More than 1 billion people a month depend on online shopping for their daily or impulse-buy needs. Amazon is the undisputed king of online shopping, but there is a whole range of new sites that have emerged to provide alternative online shopping experiences. Of these, San Francisco-based company Wish has been making the biggest ripples. This has led many to ask how do they sell stuff so cheap and whether is Wish legit?
When you shop at large well-established sites like Amazon you have a sense of trust that you will receive your package in a timely manner. The question is whether you can similarly trust new shopping startups like Wish to the same degree.
In this article, we break down the essential questions related to Wish and provide answers for those savvy online shoppers who want a good deal without risking a scam.
Wish is an online e-commerce platform based in San Francisco and led by a team of three: Piotr Szulczewski, James Prendergast, and Danny Zhang. Though it debuted in 2011, Wish has grown to become a popular online marketplace with over 100 million visitors per month in 2023. What makes Wish distinctive from other online platforms is the browsing method available for users.
The majority of online retailers and e-commerce platforms depend on navigating users via a search bar or via a traditional category structure but with Wish, users have a feed with products that visually appeal to their tastes and reflect their browsing patterns, i.e. look at lots of auto-related products and your feed will reflect this.
One of the reasons Wish has grown so quickly is their habit of advertising the most random array of odd items on Facebook. Even if you’ve never visited wish.com you have almost certainly seen their advertising on Facebook. Who knew anyone wanted a $2 pile of worms or a Jeffrey Goldblum pillowcase!
The prices on Wish are more than likely to make online shopping veterans raise an eyebrow. Given that the average price for items on Wish is jaw-dropping $5, many are naturally skeptical. How are such low prices possible? Is Wish a scam? What do the prices say about the quality of the goods purchased on the website?
Is Wish a Legit and Safe Place to Shop?
Yes, Wish is a legitimate company just like Google or Pinterest. And the vast majority of sellers on Wish are also legitimate vendors trying to promote their own merchandise. Just like on eBay or Amazon.
However, since Wish is an online marketplace, it does mean that some sellers will appear who try to scam the system. In general, every website with a marketplace-like design runs the risk of hosting scammers and the same goes for Wish. Of course, like Amazon or eBay, Wish does everything it can to weed out such bad actors and in general, the incidence of scams seems low.
At the time of writing, according to Trustpilot, Wish.com has an average rating of 4.2/5 from 43,835 reviewers, including 56% of which gave the site a 5/5 score. That’s pretty good…
In terms of the website being safe, Wish does not host malicious software and will not give your computer a virus. When signing up for Wish and shopping on the platform, the website isn’t any different from any other online shopping platform. You will be asked for information such as your name and email when signing up, and when you make a purchase, you will have to input sensitive information such as your mailing address and your payment details.
- Your computer’s IP address
- Your location (only with your permission)
- Your browser when accessing the website
- Traffic analysis data such as the amount of time you spend on a specific webpage or what buttons you click
For those who are especially sensitive about privacy and revealed information, one thing some users have pointed out is that your full name is linked to your profile’s wishlist. This means that not only can unaffiliated users see your wishlist, but they can also see the full name you gave to Wish when registering for an account.
For those who prefer to be 100% anonymous on the Internet, we suggest creating a pseudonym for your Wish account before finalizing your account registration or just using the built-in features to set your wishlist to private.
One last thing to keep in mind when forming your opinion on Wish and its cybersecurity is that like any other company, no matter how big or small, cyber-attacks are always a possibility. When making an account that includes sensitive information such as your contact information, physical address, and credit card information, be sure to keep up with the company’s updates and act accordingly if there’s ever a security breach in order to keep your personal information safe.
Why is Wish so Cheap?
It’s clear that the majority of the companies and private sellers on Wish are from China. When ordering a specific product from these companies and sellers, more often than not, you’re receiving your order directly from the factory that made the product.
Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, the company/seller doesn’t need to pay for extra costs such as shipping the item to a store, hiring store representatives, or advertising. Thus, the vendor is able to pass these savings on to the customer.
However, naturally, one of the downsides to this is a decrease in quality control. As you have no middleman, you also have nobody to check on the quality of the products produced. On top of this, many fashion items sold off Wish are off-brand knock-offs of more popular brands or designs, leading to strange size adjustments and below-average cloth quality.
The other downside is shipping times. Because the prices are so cheap and you are buying directly from a factory in China in most cases the shipping times are slow…think weeks rather than days.
This can be annoying and inconvenient for first-time Wish shoppers but regular shoppers know that this is normal and accept the slow shipping times come with the super low prices. You can get it fast or cheap, but not both!
What Do the Reviews Say About Wish?
You should always look at reviews before buying online from a new store. We mentioned Wish’s aggregate rating on Trustpilot already (4.2/5), but to help you get a more detailed sense of the rater’s feedback we’ve looked over hundreds of Wish reviews and compiled them into a straightforward list of pros and cons…
Super Cheap Prices
With careful vetting and research, online shoppers can access the cheapest prices anywhere for great products.
Amazing Deals on No-brand Electronics
Many reviewers were also very pleased with paying lower prices for no-brand electronics that still did the job just fine. While some reviewers admitted that the quality isn’t the best, it also wasn’t the worst.
Lots of Variety
Especially for the impulse buyer or the habitual browser, Wish has a wide variety of goods available for sale. If you want to buy a specific item, Wish will have multiple versions of the item you’re looking for. However, keep in mind Wish’s algorithm: if you end up curiously clicking on a fishing rod, there’s no doubt a wave of related fishing products will flood your feed.
Long Shipping Wait
Considering the fact that a majority of companies and private sellers are based in China, the wait for your purchase can be a little long. Most reviewers suggest giving your purchase two to four weeks, which will seem ridiculous compared to Amazon’s one/two-day shipping plans. But this is the trade-off for really low prices.
Especially when it came to clothing items, many reviewers had complaints about the sizes of purchased clothes. For some users, items were too small or items didn’t match the photos provided by the seller.
While it’s hard to completely avoid these types of problems even with domestic US based clothing retailers, many users strongly recommend reading reviews of products and sellers to ensure the quality and size of your clothing purchase.
What Does Reddit Say About Wish?
For those who want additional opinions, we also looked over threads on Reddit, and here is a list of points that regularly came up:
- Always check the reviews. Reviews are the first indicator of how legitimate a company/seller and their product is.
- Products do arrive two to four weeks after shipping, so don’t purchase something you need immediately or urgently.
- Don’t have high expectations quality-wise. Sometimes the items you get are of decent quality, but remember, you get what you pay for.
- Clothes tend to run small. Many users suggest ordering two sizes larger to compensate for this.
- In general, children’s clothing seems to be of more decent quality compared to clothing for women’s fashion, men’s fashion, etc.
- Always double-check the price for shipping as it depends per company/seller.
10 Tips for Buying on Wish Safely
Shopping on Wish can be both an exciting and potentially risky experience. With the large variety of products and the low prices, it can be difficult to know when to trust the seller. To ensure a safe and successful purchase, it is important to know what to look for when shopping on Wish.
1. Research the Seller
Researching the seller is a critical step in buying on Wish safely. You’ll want to look into the company’s history, how long they’ve been in business, and what kind of feedback they have received from previous customers. This will help you get an idea of their reliability and trustworthiness.
2. Check Return Policies
Many stores on Wish are overseas, so you may be responsible for shipping costs if you need to return an item. Additionally, you should check to see if the store has a time limit for returns. If you wait too long, the store may no longer accept the return.
It is also important to check to see if the store has a restocking fee, which is an extra charge you will have to pay if you return the item. Finally, make sure to check if the store offers refunds or store credit for returns. This will help you decide if the store is the right choice for you.
3. Pay Attention to Shipping Timeframes
Generally, the longer the estimated delivery time, the better the price. However, you should pay attention to the shipping timeframe as some items may take longer to arrive than you would expect.
Check the estimated delivery date before making a purchase so that you can plan accordingly. Also, you should be aware of any additional costs for expedited shipping and any customs or import fees associated with your order. By paying attention to shipping timeframes, you can ensure that you receive your purchase in a timely manner and with minimal hassle.
4. Read Reviews Carefully
Reviews can provide valuable insights into the product, from the quality of the material to the accuracy of the item’s description. It is important to read reviews carefully and be aware of language and other clues that can indicate someone’s bias or opinion of the item.
Look for reviews from multiple sources, and compare them to determine if the product is suitable for your needs. Anytime you read a review, pay attention to the date of the review, as older reviews may not reflect more recent changes to the product or seller.
5. Utilize Payment Security Features
This includes using a secure payment method, such as PayPal, which can encrypt your payment information and offer buyer protection.
Always double-check that the website you’re using is secure and uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology to protect your data. Finally, make sure to review the seller’s policy and return/refund policy before completing your purchase to ensure you’re making a safe and secure purchase.
6. Understand the Product Description
Knowing what the product is and what it includes should be your top priority when making a purchase. Checking the product description should include looking at the measurements, material, and other details to make sure that what you are buying is what you actually want.
Also, you should always look at customer reviews to ensure that the product is as described and of good quality. Taking the time to read the product description thoroughly can save you from wasting money on a product that isn’t what you thought it was.
7. Be Aware of Price Changes
Prices can fluctuate significantly, and it is important to stay up to date on the current pricing before making a purchase. Be sure to check the prices of items you are interested in on a regular basis. Additionally, you can sign up for notifications from Wish to be alerted when the prices of items you are interested in change. This will ensure that you never miss out on a great deal!
8. Be Prepared to Wait
Some items may arrive sooner than expected, while others may take longer. Be prepared to wait for your items to arrive, as some orders may take up to several weeks. To ensure that your items arrive safely, it is important to track your order and contact the seller if there are any issues with the delivery.
9. Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights can help ensure that you have a safe and successful shopping experience. As a consumer, you have the right to be informed about the product you are purchasing and to receive a full refund if it does not meet your expectations. You also have the right to be given clear and accurate information about any fees or charges associated with the purchase.
Additionally, you have the right to be protected against any fraudulent activity or misrepresentation of the product. Finally, you have the right to a safe and secure shopping experience, free from any potential scams or fraud. By understanding and exercising your rights, you can help ensure that your shopping experience on Wish is a safe and successful one.
10. Contact Customer Service if Necessary
If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact customer service. They will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you make the best decision for your purchase.
Recommended Items to Buy on Wish
There are a few items that we recommend you buy when shopping on Wish. These include:
– Clothing: You can find some really great deals on clothing on Wish, especially if you’re willing to sift through the listings. Keep an eye out for items that are marked as “on-sale” or “clearance” for even bigger savings!
– Shoes: Shoes are another great category to browse on Wish. You can often find name-brand shoes at a fraction of the retail price. Be sure to check the sizing chart before you purchase, as sizes can sometimes run small.
– Home decor: From wall art to throw pillows, there’s no shortage of home decor items to be found on Wish. If you’re patient and take the time to look through all of the listings, you’re sure to find some great deals!
– Electronics: If you’re in the market for some new electronics, Wish is a great place to start your search. You can often find tablets, phones, and other gadgets at a fraction of the retail price. Just be sure to read the listing carefully so that you know what you’re getting.
Some alternatives to Wish.com include:
Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce websites in the world, offering a wide variety of products including books, electronics, clothing, and more. They have a vast selection of products, competitive prices, and a reputation for fast and reliable shipping. They have a huge selection of products and their own brands which make them a great alternative to Wish.com
eBay is an online marketplace where people can buy and sell goods. You can find almost anything on eBay, from vintage collectibles to brand-new laptops. eBay is a great alternative to Wish.com because it offers a wide variety of products at competitive prices, and it has a large community of sellers.
AliExpress is an online retail service based in China that is owned by the Alibaba Group. It offers a wide variety of products at competitive prices, including clothing, electronics, and home goods. They have a wide selection of goods and a lot of Chinese sellers which makes it a great alternative for Wish.com.
Walmart is a retail giant that operates a large chain of stores and an online retail website. They offer a wide variety of products including groceries, clothing, electronics, and more. They have a huge selection of goods and their own brands which makes them a great alternative to Wish.com
Target is a retail chain with both physical stores and an online presence. It is arguably one of the most user-friendly shopping destinations out there. Not only does it have an impressive selection of products, but it also has a convenient search feature that makes finding what you’re looking for easy. Plus, its prices are generally quite reasonable.
Joom offers users a variety of features to make their experience unique and tailored to their needs. From customizable homepages to social networking tools, Joom.com makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for and stay connected with friends and family while they’re online.
Banggood.com is an online retailer that sells a wide variety of electronics, including smartphones, drones and other technology products. The site offers a number of alternative options to popular brands such as Apple and Samsung, and its prices are often lower than those offered by traditional retailers.
DHgate is a Chinese e-commerce platform that offers a wide variety of products including clothing, electronics, and home goods. They have a wide selection of goods and a lot of Chinese sellers which makes it a great alternative for Wish.com.
Newegg is an online retailer that specializes in computer hardware and consumer electronics. They have a wide selection of products at competitive prices and a reputation for good customer service. They have a good selection of goods and their own brands which makes them a great alternative to Wish.com.
These websites are all e-commerce platforms that offer a wide variety of products at competitive prices. However, it is worth noting that the selection and quality of products can vary between these sites and Wish.com.
Who owns Wish.com?
Wish is a privately owned company with a number of shareholders including the founders Piotr Szulczewski (CEO), James Prendergast (COO) and Danny Zhang (former CTO), as well as investors such as Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and the Chinese eCommerce behemoth JD.com.
How does Wish Work?
Wish is a marketplace for vendors to list and sell their products. Wish itself does not sell any products or handle any logistics, it is simply a platform which enables vendors to list products and accept payment. The shopping is all handled by the vendors, who are in most cases the manufacturers based in China.
Where is Wish located?
Wish is located in San Francisco, USA. Their main HQ is located at One Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104.
How to contact Wish?
Where does Wish.com ship from?
Product purchased on Wish is shipped directly from the vendor, and in most cases this means directly from the factory in China. Their are vendors on the platform who ship from other places, but the majority of vendors are based in China.
How to sell on Wish.com
Selling on Wish is very easy. First you must create an account here: https://www.merchant.wish.com/open – Then you upload your product information and assign it to categories, select your desired payment gateway(s) and accept the terms and conditions. Once this is all done Wish will review your account and products. Once approved by Wish your products will be live on the site and available for purchase.
How much is Wish.com worth?
The company behind wish.com is privately held, but based on the last publicly announced round of funding the business was valued at $11.2 Billion US dollars.
Is Wish a Chinese company?
Wish itself is not a Chinese company. It is an American company based in San Francisco. But it is a marketplace and many (if not most) of the companies selling product on Wish are Chinese companies. This is why the products are so cheap and the delivery time frames are often quite long as the product is shipped directly from the factory in China.
Online shopping will continue to expand. Whether it’s new search features, different ways of hosting companies/sellers, or a shifting demographic, Wish is simply part of that expansion in online shopping. While there’s no telling how this company will change, or what new features it’ll roll out, Wish has certainly attracted the attention of not just online shoppers, but also the Internet.