Is “Wish” the real deal or a scam?

If you’ve watched any cable television lately you probably ran across a commercial for a new shopping app called “Wish”. The spot features people getting a box through the mail with the word “Wish” in blue-script on the outside. As each person opens their box with excitement, they reveal a gadget or toy or home good. As they look at it, the image of the Wish app appears above it which shows what the shopper paid for it.

I went shopping at Wish again Black Friday

Let me tell you, the discounts shown in the commercials were huge. A drone for $49 and a remote-controlled car for $22. It makes you want to download the app to see what kind of bargains you can find. Some of those deals though seem too good to be true and there are thousands of people posting online wondering if it’s all a scam.

To see what it’s all about I downloaded the app, created an account and started shopping. I should say that before you can browse the “Wish” store you have to create an account that includes your email address and physical address. Most people will probably agree to log in with their Facebook account.

I found dozens of categories such as clothing, home goods, electronics, shoes, and accessories. “Wish” sent me a notification on the page saying, just for signing up they would send me a free prize. I got my choice from dozens of dollar store type items. Laser pointers, rings, bracelets, and wallets. To get the free gift though you have to pay for shipping so you’ll need to hand over your credit card or Paypal information. I passed on that offer.

While shopping I found SD cards for cameras that regularly sell for $35 but at “Wish” they were $4. Wall art as low as $2, clothing for less than $10 and the more you buy, Wish drops the price with every new item you put in the cart.

The deals seem to be too good to be true and there are certain things about the app that raises suspicions that it IS.

First, all the reviews listed in the app are good to excellent and that’s okay, but most of the reviews are worded similarly. “Great product”, “Just as advertised”, “Just right”, “perfect” and “I’m ordering another”.

Here’s what happened when I got my items

Secondly, while prices are low, shipping charges more than make up the difference of what you’d pay at, say Amazon. I put 7 items in my cart and the shipping charge was going to be $32. Plus, I wouldn’t get them for another month and a half.

Many of the items sold in the Wish app come from merchants in China and some of the reviews on other websites complain it is difficult to make contact with the sellers. Other common complaints about the app were from shoppers who say their credit card was charged for things they never ordered and some who say the items they ordered never arrived. Wish states on its website that purchases can be returned and money refunded.  

So what do I think? To be fair the only way to answer that is to order something. I paid $7 including shipping for a $1 wallet (originally $83) and a decorative flag to hang in my office. The items are supposed to be here by the end of July so when I get them, I’ll report back on the quality of the items.