Is Wish a Scam?

Wish is famous for selling a wide range of goods and services at exceptionally low prices. But are the discounts too good to be true?

Nicolle Monico
Updated 8 March 2022
Is Wish a Scam?

Wish is a scam.


Mostly False

About this rating

Wish is a publicly traded company that is based out of San Francisco. The app and its website are not a scam and shoppers can feel safe purchasing products securely.

However, the merchants on the app are known to sell counterfeit products and dupes of popular goods at low prices. Those looking for legitimate goods and services may want to avoid purchases from Wish.

United States Online Shopping Scam Statistics 2020

$246 million lost
352k fraud reports

70% of total losses

Source: 2019-20 Consumer Sentinel Report

Sections on this page
  1. What is Wish?
  2. Is Wish a Scam?
  3. How Safe is Wish?
  4. Are Credit Cards Safe to Use on Wish?
  5. How Does Wish Use My Data?
  6. What is Wish’s Return Policy?
  7. Safety Tips for Shopping on Wish

It’s hard to pass up a good deal when shopping online. And anyone who’s ever come across knows that finding a good price on the site is relatively easy to do. But its too-good-to-be-true prices have many consumers wondering, "Is Wish a scam?"

We reviewed the popular app and online retailer to see if it’s safe and determine whether consumers can trust it to buy cheap goods.

What is Wish?

Wish is an online marketplace similar to Amazon or eBay but is a mobile-first company, meaning it is best used as an app on your smartphone. It allows consumers to purchase products directly from merchants, usually at incredibly low prices.

Since its inception in 2010, Wish has grown in popularity across the globe with more than 300 million users in 120 countries.

is wish a scam
Wish is an online marketplace featuring millions of goods and services at discounted prices.
To use Wish, shoppers can either download its app or visit its website to scroll through millions of products being sold by more than 200,000 merchants.

Wish receives an estimated 500,000 reviews per day, surprisingly more than Amazon. As you shop, your feed becomes customized to your personal browsing and buying behavior.

Is Wish a Scam?

Is Wish a scam? No, the company, based in San Francisco, works with real merchants selling products on its platform.

Plus, many items are the real deal, so there is a chance of getting a great discount on something you've been waiting to purchase. However, many sellers on Wish are based in China and often sell counterfeit or lower-quality products using cheap materials—which is how they are able to sell them at such low prices.

So, although the company is legitimate, that new TISSOT watch that you've been eying for $9.99 probably isn’t. 

is wish a scam
New TISSOT watches often start around $300 and go up to nearly $2,000. The extremely low price likely means this product is fake.
Merchants can also choose to charge however much they want and advertise an “original price” for any amount. This means they can show a 75% knockoff on an item that was never being sold at the listed original price to begin with.

Additionally, because many products are coming from China, they can often take weeks (if not months) to arrive.

How Safe is Wish?

As an online retailer, Wish is a legitimate business with actual goods to sell. That being said, your purchased items may be less trustworthy.

While not all items on Wish are knockoffs, if the product you are searching for is typically much more expensive than what is listed on the site, it’s likely a counterfeit product. However, some shoppers are looking for dupes to save money and don’t mind a few performance, design, or quality issues to secure the product they want.

As far as your private information goes, Wish does display your full username and wish lists on your profile.

So anything you purchase will show up under your real name. If you’re looking for discretion with things you buy, this may not be the best site for your shopping needs.

Are Credit Cards Safe to Use on Wish?

Yes, it is safe to use your credit or debit cards on Wish.

The website uses Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (or "https://") and an SSL security certificate to encrypt the communication between its site and visitors.

The secured platform with encryption provides an extra layer of protection so that your credit card information can’t be displayed anywhere, not even to the administrator or sellers on the platform.

Of course, all sites can be hacked, so it may be a good idea to delete your credit card information after each purchase to avoid it getting stolen in a data breach.

How Does Wish Use My Data?

Wish’s privacy policy outlines two ways in which it collects information about its customers:

  • Wish asks for your personal information when you sign up and purchase products. This includes:
    • Your name, email address, payment information, shipping address, phone number, and social media account credentials
  • Wish also collects other user analytics and data automatically (similar to most websites). This includes:
    • Your computer's IP address, browser data, your country, how much time you spend on its pages, your location information, social network profiles (when you use social logins), and usage data.

 Wish is as safe as any other online retailer but of course, there is always a possibility of a data breach.

What is Wish’s Return Policy?

Wish’s return policy says that “many” items are eligible for a refund (without shipping costs) if they are:

  • Returned within 30 days of their delivery date—the refund window starts on the day it arrives to your house (regardless of its anticipated delivery date).
  • Not delivered within 30 days of the maximum delivery date.

If you order something and change your mind within eight hours of getting your order confirmation, you can cancel it free of charge.

There are exceptions to returns however, with the following items not being eligible for a return/refund:

  • Perishables – This includes anything that is likely to spoil or decay.
  • Excluded Items – This includes certain health and/or hygienic items (e.g, toothpaste and lotion) or electronic media such as software if the seal is broken or opened.
  • Services – These are subject to the provider’s policies.

Defective, damaged, or incorrect items that are delivered to you (even if they are on the exceptions list) may qualify for a return. In these cases you’ll likely need to provide evidence of the issue, such as a photo.

Safety Tips for Shopping on Wish

  • Always read reviews. Make sure that you look at customer photos versus solely seller images.
  • Keep an eye out for misleading descriptions. Many customers complain about incorrect product descriptions on Wish or sellers using images that don’t match the actual item.
  • Review Sizing Charts. Since products are typically being manufactured and shipped from China, the sizes may not be the same as you’re used to for American sizing standards.
  • Stay alert. If a product is listed at a too-good-to-be-true price, chances are that it’s a scam or counterfeit item. Remember, you get what you pay for.
  • Check the shipping information. Read the shipping information carefully. Some shipping costs can be more than the actual product, making it less of a good deal. And in general, expect long shipping times.