SHEIN is an international B2C fast-fashion e-commerce company that prides itself on offering on-trend styles that won’t break the bank.
The question is whether or not SHEIN lives up to this promise of providing trendy styles at affordable price points. When searching for the latest boho dresses, graphic Tees, patterned blouses, chic swimwear, and other trendy apparel and fashion accessories, is SHEIN a fine one-stop store? Also, are the prices of listings fair so that SHEIN is a fine online fashion store for the modern yet economical fashionista? Lastly, is SHEIN legit? Will your orders be delivered when you buy from SHEIN, and will they be satisfactory?
This SHEIN review will put this fast-fashion retailer under the microscope in order to answer these questions and many more.
What is SHEIN?
SHEIN is a fast fashion e-commerce company that was founded in October of 2008. Like other fast-fashion online stores, SHEIN focuses on women’s wear, but it also offers men and children apparel, shoes, bags, and other fashion items.
As a fast fashion store, SHEIN stays on top pf the latest fashion trends from around the globe, and rapidly brings these styes to the market. While making trendy styles immediately available to customers worldwide, the philosophy that guides SHEIN is: “everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion”. “Everyone” means everyone, irrespective of their pocket sizes. Thus, SHEIN endeavours not only offer the latest trendy styles, but to offer them at affordable prices.
SHEIN mainly targets Europe, America, Australia, and the Middle East, but its business covers more than 220 countries and regions around the world.
What does SHEIN sell?
SHEIN has a ton of inventory, which includes every kind of clothing piece and fashion accessories for everyone, irrespective of size, gender, or age. The tabs in the main menu of the SHEIN websites are: Women, Plus/ Curve Women, Men, and Kids. Each tab holds a raft of products.
For example: in the Women tab, there is a Clothing section, where you’ll find: Tops (Blouses, T-Shirts, Tank Tops and Camis), Sweatshirts, Two-Piece Outfits, Jumpsuits and Rompers, Blazers, Bodysuits, Bottoms (Pants, Skirts, Sweatpants, Leggings), Sweaters (Knit Tops, Cardigans, and Sweater Dresses), Outerwear (Jackets, Trench Outerwear, and Overcoat), Lingerie (Sexy Lingerie, Bras and Bralettes, Panties, Bras and Panty Sets, Corsets and Shapewear), Denim (Jeans, Denim Shorts, Denim Skirts, Jackets and Coats), Active wear (Active Tops, Active Bottoms, Active Sets), Loungewear and Sleepwear, Maternity, Beachwear, Costume, and Costume Accessories,
There’s also a Dresses section, where you can: Shop by trend (cut out dresses, Cam dresses, Shirt dresses, Floral dresses Tank dresses, Bodycon dresses, and more), Shop by length (Maxi dresses, Midi dresses, or Short dresses), Shop by wedding season (Wedding dresses and Bridesmaid dresses), Shop by style (Casual, Party, Sexy, Elegant), and Shop by Occasion (Formal dresses, Going Out dresses, Work dresses, Night Out dresses).
Prices of SHEIN
SHEIN promises affordable prices for trendy fashion styles, and it delivers on that promise. The trendy fashion pieces that you’ll find at high-end stores for premium prices, SHEIN will give these at knock off prices.
You’ll find under lots of superb dresses and exquisite tops for under $10. You’ll even find purses for $5 – $9, and backpacks for $6 – $17. In fact, SHEIN is a place to check for prices that are too good to be true. But these time, they are true.
SHEIN Promo Codes
SHEIN is all about low priced trends. To achieve its low pricing, it regularly offers bonus codes which allow customers to get items for knocked-down prices.
For example, when writing this review, there was the SHEIN bonus code RM10 which you can use to get $10 off $90+ orders, or get $25 off $140+ orders. There was another offer to register for the newsletter and get $3 off your next order + free shipping. There was another offer to receive 70% off some items.
You’ll always find SHEIN promo codes, and these change from time to time. So, you’ll have to keep an eye on the site to take advantage of these opportunities to get your SHEIN items for even less.
Quality of SHEIN products
SHEIN says that it values quality. It says that because it wants to present you with a flawless design, some products are crafted by individuals highly experienced in hand sewing, while other products are created by machinery that emphasize precision and attention to detail and style.
It adds that before officially introducing products to the market, it checks for style, colour, sizing, workmanship, and quality. Such rigorous quality inspection, according to SHEIN, eliminates any and all problems to ensure that only high-quality products are brought to you.
It is not surprising that SHEIN talks so much of offering high-quality products. However, does it really provide high-quality items?
The customer reviews have a lot of negative buzz when it comes to the quality of SHEIN pieces. There are too many SHEIN customers complaining of receiving delivery of items that are different from pictured, that are poorly made, or that quickly fall apart.
Looking at these customers reviews, and our own experience with SHEIN, it is fair to say that in SHEIN you get what you pay for. Make no mistake, when you pay only a couple of dollars for an item in SHEIN, when an identical one sells for tens of dollars in the high-end stores, you should not expect the premium quality that the high-end stores offer. It is fair to say that SHEIN offers you “lookalikes” of trendy high-end fashion pieces at knock off prices.
However, this does not mean that the quality of SHEIN pieces is always all over the place. You’ll find decent quality items in SHEIN, especially for pieces that you will not always put to use. However, if you want something for the grind, SHEIN pieces may just fall apart.
Does SHEIN run to size?
One common problem with Chinese based fashion store is wrong sizing – there sizes tend to run small. This is because Chinese sizing run small compared to standard US sizing. It is even suggested that when ordering from these Chinese stores, you should order one or two sizes up, else your item will be too small for you.
Unfortunately, SHEIN is not totally removed from this sizing issue. Checking the customer reviews of SHEIN, there are just too many customers complaining that their clothes were too small and did not fit.
However, we do not recommend just ordering one or two sizes higher. Pay attention to the sizing chart. Many apparels have specific measurements for length, waist, bust, etc; if you pay attention to these, you probably will get fitting pieces even when ordering your standard US size.
However, you should know that sizing is not consistent cross SHEIN items. That is, the specific measurements of a “small” blouse will be different from those of another “small” blouse. Thus, always look at the sizing chart and specific measurements for every item you plan to order.
How to Order from SHEIN
Ordering from SHEIN is very easy, and no different from ordering from any other online fashion store. The website is also intuitive, so even if you are new to online fashion shopping, you will look like a pro.
You simply have to:
- Browse through product categories or use the Search button to find what you ant
- Add item(s) into your shopping bag
- Check out when item selection is completed
- Log in to your SHEIN account or choose “New” to register and create an account
- Complete your shipping and billing information
- Fill in payment information
SHEIN supports popular payment methods, so you should have no problem paying for your orders. You can use PayPal, Credit/ Debit card options (like Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, and American Express), and Online Bank Transfer (via iDeal).
You can also apply bonus points at checkpoint to pay for your orders. Bonus points are virtual money that you earn in SHEIN as you use the site. 100 bonus points = $1. However, when using bonus points, you can only use it for up to 70% of your purchase.
Using different sites that supports different markets, SHEIN currently ships to over 220 countries in every part of the world.
Depending on where you are shipping to, SHEIN supports different shipping options, which includes Standard shipping and Express Shipping. Check the SHEIN shipping page to know applicable shipping times and rates.
SHEIN processes all orders in 1 – 3 business days. This order processing time should be added to the advertised shipping time when calculating the expected delivery time for your SHEIN orders.
However, when it comes to delivery times, you should know that the customer reviews are not friendly to SHEIN. In virtually everywhere you find SHEIN reviews, there are too many complaints that SHEIN orders take too long to arrive. Sadly, among those complaining are customers who pay the premium for Express Shipping.
Thus, if you do not want the disappointment of not receiving your item before the date you plan to use it, when ordering from SHEIN, allow for ample time between your ordering and the planned use of the item.
A positive that can be taken from the shipping rates is that SHEIN offers free shipping. Interestingly, free shipping does not apply to Standard shipping, but could also apply to Express Shipping. For example, when shipping to the US, you can get free standard shipping for $50+ orders, and free Express shipping for $129+ orders. It is also fine that the minimum order requirement for free shipping (standard) is low. With only 50+ orders guaranteeing you free standard shipping, you are not pressured to spend too big in pursuant of free shipping.
SHEIN Return Policy
Customers like to be able to return any unsatisfactory item to the retailer. Thankfully, SHEIN allows this. It advertises that, if you are not 100% satisfied with the items you received, it will gladly accept returns within 30 days of receipt. However, returns do not apply to all items, and returnable items must be in their original new condition, and in their original packaging.
SHEIN adds that it processes returns within 5 business days of receiving the return package. Refunds are issued to SHEIN wallet and can be used on your next purchase or withdrawn to your payment account.
However, it should be said that though SHEIN advertises a somewhat friendly return policy, it is arguably what customers complain most about. The review platforms are replete with complaints of SHEIN return policy. You’ll find customers complaining that: SHEIN will not allow them return an item, SHEIN requires that they pay return postage, SHEIN does not give full refund, and more.
Can you contact SHEIN?
The SHEIN websites features FAQ pages where you’ll find answers to questions about Order Issues, Delivery, Return & Refund, Payment & Promos, Product & Stock, and Account. If these pages do not satisfactory treat your concern, you can directly contact a SHEIN support agent vi email.
Simply find your way to the Contact form in the “Contact US” page of the website, fill it and submit; and a SHEIN agent will be in contact within 48 hours. However, you’ll need an account to use the email service. Thus, the SHEIN customer service serves customers enquiring about their order, and not site visitors.
Also, only email service is supported. SHEIN does no support instant feedback channels such as Live Chat or Telephone service.
Our Thoughts on SHEIN
Is SHEIN a legit online fashion store? Yes. There’s no doubt that SHEIN is legit. The online store is operated by a proper legal company, it has been in existence for over a decade, and it has been fulfilling orders.
How then can the negative buzz about SHEIN be explained? In our opinion, SHEIN’s mission is actually to offer “imitations” of high-end trendy fashion pieces at low prices, so it does not offer premium quality you’ll find in high-end stores. While you’ll always find rock-bottom prices, sometimes the quality of pieces may be all over the place. However, if you pay attention to the reviews in the product description pages, you can get decent quality pieces in SHEIN.
SHEIN Pros and Cons
- Has a very large inventory
- Though it focuses on women’s wear, it also provides men and kids wear
- Prices are really affordable
- There are tons of price-slashing SHEIN promo codes
- Ordering is easy, and popular payment methods are supported
- Free shipping is offered (both free standard shipping and free Express shipping)
- Quality is so-so (too many complaints of receiving poor quality items that quickly fall apart)
- Sizes usually run small, and not consistent across items
- There are too many complaints of late delivery
- There are too many complaints about returns (such as unapproved returns and part refunds)
- Only account holders can use customer support service, and only email service is supported