Is Shein Legit? A  Review: The Good and the Bad
Have you ever wondered if Shein is legit? Looking for Shein reviews? Today I’m talking about my seven years of experience shopping for Shein clothing and givings you all the tips on how to get things that are awesome. This post is not sponsored, but it may contain affiliate links. Don’t forget to SNAG 5 SECRETS FOR FINDING AMAZING THINGS ON SHEIN by dropping your email below.
5 secrets for finding AMAZING things on Shein
7 Years of Shein reviews
I have been ordering things off of Shein.com for over 7 years now. This China-based website has been taking the fashion world by storm and continues to grow in popularity. Overall, the items on the site are hit or miss. But, over the years, there are a few tips I’ve found that have made my last two years of purchases almost always great.
There was the first oversized knit cardigan I ordered (and styled in this post) that was incredible quality, especially given the price, and is still going strong in my closet. And then there was this dress, which looked nothing like the pictures and just didn’t fit well at all.
And then there’s the top floral top I’m wearing in today’s post. I actually borrowed from my sister’s closet and was so surprised to find out she’d ordered it off of Shein! It also comes in a cute powder blue was only $12 right and is something I’d expect to pick up at Loft or maybe J.Crew Factory.
History of Shein
Shein (formerly SheInside) was founded in October 2008 in Nanjung, China, with the belief that everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion. Shein’s mission is to bring customers on-trend styles at affordable price points.
In 2012 Chris Xu, an American-born graduate of Washington University, gave up his wedding dress business to buy the domain Sheinside.com. He rebranded to Shein in 2015 with his eye on overseas markets. Today, the fast-fashion brand has websites for customers based in the United States, Spain, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the Middle East, with numerous globally positioned warehouses. If you’re shopping in the US you’ll see different product images and have a different user experience than a customer shopping in Japan.
If you’re interested in finance, you might like to know that in 2020 Shein completed a round of Series E financing which gave Shein a valuation over $15 billion. Revenues are not disclosed but locally estimated to be over $10 billion annually. The U.S. is now Shein’s largest market and it was the most talked about brand on Tik Tok in 2020.
Is Shein Legit?
I know, a darling blouse for $12 when an almost identical one sells at J.Crew for $70 seems too good to be true. It is and it isn’t.
When it comes to Shein, you are paying for low quality, fast fashion. This isn’t always a bad thing.
Shein takes popular, trendy, higher-end items and makes a lower quality version of them for a much lower price point.
I love Shein for pieces that don’t have to be workhorses in my closet (cute summer blouses I may or may not want to wear again next summer, midi skirts I only wear every once in awhile to church, etc). For a dress you want to wear twice a week, all summer, for the next four years, ordering from Shein isn’t going to be your best bet. But for a top to wear to brunch with your girlfriends? It could be perfect.
Is Shein Safe?
Yes, Shein is a reputable Chinese fast fashion manufacturer that ships to over 220 countries around the world. It did have an information security breach back in 2018 but Shein does not sell your information. I have been ordering from Shein for 7+ years with no problems.
When I originally started ordering from Shein years ago, things took almost a month to arrive because each order shipped directly from China. Now, they have a distribution plant here in the United States so many things ship MUCH faster.
Shein has a main warehouse in China and Hong Kong and then many fulfillment centers around the world. In the US, the main fulfillment center is LA.
How long does Shein take to ship?
Once you place your order there are usually 2-4 days of processing time before your order is ready to ship.
How long does Shein take to deliver?
If you are using standard shipping, most things take about 10 days to arrive in the US. I’ve had some items arrive in as little as 5 days (probably something that was in-stock in the US fulfillment center). You can use Shein’s shipping estimator to see how long it will take. They also offer tracking so you can see where your package is. The tracking info doesn’t update until the order has been processed and left the Chinese warehouse.
On average, things arrive on my doorstep within a week or two.
If you’re ordering from Shein for an important event, definitely give yourself plenty of time for the item to arrive.
They do now offer free shipping on orders over $49 and free returns. Sometimes I see them running promotions for free shipping with no minimums as well.
Where does Shein ship from?
Shein ships from its main Chinese warehouse or one of its many fulfillment centers positioned globally. This is why things can take up to two weeks to arrive or be on your doorstep within 5 days.
Shein Sizing Guide
Shein sizing has gotten more consistent over the years. When I first started ordering from Shein I found their items tended to run small and short compared to standard US sizing. Now, though, you are usually safe ordering your standard US size.
When it comes to sizing, the best thing you can do is read the reviews and pay attention to the specific measurements. A lot of the clothing pieces have waist, bust, and length measurements and I recommend taking your own measurements before ordering.
While it’s getting better, the sizing isn’t consistent across items. For example, if you were a small in one blouse, you aren’t necessarily a small in another blouse. This is where it is important to pay attention to the sizing guides and read the reviews.
Tips for Shopping on Shein
Okay, so Shein is a legit site. But how can you find really great items? With tens of thousands of items to choose from across so many categories, how do you find something you’ll love?
1. Read the Shein Reviews:
The BEST thing you can do to improve your experience with Shein is to read the reviews of items before you purchase. It is helpful not only to see if it has positive reviews, but to check the review’s comments about sizing, quality, material, and color.
You can find out if something is sheer, running small, or oversized from the reviews. It is also helpful to look at the images uploaded and compare those to the product pictures. Sometimes colors are a little off from product images to the customer reviews are a must-check.
I’d caution against ordering something without a review – you can always try it but you won’t be sure what you’re getting until it arrives.
2. Go for trendy clothing pieces (not classics)
Shein is a great place to dip your toe into trends. Thinking about peplum but not wanting to spend $80 for a top at Nordstrom? Just grab a top or two on Shein. Love the pom pom details on everything right now but know you probably won’t want to be wearing it next summer? Grab something from Shein.
The pieces are not designed to hold up to rough laundering so if you’re looking for the white tee you’re going to wear with all your jeans this summer and then under cardigans all winter, invest in something of higher quality (like this amazing one I LOVE from Able).
That said, there is a HUGE selection of fun, on-trend pieces to choose from in one place at Shein for a fraction of the price you’d find them somewhere else.
3. Stick with the Shein sizing measurements
Even if you’re usually an XS and you think the size guide must be wrong because on this top it’s telling you to order a L, believe the sizing guide. And remember, the sizes aren’t consistent across the site so keep your measuring tape handy and check the measurements for each item you add to your cart. It’s also helpful to check Shein’s reviews from customers about sizing.
4. Be ready to steam + hang dry:
Out of the package pieces are quite wrinkled and unimpressive but they clean up well. I typically hang dry delicate clothing and Shein pieces are no exception. Be sure to have a steamer on hand (this is my favorite one from Amazon) to freshen up your pieces.
I have favorite pieces from Shein that I have worn regularly for years at this point. If you aren’t super hard on your clothes and take care of them, these pieces can last you a long time (I finally replaced a trench coat I got from Shein after almost a decade!).
5 + 6: Grab the two best bonus tips :
Drop your email below and I’ll send you my two best bonus tips (and I link the $30 sweater set the CEO of J.Jill complimented me on at a store opening back in Boston thinking it was cashmere).
Best things to buy from Shein
- Coats (especially fun colors/ patterns that don’t have to be your warmest piece)
- Anything Trendy
- Anything where fit is less important (chunky sweaters, cardigans, and loose blouses have always been a big win for me!)
- Swimsuits (check out the full Shein swim review here)
- Maternity: Shein recently launched an extensive maternity line and I found a few gems while I was pregnant
Here are reviews of a few pieces I’ve bought recently from Shein. You can find more of my Shein reviews and picks here. Each week I post a new mini Shein review. If you have a specific piece you’d like me to review, you can always submit it at the bottom of this page.
Mini Shein Dress Review:
I bought this leopard dress for $20 and have worn and washed it over a dozen times. It dresses up well with heels and down with sneakers and a denim jacket.
It was very wrinkled right out of the box but it steamed very easily.
The dress is not lined but not see through. It comes in two colors and one of my most-worn Shein purchases.
Mini Shein Kids Review:
I have a full Shein Kids review here but I love Shein for cute trendy pieces my kids will grow out of in a few months. This blouse was under $10 and perfect for back to school pictures. There was a loose string I cut off when it arrived and other than that, it has been cute and comfortable for my 5 year old. The fabric is thin and almost silky with smocking detail at the top. The long sleeves are gathered at the wrist.
Mini Shein Sweater Review:
I ordered this striped pullover from Shein in 2021 and have worn in on repeat for the last few weeks. It is a knock off of this more expensive Sezane sweater (a French brand I own pieces from and love). It has a boxier fit, thick knit, and cute chunky buttons (I don’t always love Shein’s hardware but these buttons are great). It isn’t scratchy but isn’t crazy soft. It looks like something I’d buy at Madewell for 5 times the price. It comes in three colors and is under $20.
Mini Shein Shoes Review:
You can read my comprehensive Shein Shoe review here but shoes have been the worst thing I’ve ordered from Shein. I have tried a few different pairs over the years and they are consistently low quality, uncomfortable, and cheap looking.
This pair was on the better side and looked nice (which still being uncomfortable). I recommend avoiding Shein shoes. If you do order them, I have found they run true to size and a little narrow.
Mini Shein Blouse Review:
Shein is a great place to find cute, trendy blouses and deep discounts. I love this smocked blouse that was under $20. It is thin but not at all see through. It is comfortable, runs true to size (I ordered my regular size but fit isn’t super important with this boxy top so you could go up or down and it would still work).
Mini Shein Swim Review:
I bought 7-10 one pieces from Shein last summer and this zip one piece was one of my favorites. It looks just like the pictures. The material is comfortable and stretchy. I love the zipper detail. The back has medium coverage and flattering high leg cuts. This one comes in a lot of colors and I’m super impressed with the quality for less than $15!
Why is Shein so cheap?
This fast fashion brand, headquartered in Hong Kong, creates low quality clothing very low prices. These pieces are not likely to last for years of frequent wear.
Shein also doesn’t have permanent physical locations so they keep costs down by focusing mainly on the digital space.
Does Shein use child labor?
Recent allegations against Shein have claimed that the brand uses child labor in production. I spoke with a research team investigating Shein for a documentary in 2021 who reported they’ve found no such practices.
These concerns come up because of Shein’s severe lack of transparency. Little is known about Shein’s production chain.
Shein does report on their “Social Responsibility” page on their website that “We strictly abide by child labor laws in each of the countries that we operate in. Neither we nor any of our partners are allowed to hire underage children. Any partners or vendors found to have violated these laws are terminated immediately and reported to the authorities.”
One concern here is that child labor laws vary significantly from country to country.
How do you pronounce Shein?
Shein is pronounced “She – inn.” It is two syllables and rhymes with grin.
Originally Shein launched as “Sheinside” and was later shortened to simply “Shein.” A lot of people pronounce it “shine” or “sheen” but the correct pronunciation is “she-in.”
How do you find Shein coupon codes?
Shein is always running lots of different coupon codes. You can find codes on the homepage of their website. Different college reps (who earn credit for sales) will also have unique coupon codes that they share on social media.
Is Shein Good Quality?
Shein can be good quality for the price but they are generally not high quality pieces. Most of what I’ve ordered is similar in quality to what you’d get at stores like Forever21. Some pieces are closer to Target or Old Navy quality.
Is Shein a scam?
Shein is a reputable online retailer. If you’re shopping from the US they have a great return policy (free return shipping on the first return package from your order within 30 days). Shein is one of the fastest growing online retailers (making the front page of the Wall Street Journal in summer 2021).
Where is Shein located?
Shein is headquartered in Nanjing but they have moved most of their shipping to Hong Kong.
Does Shein have any physical stores?
Shein has been operating pop up shops around the world (notably in LA, New York, and Miami). These are not permanent stores. To get a full view of what Shein has to offer, you have to visit their website. They add an average of 2000 new pieces to their website EVERY DAY.
You Might also like these posts:
- 7 best things to buy on Shein FLASH SALE TODAY
- 3 dresses to take you from summer to fall from Shein
- Shein swim review
- 10 most worn pieces in my closet last month
- Is Temu Legit? A review after spending $100
here are a few favorites that have great reviews:
This is my first order and I do not want to waste my money on inferior products; especially when they do not offer free shipping unless syou purchse $199 worth of merchandise. I know there are no guarantees on anythin but at least be honest about the merchandise you are marketing.
when trying to post this comment, your error message keeps saying, I”ve already said that; thank you for that. I will not be ordering from you.
Oh interesting – where are you located? I usually see free shipping for orders over $29 or $39 here in the US (with free shipping with no minimum on Sundays).
how is it great quality if they fell apart? They should last more than two years, but unless you soak swimsuits in bleach, they should never fall apart.
I hate shein
The most horable experience ever
I had bought cloths in 2019 Dec out of 5 I kept 2 and 3 were returned
I wish I had known returns will be so painfull
I am still waiting for the refund… yes even after 2 yrs there is no sign of help and my money is still stuck.
Customer service team first promised a refund in the PayPal account but that never happened… I escalated and asked again ever since then they have been telling to wait and have patience
2 yrs is a long time…
I have 2 charges on my credit card, $26.46 and $20.04, should be the $26.46, what is going on with the other charge?
Thank you for this review. Your site gives so much information. I am checking out Shein now and your site answered many questions that I had. Thanks again.
thank you. it saved me heart ache.
Got an email from Shein about 2 weeks after I sent in my order. It claimed that my order had been delivered. It had not. I’m afraid I may have been swindled. Where can I go from here to either get my order delivered or get my money back?
if you paid by credit card call the credit card company. they WILL refund you the money, open up an investigation. then if enough people complain they will barr them from their business. however they will probably open up under another name. I can tell from the way they advertise when it is a scam. remember if it’s too good to be true it usually is.
This company steals artists works (paintings) and then sells without reference or $$$. Unethical!
Really great guide! Love these legit shopping tips. Thanks and keep sharing.
I ordered to lovely dresses which came in a couple of weeks. They are too small in the bust. I have tried over, and over, and over again to fill out the return spaces on their web site. While they have my email address and continue to send me ads, they refuse to recognize my email so that I can return the items. Is there any way I can get my email into their system and have it go all the way through to provide the first time buyers free return shipping. Any help would be appreciated.
Hi. I’m glad you gave so much good information about this company. Customer service is another history. The phone No. they give (Does not work) there is not Live Chat, so you have to way to communicate much about certain issues, such as exchanging for different size, without they charging more (ever for an smaller size) if you have any useful information I would love to hear it.
I have received a delivery from Shein i’m happy with the items but they are all XXXL size and I asked for a medium. I can’t find the address to return for smaller size
I came across your article on Jan.14, 2023 while researching Shein before placing an order. After reading your article I felt safe placing an order for 43 items from the Shein website. I placed the order on January 14th and my package arrived on January 19th, with all 43 items. I’m now hooked and placed a 2nd order today. Thank you!
I almost ordered from Shein today. I’m glad that just before I placed the order, I researched reviews. After reading pages and pages of similar complaints, I’m guessing that this blog is owned and run by Shein. There’s no way thousands of people are lying or just had an isolated unhappy experience with them. I wouldn’t be surprised if the woman in these photos also shows up on Shein’s website, too.
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. This blog is owned and run by me, Elisabeth. I ordered from Shein two weeks ago for the first time in about a year. Before placing an order I read the specific product reviews and tend to stick with things that have less hardware and fit isn’t super important. Of the 10 or so items I ordered recently two were home runs, two will get sent back, and the other 6 were what i would expect from shopping at Target (but better styles for what I was looking for). There are certainly people who have negative experiences shopping on Shein (and I get their messages on here from time to time) but in my 10 years of ordering I have always received my product and have had no issues with returns. My biggest issue is the occasional problem with fit, sizing, or quality.
Good for you as for me I haven’t received anything from Shein and I ordered about two months ago. I can’t even get in touch with them. I had two separate orders and I haven’t received anything. Once I get my orders or refund I will never shop with them again.
I would never recommend them to anyone because they have really embarrassed me. One of my orders was a birthday gift. Unsatisfied customer
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To maximize your leftover money, you need to know where to shop.
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Check it out its amazing collection
My wife ordered many outfits totally over $60 from Shein the tracking number is a China post tracking number. It says it was delivered but it has not arrived. My wife has left numerous emails with only getting a automated response. Is there anything else that can be done to reach them any customer service phone number. Any help would be appreciated
I’m so FRUSTRATED I tried paying for my selection and your details thing wouldn’t register my card expiration date and I was furious. I use this card with other online stores and NO PROBLEM
Express shipping is also offered for those in a rush and is upgraded for free if you spend something like $149.
I have an order number for blouses I ordered I was told there is no such item number SHEINUS303675 I ordered this in Mach
Your order number and the item number will be different. If you log into your Shein account and click on “my orders,” can you see where your order is?
How do I check where my package is at
For me I can check by logging into my Shein account, clicking “my orders” and then clicking “track” on the specific order I’m wondering about. Hope that helps!