So you’ve come across the online marketplace Wish.com and are wondering if their seemingly too-cheap prices are, in fact, too good to be true.
Wish is a legitimate online marketplace, like Amazon, where third-party sellers can list items for sale online. While Wish has plenty of verified sellers who sell authentic products such as watches, there have been cases of third-party sellers selling fake watches, so caution is needed when making purchases.
Avoid buying any watches from Wish before reading on. We’ll go more in detail about Wish’s legitimacy, how to spot the difference between fake vs. real watches on Wish, and what to do if you incidentally purchased a fake watch from Wish in the first place.
Is Wish Legit?
Yes, Wish, as a company, is legit.
Wish.com is a California-based eCommerce marketplace where you can buy affordable products. Founded in 2010, Wish now sells in over 60 countries with a whopping 44 million active users.
The company even partnered with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers to display its logo on the team’s jerseys. This means you can see esteemed athletes like LeBron James representing Wish to a global audience.
You can think of Wish as a newer version of Amazon. People can find virtually any product type on Wish for a fraction of the cost of most other online stores. And its cheap prices are one of the service’s main selling points.
But just like with Amazon, the company itself is legitimate, while the sellers may not be so honest. So let’s explore how to be safe when buying from Wish.
Is It Safe to Buy on Wish?
Yes, it is safe to buy on Wish if you are careful.
However, being “careful” requires that you be savvy about what to look for and what concerns there may be.
What to Look For When Buying on Wish
Whether it’s a watch, shoes, cell phone, or anything else, always investigate the seller and do your due diligence in the following areas:
A seller with a great history will be easy to spot. The first thing you want to look at is their reviews. Are the reviews mostly (90%+) positive? If there are a tremendous amount of negative reviews compared to positive ones, that’s a major warning sign, and you should avoid buying from that seller.
Second, look at the seller’s negative reviews. Are they within the seller’s control (like product quality, customer service, warranties) or outside of their control and a more unfounded kind of complaint?
Third, how many total reviews does the seller have? Is this a fly-by-night selling account with 5 reviews? Then it would be hard to trust them. But if the seller has been around for a while and has hundreds of positive reviews, it’s more likely to be legit.
Check Product Reviews
Check the product reviews carefully to determine any red flags. While the seller may have positive reviews on certain items, that doesn’t guarantee the item you’re looking at is a good buy.
For instance, if people claim that the product is not as represented or breaks within two weeks, avoid purchasing it.
When it comes to watches, this is particularly important since you can produce a watch that looks almost identical to the original but have the wrong movement inside, which can completely change how a watch functions. More about this later.
Inspect the Pictures
Pictures are worth a thousand words; if the product looks cheaply made, it most likely is.
And if you are purchasing a “name brand” item, compare the pictures with the real thing to see if you notice any glaring differences. A close, knowledgeable inspection of the item could save you from purchasing a low-end fake item — which we’ll get into in just a minute.
Look at the Return Policy
A good seller will stand behind their product. They will typically make returns hassle-free and relatively quick. That’s because they know they are selling quality products and are not afraid of the small percentage of people who may make returns.
But if they don’t have a good return policy or if they make you jump through several hoops, or even pay return shipping that takes a month, then you should reconsider purchasing from them.
Where Does Wish Ship From?
Many Wish sellers ship directly from China. However, shipping from North America, Europe, and Latin America has become more common in recent years.
Does Wish Sell Fake Watches?
Wish itself does not sell any products, but some sellers on Wish do sell fake watches.
For instance, YouTube user “The Town Watch” unboxed a supposedly real Seiko and Tissot, both of which turned out to be completely fake, seen below.
There are plenty of horror stories on Reddit as well. User r/Rubilax5 shared their story about accidentally purchasing this fake watch from Wish. The watch they received has a completely different dial than what they ordered.
Several similar stories can be found on YouTube and Reddit, with other users chiming in with comments reinforcing the same sentiment – there are both real and fake watches listed on Wish, so careful diligence must be taken when making a purchase.
With that said, there are also cases of users purchasing real watches from Wish. Regardless, you must be careful in ensuring you’re purchasing a real watch, which can be trickier than it may seem.
How to Tell if a Watch From Wish is Fake
If you are going to test the waters and order a watch from Wish, then you need to know how to spot a fake. Let’s look at some giveaways that tell you the watch is a fake or replica instead of the real thing.
Verified listings have blue check marks. If they don’t, assume the watch is fake.
Ticking Second Hand on a Mechanical Watch
For an automatic watch (mechanical movement), the second hand should have a smooth sweeping motion. A stuttered ticking is a sign that the watch has a quartz movement, and is likely a fake if it is meant to have a mechanical movement.
If the real watch should have a screw-down crown, but the watch you order does not, you may be looking at a fake watch.
Wrong case material
Many quality (real) watches use stainless steel. Cheaply-made fake watches will often substitute this for something cheaper like chrome-plated brass.
Is something off about the dial? Look at pictures of the real thing and spot differences such as the hour markers, the color, and the second hands.
As the old saying goes, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” The same is true with watches on Wish. If a watch seems like it is way cheaper than it should be, that is often a red flag, and you should proceed with caution.
Should You Buy Watches on Wish or Amazon?
You should buy watches from reputable sellers on Amazon instead of Wish.
Amazon is a more established company, and they offer better return policies with more transparent terms and agreements. In fact, many watch brands sell watches through Amazon directly.
Amazon is also much more diligent about rooting out counterfeits and misrepresented items. If sellers are caught doing shady things, they can be suspended or even kicked off the platform altogether.
If you want to safely buy watches on Wish, I suggest you only buy from verified sellers that have a blue check mark.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Watches on Wish
The main reason you shouldn’t buy watches on Wish is that there are plenty of other reputable retailers out there.
Even Amazon, which has also been scrutinized for selling knockoffs recently, is working on a resolution. Further, their return policy is excellent for protecting buyers against this.
Wish, as we will see in the next section, does not offer adequate security for shoppers.
What to Do if You Received a Fake Watch from Wish
If you took the plunge and received a fake watch, here’s what to do next:
Immediately return the watch with all of its additional contents, such as accessories like extra bands or instruction manuals. Keep in mind that some sellers require you to pay for the shipping, so look at the seller’s return policy.
Wish’s Return Policy
According to some reviews, Wish’s return policy is not reliable. Wish states you can request a refund within 30 days if you aren’t satisfied using the Wish Assistant Portal.
Of course, a request is not a guarantee of anything. And if they do refund you, they won’t include the return shipping costs. This is yet another reason why it’s best to avoid buying watches on Wish altogether.
Contact Your Credit Card Company
In the case of a fraudulent watch, your credit card company may be able to assist with your purchase. Even if the seller and Wish do not provide adequate returns, you can often get your financial institution to issue a chargeback.
Wish is a legitimate marketplace that allows third-party sellers to host their shops and sell various items.
While many sellers on Wish are legitimate, often noted by the ‘verified’ blue check mark, many buyers have been burned by fake products on the site.
Keep a careful eye out, and use the tips in this article to ensure you are purchasing an authentic product, especially in the case of watches.