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You WISH, or not?

Everything you need to know about the WISH marketplace

All of a sudden, there is a new online marketplace attracting western consumers, giving Amazon some serious competition – the WISH app! With its success, it seems that it really fulfils many peoples wish for very low priced products from China at their fingertips. 

We’ve looked at it closer to find out what’s behind the wish phenomenon.

Everything you need to know about the Wish App

The Wish App is an E-Commerce app that allows shoppers to pick up discount on products that range from gadgets to homeware.

Screenshot of listings for HD Digital Video Recorder and Shirts on Wish.com
Screenshot of listings for HD Digital Video Recorder and Shirts on Wish.com

The popularity of the desktop and smartphone app has exploded in the last few months, not least owing to the fact that they are starting to experiment with TV advertising. Without having to jump through hoops to sign up (users just need to provide basic information or log in with Facebook), it appeals to the market of consumers who want affordable products and a quick and painless shopping experience.

We tried the Wish App using our test purchase service to find out more about the personal experience delivered to customers using the service. This gives us a valuable insight into what level of service customers can expect from the Wish App.

Although we have researched a number of different reviews online, there really is only one way we can find out more - by testing this ourselves.

How to use the Wish App

You can either download the Wish App to your smartphone or use it on your desktop device. Once you put in whether you are male or female you will start to get products recommended to you.

One of the things that helps the popularity of the Wish App is the number of incentives there are to get further discounts. We used the desktop version of the Wish App and we found that this was better if you do not want notifications clogging up your smartphone.

Screenshot of listings and countdown for extra discounts on Wish.com
Screenshot of listings and countdown for extra discounts on Wish.com

The "Blitz Buy"

Screenshot of Blitz Buy on Wish.com
Screenshot of Blitz Buy on Wish.com

The “Blitz Buy” section allows you get discount for ordering from one of the top sellers of the day.

There are also options to save money if you are willing to have a longer delivery time and also the option to buy with other shoppers and save money.

Once you are registered to the app you will often get recommendations to your inbox that offers you discount for products you might like.

How can the Wish App offer products so cheaply?

Although the Wish App has a number of different incentives which lower prices, the main reason they can offer products so cheaply is the fact that they ship them directly from China.

There isn’t a lot of brand information available about the products while browsing around the app, so one of the things you need to be aware of is that you may not be buying products which have the same quality as their western counterparts.

Screenshot of listings for category "Popular" on Wish.com
Screenshot of listings for category "Popular" on Wish.com

What SHOULD I expect from the Wish App?

If you order a cheap item of clothing for example, from the Wish App, you will certainly get it. Delivery times may vary, but there appear to be no scams involving customers not receiving their product at all. There are a number of different ways to shop with Wish, and their branded outlet is a popular one. If you are shopping on the branded outlet beware that you might end up with a counterfeit product.

There is quite a lot of criticism online blaming Wish for allowing fake products to be sold on their marketplace. If you do shop with them be aware that if you buy anything “branded” it may not be real. 

Wait times for delivery can also be fairly long. With some customers claiming their products have taken up to two months, it may be easier and quicker to pay a little bit extra to use a reputable marketplace. 

The sales numbers on some of the products and the low prices can cause suspicions. We completed our test purchase with some headphones as electronics is a huge market for the Wish App. Although they were not claiming to be a “brand”, we still would have expected a slightly higher quality from the description and picture on the site.

What do customers say about the Wish App?

There may be some negative reviews online for the Wish App, but the success of the company just shows that there are a lot of customers that love it. With 75 million active users, there is definitely a market for people who will take price over quality.

Screenshot of positive review for Wish.com
Screenshot of positive review for Wish.com

As one user from the UK reports “I have never ordered anything from Wish that is a blatant copy of another product. Anything I have ordered has just been generic. It is easy to use and my delivery time has never been over a week”.

You can contact the Wish App by telephone or E-Mail, but there are a lot of customer reviews to suggest they are hard to get in contact with. We tried the customer care line on a weekday and did get through, but it is likely to be frustrating for people trying to get through at peak times outside of normal office hours.

What does the future hold for the Wish App?

Despite the accusations of counterfeit products and long delivery times, the Wish App is set to continue to grow in 2019. Last year, the San Francisco start-up his $1 billion in revenue. The company is now roughly evaluated at $8 billion and is the number one shopping app on the Android store.

Regarding the counterfeit problem, Wish founder Peter Szulczewski said “Some of these criticisms are valid. This is something that we're addressing head-on. It's critical to get the consumer feedback" to promote the best stuff and remove knockoffs.” If Wish can overcome these challenges, they may just be able to offer a genuine challenge to marketplaces like Amazon and Aliexpress.

The Wish App reviewed

We got a family member to put the Wish App to the test and tell us about their experiences. They ordered a range of products that they were going to order anyway including clothes and electrical items. The delivery time is something you can choose on the Wish App, and you are able to pay more if you need items more quickly. We paid to get the items delivered in the fastest time.

When it came to ordering electrical items they came well packaged and on time. The main electrical item we tested and ordered was a cheap digital camera to use on holiday, without the worry of losing it. The quality of the camera was average but this is what we expected for the price. The item came in fully working order.

The clothes were a little bit different. Although they all came on time the quality and sizes were variable. A couple of the items did not fit, and one of them was a gift but it was a lot poorer quality than it looked in the pictures. The main thing to remember with the Wish App is that if you are going to order items with the intention of getting them cheaply, they will be made cheaply.

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