most part, I got what I paid for. One thing to look out for, though, is that the images and ads for the products often display multiple pieces for a purchase but you get a surprise when the delivery arrives and it appears to be a half-order. As an example, I twice bought outside solar-powered LED lights and they were advertised as sold in a package of 2 and 8, respectively. But when they arrived, the shipment contained only 1 and 4 lights. I contacted them and they said that I didn't read the ad carefully enough. So, if you order something that has multiple pieces, verify that you did, indeed, pick the item with the number of pieces that you are expecting. This almost resembles a bait-and-switch and I told them as much.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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