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.

Pros
  • New merchandise offered daily
  • Price matches Amazon and Walmart.com
  • Lower prices than many retailers for popular brands
Cons
  • 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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  • Very happy with Zulily

    Overall Experience:

    I have ordered many, many items from Zulily, with the understanding that they are, for the most part, nonreturnable. Not all the items have been as I would have liked, but I take the occasional loss because the prices are so good that I still end up ahead in the end.

    A few months ago I had shoulder surgery, and while under the influence of some strong pain medication I placed an order, and was mortified a few weeks later when a box of beads arrived, at a cost of almost $800. I called customer service and explained the situation, and they were very understanding and refunded me every cent, even though 'non refundable' was clearly stated in the order. I was hugely relieved and continue a very satisfactory relationship with Zulily. They could have kept my $800, but they didn't and for that, and for many other great products, they deserve 5 stars in my opinion.

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


  • Return

    • By Belva Felts,
    • Kilgore, TX,
    • Jul 22, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered a purse . When it came I tried putting all my stuff from another bag in it. In a hurry to get to work, I grabbed the wallet and a couple of other things out and left for work. I decided it was the wrong purse and decided to return it. I left 140.00 in cash and a check book in the bag when I mailed it back. I called Zulily and told them what had happened. Not only did I get my stuff back and cash, I was given a 10.00 credit.

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


  • Best place to shop

    • By Sandra Sartin,
    • Buena Park, CA,
    • Jul 8, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have been shopping on Zulily for the past two years and love it! The people leaving the bad reviews are incorrectly ordering and not reading the fine print or following instructions. Zulily buys in bulk. After a event ends they process all the orders to the vendors. The vendors ship to Zulily and Zulily ships to us. On everything you buy it tells you in fine print that it takes 2-3 weeks to ship. Once it is shipped to you it can take another week. 4 weeks total. Sometimes you get lucky and they receive the order sooner therefore you will receive it sooner. When ordering clothing they give you the size chart for that vendor and instruct you on how to measure.

    Not all clothing company's have the same vendor. I also read on a review that they had received a knock off bottle of perfume. NOT TRUE! That would be illegal on there part and would never happen.

    When ordering from Zulily you need to make sure you read the whole description of what you are ordering. What material it is made of. If it's cotton leave room for some shrinking. All my shoes and clothing are from Zulily. I have never had a issue with the shoes. Sometimes the clothing. When I do it is because I ordered wrong or it was the manufactures mistake. Zulily does not except returns but they will for sure work with you. The customer service is outstanding. They have the best prices on clothing and one of a kind items you will love. I have bought so much. I have 60 dresses and more than half are from Zulily.

    Try Zulily and you will see how fun and enjoyable shopping can be from home. All my friends and family are hooked!

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


  • Great experience

    Overall Experience:

    I've just finished reading the many negative customer reviews for Zulily. While I can understand some of the complaints, I would discount others. Although it is prominently displayed, many protest the "No return policy." I believe that this is a trade off for lower prices: if we want the one, we must accept the other. Additionally, having bought many women's clothing items from Zulily, I can't accept the judgment of poor quality. Granted the clothes from Zulily are not as finely finished as those from Talbots or Ann Taylor, but then I paid $20 instead of $100. There is the adage "You get what you pay for." I feel that at Zulily you get more than you pay for.

    The one complaint that I can fully accept is the extreme slowness of delivery. This summer. I bought several dresses in early June for a late July wedding, but by the time that the dresses arrived the couple had returned from their honeymoon. I will never again buy a time sensitive item from Zulily.

    Finally, I recently had the most pleasant customer service experiences ever. I had two issues with dresses. One - a missing item - was immediately corrected and the second - a question of sizing - is in the process of being corrected with no cost to me. The customer service representative was very friendly and helpful. We joked and laughed together and I left the conversation feeling very happy about Zulily. By the way, this is not my only positive experience with customer service. In fact, it is totally representative of my dealings with Zulily.

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


  • I love zulilly

    • By Sarah,
    • Mound, MN,
    • Oct 19, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I have ordered quite a few products for myself and my baby and have been very satisfied with every item. They do take a while to ship but are upfront about that. They have great discounts and super cute kids clothes. I did have to deal with customer service once I accidentally ordered two of a product and it was super quick and they were very personable. I would recommend this site to anyone especially someone with a small child. I get compliments on the unique clothes I find on Zulilly for my girl.

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


  • Love, love them

    • By Kathy,
    • Fort Worth, TX,
    • Dec 29, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I've just finished all my Christmas shopping on Zulily. I've had to call customer service twice for mistakes I made. The first time I called to see if my almost $300 order could be canceled. I goofed on the sizes. They canceled all that was not in route. They credited my card before the end of the day and told me to donate the items I did receive! Today, I messed up something else. They fixed my problem before we hung up. Real people answer. They were so very sweet. The things I have donated have been great quality.

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


  • I love Zulily

    • By Donna,
    • Apopka, FL,
    • Jan 29, 2016
    Overall Experience:

    Yes, shipping is slow. Yes, there is a no return policy. But the pricing is exceptional. I searched out some companies (wall pops and the mountain, for instance) and was amazed at how much I had saved through Zulily. I pay Walmart prices for clothing that is unique and playful for my three year old and she gets to choose it herself.

    All my Christmas shopping was done through Zulily. I started in July. Two encounters with customer service, both issues resolved cheerfully and to my satisfaction.

    Look at the prices, then go to the websites and compare. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

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


  • Saved thousands.

    • By Joanne,
    • NC,
    • Feb 9, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I've been a Zulily customer for over a year. I think it's a great shopping website. I find so many brand name items that I know I've saved so much money by ordering from Zulily. It does take time but the savings is well worth the wait. I purchased many Christmas gifts this past year and found so many unique items. I ordered them early enough so I didn't have any problems. In fact I already started ordering now for next Christmas.

    I have had some issues with items but have always been resolved by one phone call or an email. The Zulily representatives do vary in how they handle issues I've noticed, so there's no real guideline it seems, but I've been mostly very pleased.

    I hope this helps offset some of the negative reviews. Zulily is awesome and biggest issue is it's too tempting to shop daily.

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


  • A+ from me!

    • By Melissa,
    • Jasper, AL ,
    • Sep 30, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have been a Zulily customer since 2013. I have no complaints! The one time I had to contact customer service for a small stain being on a backpack I ordered they issued a full refund, a $10 credit and told me to keep the backpack.

    I was so shocked! Most orders arrive in 2-3 weeks unless it's personalized, those always receive those in less than a week.

    I love Zulily!

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


  • Delivery

    • By Rosma,
    • Springfield,
    • Dec 1, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I cannot believe this reviews, people before you purchase something make sure you read. I'm a Zulily shopper for about 3 years now, never had a bad experience. Everything I order is what I expected. Zulily tells you that your merchandise will arrive in 2 or 3 weeks, some I received in less than a week. Just be patient. They offer a variety of items for home, clothing at a very reasonable price. I'm crazy about perfumes, they offer Dolce Gabbana, Chanel, Lancome, Creed just to mention some. I paid 40% less than department stores, they also have low cost shipping as well some monthly payments for qualified items.

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


  • Good experience

    Overall Experience:

    I ordered 15 items from them in November of 2016 for my wife, for Christmas. All the items showed guaranteed Christmas delivery, and all but one arrived by the week before Christmas. The last one arrived January 3rd.

    When I called Customer Service about the Christmas delivery guarantee, I got through in two rings to a young man who was very helpful and courteous. He offered to refund the money, and I asked him instead to just give me a credit for future orders.

    I could not be happier with the shopping experience at this online retailer. They are all made in Hong Kong and shipped from there, which is why I ordered early. I have seen some negative reviews about this place, but my experience was terrific.

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


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