This post was not sponsored by SheIn nor was I compensated for writing this article. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
I want to make things clear before you start reading this post. Shein, formerly SheInside, did not sponsor this post and I was not compensated by anyone (cash or gift) for writing this article. I spent my own money shopping at Shein.
I decided to make this disclaimer clear at the beginning of this post because I’ve seen a few Shein reviews written by people who were compensated by or partnered with Shein. This is not to say that their reviews are biased. But want to clear up any conflict of interest.
As someone who has shopped at Shein over the years, I can’t believe I finally sat down to write this post. I know many of my readers are fashionistas on a very tight budget. And websites like Shein, Romwe, Oasap, and Choies offer stunning pieces that are irresistible but sound too good to be true.
Yup, I have read the nightmarish stories and even seen Shein’s BBB reviews. The ratings are far from encouraging but yet you see these clothes on every blogger and budget fashionista.
I’m sure you’re wondering:
Is Shein a scam? Is Shein trustworthy? How is the quality of SheIn clothes? Has anyone ever shopped from Shein (SheInside)? What is SheIn return policy?
Well, you came to the right place.
This post is my honest opinion, experience, and photos to your question as a consumer, like you. I discovered Shein while I was in college, a few years ago. Over the years, I’ve spent my dime shopping at stores like Shein. Ready? Let’s get started!
IS SHEIN LEGIT?
So, is Shein legit? The short answer to your question is YES. But some of their practices can come off as unconventional (and suspicious). For example, you have to pay out of pocket for the international return (read Shein return policy).
However, US customers get a free return on their first order within 40 days of placing an order (read it here). The free return policy does not account for how long it takes for your order to arrive at your doorstep, which can be weeks!
Unlike a lot of U.S stores where I am accustomed to shopping at, you get free shipping and a lot of times free returns on your order.
WHERE DOES SHEIN SHIP FROM?
Shein is based in China. My last order shipped from Hong Kong. I received free Express Shipping on my purchase for spending over $100. I also applied a Shein coupon code and $0.99 in points which got my order down to $99. My package arrived in less than one week.
If you’re in a hurry to get your package on time, I recommend you upgrade to Express Shipping ($12.90 to the US). Alternatively, buy more than $100 worth of items to get free Express Shipping.
WHAT IS SHEIN RETURN POLICY?
So you received your order from Shein and decided that you’re not in love with the clothes. What are your options for returning the items and getting your money back?
Well, it’ll surprise you to know that unless you paid shipping insurance, you’re responsible for the return cost. I’ve never paid for shipping insurance. I donate or give out any Shein clothes I’m not in love with.
I figured that since the clothes are already so inexpensive, I’m better off donating the products than jumping through hoops to get a refund. It’s just not worth my time. Here’s a link to Shein’s return policy.
Many customers have complained bitterly about never getting a refund even after covering the cost of sending the package back. You can read the reviews here.
So you’ve read the reviews about Shein, but you can’t resist ordering that item you’ve had your eyes on. Here are a few shopping tips to keep in mind while shopping on Shein.com.
TIPS ON BUYING SHEIN CLOTHING
- Only get pieces with reviews, so you have a good idea of what other customers think about it. Shein clothing always look perfect on the models (they have a business to run!). You can make a better decision when you see the same piece on an actual customer.
- Always double-check Shein sizing measurement of each item. Just because an article is listed in standard XS-XL does not mean you should get your regular size. Shein clothing typically runs small so be aware of your measurement so you can size up (or down) as needed.
- Yout first time, second time or tenth time shopping at Shein? Look for a Shein coupon code to reduce the cost of your order. I was able to save a 10% off my $100+ order with code AFE10. Shein routinely offers significant discounts, which you can find listed on their website. You can try this Shein coupon code to save $$: $10 off any order of $80+ –VADAY10.
- Shein is an excellent destination if you’re looking to fill in your closet with newer and affordable styles (like faux suede, ruffle sleeves, peplum dresses, and off-shoulder tops). Shopping on this website is also a great way to explore new designs that you’re considering splurging on. As an example, check out this stunning $495 Self Portrait lace dress and its $29 Shein alternative!
- I wouldn’t recommend Shein for wardrobe staples or classic pieces you intend to wear for years to come. Of course, there are a few exceptions. But generally speaking, Shein is a one-stop shop for fast fashion.
- As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Do not expect high-quality fabric from Shein. However, I have found a few keepers.
A REVIEW OF THE SHEIN DRESSES I RECENTLY BOUGHT
I placed my order on June 16th, and it arrived on June 21. You get FREE and fast Express shipping if your Shein order is $100 or more.
Don’t get too excited though. I live in Alaska, and free Express Shipping was not available for my location. Based on my previous experience shopping and shipping my order to Alaska, I would have received my package via standard shipping anywhere between 2-4 weeks.
So I chose to ship to family in the lower 48. I also did not pay shipping insurance ($2.99).
Of note, although Shein accepts major credit cards and PayPal. I paid with PayPal as I always do for stores located outside the US. PayPal has a strict policy and tends to favor customers in cases of dispute.
You’ll notice from my order above that the sizes of clothes I ordered range from XS to M. This is because Shein clothing size is, in my opinion, all over the board. I looked at the measurement (in inches) of each item before deciding on which size to order.
For reference, I wear an XS or S (32”, 26”, 36”). It is a good idea to have a general idea of your measurement to facilitate your shopping decision.
I ordered this asymmetrical dress because it looked gorgeous. With a 4.5 star rating from over 20 people, I figured the odds were in my favor. I don’t attend a lot of special events, but I thought this would be a beautiful piece to have on hand and to review for you.
Polka dot is a classic that never goes out of style. Similarly, the asymmetrical cut combined with layers of ruffles add a modern touch to the outfit. I order this Shein dress in size XS for a whopping $20 🙂 Exact XS measurements in inches: Bust: 31.9″, Waist: 27.2″, Hips: 35.4″, Length: 47.2″.
My only gripe with this Shein dress was how high the slit was. From the way the gown wraps around the model, you would think there would be a little more fabric to cover your skin. Nope! I ended up using a safety pin to shorten the slit to avoid accidentally flashing strangers.
As expected, the fabric is a thin polyester material that works great in the summer heat. With all the layers and shoulder action, you’ll need patience to dorn on this dress.
However, I don’t expect to have any problems with ironing the dress. Or maybe I’ll steam it since the fabric is lightweight. I had the toughest time deciding on which one of the two colors to buy.
All 60+ reviews on this 4.5+ star dress were right on the money. The fabric belt also allows you to cinch your waist for a more defined figure.
3. Lace Hollow Out Cami Dress $29
The cami dress was a perfect fit, and the length was just right. As a personal preference, I try to spend no more than $20 – $25 on Shein clothing. But I made a little exception for this dress. It worked out well in this instance because I ended up with a designer look-alike for less.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of all four dresses: two options from Shein and two from Nordstrom.
Click on image to shop
This tie-front dress is not a style that I would typically wear. But I decided to step outside my comfort zone and try something new. This is an example of how the affordable pieces on Shein make it easy to rock stylish and trendy clothes.
I will update this post with photos of me wearing this tie front dress once I have them. It is lightweight, breathable and great for summer. And can be worn in two different ways!
Click on image to shop
Can’t say no to a wardrobe must-have: a little black dress (LBD). I needed to refresh my closet with a new LBD. Plus I needed an extra item to get my order up to the $100 mark for free express shipping.
Since I’ve overworn the two black dresses in my closet, I decided to complete my shopping with a Shein dress. It’s no surprise that SheIn carries a spectacular selection of dresses. Page after page all I saw were dresses I needed in my closet.
I contemplated getting this, this or this. The pleats on the side and pearl bead are the perfect touch of elegance. For only $20, this was worth the money spent. I also love the quality of the fabric as it has some weight and substance to the quality.
DO I RECOMMEND SHOPPING AT SHEIN?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you would like to have the option of returning pieces you’re not in love with, it might be worth it to invest the $2.99 in insurance.
All five pieces in my order worked out just fine. But the same was not the case for previous Shein orders. I usually have one or two pieces that end up going to the donation pile.
Follow the shopping tips above to have a better chance of loving everything you order from Shein.
Final thoughts: Shein is a great one-stop shop for trendy and affordable fashion that might otherwise break the bank.
As with most things in life, there is a risk associated with anything we do. If you’re looking for on-trend, affordable clothes and staking your bets, then definitely give Shein a try.
If you’re looking for long-lasting, staple pieces that you will wear for seasons and years to come, you’re better off shopping at reliable retailers like Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Loft, Banana Republic and Talbots.
If you decide to purchase after clicking on any of my links, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps keep this blog running. Thank you!
Shein dresses I ordered:
Foldover Knot Asymmetric Shoulder Polka Dot Dress $20
V Cut Geo Print Slit Side Curved Hem Dress $18
Lace Hollow Out Cami Dress $29
Knot Front Lantern Sleeve Shirt Dress $23
Asymmetrical Hem Faux Pearl Detail Dress $20
Photos by SNH Photos
More Top-Rated Shein Clothing
Your turn, have you shopped at Shein? Share your experience. Also, which stores would you like me to review next? Drop your comments below.