Problems With Amazon Wish List: 5 Known Issues (Solved)

Online wish lists and registries have changed how we shop for the people in our lives. It helps to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect gift for that special someone.

In theory, when it comes to Amazon’s wishlists, you should be able to just add the things you want, and the people who have access to your wish list will be able to see and purchase the items you need.

Like most things, Amazon’s wish lists are far from perfect. Here are some of the common issues that users face:

1. Searching Within a Wish List is Difficult

The great party about Amazon’s wish lists is that you can make multiple lists depending on your needs.

This means that you can have a wish list for your home, a wedding, a new baby, and your birthday simultaneously. While this can help people find what to get you, it could be much easier.

When Amazon wish lists first launched, you could search for specific items within that list by using the featured search bar at the top.

However, a couple of years ago, Amazon removed this search feature, frustrating many users.

The feature allowed you to search through wish lists for specific items or categories, which helped to cut down on some serious scrolling time.

But, since this feature is no longer available, users complain about having to scroll through hundreds of items on someone’s wish list just to find that one thing they had in mind.

Along with being unable to search within a specific wish list, Amazon no longer allows you to search across all wish lists. This means that finding that one item to buy is even more difficult depending on how many wish lists that person currently has.

2. Wish List Sorting is Often Bugged

Amazon allows you to prioritize items that you really want or need at the top of your list.

However, this can cause some problems when the person looking at your list changes how to view it.

From the drop-down menu on your wish list, people can categorize how to view the items depending on certain filters. For example, they can cascade results based on price, reviews, and even the date you added the item. 

While this makes it easier for users to shop your list, it can scramble your priorities, leading them to be lost in the shuffle.

The good news is that these filter changes are not permanent and only apply to the person currently viewing your wish list. If someone else opens your wish list, your prioritized items will still be on the top.

Studies show that people are more likely to purchase items from a wish list from the top and not the bottom. This is why prioritizing is so important. So, when users are allowed to change the order of their wishlist based don’t their specific budget, it can mess up their preferred order.

3. Amazon Limits the Number of Items

The good news about Amazon’s wish list is that they do not limit the amount of wish lists a user can create. However, there are other limitations to worry about.

Amazon does have a limit on the number of items that you can add to each wish list. 

This has proven to be a frustrating feature to some users who rely on wish lists. This is especially true for people who are trying to crowdsource for specific items.

For example, many teachers use Amazon’s wish lists as a way to stock their classrooms with things they need that the school budget does not supply. Since Amazon has limited the number of items you can add, people need to frequently update their lists whenever they need something new.

While this is a problem for those using Amazon’s wish lists daily, most users won’t notice this limitation.

This is because Amazon taps out items on lists once it reaches 1250 items. Most people won’t need to add that many items to a list, which is why the limit isn’t really that big of a deal.

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4. Sometimes Amazon Can Ruin the Surprise

One of the most popular ways to use Amazon’s wish lists is when a big event in someone’s life requires a gift. Buying gifts for things like baby showers, bridal showers, and birthdays has been made so much easier with Amazon.

This is because people can buy gifts from their homes and ship them directly to the intended person without breaking a sweat.

But the best part about giving a gift is seeing the surprised look on that person’s face. However, checking your Amazon list is one way to ruin the surprise.

While this is the way it used to be, Amazon has added some safeguards to keep you from ruining your own surprise. It used to be that when an item was purchased off of your Amazon wish list, the item would immediately disappear from the list.

This makes it easy to see what you are getting by using the process of elimination. However, this has changed.

An item purchased on your list will remain on your list until either the date of your event or once the gift ships.

The only way to ruin the surprise nowadays is by trying to add an already purchased item to your cart. This will prompt a pop-up that will warn you against multiple purchases of one item. So, in order to ruin the surprise, you have to go out of your way to do so.

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5. Privacy Settings Are Confusing

The whole idea behind making an Amazon wish list is to share with your friends and family what you really want. You never know when you are going to need a pick-me-up.

Navigating the settings for Amazon wish lists does come with a learning curve. This is especially true when it comes to privacy settings.

One of the most frustrating things about Amazon wish lists is that you cannot go back and change these specific settings after the wish list is made. Also, Amazon does not make it easy for you to spot this setting.

When you first make an Amazon wish list, there will be a small little drop-down menu that deals specifically with the privacy of your list. If you plan to share this list with people, you must change the private to public privacy.

A public wish list will allow people to find your list using either your full name or your email address. People can also use a customized link to access this list. However, this only works as long as the list is public.

You must manually change the privacy from “private” to “public” before publishing your list. Once the list is published and complete, you will not be able to go back and change this setting.

General Pros and Cons of Amazon Wish Lists:

While common issues with Amazon’s wish lists can be frustrating, most users are generally quite pleased with the service.

The biggest pro of using Amazon wish lists is that you can involve people in your big day no matter how far away they live. This way, your loved ones worldwide can send you a gift to celebrate your big life event without ever having to step foot on a plane.

Another big perk of Amazon’s wish lists is that it takes the guesswork out of what to buy someone. This means that every gift you purchase from someone’s wish list will be something you already know they will love.

Lastly, using Amazon’s wish lists to shop and send a gift is easy to easy and stress-free. This is because the wish list will already have the person’s address linked to it, so you can be sure that they will get what you ordered without shipping it yourself.


  • Privacy settings are complicated and can be confusing to use.
  • Amazon does put limitations on the number of items that you can add to a single list.
  • Sorting a wish list by category or price can mess up the priority order of your wish list.
  • Amazon doesn’t allow you to do a “wide net” search across all wish lists linked to one person.
  • When using Amazon’s wish lists, it can be easy to ruin the surprise.

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Final Thoughts

While Amazon wish lists have made things easier when it comes to buying and sending gifts, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

However, most of the problems are fairly minor, and while annoying, they don’t negatively affect how Amazon wish lists work.

So, just make sure to pay close attention to the settings and avoid spoiling the surprise for yourself.


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