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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651 Consumer Reviews for Wish.com

Average Consumer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 121 4 star: 60 3 star: 35 2 star: 39 1 star:  396
Bottom Line: 32% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 651
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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
  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Bad customer service

    • London, England,
    • Aug 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought two items on Wish. The seller sent them to the wrong address. I opened the case and told Wish I haven’t received the items, but they refuse to provide a refund, even though I have a letter from Royal Mail that shows the tracking address does not match with my home address. Royal Mail confirmed the address is wrong and Wish kept asking me to contact Royal Mail! I am very disappointed with Wish and their bad customer service! Very unhelpful!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Horrible

    • Illinois,
    • Aug 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered an item from this app. I have been trying to get ahold of someone and have been ignored. Almost a YEAR ago this started. It says my order arrived in the US, however, it has not been shipped to me since arriving. Now, they are still ignoring me and the website keeps telling me the window for my refund expired a month after I ordered it, which is insane because it told me it would take 7-8 weeks to get here. Total BS.

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

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  • Beware: shop at your own risk

    • Raleigh, NC,
    • Aug 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    "1 star: Really Bad Conduct." That's the definition of one star here. That fits for Wish.com.

    This company (Wish.com) has a confusing interface, especially on a phone.

    I was pricing out small bags of molding clay, listed as "free - just pay shipping." I get it - they pad the shipping a little, and I get a good price.

    I put about 20 bags in my cart (they were very smart) and went to what I thought was the order summary page, like oh, I don't know...EVERY other site I've been to has. Not Wish. They had payment info from a previous purchase and whammo! I was charged $199!

    I went to their "customer service," which is an automated bot and requested a refund. They said no refunds. Just Wish credit. They said a representative would email me back in three days. That was ten days ago.

    I am doing a dispute through my bank right now. I will NEVER deal with this company again.

    Just go to Ali Express or Alibaba if you're looking for a reasonable competitor to Amazon.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    I would rate it a half star if it was available

    • Derby, CT,
    • Aug 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is the second time I am having trouble getting a refund and it DEFINITELY will be the last. First, they told me my money was redeposited and to wait a couple of days before it would show in my account. Never did. Then they told me they never took out the money which is a big lie, but my bank shows that they did, so who would you believe?

    Now I told them that if it did get my deposit today, I am filing a complaint and when I find the company who helped me the first time to get my money back (which I did). This company is a crock and should be held accountable for every lie they tell you. As soon as I get my money back, I am deleting this app, and I hope if anyone sees this I shall say buyer beware.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • Washington, DC,
    • Aug 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    They have a lot of random stuff. Despite their claim, that you can buy in confidence from them because "they have your back," it is a hassle trying to return items. DO NOT attempt to call their 1-800 number because after you listen to its recorded messages, it then says that the service is unavailable. No, it wasn't just a system outage, I have been trying for days. You can ONLY communicate with "reps" via the app. But, before you can get to that stage, you have to answer questions from an automated online "help assistant" who vets why you need customer service.

    Then you have to wait 24 to 48 hours for a response. To make matters worse, they want you to upload a picture of the item you are trying to return, regardless if the system says it was delivered on the third and you are trying to return it on the forth. However, you cannot just upload the picture, nope you have to go back through the entire online customer service complaint vetting assistance, and then restate all everything and why the product was crappy, in the end just to upload the required picture.

    After that a customer rep will send you a standard we apology, what is alarming is that they say "they need to contact the store to SEE how you can obtain a refund" and they will get back with you in 24 to 48 hours. At this rate, your ONE month refund time is slowly being eaten away just to return a product and get your money back. The saying is true; you get what you pay for. I am still undergoing the "return process" it's almost like begging to get YOUR money back. In the future, I cannot see me purchasing anything over $10 if at all. I cannot stomach having to beg and plead with a merchant that offers "returns" to get my money back for crappy products. Beware, you have all been warned.

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

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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    I am satisfied

    • Texas,
    • Aug 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My wife and I have ordered more than a hundred items from Wish. Only once did we receive a broken item. It cost so little we did not ask for a refund. I would stay away from electronic items. Shoes, clothing, and belts can be a gamble, but that can happen anywhere.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Very disappointed

    • Catonsville, MD,
    • Aug 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The only thing is I wish I could give this a negative star review.

    I order things from this site, receive a confirmation of my order and then days later receive an email that there is a problem processing my payment. They then say they will send a refund, which takes an unreasonable amount of time to get back.

    The items I have received have been of poor quality. They have no telephone number or person to contact. The only way you can contact them is by email, which takes several days for a response. You cannot get a direct answer or a resolution to your problems.

    I have found this website to be a complete headache and not worth anything. I don't even know how this is legal seeing as many people are losing items and their money through this site.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Deceiving scammers

    • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Aug 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The site is cunningly deceiving. You get a "free item" for being a new customer but it shows up with a charge at checkout. Every item has an order number, instead of the whole order having a number, so when you think you had canceled an order, you have only canceled one item, and you are charged for the rest. Once they ship something, and they ship fast, there is no way back. You lost.

    In short, they are a bunch of skilled crooks.

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

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Dishonesty

    I have been suffering from this company. They took money out of my account and refuse to refund money back to my account. I ordered things and a few days later they cancel the order and never game money. They charged me and only gave store credit. They sent a message that the item has been delivered but the item has never been delivered. No customer service, no phone calls. It is not the right place to buy what you want. I lost money and I am wondering if I will ever get it back...

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

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  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Bad

    • Washington,
    • Aug 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I will never buy or recommend anything on Wish ever again, it’s a scam. I bought a smartwatch for $27, and it didn’t even come with the SIM card. I’m really disappointed. And I can’t even return it because when I say I want to return it, it just goes to a catalog. What a waste of money. I should have know better.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Shoe size

    • Saudi Arabia,
    • Aug 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My experience with the order of footwear is a disaster. Obviously the stores and staff they deal with do not the difference between size 37 and 39. Four pairs of sandals/boots arrived in the wrong size. I suppose it's a true saying, you get what you pay for, or in my case, NOT.

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

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