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What You Need to Know Before Shopping on Wish.com

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I shop online at a variety of retailers, and I like to share what I learn about different products with my readers.

I had to download the Wish.com app to use a coupon code

I had to download the Wish.com app to use a coupon code

The most confusing online ordering experience I have ever had was with wish.com. Typically, when you see an item for sale on a website, you know that’s what you will pay with added tax and shipping. Wish is different. To give you an example, I bought an Itachi Uchiha Man t-shirt. The price seemed great at $6. I was greeted with a countdown timer telling me “Instant offer: Add to cart right now to unlock a lower price!” I chose the size and color, and from the options "Ship to Me" or "Ship to Store," I chose "Ship to Me."

After setting my options, the price jumped from $6 to $8 dollars. Unlike other websites, Wish wouldn’t let me view my shopping cart without signing up for an account first. When I created an account and viewed the shopping cart, I was shocked to see the price had jumped to $13.30. With tax and shipping at $8, the final price was $23.12, almost four times the original listed price of $6. The "Ship to Store" option cost $4.80. Those stores included mobile phone businesses and beauty salons. When I tried to apply a coupon code for $5 off, I got a message that the code could only be used on the Wish app. So I downloaded the app and went through the checkout process again. I ended up paying $15.90, with a $5 ship to home cost. This experience brings up two obvious questions. Is Wish legit and why do the prices of items keep changing?

Is Wish Legit?

Wish is legitimate in the same way eBay, Amazon, and AliExpress are legitimate. Wish is basically a portal for third-party merchants to sell their products. Like sellers on these platforms, the trustworthiness of Wish sellers may vary. And like them, sellers have ratings. Unlike eBay, Amazon, and AliExpress, which put the seller ratings at the top of the page where they’re hard to miss, you have to scroll down under the description and reviews to find this information on Wish.

It’s important to check seller ratings before making a purchase. According to the Vox.com article, Wish, the super popular, ultra-cheap shopping app, explained1:

“...users describe nightmarish experiences with shipping and customer service: items that haven’t arrived after months, impossible-to-obtain refunds, unauthorized purchases after using a credit card on the site.”

After my order shipped, I went into settings and deleted both my shipping address and credit card. I always do this for websites that store credit cards if I don’t use them very often. That way, if someone manages to access my account, there isn’t a credit card on file they can use for purchases.

Why Does the Price in the Cart Keep Changing?

My price jumped from $6 as the listed price to $13.30 in the cart and $23.12 as a final price in a few minutes. However, in the app, my final price was $15.90. That was with $5 off and the shipping declining from $8 to $5. Wish explains this in Why did the price change when I added the item to my cart?2

They give four reasons for the constantly fluctuating prices.

  • The size, color or variation you selected is priced differently: this makes sense and isn’t uncommon. However, when I tested this explanation, I couldn’t get back to the original listed price of $6 no matter what options I chose
  • The same item is being sold by multiple stores: this didn’t apply in my case. It was the same seller for all options
  • The store changed the price of the item: considering how rapidly prices changed, this doesn’t seem like a likely explanation in my case
  • The item was discounted for a limited time: considering how quickly prices fluctuated, this doesn’t seem to apply in my case

The low prices may be designed to grab a customer’s attention and it does do that by making an item look like a good deal. However, the constantly shifting prices do make for a confusing shopping experience and lead to a lot of online complaints that Wish is a scam.

Shipping Time

Wish.com is based in San Francisco, so you may expect items to ship from the United States. But like AliExpress, many Wish orders ship from China, so expect extended shipping times. Tracking won't be available until the item is picked up by the post office in your country. Scroll down under the item you want to buy to get an estimated ship time. Mine was three weeks. If you’re ordering Christmas, Hanukkah, or birthday presents, plan ahead.

Quality

Like similar websites, the quality of items sold through Wish will vary. Wish says it is “extremely vigilant about ensuring that counterfeit items don’t show up on the site.” However, keeping counterfeit items off sites like Amazon, eBay, and Wish isn’t easy. As a consumer, you have to be cautious. It’s best to shop for brand names like Gucci, Nike, or Adidas directly from the brands themselves or through authorized dealers. Shopping from third-party sellers is often risky, even though some sellers do offer the real thing. Like similar sellers, fake reviews of both products and sellers can be an issue. And like similar websites, the item you receive may not be the same as the item you ordered.

Refund Policy

According to wish.com, they deal with order-related problems. You should contact them rather than the seller.3

"You may request for a return or a refund within 30 days of the date of delivery. If for some reason, an item does not arrive, you need to place your refund request within 30 days of the most recent estimated date of delivery."

You may be responsible for paying for a return.

"If you are required to return an item, you may be responsible for paying the return shipping costs."

It's important to read their return and refund policies before ordering.

Spam Emails

After ordering from Wish, I received a lot of marketing emails, three to four per day. Yes, per day. You can change the email settings by scrolling to the bottom of the email message and opting out. You can choose to receive just a weekly email or special offers. However, my attempts to opt-out didn't work. I had to add Wish to my blocked senders to stop the influx of email.

Wish App Review: Is the Wish App Legit?

References

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2020 LT Wright

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