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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721 Consumer Reviews for Wish.com

Average Consumer Rating: 2.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 124 4 star: 62 3 star: 37 2 star: 45 1 star:  453
Bottom Line: 30% 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
  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Account flagged for excessive refunds

    • United Kingdom,
    • Oct 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Please don’t order from Wish.

    It was all going well until I ordered an LED mirror. Upon arrival, I put brand new batteries in it, however, the light flickered on and off like there was a loose connection.

    I tried to contact Wish support regarding the mirror that was faulty, but a message popped up to say my account had been flagged for excessive refunds.

    I scrolled through all my orders and counted how many refunds I had had in the past. I had only ever had 4 refunds in the past, and 2 of those were items that I never received. And the other 2 were items that were electrical items that were genuinely faulty.

    So now I’m stuck with this LED mirror that is faulty and I’m unable to return or refund any more purchases that I buy as Wish believes I am abusing their generous refund policy.

    I have had to contact PayPal and open a dispute for the mirror. PayPal says this is unacceptable of Wish.

    So there is no buyer protection if you don’t recieve a product or an item is faulty or something. The buyer is punished for having a refund.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Unethical company! Fraud! Lies!

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Oct 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Here is the true, real and honest experience:

    They offered me a full refund (twice) on a defective item, I accepted the refund per their request and they NEVER issued the refund. I followed up with them multiple times and they refused to issue the refund, which they offered twice! What is this? Unethical and disgraceful business practice. They are lying to customers! I can prove it, it’s all documented!

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Lack of refund

    • Cornwall, England,
    • Oct 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been in touch with Wish since August asking about orders I didn't receive, and all they keep doing is avoiding the issue. I was sent an email saying they could see I placed the order and the payments would be refunded in two weeks after asking for all my details.

    I am now nearly two months waiting with about a dozen emails with about 10 different names, but still no refund. Be careful.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Terrible

    • United Kingdom,
    • Oct 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered perfume from Wish assuming it was the real thing. After a month on my delivery date, I was sent a letter from customs demanding €200 as the perfume was counterfeit and had been destroyed. I got in touch with Wish who wasn’t interested, and also PayPal, who also was no help. Wish is still selling this on their site along with other makes of perfume, which I now realize is counterfeit. Please don’t buy from them. I bought in complete innocence and now have a €200 demand.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Fake data on disk on key

    • Israel,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received two disks on key, 2TB each. When I started working and filling them with data, I discovered that one of them was 16G and the second one was 32G! So I asked for a refund. I hope the other items I ordered (not disk on key) will be as good as they published.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Goods not received and cannot contact Wish

    • Avon,
    • Oct 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Contacting Wish to complain about non-receipt of goods is impossible. The email to the Board does not work. Do not order anything, but if you do, pay once you receive the goods. They do not take any responsibility of their suppliers failing to deliver and deliver faulty goods.

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

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  • 1 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Products

    • South East England,
    • Oct 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have ordered quite a few things from this site, most of which has been good.

    My only complaint is the sizing of clothes. I am not a small lady so I ordered items two sizes bigger than I would normally wear and they are still too small.

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

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Wish

    • England,
    • Oct 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have bought a lot of items from Wish. The quality, delivery time, and sizes are all a complete gamble. But sometimes something good does come along. The prices displayed are pure fiction; something offered at £2, for instance, becomes £12 by the time you get to paying for it.

    I have never had any problems with getting a refund for non-delivery, poor quality, misleading statements or wrong sizing and/or color. What they sell is ok for a summer or a season, and some of the designs are unusual. Don’t expect too much...the goods are cheap for a reason.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Scam company

    • Belgium,
    • Oct 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered five items four months ago. Three months ago I got a notice that they had arrived, even though they hadn't. I wrote Wish but they kept telling me I should wait. I buy lots of things online. This is definitely the worst experience I ever had.

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

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  • 10 out 11 people found this review helpful

    They have a racket going!

    • Mounds View, MN,
    • Oct 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered a ring back in June of 2018. It is now October of 2018 and still no ring! They are telling me that the package got lost in transit and that I will get a refund. I bet I will not get my shipping back! That's how they can make money...let people order, tell us something went wrong, and give us all the shipping back. I will NEVER order from them again! Oh, if you go to their site ALL reviews are 5 stars! LOL.

    P.S. I had to rate it one star because there was no ZERO.

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

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Terrible customer support

    • United Kingdom,
    • Oct 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    If a postage label displays the correct order information even when the order isn’t completely fulfilled, you’ll get no help. If an order doesn’t arrive at all, there’s no guaranteed resolution of the issue.

    Wish Customer Support doesn’t take into account the failures of their sellers, nor is there any way to contact sellers directly.

    If the basic formalities of dispatch and postage documentation are technically present, then the actual delivery of the order is not dealt with as a priority to Wish as a hub for sellers.

    Once a Support inquiry is settled (more commonly dismissed) by a support staff member, there is no discussion or reasoning as the lines of communication are severed completely on that issue and any attempt to get an explanation for the failure of customer care is met with an automated reply to submit a Support request.

    It’s not just a gamble on the actual quality of the products offered, every part of the transaction is a game of chance:

    The prices change from the initially stated price once an order in the checkout.

    The tracking links provided don’t trace your order beyond arrival in your country.

    There is no guarantee your order will get to you.

    There is no guarantee your order will be complete.

    There is no guarantee for acknowledgment of service failure.

    There is no guarantee you will get a reasonable solution from Customer Support.

    All refunds that are actually successful are given as credit toward following purchases, meaning the whole process has to start again to recover the value.

    Wish is just a middleman service for independent Chinese sellers. They take no responsibility for the sale beyond taking your money and order then passing them on.

    It is possible you will have a good experience shopping through Wish.com. There is no guarantee that you will either. They guarantee nothing resembling customer satisfaction. If it’s not resolvable through the automated system, there’s little chance of any solution.

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

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    • Oct 18, 2018

      Rosemary M.

      I totally agree with you about customer service, they have a way of ignoring your messages also getting refunds for goods not received is impossible. I have been trying for nearly two months to get a refund for goods that didn't arrive, despite being told my refund would be with me in two weeks. That's about six weeks ago and still nothing.

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