Amazon Wish Lists make gift giving easy! Read our tips – how Amazon wish lists work, how to find an Amazon wish list and more FAQ! *This post contains affiliate links.
Over the past few years I have become an expert on using Amazon Wish Lists for gifting. Whether it’s for Christmas, birthdays or just because, using these wish lists helps so much in sending gifts to the people you love!
How does Amazon Wish List work? I want to break down how I’ve used it and gotten my family on board too, making all of our lives easier – especially when it comes to Christmas shopping and gift exchanges. If you’re a Prime member you might also want to check out our list of the best FREE TV shows & movies on Amazon Prime. You can also browse our gift ideas page to see gift ideas for everyone on your list!
How does Amazon Wish List work?
Wish Lists are a gift registry, just like a wedding or baby registry but for any occasion.
To explain how it works, I’ll give you an example.
- Annie makes a wish list before the winter holidays and sends her list to friends and family who have asked for gift ideas.
- Annie’s family can view the list, select gifts from the list and purchase them.
- Amazon then ships the gifts straight to Annie’s door.
Will this spoil a surprise gift?
The default setting for Amazon Wish Lists is ‘Don’t Spoil My Surprise.’ Users can turn that setting off, but I assume most people leave it so that they can be surprised.
Annie is not notified that gifts have been purchased, or by whom – until she opens the gifts and reads the note that comes along with the package.
Will multiple people buy the same gift from the list?
No. Once a gift has been purchased, it is removed from view so that the next person to look at it will not see it as an option.
HOW TO SET UP AN AMAZON WISH LIST
If you already are familiar or have a wish list, go ahead and skip over this part, but scroll down to read the rest!
Before you can use an Amazon Wish Lists for your gift exchange, you need to set one up!
- Log into Amazon.com account.
- From the Amazon home page, click the button that says ‘Account and Lists’ then hover over Your Lists. You will see some variation of this:
Choose ‘Create a List’ and then select ‘Wish List’ – follow the rest of the prompts.
Giving it a descriptive name is good because down the line you may want to have multiple lists. My sister in law has a regular wish list, and a book wish list. I have a gift wish list, a home goods wish list (that I keep private) and so on.
How to Add Items from Other Websites to Your Amazon Wish List
How to Find Amazon Wish Lists
Update September 2020:
You can no longer search for a wish list on Amazon.com. In the past, you could search for a wish list using a person’s name or email address. Now, in order to see a wish list, your friend has to share it with you. Here’s how to go about getting the link!
- In the dropdown menu, select “Find a Wish List or Registry.”
- Lists you have saved in ‘Your Friends’ will appear on the left side.
- A message page should come up, allowing you to send an email or copy and paste the message. You can edit the message to make it more personal if you want to. Send the request to anyone whose list you’d like to see!
- Once someone shares their list with you, you can add them to ‘Your Friends’ and as long as their list is marked public, you can check back on their wish lists over and over for future gifting.
HOW TO USE AMAZON WISH LISTS TO ORGANIZE YOUR FAMILY GIFT EXCHANGE
When I first discovered the ease and convenience of using the wish list for Christmas gifting, I started singing it’s praises to all of my family. It was pretty common for them to request a list from me each year right around Thanksgiving, so I started just sending them the link to my Amazon list. They loved it. Then they started to follow suit!
Now, each year we send out a reminder via text or email – “make sure you’ve updated your wish list!” Then, everyone does, and we can happily shop for each other, ship things straight to their door. (Amazon Prime for the WIN when you live far away from each other!!!)
How to Get This Started with Your Family & Friends
- Explain what Amazon wish lists are, and how to use them. Feel free to send the link to this post for them to read!
- Everyone set up their list.
- Make gift assignments, if you do it that way. In our family, we have a rotation. Some people draw names.
- You can either send out your link to anyone who asks, or one person can gather up each person’s link and send them out in one big email.
- Easy gifting!
I also will add that not every person has to be on board, but even if just a few are this will help streamline your holiday gifting!
I know this is not the solution for every family or group of friends. That’s fine. But I think that it will work for a lot of people, because it definitely works for our family!
WHY THIS IS SO GREAT
The obvious reason this is so awesome, is that you can get your family the gifts they actually want, and not worry about duplicate gifts. Can I sing the praises for this enough? I hope you’ll try it out!
This year I got Triple gifts that were on my wishlist, so I don’t think Amazon removes the item from the list once someone buys it. That would be a great feature and would have avoided this. Now I have to return two out of the three duplicate gifts. This happened on three different items on my list, so I have 9 items, when I only wanted 3.
Is this a wishlist settings issue?
hi we have a secret Santa and i am buying off a amazon wish list so Iam wondering how to buy off the list but what iam really wondering if when i do purchase it how do i get it off the list so that person doesnrt get that iteam twice
Amazon has that covered! They make it so that other people who have the list can’t see an item anymore once it has been purchased. So, it is rare to have that problem with Amazon wish lists. To buy off the list, just add the item to your cart and choose whether to deliver it to the person you have for Secret Santa, or to your address depending on how you want to do that.
I am trying to purchase from someone’s Amazon wishlist through TikTok but when I go to checkout the only address option is mine. I know their address is kept private so how do I get it sent to them? Thank you in advance for your help!
In the area where you select a shipping address there should be one listed with the wishlist-owner’s name, city and then below that “full address hidden for privacy” – here is an example of what it might look like:
NEW YORK, NY
(Full address hidden for privacy.)
Gift Registry Address
Argh! I tried to send a gift via someone’s Wish List, and it came to my house! This is for someone I don’t know well enough to ask for an address. Guess that makes it fairly useless for casual internet acquaintances and those trying to help someone from far away.
If I use my billing address for the order will the gift recipient get my address?
I want to ask does it say who u received the gift from
Yes you can fill that out!
Hi, good article, but may I suggest adding a piece about the person searching for a list needing to have an Amazon account (or access to one). I just went 20 minutes deep into trying to figure out how to share my family wish list with my mother, a staunch “I don’t buy from Amazon” type personality, and EVERY website I tried just talks about how easy it is to share the list.
I was thinking I could share the list with her and let her visit her local dept. store without my needing to create a new list. Yes, it would seem odd to have someone access the Amazon list and NOT have an Amazon acct, but let’s just step back and think of it this way:
At one time, kids fervently circled everything their heart desired in the Sears Wish Book, but you can bet parents didn’t shop ONLY at Sears. They took the idea and hit up whatever merchant they preferred. I won’t date myself too much more, so no mention of Montgomery Ward or Woolworth.
When someone buys something off the list does it remove it? If not how do you know what has been bought off someones list already?
Yes, if an item is purchased it will not show up on the list anymore, except for the person whose list it is. If the list-owner is logged into their account and they have ‘don’t ruin my surprises’ option turned on they will still see all items on their list.
How do i add my address to my list. I have gone in to addresses and saved my address twice, the person rtrying to purchase says my address is not showing. Account is public as well.
Amazon will never show your address, even if your account is public. The gifts will be sent to you but without the buyer being given your information.
If buying for a charity, how can you know where to send it to?
Dean Iversen Green
wait a minute they cannot see whats bought for them? cant they just log in under a different name and pretend they are a buyer and look?
or is the list private and they cannot find it cuz its under a secrete name and all that? or do they not even know the wish lists exist and have to be one of the emails on the list you have prepared?
a lot of kids have moms email and so forth and lot of wives have husbands how do you insure they cannot pretend to be someone else and check the list?
also do they get any of your vital information, name address CC #?
I really need to know this stuff please..
Hey! I’ll answer your questions to the best of my ability!
– Nothing would stop someone from signing in with another email address and viewing what has been purchased from their list. It’s their list, and it’s ultimately up to them whether or not they want to be surprised!
– Wish lists can be set to public or private by the person who creates the list.
– Amazon protects personal information. If you buy something for someone else from their wish list, the gift is sent to them but you do not receive their address or phone number. It works the same the other way around. Unless you include a note with the gift saying who you are, or tell the person in some other way, they will not know who sent the gift nor see any names, address or phone numbers. The gift will be sent anonymously.
How do I send something to someone off of there wish list and don’t have the money to buy it right know.
When the package comes does it have the buyers name or the person who’s wish list it is name?
It arrives addressed to the person who’s wish list it is on, and usually there is a gift receipt option that you can choose an the person can scan a QR code to send an email to ‘thank’ the gift giver!
There’s no way to find a list of a friend any more – that ‘find a list or registry’ item doesn’t appear in the drop down list now. It seems the only way you can find a friend’s wish list is by sending them an email to ask them for a link. Why doesn’t the Amazon web site say this so that we don’t spend hours trying to find out how to search for it???
This is very bad Amazon customer service
Hey Helen! I’m sorry you haven’t been able to find it, but I still see it in my drop-down menu! Best of luck.
FYI, Helen A is correct. Amazon just recently made ALL wishlists private (assume for security purposes). I just complained that there should have been some notification and that they should not completely remove the public option. I understand making Private as the default, but should give customers ability to override with their choice. ATM your friends are no longer able to surprise you with a gift from your list.
If you don’t like the new policy, suggest you complain to them and hopefully they will return the option for public.
Oh my gosh! That is a bummer. I just looked and you are totally right.
I have a question, when I try to buy something off a friend’s wish list and proceed to check out, the only available address is my, is that by default to keep the other person address confidential? Thank you
Yes, it will not show the friends’ address due to privacy, but it will still send the gift to their house!
Thank you. This is the third article I have gone to that did not explain that
Hi, I also think Amazon Wish List is great however, how do you know who’s actually bought you the item when you’ve been sent it? Thanks, been trying to find out and am struggling. Thanks Rachel x
That’s a good question! I’ve had that happen before too. Sometimes there is a receipt inside that says ‘say thanks’ with a bar code, and you can see who sent it and send them a note. If that doesn’t come in it, I think the only way to know is to ask customer service.