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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607 Consumer Reviews for Wish.com

Average Consumer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 118 4 star: 59 3 star: 35 2 star: 33 1 star:  362
Bottom Line: 33% 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
  • Returns

    • Fennimore, WI,
    • Jul 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don't get mixed up with this site. They gave me a bogus address for return and it got sent back to me. I couldn't get an answer out of them because I think it's just robots answering. As soon as I get a few items I already ordered I am done with them!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Deceptive descriptions

    • Queensland, Australia,
    • Jul 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I haven't bought anything thus far and don't intend to.

    When I see an item for say $10 and go to order it, the price suddenly goes up. A lot.

    I've looked at multiple items and same thing each time. Although the item may still be at a very reasonable, even bargain price, this deceptive practice has put me off. Especially when quality is unknown and many items have very poor and even contradictory descriptions.

    Example: Clothing composition and fabric qualities.

    Often no indication of fabric type or if it's weave or knit (stretch or non-stretch). Not unusual to be listed as "silk" or "linen" and then read the description and it's changed to Polyester or Cotton.

    Not confidence inspiring. I'll look again in a year to see if things are improved. Until then, I am removing the app and unsubscribing.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Slow shipping

    • Saskatoon, Canada,
    • Jul 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Up until spring, my Wish orders came on time a month or two on average. But I had 28 outstanding orders until recently. I have products ordered three months ago that are still in limbo. Tracking is horrible on these items, many end up in the country of origin or at my customs office. It’s a combination of mainly low priority for Canada post and slow customs processing not entirely Wish.com. There is an agreement with China for low shipping rates I read and just not a priority with Canada Post. There are no options at Wish.com to pay more for shipping which should change. The products are good otherwise. My outstanding orders were all refunded by Wish.com for being late. Not all in full, some at 25% but they may eventually arrive maybe not.

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

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  • 5 out 7 people found this review helpful

    I ordered loads of products, BEWARE

    I placed a huge order costing me a fortune.

    When my bank statement arrived, the undelivered goods were charged!

    I emailed Wish.com daily...but my orders didn't arrive!

    When I mentioned contacting the United Kingdom Police, all my emails and any response was blocked!

    Wish.com customer services will not even accept my message, but now I can't email them too!

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Unhappy with quality

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Jul 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is the cheapest junk I've ever seen. Paid way too much in shipping costs and am having difficulty canceling any future items that will all be going to Salvation Army anyway.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Ordered 8 items - NONE arrived

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Jul 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This site is a scam. I ordered four cat trees from one store, two from another store, a multi-tool, and a ring - nothing arrived. They returned SOME of my money and tried to feed me BS that "sometimes the mail carriers have to reroute." The tracking numbers say out of the first four cat trees I ordered that one ended up in Winnipeg, one in Calgary, one in London and one in Montreal. Four different provinces for four of the same cat trees. DO NOT waste your time or money on Wish!

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Does not have regard for customers

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Jul 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered a striped kitty children’s chair, and was sent a hideous purple elephant! I reported this to them, and they insisted that I had ordered the elephant. After going back and forth many times, they finally allowed me to return the item at my cost. They sent me an email saying they had attached an address label. There was no attachment. I pointed this out to them and they answered (in email) that they were sorry I was having problems getting the email. I explained that I was indeed getting emails, but no attachments.

    We went back and forth several times, and I finally contacted the BBB. They answered the BBB saying that they had fulfilled the order correctly, and said that they were attaching a return label. Again the attachment did not work, but the BBB had already closed the case. I was so sick of dealing with Wish that I just gave the elephant away and deleted the Wish app from my phone. I don’t care how cheap their merchandise is, I will never buy anything from them again. They have horrible customer relations!

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

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  • 7 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Scammed by Wish.com

    • Colombia ,
    • Jul 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I want to write this review because I purchased many products in wish.com and some of this product never was sent and supposedly they would make a refund, a refund that I never received in my account balance. And when I ask them for a refund in the support chat, they never again answered my questions.

    I'm waiting for 1 month ago and nothing. For this reason, I can confirm that in Wish.com you can't make any purchase because a high possibility of you getting scammed exists.

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

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Never received products

    • Florida,
    • Jul 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Ordered several electronic products, the date that they were supposed to be delivered on has come and gone by 2 months. I have received 2 cheap watches that I ordered but I do believe that Wish isn't for me.

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

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  • 7 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Complete incompetence!

    • Salem, OR,
    • Jul 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This website is a total scam! Do not do business with this company! 75% of the items I have ordered did not arrive on time, or were damaged and nonfunctional! I ordered six taser flashlights for $2.90 a piece using the points I had earned. They priced this item incorrectly and three weeks later issued me a refund I never requested! Flashlight stun baton, same deal! I ordered a computer using all of my points and rewards, and it was never delivered! If you believe you have found a good bargain on Wish, think again! Their customer service appears to be a robot unable to resolve a single issue except to give a hard-fought refund! Lame!

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

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  • 5 out 7 people found this review helpful

    You get what you pay for, JUNK!

    • Arizona,
    • Jul 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've purchased tops, leggings, and small travel bags to keep electronics and cords organized. Not a fan! They are poor knockoffs that aren't worth the few dollars spent to ship them here. Don't waste your money! At least when you buy local or from a reputable store you have the option to see it and/or return it if you aren't happy. If it is too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.

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

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