What is the Wish app and is it appropriate for my child?
Here are 5 FACTS every parent needs to know about Wish:
Wish is both an app and website for shopping and finding cheap goods online with major savings. Similar sites parents may have heard of are Zulily and AliExpress.
Wish doesn’t sell many brands that are available in the United States. You’ll mostly find knock-offs of common brands. The quality is definitely lower than items in other stores or shopping sites because you’re ordering directly from the factory producing the product. The middle man and quality control is cut.
Most items ship straight from China, often for free. Therefore, shipping ranges from 11 days to 22 days for many items, which means it can take a month to get your item.
#2 Your Account
You’ll need a Wish account to use the Wish app or website. Until you register you cannot see any of the deals, so you’ll need to sign up to figure out if you want something that they sell.
You can log in with an email, Facebook, or Google account. Once you do, it displays your real name publicly for product lists, so beware. This means that your wish lists aren’t private and any items you put on your lists show your real name.
Shopping for items resembles social media scrolling with an infinite feed of products, and gaming apps with pop-up daily deals. Recommendation algorithms are employed to make the shopping experience feel like the mall (or more practically speaking: Target).
Through emails and push notifications, Wish prompts shoppers to leave feedback. According to one Wish app review writer on Vox: “Wish’s communication tactics are tenacious: Within 48 hours of signing up for an account, I received four marketing emails pushing one-hour-only discounts, a shop-more-save-more rewards program, $1 watches, and $10 fitness trackers.”
#3 Real or Fake?
The big question is always, “Can you tell if something on Wish is real or fake?”
The size of clothes and the actual finished product may not match the photos or what you expect. As you look for items to buy in the Wish app, you can read reviews to see what other people say about the quality of the items.
There are a lot of users who post Wish app “hauls” and reviews on YouTube to help show off what the actual products look like and how they fit.
You can also read the Store Ratings to see how that store is overall before placing an order.
The Wish app and Wish website offer a return policy that allows you to request a refund within 30 days of delivery or of the latest delivery estimate. You need to use the app or website to start the return and you should hear back within 72 hours.
All the reviews we’ve read, however, say that returns are near impossible to get through.
#5 Parental Controls & Ratings
As a shopping app, there aren’t any parental controls. If the idea of this app sounds like a terrible idea for your child the best way to avoid its use is by: first, a conversation about why you don’t think it’s necessary. This is a must because they can always just go to the website and create an account. And second, by requiring permission or a password before new apps are downloaded on their phone.
App Store: 12+
Google play: T (Teen)
Wish: 13+ (with parental permission)
Brave Parenting: 16+ (employed/working)
Buying things feels good for teens – especially when they feel they are getting something at an awesome deal. They also love receiving packages in the mail. All of this fits into the Wish app. While the app and website can offer some risque items that you’d prefer your children not see (but c’mon, they are teens with internet access they can see a lot worse elsewhere) the real concern is just wasting money.
Therefore, Brave Parenting’s stance is if your child is 16 years old and is employed or earning their own money and want to try Wish out, let them spend their own money. Have a conversation!
- What did you find that you’d like to buy?
- [After it arrives] Did it meet your expectations?
- Will they make another purchase?
- Have you seen any scams or “too good to be true” deals?
And if they need to make a return – that is all on them! This is great practice for adult-like communication and follow through.