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Is Shein Legit? Quality, Ethical & Safety Aspects Covered

by Tim Blue 28 Aug 2023

When you're shopping online, it is key to know whether the site is trustworthy or not. If you are going to purchase from Shein, then you will need to know if the company is reliable and follows ethical working standards. 

This article, is Shein legit? Will cover the quality, ethical and safety aspects of the company. 

Read on to find out whether the website is a scam or not and check out if they are safe to buy from and whether you’re going to get your money’s worth.

Shein was lambasted be Elle Australia released an Op-Ed about Shein's ethical aspects. So we delve a bit deeper into Shein.

In a Nutshell, Shein is GREAT for consumers. It is not a scam and it does have amazing products for cheap. But from an ethics standpoint, Shein is known for ripping off designs from popular designers, for sub standard working conditions and over working their work force and they are pretty terrible for the environment as most fast fashion brands are.

Is Shein Good? Is Shein Ethical?

What is Shein?

Shein is a Chinese clothing brand that was earlier known as SheInside. It was founded in 2008 with the intention of providing trendy and affordable fashion wear to customers on a budget. SheInsiide was rebranded to Shein in 2015 after it was taken over by Washington University grad Chris Xu who had finally opened its doors to the global market . 

Today Shein is available in over 220 countries including Australia, USA, Germany, Italy, Paris and even in the Middle East. All the clothes manufactured under the Shein brand are exported from China and you mostly won’t find the same style of clothing in different countries.

They, however, don’t have any physical stores in any of the countries they sell in, but you can order Shein products off their website or mobile app. When you buy Shein products from their official website or app, the clothes get shipped from their local warehouses and deliveries normally take a couple of days as compared to when items are shipped directly from China.

Is Shein a Scam?

No, Shein is not a scam. From personal experience, the company sells cheap and affordable clothes and based on what I saw, there are countless happy customers around the world who swear by Shein. 

It is a legitimate business and they don’t scam you by selling your personal information or by laying out fake promises, but as with anything you buy on a budget, the quality of the products sold on Shein is not always up to the mark.

Yes, you can trust them and buy from them, but you HAVE to understand that the products you buy are nothing other than low quality copies of the latest trending clothes and shoes.

So, as with all websites and Chinese brands it’s best to be cautious and always ensure that you thoroughly check out buyer reviews and even contact the brand in case you have any doubts or questions.

Why and How is Shein So Affordable? Quality Explained!

The products sold on Shein are quite affordable mainly because most of the designs are ripped off from other designers and hence, cost a fraction of the price you would have spent buying from a branded store. The main thing here is that the products are made in China where the materials and labor costs less unlike other countries, so the end result is a decent quality product at a bargain price.

Many Shein buyers have come out stating that while the pricing of the products are great, the quality of the items sold here make them ideal for one time use and a number of users have also complained about the clothes quickly losing its shape or getting discolored after being washed. 

So, it’s safe to say that you actually do end up getting your money’s worth and while some customers have raised issues pertaining to the quality of the clothes and shoes, others have found their products to be rather well-made and are more than happy to keep purchasing products from their store.

Is Shein a Company that Follows Ethical Work Practices?

Not to single out Shein as a brand here, but most of the Chinese companies do not follow ethical work practices and tend to either overwork their employees or underpay them. 

Workers are exploited because the labor laws in China are quite relaxed. Because companies like Shein are allowed to overwork their employees, their end products are cheaper. 

This is why most of the big brands tend to have their clothing factories in places like China and Vietnam where the manufacturing and labor costs are low and they can ultimately make profits by selling their products overseas or in their home countries.

So if you’re a shopper who only likes picking up products that have been manufactured in an ethical environment, Shein is not the place for you. However, if your primary concern is low-budget clothes, then go ahead and fill up your Shein shopping cart,

Is Shein a Safe Website to Buy from?

Yes, Shein is a safe place to buy clothes on a budget from. Their website is HTTPS secure and you can rest assured that if you buy from them, your personal information and card details will be stored securely, leaving no room for any phishing attacks.

They accept all major forms of payment and they even offer returns on damaged goods or items that don’t fit. However, the catch here is that your first return is free and in order to return your product the second time onwards, you would have to either use Shein’s return label which costs around $8 or you can ship the item back to them at your own cost.

I’ve been using their website for a little over 3 years now and have never faced even a single problem with their services or their payment gateway. 

As a suggestion, place a small order through them if this is your first time and then if you’re truly happy with the delivery, then and only then place a larger order. 

Again, it’s always good to check buyer reviews, site reviews and even to go through their policies before placing any kind of order with the site. This is the only way you will not get ripped off or fall prey to a scam.

Tips for Ordering from Shein

When ordering from any Chinese retailer, there are certain things to consider so you don’t regret your decision later on. The same applies to Shein and in order for you to get the best the site has to offer, you can consider some of these helpful tips.

  • It’s important to check the sizing charts of the items you wish to buy - The sizes of the products sold on Shein vary and you might end up buying either a piece of clothing that’s either too large or too small if you don’t check out the individual products size chart. 
  • Refrain from buying everyday clothes - The quality of the products sold here is the only issue, so when buying from Shein, try and make sure that you only buy clothes that are meant for a gala time or a grand night out. Everyday clothes like swimsuits, leggings or jeggings and even some t-shirts tend to either lose their shape after a couple of tries or they would lose their elasticity.
  • Ensure that you read the buyer reviews of the item you wish to buy - It’s important that you read through customer reviews on Shein before buying any item. Go through not only the 5 star reviews, but also the low ratings as most of them are genuine concerns buyers have had in the past. 

Is Shein Legit? My Verdict

In my opinion, Shein is a safe place to buy trendy clothes at affordable prices. but you shouldn’t get your hopes up or expect the clothes to be of high quality materials. Yes, they do tend to follow a few unethical practices, and their products are well priced, but if you do plan on buying from Shein, then my recommendation to you will be to take it slow and opt for pieces of clothing that you won’t wear on a regular basis.


Why is Shein so cheap?

Shein is cheap mainly because they do not have any physical stores and would rather retail their products online and also for the fact that their clothes are made in China and the cost of material and labor is relatively low.

Is Shein good quality?

Shein is good quality but not great or the best quality around. Items like their jeans and some tops are fantastic and can be worn on a daily basis. But things like dresses, leggings, gowns and frocks are not of the best quality and can actually fade, shrink, warp or lose elasticity after a couple of wears.

Where is Shein located?

Shein was earlier based in Nanjing, China, but have since moved their headquarters to Hong Kong. They do however, have a bunch of warehouses situated in the countries they serve from where your products are shipped locally.

Can I trust Shein?

Yes you can trust Shein as their products are quite decent, well at least for the price you pay. They do have a secure payment system, a valid refunds/returns policy and have been considered to be one of the fastest growing online sellers

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