how does Amazon wish list work

How Does Amazon Wish List Work for Buyers and Sellers?

The sending and receiving of gifts is a delightful tradition that most of us enjoy, however, every year, a huge amount of money is wasted on unwanted or inappropriate gifts.

Amazon Wish List was created to cut down on this wastage and to make sure that recipients receive items that they actually want.

What is Amazon Wish List?

Launched in 1999, Amazon Wish List is a form of gift registry which allows Amazon users to create a list of items that they would like and then to share that list with friends and family.

Those with access to your list are then able to purchase items for you and have them delivered to your door, thus eliminating the sending and receiving of unwanted gifts.

How To Create Wish Lists On Amazon

In order to create a Wish List on Amazon, you’ll need to have an Amazon user account, and you can set this up quickly and easily by heading over to and following the new account instructions.

The List contains your own wish lists and shopping lists.

Once your account is set up, you can create an Amazon Wish List easily as follows:

  • From the Amazon Home Page, click onto Accounts & Lists
  • Click onto ‘Create a List’ from the drop-down menu
  • Name your list
  • Click onto ‘Create List’
create an Amazon Wish List

Once your list has been created, you can manage it and amend the various details by clicking onto the list that you wish to manage.

And by following the instructions in order to change and add details such as email and shipping addresses, privacy settings, and more.

  • Click onto More > Manage list
  • Choose the privacy of your list – here you can decide whether your list will be public or will only be visible to those you share your list with
  • Specify whether the list is for yourself or somebody else
  • Edit your email, birthday and shipping address
Manage wish list

Finally, you can make further specifications by going to your shipping address where you will see three options as follows:

  • Keep purchased items on your list
  • Don’t spoil my surprises
  • Default list

When you choose ‘keep purchased items on your list’, all products will remain highlighted on your list after purchase.

If you choose ”Don’t spoil my surprises”, a purchased item will only remain on the list for a short time and a duplicate purchase warning will be issued if a new purchase attempt is made.

Once you’ve selected your option as above, click on ”Save Changes”.

How To Add Items To Amazon Wish Lists

Now that you’ve got your Amazon Wish List set up, adding items to it is extremely straightforward:

  • Browse or search the Amazon site as you would normally
  • When looking at the desired item, go to the Buy Box drop-down menu
  • Select ‘Add To List’
  • Choose the Wish List that you wish to add the item to
add to Amazon wish list

The product will now appear on your chosen Wish List.

Once a product is on a Wish List, making a purchase for yourself or allowing others to make a purchase is really simple.

All you need to do is to access your chosen list, select the particular product you wish to purchase, and click on ‘Add To Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’.

You can then proceed to purchase the item in the usual way.  If somebody is buying the product on your list for you as a gift, the purchaser can add a gift card or gift wrap by adding the product to their cart.

For privacy, the purchaser will only be able to view your name and city and the gift will be sent to the address specified on your list.

If the purchaser chooses to buy the item from a site other than Amazon, he or she can click on the button marked ‘Buying This Elsewhere’ to ensure that the purchase is not duplicated.

The purchaser will also be able to specify if they don’t want the owner of the wish list to be notified about the purchase (this is important if the purchaser wishes the gift to be a surprise – particularly when a gift is being purchased well in advance of a birthday or other special occasion).

How To Share Your Wish List

Sharing your Wish List with others is quick and easy and is done as follows:

  • Go to your list page and select ‘Manage List’
  • Click onto the Privacy button and select either ‘Shared’
  • Click onto ‘Save Changes’
  • Click onto the button ‘Send The List To Others’

You can also share your list directly by clicking on ‘Copy Link’ – this allows you to copy the link and then send the link directly to somebody by email, text, or Messenger by simply pasting the link into a message.

Alternatively, you can invite other people to collaborate with you on your Amazon Wish List.

This is particularly useful for families who may be compiling lists for gifts for events such as Christmas, birthdays, and other special occasions.

You can invite people to collaborate on an Amazon Wish List as follows:

  • Go to
  • Click on the list that you wish to collaborate on
  • Click the +Invite button which appears above your list
  • Copy the link, or click ‘Invite by email’ to open your email client
  • Send the link to the person you want to collaborate with

How To Find Someone’s Amazon Wish List

If you’re looking to buy a gift for somebody and want to view their Amazon Wish List, you can do this as follows, provided that their list has been made Public:

  • Open the Amazon search page and click onto ‘Find A Registry Or List’
  • Enter the name of the person that you are searching for
  • Click onto ‘Search’
  • From the results list, click onto the person’s name
  • If the name does not appear, click onto ‘Add Friend’
  • You should now have access to any of that person’s public Wish Lists

You can also conduct a search from your list of friends. If you don’t have friends’ lists, you can copy the default message from Amazon and send it to your friends asking for a sharing.

find a friend's wish list on Amazon

What Buyers Can Get From Amazon Wish Lists

A Wish List not only can help buyers keep track of their preferred items, also has the following benefits:

Create Wish Lists

Buyers are able to create lists of products which they either want to buy for themselves in the future as these lists provide a handy reminder of the products that have caught your eye while browsing Amazon and which you may be saving up for.  

These lists can also serve as a registry for gifts that a buyer would like to receive from others by allowing friends and family to view the products that you want.

By sharing Wish Lists, buyers can alert friends and family to items that they would like to receive.

Buyers are also able to create collaborative lists by inviting friends and family to access the list and to add products.

This can be a great way of brainstorming gift ideas and creating comprehensive registries for events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, and milestone birthdays.

Receive Updates

By adding items to a Wish List, buyers are able to receive updates on these products in terms of price changes and new items.

Earn Money

Buyers are able to add affiliate products to their lists which they can then promote via social media and other means in order to earn commissions from sales of those products.

Send Gifts & Save Money

Buyers can view Wish Lists created by friends and family which means that they can buy and send gifts that are actually wanted, thereby, saving money by not buying gifts that may be unwanted.

Compare Prices

By using the Chrome Amazon Assistant, buyers can save items from e-commerce sites other than Amazon in order to view price comparisons and therefore save money on purchases.

How Can Sellers Utilize Wish Lists?

Selling on Amazon can be lucrative but is incredibly competitive and, sellers need to find every possible advantage in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Amazon Wish Lists can be a really useful tool for Amazon sellers in a number of ways:

Product Research

A large part of a seller’s job is in finding the best niche products that will be popular with buyers.  

Amazon sellers can use Amazon’s lists to find niche product ideas by clicking onto ‘Amazon Most Wished For List’.  

Amazon Most Wished For items

This extremely handy tool allows sellers to view lists of products that customers are currently buying and are also searching for.

The seller can then research these products in order to find out if these products may be a viable product for them to buy and sell on Amazon.

Sellers can also drill down to see how many people are selling a particular product and at what price.

Create A Seller Wish List

From the above step, a seller can create a list of products which they may choose to sell in the future.

This provides a handy directory of products to be added should the seller wish to diversify or to replace a product that is not selling or has been discontinued.

Buyer Participation

When it comes to selling on Amazon, engagement with buyers is hugely important and, many sellers tap into this by regularly engaging with customers on social media platforms.

Amazon Wish Lists can help with this engagement really effectively.

Sellers can share their product Wish Lists on their social media pages and groups and can encourage customers to add items to the list.

Not only does this provide sellers with new product inspiration but allows them to receive feedback from customers as to how they may feel about particular products.  

Customer engagement is one of the most important tools that a seller can use when selecting new products and managing existing ones and, getting customers involved with Wish Lists can be extremely beneficial.


For a seller, promoting their products is, of course, an essential part of the process.  

As well as Amazon and social media advertising, sellers are often looking for new and innovative ways of promoting their products and, Amazon Wish Lists can help here.

This can be done in a number of ways:

  • Sharing a Wish List to a Facebook page to alert customers to new products which you are considering selling
  • Launching polls to find out what people think of items on your Wish Lists
  • Encourage VIP customers to add products to your lists
  • Encourage customers to share your Wish Lists on their own social media pages
  • Launch competitions for choosing new products from your Wish Lists

Getting customers involved with your business is a proven way of increasing engagement and, therefore, sales and, so, this can be a really effective tool.


Amazon Wish Lists are a fantastic way of making gifting more relevant and practical and for cutting down on wasting money on gifts that end up in the back of a cupboard or in the bin.

Quite simply, we’d all prefer to give gifts that will delight the recipient and, Amazon Wish Lists are a sure-fire way of doing this.

For Amazon sellers, Amazon Wish Lists can be a really valuable tool in gathering insights and feedback on products from existing customers.

They’re also a really effective way of researching and sourcing new and lucrative product ideas in order to grow a seller’s business.  

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