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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  • Items, Shipping and Policies are not as they seem

    • By Allison,
    • Denver, CO,
    • Dec 9, 2014
    Overall Experience:

    After waiting 6 weeks for my order, I received two items of the 6 or 7 I ordered and they are AWFUL, poor sizing, and the materials are cheap and poorly made.

    Before I ordered I made sure to check the return policy: "If you're disappointed with your order, please contact our Customer Service team. We are never able to accept returns on intimate apparel, shape-wear, swimsuits or rash guards, or any personalized items. Unfortunately we are also unable to facilitate exchanges."

    I didn't order intimates, swimsuits, shareware, rash guards or customized items and yet the person who got back to me said they don't typically accept returns but would make an acceptation for these items. Also, they stated that they could not guarantee the same for the other items I ordered at the same time but still have not received. IRRITATING!

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


  • No Zulily. Worse than scam

    • By Bong Kim,
    • Montgomery, AL,
    • Jul 9, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered two items and after finishing the order, it shows "free shipping" for next order and I purchased one more item. However, they charged shipping and even after talking with customer service, they keep saying it can't be undone because my package is already shipped. I made second order right after first order so it was only a 1-2 minute difference. I also paid for Christmas delivery guaranteed shipping but item will be delivered by Jan. 2015. What?

    1. Long shipping period (more than 1 month)
    2. Huge shipping Fee No combined shipping even though they are saying ship will be combined for free but they treat it individually and don't care afterward - meaning that after they charge you, they will not refund or credit you back.

    No guarantee for shipping they charged more money for Christmas delivery but it will actually come by January.

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


  • Terrible sizing for plus sizes

    • By Kathy Hofmann,
    • Pleasanton, CA,
    • Aug 18, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I purchased several items from Zulilly, and all the items were too small. I can walk into any retail store and purchase an XXL (like at Old Navy or Loft) and have the item fit. A size twice at Macy's or Nordstrom always fits. The items I purchased from Zulilly were at least two sizes too small despite being labeled twice. Do not believe them when they say they have plus size garments.

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


  • Low quality products that you can't return

    • By Anonymous,
    • Ann Arbor, MI,
    • Jul 13, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I've ordered from Zulily several times. The quality of the products varies widely, especially the sizing. Having read reviews of the company and knowing that many customers have complained of small sizing, I ordered larger than what I usually buy. I ordered a pair of shoes that were a half size larger and they ended up being tiny. At least a full size smaller than my actual size. I also ordered bras in 36D. The bras I received were so small, it was comical. Obviously Zulily is selling clothing intended for the Asian market. I would definitely not recommend shopping here unless you want to end up with a bunch of too-small crap you can't return.

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


  • No perks or customer service.

    • By Monica Laurant,
    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jun 8, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I’ve placed multiple ORDERS, some twice within a week. Per Zulily shipping policy, it takes at least 16 days for an order to ship, with that process any order placed within a 15 day time frame should be free. Shiloh was the representative I spoke with, he’s in the wrong line of work, perhaps a crooked politician would be his best attribute in life. The speech was lack luster to say the least and he repeatedly talked over me. Run for dog catcher in your town Shiloh if you want to speak crap!

    In short, nothing is offered for a frequent customer, with the same address who orders repeatedly from your site. You guys offer discounted items, but so does Macy’s, Amazon, Steinmart, and so on. When you start focusing on customer service and hire representatives that speak in a tone that’s customer friendly then I’ll return as a customer. Until then, KICK ROCKS ZULILY!

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


  • Pretty but deceiving

    • By Elise,
    • Georgia,
    • Jul 22, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I bought two lovely blouses size M. What I finally received, longer than two months later, was blouses probably sized for tiny Asian ladies or children. Their sizes appear to run very small, the quality is very poor. No size tags anywhere inside the items. I got stuck with two blouses I cannot wear and unable to return. I will never buy another item from them again! I will not recommend Zulily. Very sad. Good quality, promptness in delivery, and an effort to satisfy customers are key ingredients for success in an honest business. I am very, very disappointed.

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


  • Wrong items shipped, broken items, no refunds or exchanges

    • By Rachel,
    • May 2, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I have ordered from Zulily several times over the past 3 years. I have had several occasions where I would order something intending to give it as a gift, wait several weeks, then receive an email that the item was no longer available. Once I ordered a video camera for my daughter for Christmas and it was broken right out of the package. Zulily would not exchange or accept the return. There was one time I ordered shoes and they were labeled incorrectly and they were about 2 sizes smaller than they should have been but Zulily would not accept a return, even though I called them immediately to explain the problem.

    Today I had another issue. I had ordered 2 pair of the same boots for my daughter, in european size 23 and 24. I checked out the order when it arrived to make sure it was right and the boxes correctly indicated size 23 and size 24. My daughter loves these boots and wore the size 23 boots every day. They are now worn out and she is ready for the size 24 boots, so I got them out of the box only to find a pair of the same boots in size 22! I called Zulily to explain and they were unable to exchange since it's been so long since I ordered them. They were also unwilling to refund what I paid for them. This company is completely unwilling to offer decent customer service. I do not recommend anyone order anything from them if they want to be confident they will get what they ordered or be able to get their money back!

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


  • SORRY

    • By Robertta,
    • San Antonio, TX,
    • Jun 1, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I bought several dresses and tops at the same time. BIG mistake. The first two dresses were great. They fit just fine. Next came a blouse that barely covers my breasts. Then the dresses I ordered came and they fit like tops, no way could they be dresses. I went back to check the pictures and descriptions to see if I had mistaken tops for dresses. No, they are shown as dresses. Big lesson learned, I won't buy anything else from Zulily and I tell everyone not to buy from them.

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


  • Customer service wants me to pay for an item 4 times due to shipping error.

    • By JoAnn,
    • Colorado,
    • Jun 27, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    Re: Collapse It Bowls.

    Unfortunately I was only shipped one item in this “set of six” order. I contacted Zulily customer service and they kindly resent another order (set of six) at no charge. Again, I only received one item. I contacted Zulily customer service wanting the additional four items sent overnight because at this point I needed the products ASAP, since they were intended to be given as a gift. Here is where the trouble began. Zulily initially wanted me to pay an additional $119.00 for the already purchased four items. Their reasoning is that they credited me $60.00 for the original purchase plus $20.00 for overnight service. Somehow Zulily figured each bowl must cost $40.00 apiece. I insisted that since I had already paid for a set of six plus shipping they should credit the entire order – is that unreasonable?

    Evidently it is by Zulily standards because in the end I had to pay $20.00 shipping to get the items (needed as a gift). So in effect, if you order this set of six ‘Collapse It’ bowls, expect to pay 50% more than the advertised price to get the product – nice work if you can get it. FYI, it would be less expensive to order from Crate & Barrel. Additionally, I asked Tracy, the last customer service manager I spoke with at Zulily for the name of her supervisor so I could try to work out this issue and she flat out refused to give me the name of someone I could contact.

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


  • False advertisement

    Overall Experience:

    Zulily sells poor quality clothing that's over priced, and takes forever giving delivery merchandise. The company doesn't accept responsibility for clothing that come in wrong size or defective. Instead, Zulily blames the manufactory they order clothing from.

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


  • Beware! Big rip off.

    • By Margaret,
    • GA.,
    • Jul 9, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    Items ordered took over a month to be delivered. NOTHING fit. Clothes appear to be made for children, not regular adults.

    Quality very poor, prices kind of fair for such substandard merchandise. A waste of my money. EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED. Will never buy anything from them again.

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


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