Have you been searching “Shein Reviews 2021”? You’re not alone! Earlier this month, SHEIN topped Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app for Android/IOS in the U.S. That’s according to data from app tracking firms App Annie and SensorTower. Shein is valued at $15 billion, yet you really have to dig to find information on this company (that’s part of the strategy). In fact, many in the 30+ crowd have never heard of it.
How then is SHEIN challenging a behemoth like Amazon?
Dress ($23) | Dress (Same Print Different Style)
First, let’s get the big question out of the way.
Yes, this is a real company… and a big one. It is not some phishing scam looking to steal your credit card information. The items you order will match the photos on the website. I say this from experience, as I’ve placed many Shein orders. I’ve tried everything from swimwear to sweaters (some better than others). All of the clothing I’m wearing in these photos is from Shein. I’ve found the more familiar you get with this retailer, the more you understand how to shop it, and begin to increase your odds of loving what you buy.
Pro tip: If you want to try Shein with the safety net of free returns/lightning fast shipping, it now has a store on Amazon with hundreds of options.
Dress ($23) | Dress (Same Print Different Style)
I’ve written about SHEIN before, back in the early days of my blog. At the time, I could find precious little information about the company. So, I simply shared my personal shopping experience. There is a lot more info available now. Forbes wrote about SHEIN in February and several online writers have explored its rapid success in detail (this one is super comprehensive).
In this post, I’ll summarize the new details I’ve learned about this ultra fast-fashion company + the pros/cons of buying from SHEIN. I’ll also touch on why I’ve continued to shop the brand and partner with them on Instagram.
Note: SHEIN is not sponsoring the blog post, I am writing this solely to be a resource and to answer questions I’ve personally had about the brand. I’m hoping this information helps you formulate your own opinions and assists you as you make your shopping decisions.
Shein describes itself as an international B2C fast-fashion e-commerce platform. Although it heavily downplays its roots (there is no mention of China on its website), Shein is a Chinese company headquartered in Nanjing. It services more than 220 countries and has warehouses around the world, including in Los Angeles.
According to internet analyst Matthew Brennan, Shein controls its entire production chain, utilizes competitors websites, Google Trend Finder, and in-app user behavior to forecast demand… then recruits its own designers to create a robust/responsive product catalog. This allows the brand to pump out thousands of new products daily, all tailored to the tastes of the various regions it serves.
Interestingly, Shein does not sell in China. It is export only, so most Chinese consumers have never heard of it. That’s one of the reasons for its low media profile within China. Instead, Shein targets the U.S. market, Europe, South America, and the Middle East. Little is known about its CEO, American-born Chris Xu. He doesn’t give interviews, nor does Shein itself.
If you’re here looking for 2021 Shein reviews, you’re probably here for details on the shopping experience! So, let’s break down those pros and cons…
Paisley Dress ($14) – I wear this all the time!
First, let’s be realistic… When shopping Shein, you need to consider what you’re spending. We can’t possibly expect haute couture at an under $25 price point. If you’re looking for high quality, durable garments you’ll wear for decades… Shein isn’t for you. However, it does have its uses. And from my perspective, is continually improving!
Although Shein’s website is broad and a touch overwhelming, it has an uncanny ability to offer suggestions that match what I’m looking for. Sometimes I feel like it’s reading my mind! I’ve had the most luck with dresses, skirts, and blouses/blazers.
While Shein sizing has been getting more consistent over the years, I still don’t recommend purchasing pants or any super slim cut styles. In general, Shein runs smaller and shorter than U.S. retailers. As a petite, that’s a positive for me! However, taller ladies should pay close attention to the lengths on sizing guides so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises.
It has super fun/super cheap swimwear. If you want something daring, this is a great place to test new swim styles (below are a few styles catching my eye). On the flip side, Shein isn’t the place I’d turn for wardrobe staples or classic pieces. Shein fabrics can be sheer and stiff. I’ve had some pieces that feel amazingly high quality, while others seemed scratchy and rough. This is a tough thing to gauge based on product and customer photos alone.
That’s where reviews come in. Read… them… carefully!
Additionally, keep in mind that quality increases along with the price point on Shein. For example, the beautiful bridesmaid/event dress pictured above is $43. That’s expensive for Shein. Consequently, the dress was remarkable in quality. It has padded cups, a secondary lining, and the fabric moves beautifully.
Shein has also launched a premium collection, MOTF. MOTF offers better construction/higher quality fabrics and unique designer silhouettes. When shopping Shein, I typically stick to the $15-40 price range. Unless it’s swimwear, I don’t recommend buying anything under $10 from Shein. Under $10 finds are pretty lackluster in quality. Shein also has a growing line up of plus size styles and children’s clothing.
Puffed Sleeve Blouse (on sale for $11.49)
Shipping has gotten a lot faster since I first began ordering from Shein. I live in Lafayette, Ind. and typically receive my Shein orders within 1-2 weeks.
I haven’t ever returned anything from Shein, so I can’t personally speak to the return process. Because of the super low price point, if something doesn’t work out, I usually donate it. Here is what Shein’s website says about returns:
You must send back and postmark your return packages within 45 days after the purchase date. No returns made after 45 days from the purchase date will be accepted.
Shipping is free on your 1st return for any order. You must use the shipping label they provide.
If you are returning something beyond that 1st free return order, then $7.99 in shipping will be deducted from your refund. You also have to option to use your own shipping method and cost to get your return back to Shein.
Would love to hear your perspective on the experience! Drop me a note in the comments and please pass along any questions you may have.
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| 21st Jul 21
I purchased two blouses, very inexpensive and like both of them however ordered large thinking they would run small, no extremely large, I want to return and get smalls but have not been to navigate how to return and get shipping label. I have tried for a half hour. I need help
laveremis | 22nd Jul 21
Hi there! You might be having issues if you aren’t logged into your SHEIN account. Once you are in, you should be able to navigate to the “my orders” section. This page has further directions – scroll down to the “how to return” area. https://m.shein.com/us/Return-Policy-a-281.html?ici=CCCSN%3DPolicyBanner_ON%3DPolicyBanner_OI%3D23_CN%3Dpolicy_TI%3D50001_aod%3D0_PS%3D1-1_ABT%3DSMAod_default_210836_1_3_3&scici=PolicyBanner~~ON_PolicyBanner,CN_policy,HZ_0,HI_0~~1_1~~url_https%3A%2F%2Fm.shein.com%2Fus%2FReturn-Policy-a-281.html~~SMAod_default_210836_1_3_3~~
PAT MYRIE | 10th Aug 21
I bought 2 maxi dashiki dresses. Ordered from UK arrived very quick. The material is fantastic, bought Large as I am UK 14 and they fit perfectly. They are long though. So if you are 5ft 4 and shorter, you will need high heels with the dresses, even though the length of the dress may be shorter if you are buying a smaller dress size, if that makes sense!
laveremis | 11th Aug 21
Awesome! So glad you love them! Yes, I’ve noticed SHEIN maxi and midi dresses tend to be long… Which is funny because its mini styles are really short!
Diamond | 11th Aug 21
I don’t know which shein you are shopping from but items are never like what you see on their website. Fabric description is misleading bordering on lies. Sizes are never right even if you follow their size chart. Please read trustpilot reviews on shein and comeback and give an honest review. As for refund they really dont want to give a refund & keeping the item is cheaper than returning it.
laveremis | 11th Aug 21
Hi Diamond, so sorry you have had a poor experience. I can only speak to my own experience, which has been good. As indicated in my post, sometimes the lower priced items ($10 and under) are disappointing. I think I’ve been pleased because I stick to the mid-higher priced items. Are the fabrics amazing? No. But I didn’t expect that for a $15 dress. They have all matched the photos (at least in my experience) and I’ve ordered quite a bit. It’s much like a Forever21 – trendy but cheap quality. If you know that going in, usually you won’t be disappointed. Sizing has always worked for me, but I do religiously read customer reviews and the sizing chart before ordering. I never take it at face value. Again sorry you were bummed out by your SHEIN experience. If you are looking for unique clothing but higher quality fabrics from an online retailer, you may want to explore Chicwish. Their pieces are more expensive, but really well made. It’s my current favorite.
Sirena Small | 23rd Aug 21
The clothes look cute online. In person cheap,run small, and it took over 2 weeks to get them. I want to return them
I click on return and go through the steps,no label. I don’t want a credit. I’m not going to order nothing else. For not a good experience! You cannot have not bust,butt,no shape,not fat.
laveremis | 22nd Sep 21
That’s such a bummer Sirena! Sorry to hear that. Personally, I’ve had things run both large and small when ordering from SHEIN. At this price point, sometimes things are hit or miss, though I’ve been genuinely pleased. I would agree with you – overall SHEIN pieces run shorter and smaller than what you’d get in a department store or traditional retailer. And perhaps that’s partly why I enjoy them… I’m about as flat-chested as they come, lol. If you are looking for more dependable sizing and better quality, I would highly recommend you explore Chicwish. It’s my favorite place to shop online. The price point is higher, but the quality is impeccable. It also has VERY detailed and accurate sizing guides.
Teresa | 20th Sep 21
I only use my laptop to shop on SHEIN , as i do not have a suitable phone for the app. For 4 days i can not get into my basket , or track my orders , i might as well be contacting POSTMAN PAT …..All im getting is “tickets” …NO HELP ….I am absolutely disgusted ….and no explanation what so ever . I can go into my basket on their International site ….but no IRELAND for my address ….can anyone please help ..
laveremis | 22nd Sep 21
Hi Teresa, sorry to hear you are having trouble! I found a Facebook page created by SHEIN’s Irish customers – they share reviews, opinions, pictures there. Since I am not knowledgeable about shopping SHEIN from the non-U.S. website, you may get better advice from this group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2576224105973212/ In particular, this thread appears to have the information you are seeking: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2576224105973212/permalink/2781840618744892/ If it doesn’t answer all of your questions, I bet an admin on this page would have some solid advice.
Ann Roberts | 25th Oct 21
I did everything to return two dresses at over £50 each with no luck !!…so i would say returns are not easy as you cant find an address anywhere on Shein site..
Patricia | 26th Oct 21
Well, I purchased two tops from Shein……they arrived today (early), so with an abundance of caution I opened the package….they are FABULOUS!!!!!! Extrenely well made and the seams were ” finished” and rhe fabrics are wonderful. I am completely happy with my purchase and will definately purchase again.
Mary Jo Merfeld | 22nd Dec 21
I am extremely upset- I listened to all the recommendations to shop early & order early if you want items to arrive in time for Christmas. I ordered in October & received the items fairly soon thereafter. The problems is my Son got all the gifts for Christmas & when he tried them on, they were too small! Guess what, its beyond the 45 day return window so I can’t get a refund! Disgusted! They should make an exception for Covid year & shipping nightmares. WHO CAN I Call or EMAIL to discuss
laveremis | 6th Jan 22
Ugh, that is so disappointing. I am sorry this happened to you. Yes, I agree with you – the should make an exception. This year has been so out of wack with supply chain issues. Customers have really suffered. Sadly, as I reference in the post, the company is very secretive. Aside from this customer support page: https://us.shein.com/contact-us.html I have been unable to find any direct name/contact info you could reach out to.
Jacky Manyamala | 10th Feb 22
My daughter ordered clothes online from shein last year in November ,since then she has not received her goods. Please help
Susan Forsthuber | 3rd Mar 22
Never again. Ordered bathig suits. 2 were fine 2 were not. Wanted to return for a refund. HA! That’s a joke.I followed everything they wanted and still nothing. Not only that but they have now blocked me from any communication.
laveremis | 4th Mar 22
What a bummer! I’ve heard that swimwear is very hit or miss. I’ve had some luck (I have a great orange two-piece), but I’ve also heard some horror stories from people. So sorry you ended up in that camp!
skineafreda | 17th Mar 22
This looks so beautiful, will surely try this.
DazzDeals | 16th Jun 22
What are peoples experiences with SHEIN lingerie? More so plus size
I’m about a 14-16 AU and wear a 14DD bra. I’m not liking any of the plus size lingerie, but I’m worried the XL lingerie will be way too small! I’ve looked at some of the reviews and the people who are wearing a XL are half my size
Are the sizes usually generous for lingerie?
laveremis | 16th Jun 22
Hi there! Unfortunately, I have zero experience with SHEIN lingerie. My guess is that it would probably run small, since SHEIN swimwear seems to be on the small side. Wish I could be more helpful!
nahida | 9th Dec 22
SHIN made good quality product , but some times size is also a problem.
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chinesebuffetnearmenow.net | 21st Feb 23
Description is misleading bordering on lies. Sizes are never right even if you follow their size chart. Please read reviews on.
laveremis | 13th Mar 23
That’s a bummer to encounter! I have certainly heard that from many people, but I can only write based on my personal experience and what I have read in reviews. My experience may be different because I am often looking for pieces that are smaller, shorter than standard sizes. I also look very carefully at reviews from other shoppers online before buying. That said, I too have had at least on sizing goof from SHEIN. I got a sweater that was so oversize, I had to donate it. It’s one of those “you get what you pay for” type websites. It works for some occasions, but is not a place I shop at regularly. Sorry you had such a horrible experience!
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