- The Wish app lets you shop for discount products from the online Wish marketplace.
- Wish itself is an e-commerce platform that lets users sell and buy all sorts of products.
- The Wish app is mostly safe, but users should be wary of buying fake or mislabeled products.
- Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
You’ve probably heard about the e-commerce company Wish, which has become a power player in the online shopping world. It’s known for its cheap prices, long shipping times, occasional customer service woes, and easy-to-use app.
Here’s a guide to Wish and its mobile app, including what it is, how it works, and if it’s safe.
What is the Wish app?
The Wish app allows customers to shop from Wish, a San Francisco-based e-commerce platform. Like eBay and Amazon, Wish is an online marketplace for buying and selling products; however, one of the key distinctions is its emphasis on cheap products.
While you may not find many prominent brand names like Apple on Wish, you can find smartwatches — among many other popular products — for less than $5.
If there’s a product you want to buy, there’s a very good chance that someone on Wish sells it. For household supplies, you can find pest control devices, food storage containers, and garbage bags. In the Fashion tab, you can buy sundresses, leggings, and bathing suits. And in Gadgets, you’ll see listings for drones, hearing aids, and portable hard drives. It’s like a bazaar in your phone.
However, these low prices and lack of strict guidelines can come with drawbacks, as we’ll discuss later.
How to buy from the Wish app
1. Download the Wish app on your iPhone or Android device and open it.
2. Sign up for a Wish account — you can use your Facebook, Google, or Apple credentials — or tap the tiny Skip button in the bottom-right corner.
3. Use the themed tabs or the search bar to find an item you want to buy, and when you find something, tap its photo to open the listing.
4. Read the listing and reviews to ensure it meets your specifications, then tap Buy.
5. At the bottom-right corner of your screen (or top-right corner on the website), tap the cart icon. When you’re ready to check out, tap Checkout.
7. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete the transaction.
Is Wish safe?
Wish is a very popular app, but it’s trailed by a history of poor customer reviews and accusations of fraud.
Most reviews of Wish are positive. However, a 2019 Vox report that looked at the app’s reviews found a variety of complaints from users, accusing the company of failing to send purchased products, refusing to issue refunds, making unauthorized credit card charges, and more.
The app can also be very pushy when it comes to suggesting products. As you use the service, you’ll be constantly bombarded with potential discounts and coupon opportunities, most of which are styled to make it seem like if you don’t immediately take them, they’ll disappear.
In his review of the Wish website, Insider editor Dennis Green said Wish “takes a gimmicky approach to commerce, trying to make consumers feel special through psychological tricks.”
He also said that the products “seem untested and suspect.” As we noted earlier, Wish features low prices and very little content moderation. It’s not hard to find knockoff brand name clothing and accessories. In the electronics department, it’s become a trend on YouTube to build a computer using only components bought from Wish and watch them fail to run.
While you’re shopping on Wish, remember the phrase “You get what you pay for.” If you find a product that’s priced way cheaper than you expect, you might be buying a fake.
You should also be prepared for long shipping times. Most products on Wish are manufactured and shipped directly from China and other Asian countries. In Insider’s experience, it sometimes took a month or more to receive orders, and when they arrived, the packaging was occasionally damaged.
Wish can offer some incredible deals. But be careful while shopping, and do your research before buying anything.