(Disclaimer: The Amazon links in this blog post are affiliate links, so I can make a few extra coins to help pay for a fraction of the cost to host this website. #CommissionsEarned)
Do you use Amazon wish lists? They are incredible. Having a handy wish list makes it so much easier to shop for someone. Especially if someone loads up their wish list with tons of ideas. It’s like shopping in a virtual store custom-made by the recipient. And if you buy something, it’ll mark the item as “purchased” so other people don’t purchase it. My family has been using Amazon wish lists for over 20 years. We love it.
You can even add items that are not on Amazon.com. Oh, wait. Or you used to be able to.
It looks like Amazon does not let you add non-Amazon items to your wish list anymore!
1. The Amazon Assistant Chrome Add-on no longer works.
I tried it today, and got this message:
At Amazon, we’re always experimenting and evaluating the potential of our products. We have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Assistant on March 28, 2023. From that date you will no longer be able to use Amazon Assistant. You will still have access on Amazon to Lists you’ve already created with Amazon Assistant, and the products you previously added from other sites will remain. We apologize for any inconvenience this decision may cause you.
Here’s a screenshot of the message:
The Amazon Assistant
is was a really easy to add stuff to your Amazon wish from outside of amazon.com. Let’s say, there’s a t-shirt you want.
This awesome shirt designed by someone I went to art school with. He’s really cool, Matthew Shultz of toadyco. This shirt is on Teepublic at teepublic.com/t-shirt/6688353-stego?store_id=192089. Notice this is not Amazon.com. So can you add it to your wish list? Sure! Load up that webpage, and simply click on the Amazon Assistant button in your browser. BOOM. The item is added to your wish list WITH THE IMAGE. Hooray!
Here’s how items normally appear in your wish list using Amazon Assistant. Notice how there is an image, website address, and price.
However, now you can’t use this Chrome add-on. Bummer.
2. “Add as an idea” no longer is an option
But you can still add it manually to your Amazon wish list, right? Amazon has the feature “add as an idea”. You get a text field where you can enter a description of what you’d like. I love it. Here’s what it looks like on your wish list.
Yes, there are broken image icons, because there’s no image. If you want a website or price listed, you have to add it to the comment. But hey, it worked! You have the item there on your wish list. When someone buys that item on another site, they just click “mark as purchased” on your wish list. No more duplicate gifts!
I thought I could at least manually add stuff as “an idea”. Whuuut. Now we can’t add non-amazon things to an amazon wish list anymore! There used to be an “add an idea” option. No more.
Looks like Amazon is really shutting down the ability to add items to your wish list that are not on Amazon. You can understand why. Amazon wants you to buy stuff off THEIR website. Not some other site. Why would they have a tool to allow people to buy stuff that is not on Amazon?
I’ll tell you why. Because this wish list function is so handy to keep track of wish lists. It’s all in one place. Now that we can’t add non-Amazon items to our wish list. I might just have to look for another wish list service. Or maybe even program one on my own.
Use Google Sheets as a replacement for Amazon wish lists
My family has started a Google Sheet to keep track of wish lists. It’s so much fun. Here’s what my tab looks like.
We have all the same data points that the Amazon wish list had:
- Status (purchased or repurchased)
- Date added
Four reasons why Google Sheets is better than Amazon wish lists
- All the wish lists are in one spot. With Amazon, everyone’s wish list was in a separate place. You’d need to bookmark all the wish lists to access them.
- Reliable purchase status. We found with Amazon, when someone purchased a 3rd party item, it would often not be marked as purchased. With this sheet, it’s pretty simple to update if something’s purchased.
- Customization. Everyone can make their wish list look a little bit different. Add fun colors!
- Custom images. Amazon used to pick the image for your 3rd party item. With this Sheet, you can pick your own image to use. And Google Sheets now allows you to embed images INSIDE cells! (Previously, images placed in a sheet would just float over the cells. Now the images can happily sit inside a cell, so the image won’t cover anything up.)
So far we are loving this Google Sheet alternative to wish lists.
Looks like thingstogetme.com is the only alternative that offers the ability to import your existing lists from Amazon. Also appears to have the most features out of all of the available alternatives.
Thank you, Drew! I’ll check out thingstogetme.com
thingstogetme.com – which apparently lets you import your amazon wishlist items; found it from the comments here: https://tomsguide.com/news/amazon-is-killing-one-of-its-most-underrated-features-this-sucks
Oh wow, another recommendation for thingstogetme.com. Now I really need to check this out. Thank you, Gus!
I hate this so much. I used this feature for kids wish lists so much. It made it easy to say “kid loves puzzles right now” or “they’d like books by this author”. Makes so much more effort having to manage adding specific items to the list. Huge mistake by Amazon.
Bad idea by Amazon! However, I did get round by adding an item from Amazon and then explaining in the notes that I didn’t want that item – the one I wanted was on http: …….. etc. This worked, not sure for how long though if they prevent you putting website addresses in the notes.
What a creative workaround!
I though I was going crazy when I recently went to add an “idea” to my kids’ wishlist. This is a HUGE mistake by Amazon. We live by the wish lists with out of state family which ultimately drove a lot of business to Amazon, but there are things that you can’t get on Amazon like local gift cards… so now I’ll have to go elsewhere to make a list where I can put everything which will surely mean fewer Amazon items. Not sure who’s idea this was to scrap that but they clearly didn’t think it through.
Here’s one of the biggest losses with this change for Amazon. I used the Amazon assistant regularly to purchase an item that was on Amazon that I found on another site. This is a feature of the assistant that actually made money for Amazon from external sources and losing the Amazon assistant means we lose that on top of the other features you’ve mentioned losing. It’s a tough pill to swallow because I use Amazon wishlists for everything under the sun and prioritize buying things off Amazon because of it. If I go to another site for my wishlists I’m going to find things that aren’t on Amazon much more often.
Yeah, you’d think Amazon would want users to use a tool that tells them if a product on another site is available on Amazon’s site.
Check out Moonsift.com. I was an avid user of Amazon Assistant and was really annoyed they discontinued the Chrome Assistant. BUT I’m actually now happier than ever, I tested a whole bunch of alternatives and eventually discovered Moonsift. Which is so much better than Amazon Assistant ever was.
Thanks for this write-up. Hopefully it helps others as well.