What Is Wish.com?

By HighYa Staff
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 birthdate 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 an 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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864 Consumer Reviews for Wish.com

Average Consumer Rating: 2.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 129 4 star: 65 3 star: 40 2 star: 48 1 star:  582
Bottom Line: 26% would recommend it to a friend
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • Business practice

    • Saginaw, MI,
    • Mar 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My account was flagged by Wish due to the excessive refunds that they had to provide for items that were shipped and never received. Evidently, either shipping practices are my fault, so I am not allowed to contact customer support. I have contacted the Better Business Bureau and will continue to post reviews on every site I can find about this practice. Thank you.

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

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    I like this site

    • Cookeville, TN,
    • Mar 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have bought a couple of things so far from them and have been pleased with my orders so far. I have yet to be duped or disappointed. You pay a couple of bucks for something what do you expect a $1000 worth of merchandise. If you do, you are a fool. I recommend this site to everyone, there are some good things at a bargain.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Item never received and no refund

    • Boise,
    • Mar 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Ordered an item months in advance (I had heard that processing and shipping can take forever), and after a few months of waiting, I contacted them to find out that the item was not available, and when I requested my money back I was told I could only get Wish credit on my account. I didn’t even bother to take it since there is zero chance that I will ever order from the site again or recommend them to anyone else.

    I’m usually not a very demanding shopper, but I felt that they were completely unprofessional and honestly pretty shady. I would give it 0 stars if that was an option!

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

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  • Violation of my bank account

    • Romania,
    • Mar 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I saved four boots pairs in my shopping chart in order to decide which to chose at the end. Didn't complete the order! Next day I received via email confirmation that all orders were processed. I tried to cancel all items but, although all items were under the same order number only one item could be canceled. I have already received one item. When requesting to return the item, I have received the request to send pictures of the item! These pictures could not be attached to the message!

    As it is impossible to actually speak with a real human and even write an email all the above described process went via messages within my account created for this online shop. I consider the way that my money was taken from my account as a violation on my bank account and I take it very seriously, this is why I have informed also the in force authority.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    False advertising

    • Massachusetts,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    These people allow scammers on to their website with falsely advertising their products. No kidding. I ordered a pair of speakers and thought wow, 26 bucks with real wooden paneling and a good size. What a steal, these would make a great addition to my music studio. Then they arrived today, thank god, I've read reviews on this site where the item they bought didn't arrive at all. Here's the caveat - they have no wooden paneling, they are plastic. The magnet inside the speaker is lighter than a feather blowing in the summer breeze. And they are tiny as heck.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Stole $270

    • Denver, CO,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My Wish account was hacked and someone purchased a laptop for $270. Wish offered to refund my money back to the Wish website but NOT to my bank account. At the same time, Wish had locked my account so now I cannot even spend my money. They refuse to unlock it, it has been 9 months...

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Never received the item I ordered

    • Texas,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company is a total rip off, do not order. I have tried to resolve this with Wish...no help at all. I am so never shopping here again, the worst experience ever. It took two months to receive an item I never received.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Total scam

    • Houghton, MI,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company clearly makes money selling cheap fake items from China to people who don't realize the difference. And then, when someone complains, Wish "flags" their account and says they need to buy more cheap crappy items to get the flag removed. Do not buy from this company.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    No problems

    • Florida,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered four tops, a fitness tracker, and a wallet. All items were delivered sooner than expected. The fitness tracker was $3 and works as well as my husbands $150 Fitbit. Two of the tops fit and two didn't. I contacted them via the Wish app, they gave me a full refund the same day. I wouldn't say the tops are of great quality, but they were $8, so I wasn't expecting them to be. They look great with jeans.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Bad customer service

    • Newcastle upon Tyne, England,
    • Mar 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    When I first joined Wish, I was really happy with the items I bought. If I have a query, I could contact support where I could talk to an actual person. Now it’s automated answers where you have to choose one. Now I’m very disappointed with Wish, they have flagged my account for excessive refunds, which is wrong because I’ve never asked for a refund on anything I’ve tried to buy, but when would I receive it? So if I haven’t received it, they refund me (which I never asked for) and now I thought I’d give it another chance to try and order something. I get the same response, my account is flagged for excessive refunds and as I mentioned before, I never asked for refunds, only my items. I would recommend to friends how Wish is good but I feel it would be a lie, but I have done it, I have recommended them, but now I will tell them to steer clear of Wish and how bad customer service really is.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Wish description of goods is not what I received

    • California,
    • Mar 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered 12 strands of beads. Each strand should have at least 50 beads. I received 23-bead strands. Also, they pictured one thing but sent an ugly half strand 3 times. I tried to call or talk to them and they have no history of my orders. They have no email address, no phone number, no address to contact them. I spent $90 for 12 strands and received half the beads. I will never order or recommend them to anyone.

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

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