Is Shein Legit? An Honest Review

Updated on October 22, 2019
KCO profile image

Katy writes honest reviews of the latest services with an eye for budget and practicality.

Is Shein Legit?

Shein is actually a legit online retailer. They have a huge selection of women's fast fashion clothing.

This means you can find clothing at a great price, but what about the quality? The quality ranges from Target to Old Navy or Gap.

Read my honest review of SHEIN, learn how to make the most of your purchase and decide if it could be a budget-friendly part of your wardrobe.

Cute wrap dress from Shein.
Cute wrap dress from Shein.

Honest Shein Review

I ordered my first haul from Shein in 2017. After that, I made two more orders in 2018. While I wasn’t blown away by the quality, there were only two pieces I didn’t use.

Orders from Shein and YesStyle fill an important part of my wardrobe: affordable, fun fast-fashion pieces. So with a few important warnings I think these online retailers can be helpful for most Western shoppers.

That’s the mindset that this review uses: an honest review of where Shein could work for your wardrobe. I'm not paid by them in any way.

Warnings

I’ve been pretty satisfied with the value of their clothes given the low prices. But there are some warnings you should consider before buying:

  • Sizing is inconsistent, read more on sizing below.

  • Some details like embroidery, hems and zippers are poor quality.

It can be risky to order clothes online from Asian sellers. You’re usually waiting a long time and you might spend a lot on shipping only to receive really awful clothes you can’t even wear.

Free Returns (in the U.S.)

You can send your items back for a full refund and not pay anything for the return shipping. This makes it way easier to take the plunge and buy an order. I can’t speak for other countries but the return process was very easy for the United States. Just make sure you don’t take the tags off and you can ship it back to them.

You need to be careful with swim suits and sleepwear because these items can’t be returned for a refund.

Explore SHEIN's online store, you just have to spend $50 to get free shipping. Between free shipping and returns it makes it a little easier to try for the first time.

Why Is Shein So Cheap?

Chinese retailers can keep their prices low by: not paying for customer service staff, using lower quality materials, faster manufacturing processes. Shein does all those three to a certain extent. Thankfully they don't use tactics that other Chinese online stores use: hiding their costs in inflated shipping fees and misrepresenting products.

The clothing prices on Shein have actually increased in the last 3 years since I started shopping there. This could be because they now offer free returns, which has a cost to any business. You'll find that the prices aren't crazy cheap like Wish. They're more aligned with Target or Walmart clothes that have been discounted.

Given that the quality is usually a little better than Walmart and competitive to most mall brands, I think the prices are still worth it for the right items.

Shopping on Shein.
Shopping on Shein.

Shopping Tips

Between thrift stores and Shein I spend very little on many of my basics and extra items. Some core elements like bras and trousers I go into department stores to find because the fit is so important. But for items like sweaters, tees, tops and skirts I’m able to get online for super cheap. Then I don’t feel guilty about getting different colors or styles because it doesn’t dent the budget.

Here are tips for you to get the most out of your Shein order:

  • Always order enough for free shipping, otherwise the cost isn’t worth it.
  • Read reviews and look at customer pictures.
  • Pay attention to measurements instead of Small, Medium and Large.

Best Things to Buy:

  • Graphic or text tees
  • Sweaters
  • Wrap dresses
  • Skirts with elastic waistbands

I've had good luck with dresses that use a wrap style and skirts that have an elastic waistband. These are a safer bet because the sizing is really forgiving. If it's a bit too small or too large, it can still look great without paying to get it tailored.

Avoid Clothing with:

  • Zippers
  • Exposed stitching
  • Bodycon dresses

Almost all the items with exposed stitching or embroidery that I've ordered from Shein have started to look really ratty in just a few washes. Usually the stitching around zippers is weak, and the zippers end up separating or not working well.

Sizing

Don’t expect Shein sizing to run very small like a typical Asian retailer. Their sizes run much closer to American sizing. But for items across the website sizing can vary widely.

If you’re a Medium in one blouse, you could still be a Small or Large in another style. Rely on the measurements they have posted. Also look at reviews from other customers that bought your target size. Usually their measurements are posted also and if they included a picture you can see if you like the fit.

One thing I like about Shein’s descriptions is they give you the body measurements of the model and tell you what size she is wearing. That can give you a good idea of how it will fit on you.

Compare to Wish and Romwe

If you don’t like the selection at Shein, there are alternatives like Wish and Romwe. These are both online retailers for Chinese merchandise.

Wish sells clothing, electronics and other items from China. They take longer to ship and are usually lower quality. Read more about whether Wish is legit and some tips on shopping with them.

Romwe is more similar to Shein. They carry similar items, sometimes even the exact same pieces. I haven't tried them personally since they don't offer free returns.

Review your purchases from SHEIN:

See results

What is Your Experience with Shein?

Share your shopping experience in the comments below to give others an idea of what to expect.

© 2019 Katy Medium

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Barustarken 

      12 hours ago

      I've ordered lingerie and some blouses/sweaters from Shein and so far I've been pleased. They're not high quality pieces but for the price, they're really quite nice (the only items I splurge on are shoes, boots and coats because for me it's important to get the best quality in those items and I want them to last for years) I'd rather spend less on clothing and save my money for retirement and more important things so for me Shein is great!

    • profile image

      Zarah 

      12 days ago

      Hi! I made an order to shein but I really scared about how it is going to turn out. I got a sweatshirt. I few shirts and t-shirts. I didn't get any pants.

    • profile image

      Hop Shopper 

      2 weeks ago

      I've purchased a wide variety of merchandise on Shein, and never had any major problems, though certainly, not every item is 5-star. And not everything fits, though I find the measurements under each size to generally be pretty accurate. Shoes seem to be the most unpredictable. Unlike clothing, they don't post inner length or width measurements for shoes, and sizing is highly variable from one style to another. I've had to return more shoes than anything else. Usually because they're too short.

      The quality varies depending on the item. Generally, the price and quality track. So something super cheap is much more likely to -look- cheap as well. I am not keen on buying basics like cropped tees or tanks from Shein because fabric quality is so important, and you can't judge that from a picture. I go more for the statement pieces or items in unusual colors. Have had pretty good luck with their dress pants, because you can check measurements.

      Overall, I'd say about 80% of things I've ordered have worked. I've never had any trouble with refunds, and never had a package lost. Their email system is good about notifying you once the order is shipped, and provides a tracking number. Shoppers should realize that once the package is in your home country, Shein has no control over it. I've noticed that my big orders that qualify for express shipping will be handled by DHL, who is much more efficient than the US Postal Service.

      I don't think Shein has a customer service phone number. Everything I've ever done is through their email system, where you can create a customer service ticket. I expect this is because they don't have a lot of people who speak languages other than Chinese, yet they sell to many countries, so an 800 number would not be practical for them.

    • profile image

      Its Hurricane 

      5 weeks ago

      I swear by Shein! I have some really cute pieces I’ve had forever that I purchased from them. Although I don’t recommend them for tailored clothes (Suit jackets or tailored pants) formal dresses or bodycon/bandage tops & dresses, they’re a great resource for all their casual, easy to wear pieces. I’ve purchased cotton tops; including button ups, pull overs, tee-shirts etc. rompers, shorts, jumpers, casual dresses and more! And as I said, for the most part I’ve had no problems. I actually have a couple of pieces that my friends were amazed I purchased them from Shein! But I also have a hack I’d like to get an additional 6% off when shopping from Shein. I honestly have no affiliation with any of these sites (I wish I did

    • profile image

      Tee 

      6 weeks ago

      She in is great. Read fine print and sizing.

    • profile image

      Silvia 

      6 weeks ago

      I was actually surprised by the quality and how fast my order came in. The items look just like the picture. My order came in within a week. Amazing! Will definitely order again.

    • profile image

      Erin 

      6 weeks ago

      I ordered a shirt, waited a week to receive it. Received it just to see a word misspelled. The word was WILL. Sent it back, received another one after waiting another week just for the same word to be misspelled!!!

    • profile image

      Candice 

      7 weeks ago

      I've ordered from Shein and love the pieces I've gotten. I only have 1 piece that was a little weird material wise but overall great stuff.

    • profile image

      Catlady 58 

      7 weeks ago

      I have loved everything I have purchased from Shein.I read reviews first and though normally a british size 12-I tend to go for 2xxl when buying from Shein.Bought a gorgeous long leopard print coat from the site recently and absolutely love it!!!

    • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

      Katy Medium 

      7 weeks ago from Denver, CO

      Oh no! That sounds so disappointing. Were you able to make a return?

    • profile image

      meme 

      7 weeks ago

      My shein purchase was absolutely terrible. The whole delivery didn't arrive at the same time and then once i got my order everything looked completely different from what the description showed. I was supposed to get a long flowy sweater and instead i got a thick sweater that is shaped like a square. Not flattering at all and i'm never ordering from there again.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)