Zulily Review: Is This a Good Way to Shop or Just Hype?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Feb 3, 2020

Sometimes while shopping online, you’ll stumble upon prices that seem to beat all others. Can these deals be believed, or are they only offered by retailers using subtle tricks to part you from your money?

Zulily is an online retailer that operates on a flash sale model and claims to offer lower prices than you can find elsewhere.

The company specializes in women’s fashion, home décor, kids’ clothing and more. It sells both popular brands and products not sold anywhere else and claims to make it easier to buy high-quality gear at low costs.

And, if you find the same item listed elsewhere for a lower price, Zulily promises to match it.

Should you switch your online shopping over to Zulily? Learn from our analysis on whether we think that’s a good idea.

  • New merchandise offered daily
  • Price matches Amazon and Walmart.com
  • Lower prices than many retailers for popular brands
  • Slow shipping time
  • Refunds only provided as store credit
  • Must pay $8.99 restocking fee for returns
  • Item quality is questionable

How Does Zulily Work?

Zulily works similarly to most online retailers. You can browse the site’s full inventory or search by new arrivals or sale items. Some of the brands represented on the site include Ralph Lauren, prAna, Brooks, PUR Cosmetics, Gaiam, Cuisinart, Apple (refurbished electronics), and more.

Every day, Zulily offers a different batch of products for sale. You can browse these items separately or look through the company’s full inventory.

But unlike other retailers, Zulily doesn’t technically own the products it lists for sale. Instead, the company makes bulk orders with its suppliers after their sales events end and then ships those items directly to you.

This purportedly keeps Zulily’s costs per unit low so that you pay less per item, though you might have to wait longer for shipping than with other eCommerce sites.

Price Match, Shipping, and Returns

Zulily offers a price match guarantee for Amazon and Walmart.com, which means that it will match or beat the pricing for any item you find on those sites.

To qualify, you can submit a price match request from either of these sites within 24 hours of your Zulily purchase.

In most cases, Zulily shipping will range from $5.99–$10.99 per order, depending on how many items you purchased. The company often runs promotions for free or reduced shipping costs. For example, once you place an order on the site, you can often receive free shipping for any additional orders made before 11:59 pm PT that same day.

Due to the company’s bulk shipping system, expect to wait ten days or longer for your order to ship. Some items are marked with a red rocket ship, which means that they can ship out within 1–3 days after ordering.

If you aren’t happy with a Zulily purchase, you have 30 days to submit a return request. Once accepted, you’ll receive a prepaid shipping label that can be used to send it back to the company. Note that an $8.95 shipping fee applies to all return requests of one to five items and that all remaining money from your order becomes store credit.

To qualify for returns, all items must be in like-new condition with original packaging and tags attached.

Not all Zulily items are eligible for returns. This includes swimwear, intimate apparel, furniture, some electronics, and more. You can check an item’s eligibility for returns by looking at its product details page or by going to the “My Orders” page.

Does Zulily Offer Good Deals?

Will you save money on Zulily compared to other retailers? To find out, we searched for pricing information for several popular Zulily items on other eCommerce sites to see how they compared.

Item Zulily Amazon Walmart Target
Brooks Ricochet Running Shoe $59.99 $74.99–$114.96 $79.99 NA
prAna Momento Sports Bra $24.99 $58.99 $44.99–$59 NA
Gaiam Sapphire Feather Yoga Mat $17.94 $17.95 $24.50 $21.49
Refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 $249.79 $299 $189.99 $199
Ralph Lauren Boys Polo Shirt $19.99 $24.69 $29.48 NA

As this chart shows, Zulily beats the pricing for other retailers for some, but not all products. All the apparel items we looked at were significantly cheaper from Zulily, though these savings weren’t matched for fitness equipment or electronics.

However, Zulily’s price guarantee means that you might be able to contest the cost of these higher-priced items and get the same savings if you order off the site.

Overall, our price comparison lends credibility to Zulily’s claims that they offer some of the best prices online for many items. Keep in mind though that shipping costs may make up most of the difference. Amazon orders ship free with Prime or once you spend more than $25, and Walmart and Target both offer in-store pickup.

In contrast, Zulily shipping costs will range from $5.99–$10.99 per order for most purchases.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

There are more than 150 customer reviews for Zulily on HighYa, and they average 2.1 stars. Just over a quarter of shoppers said they would recommend Zulily to their friends—here’s a closer look at what they said:

Bad Return Policy

One common complaint against Zulily centers around its refund policies. Some customers shared that they received broken or badly damaged electronics and that the company reused to replace them or refund their money.

One shopper was told to contact the brand that manufactured the watch the bought off Zulily directly, only to then be told that it wouldn’t honor warranties for items purchased from Zulily.

In most cases, though, shoppers were upset with Zulily’s $8.95 restocking fee and the fact that they couldn’t get the money returned to their credit card after a return. A few users shared that they used up their entire refund on restocking fees because they kept buying new items and then returning them because of quality concerns.

Slow Delivery Times

Many Zulily users complained that their items took a long time to arrive. Some wrote that they waited over 2.5 weeks to get confirmation that their order was ever shipped, while others had clothing come weeks later than promised, which meant they weren’t able to wear it for the special events that they had bought it for.

In a few cases, customers wrote that they paid for items that never ended up arriving at all.

Poor Product Quality

For many Zulily shoppers, poor item quality made them want to stay away from the company. Some wrote that the clothing wasn’t true to size or that it was made from cheap materials that didn’t survive the washing machine.

Great Shopping Experiences

Despite these dour reviews, many Zulily customers had a great experience with the site. Some wrote that it was their go-to platform for online shopping and that they rarely had a bad order.

Many of these same reviewers noted that they always had pleasant experiences with customer service and that any problems they had were quickly fixed.

Key Takeaways

Zulily offers cheap clothing and home goods, but you might pay for this low pricetag in other ways, including slow shipping time, questionable quality, and stingy return policy.

Customer reviews show it’s best to shop with Zulily when you’re confident you won’t want to return your purchase.

The Bottom Line

Zulily’s flash deals on a wide range of merchandise seem tempting, but customer reviews indicate that these bargains are often too good to be true.

Beyond the pricey shipping fees and slow delivery time, you’re also at risk of ending up with items that don’t match your quality expectations and aren’t cost-effective to return.

If you do shop on Zulily, our advice is to stick with well-known brands and products you know you won’t want to return.

For example, the site offers great deals on shoes, kids’ clothes, and exercise equipment. We suggested only buying apparel from Zulily if you’ve purchased the same brand before so you already know the quality and your sizing information.

Overall, Zulily offers some great deals, but the site isn’t without some risk. So long as you don’t mind waiting for shipping and are willing to commit to your purchases, you should come out ahead.

Customer Reviews

Start your review of Zulily:
  • 161 Customer Reviews
  • 25% Recommend This Company
2.0 out of 5
5 star: 17% 4 star: 5% 3 star: 3% 2 star: 9% 1 star: 63%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • Incorrectly sized shoes from well-known brand

    • By Carol Z.,
    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • Jul 5, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 3–6 months
    Overall Experience:

    Recently I got notification from a Zulily email that they were having a flash sale on Eileen Fisher, a brand that is well-known for its quality. I did not hesitate and purchased a pair of sandals at a fraction of their original price. Unfortunately, when I received them and tried them on, the sizing was way off. I could barely get them on my feet, as the shoes were both very narrow and very short in length. Are these "mistakes" that Eileen Fisher couldn't sell? I returned them weeks ago and am still waiting for a confirmation of receipt. I have no idea when I will finally get my credit and I am not too happy to have to purchase from them again in order to use that credit.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Questionable quality
    • Return policy
    • Wait time for credit

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

  • WARNING: identity stolen from Zulily, shady customer service

    • By J M.,
    • Lansing, MI,
    • Jun 11, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I made my first purchase from Zulily last week, and just found out someone applied for a Zulily Credit Card using all my personal information (it occurred the same day I made my purchase). They used the information I never provided to begin with, such as my Social Security number!

    When I spoke with their "Fraud Department" they rejected the application, but did nothing to investigate how this could have happened.

    They actually asked me to verify my FULL SS# over the phone so they could "look up the application." That seemed super sketchy to me. After refusing to give that info, the CSR easily found the application by simply using my name. I was told the person used ALL of my personal/confidential info, which is terrifying, as I never provided most of the info they used to apply.

    Now I have to make sure this did not affect my credit score, and monitor my credit report to make sure no other credit cards were applied for. I had to call several credit bureaus and notify them of the situation, and have everything frozen. Absolutely ridiculous, and a HUGE waste of time.

    All this hassle just for some clothes I ordered. I will never order from them again! Terrible security and customer service. I read other reviews and unhappy customers were given gift cards, discounts, etc. They were not even apologetic or concerned. It's unfortunate, because they have a lot of cool stuff, but I will not deal with them again. If I could give zero stars on this review, I would.

    Just thought I'd warn everyone. Nobody should have to worry about confidential information being stolen and used - especially information that was never provided in the first place...super shady!

    UPDATE: They take forever to get items shipped, even when they have them in stock. You can't rely on their shipping updates at all. If you have a question about an order, don't expect a reply. Be careful, and don't waste your time, as I unfortunately have.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Price and variety of products
    • My confidential info was stolen
    • Shipping took way longer than expected
    • Clothing sizes are not accurate

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

  • Won't order again

    • By Ginny A.,
    • Kingston, Ontario, Canada,
    • May 1, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Ordered 2 art craft sets on March 30th. Still have not received. Know it's unusual times but ordered from Wayfair and had delivery in 2 days. Ordered Amazon and had order in 4 days. One month waiting is unacceptable.

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

  • They lie

    • By Yvonne B.,
    • Spencer, TN,
    • Mar 7, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered shoes, got them at a great price not gonna lie, but it had the little rocket symbol which means it ships faster because they have it in stock at their warehouse...Well, I ordered the shoes, got my confirmation email that says will ship out by 03/03, well, they still haven’t shipped and I called and they said it’s because I didn’t spend the extra money for the shipping. That shouldn’t matter. If you tell someone it will ship by a date then ship it, don’t tell them it will ship on 03/20 when the confirmation email says 03/03. And the lady I talked to was not that friendly or polite. I ordered the shoes because they had the rocket and were supposed to ship out faster, and according to my confirmation email it was supposed to be shipped 03/03, it does not say will ship out by 03/20!

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

  • Worst card, clothes, and quality. I've seen these bad reviews.

    Overall Experience:

    Seriously, this will be short because they delete the factual comments within 8 hours anyway.

    For some people, they comment as if they like it and I searched a good bit for those on People Search. Most of the overtly positive reviews are fakes and can't be verified, so this here is fraud.

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

  • Thefts on a daily basis! Horrible customer service.

    • By Cecile F.,
    • Arizona,
    • Dec 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I shopped at Zulily for years and I never returned an item. I had an issue with an item last year and they never fixed it. I still gave them a chance until I bought a watch for $340 and as soon as it arrived I saw it wasn’t functioning at all. I called in, they refused to return or exchange, they asked me to contact Citizen warranty (noting that the watch was brand new) and when I called Citizen, they assured me that they cannot cover anything that is not bought from a Citizen dealer and Zulily is not one of them. I even asked Zulily for a sales slip as they request and they never even provided that. They sent me the warranty that I can look up online. The manager itself hung up on me and customer service didn’t communicate with me because they don’t care about their clients. I just wasted $340 that I worked very hard to make because I trusted this company.

    Never fall for them, go buy your stuff for the same price and most of the time it’s cheaper somewhere else. Better than regretting it later.

    Worst company ever created. I will die before I waste another penny with them or support them in any way. I had more than 9 people of my friends and family referred by me, I made them all stop using it and I will spread the word as long as I’m breathing.

    Go online and look for all the cases against their company and you will never give them business.

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

  • Melissa and dough puzzles

    • By Deepti S.,
    • New Jersey,
    • Dec 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The Melissa and dough puzzles ordered on Zulily reached with completely good packaging. The magnetic toy set was offered at a price that was very competitive. I love Zulily. I got free shipping on consecutive orders for the weekend. So the products were good.

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

  • First, last and only

    • By Terry B.,
    • Florida,
    • Nov 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered from Zulily for the first time on 11/06. I was anxious to receive my items which took 2 and 1/2 weeks. Needless to say, I do not feel this is an acceptable time frame since everything was "in stock" and nothing was back-ordered. They did finally arrive so let's see the products as the excitement slowly drained.

    Sweater #1 - The neck was so tight I couldn't get it over my head.

    Shirt #2 - The upper arms were so tight they were uncomfortable yet the rest of the shirt fit correctly and I must add I am not a "big" girl. Only 5' 3" and 119 lbs.

    Well, sweater #3 sorta fit even though the shoulders hung 2+ inches down my arm and the workmanship was of poor quality. The sweater is white and blue and the sides were sewed with dark blue thread, the seams are loose where the thread sticks out like a sore thumb on one side.

    Last I ordered some "fleece" lined leggings (thinking I could wear them in the northern cold temperatures). They were made of an almost silky material with very minimal "fleece" inside. Definitely, not as portrayed on the website.

    Well, figured I would return them BUT wait. They only have the terms of returns on a multi-page attachment and it is not really clear. To return items they subtract a handling charge of $8.95 per return (at least that is what they are charging me) and let's not forget...this will be "refunded in a store credit" I DO NOT GET ANY MONEY REFUNDED! I do 90% of my shopping online and I hate to say it but this was by far the most disappointing shopping trip ever.

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

  • Canceled my order twice

    • By Theresa S.,
    • Texas,
    • Nov 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I accidentally hit the "proceed to check out" because it was down on the bottom of my back button. So when I realized I did it I canceled the orders. I know it was my fault for not paying attention but I canceled both of them within seconds and to get my money back can take up to 10 days, that's ridiculous. I think it should go right back into our account. What if someone needs that money right away, what a shame. Because of this, I will not do business with them ever again.

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

  • Wrong item

    • By Mathilde C.,
    • Australia,
    • Oct 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered a silver neck collar and instead the company sent a tiny bracelet. I hope they rectify this, otherwise, I will go to PayPal and retrieve the money. Is this a scam company?

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

  • Wonderful customer service

    • By Lynne C.,
    • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
    • Jun 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have been purchasing items from Zulily for years and the odd time that I need to contact customer service, they have always been professional and pleasant to deal with. Never have I had a bad experience with them.

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

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