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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553 Consumer Reviews for Wish.com

Average Consumer Rating: 2.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 114 4 star: 57 3 star: 32 2 star: 33 1 star:  317
Bottom Line: 35% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 553
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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

    Too slow receiving my order

    • Tennessee,
    • Jun 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have orders on here I still haven't received and I am frustrated because I don't have the items I purchased through this site. I am wondering if this app is even a scam because I have read the reviews and it's saying it is a scam since the prices are so cheap.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Wish is definitely STGTBT (sounds too good to be true)!

    When a friend told me about Wish.com, I was doubtful about its credibility. Wish ads kept popping up on my phone while I was playing certain games (Dice with Ellen) and as time went by another friend told me about Wish, saying I ought to give it a try.

    The introductory special deal was to get something free, all I had to do was pay the shipping which was only $2 for the free item I chose.

    It took weeks for my free item to arrive, and when it did I could see right away it was not the item as advertised. The ring I ordered was definitely not 925 sterling silver and the genuine opal (as it stated in the item description) was actually a simulated opal, although very pretty, I was misled into believing I was getting something that "sounds too good to be true," and you know what our moms told us about STGTBT! "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" Well, Mom was right again, as always.

    Even so, I gave Wish another try, and another, and another. Here's what I ordered, just so you know that Wish is consistently full of human excrement, without a doubt...

    Magnetic Eyelashes - sounds good but not even a magician would be able to make these even GET on my eyelashes, and staying there was completely a mystery.

    8 Sterling Silver and Turquoise Rings - I received two bags of 8 rings in each bag. None of the rings were turquoise or Sterling silver. They were very similar to the first ring I received from Wish (see above) which, by the way, the "stone" fell out of after wearing it only a few minutes.

    Here's the final and last order I placed...

    It was for 50 oysters with pearls inside. Wouldn't you have wanted to see what you'd actually end up with? I ordered this just for kicks and giggles to see what I'd actually get in the mail. For weeks I've been imaging a package from China that smelled really bad, or maybe a refrigerated container, but as it only cost me the price of shipping (again), I figured my first guess would be the correct one if they really did send me 50 oysters as I was promised.

    Yesterday I received a little plastic bag from China (from Wish) that contained...no oysters, thankfully, and no pearls. It had 50 very obviously simulated beads that are pretty, but definitely not what I was led to believe I was getting.

    So, let my experiences be your lesson to not even give Wish a whirl. I think they are preying on people who are ignorant (I didn't say dumb!) about the poor standards that China has in customer satisfaction, honesty, and quality of products they sell.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Didn't receive my goods

    • Brits, South Africa,
    • Jun 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am very disappointed in Wish! I'm waiting for some goods. The delivery date was the 21st of May, and today is already the 12th of June. Eleven articles I'm waiting for. I don't think I will order again from Wish.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Their pricing

    • Quebec, Canada,
    • Jun 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Just about everything I checked out on Wish was more expensive than eBay, and their shipping prices were crazy. I would never buy anything from them. I wouldn't take a chance. I never had a problem on eBay, and I have purchased 234 items.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Horrible

    • New York,
    • Jun 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I downloaded their app and was offered a free gift. I ended up paying for it plus shipping and handling. The quality of the watch is poor. I am very dissatisfied. There are so many fake designs on the back side of the face; they blend in with the hands of the watch. No instructions, no paperwork, zero, no battery type, no nothing. I deleted their app and told them I will never purchase from Wish again.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Extremely poor materials! Save your money!

    • Texas,
    • Jun 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered several items through the site based on good reviews I read on their website. I was VERY disappointed in the items. Terrible craftsmanship, very thin, crappy material that didn’t even match the pics at all! Also, the sizes are much smaller than the U.S. sizes, and I knew to order a size or two larger, but even doing so, they were still too small for my daughter! The jewelry was so poorly made, two of the pieces broke the first day! I will not ever order from this site again!

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

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Cheap product, not as depicted

    • Rhode Island,
    • Jun 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased a carry-on bag. It looked good in the picture, but it is really nothing more than a plastic bag. Very disappointing for $30. I would never purchase from them again. Caveat emptor, buyer beware.

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

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Do not buy from Wish.com

    • North Carolina,
    • Jun 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered several jewelry pieces received all but two items. It is very unfortunate that I cannot get a refund for the two items that never arrived. I think it is bad business practices to not refund a customer for something that they never received. What a good way to make money by scamming customers. I am not pleased, and I will never order from Wish again.

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Utter crap

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Jun 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered numerous items from wish.com. The ones that have actually arrived have been terrible – cheap junk that is not accurate to the pictures posted. The items that haven't arrived are numerous. One of them is marked as “delivered” even though I didnt get them and I have been told by Wish, “Sorry, if it's marked as delivered, you're out of luck” basically. Stay away from this site.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Customer Service

    • Iowa,
    • Jun 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have placed 3 orders so far with this company. I have had nothing but 2 failed attempts to receive my items I ordered. The first time was for a mannequin that I ordered which the store owner changed their advertisement and sent me out something totally different from what I originally ordered. Now I gave them my business a second time, waited 3 weeks and I was told my packages were misrouted and possibly lost. I was given a refund but that doesn't make me any less happy.

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Wish operates like a scam...

    • Calgary, Alberta, Canada,
    • Jun 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I signed up to try Wish out as I was interested in an item that appeared in a Facebook ad. Upon signing up, I was given an opportunity to purchase a 'free' item for signing up (just pay shipping). So, being a bit of a skeptic, I ordered a simple item that was to have $2 shipping. Once finishing the selection and order process I was billed $4. Not exactly what they advertised.

    After asking why this happened, I was given the run around until right after the item was posted as shipped (I'm sure they avoid giving the money back that way) and then told I must have logged out or not ordered during the free time frame. Get this...the item is STILL on their site and listed as being free. NO WAY will I order anything more after this. Horrible customer service dealing with the issue and taken for extra money. Imagine if it was a larger and more expensive order.

    Only rating Wish a one star as I have to give something so that I can submit.

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

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