12 Best Tips for Shopping at SHEIN in 2021

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Is SHEIN legit? Learn the 12 best tips for shopping at SHEIN in 2021. In recent years, the China-based, budget-friendly online retailer SHEIN has grown in popularity. Previously known as Sheinside, the company underwent a major rebranding and emerged as a mighty force to be reckoned with in the online fast fashion retail space.  SHEIN sells trendy and affordable women, men, and children’s apparel; accessories, shoes; bags; homeware; and beauty tools. Fashion enthusiasts or not, it’s safe to say that some people may still have reservations about shopping at SHEIN. Is SHEIN trustworthy? Let’s make the most of our SHEIN shopping experience, why don’t we? 

This post was not sponsored by SHEIN, but it contains affiliate links, which means that at zero cost to you, Afrostylicity® may earn a small commission if you make any purchases through the links shared. Read our privacy policy here. We only recommend products/services that we use and love. Thank you for supporting this blog. 

1. Manage Your SHEIN Expectations 

The adage ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true. SHEIN is a budget-friendly retailer, (emphasis on budget) so don’t expect a luxury brand experience. That being said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with embracing the budget-friendly side of life.

Pros and Cons of Shein

Pros 

  • Budget-friendly, affordable women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, accessories, homeware, and accessories.
  • Seasonal, trendy pieces you don’t intend to wear for the long haul.
  • Great way to try out styles that you are considering splurging on at high-end retailers. 

Cons

  • Inconsistent sizing and quality of fabrics. 
  • Extended shipping times, unless you pay extra for expedited/express shipping, but even then, delays can occur.
  • Not the place for long-lasting, timeless pieces

Learn how to save money while shopping online here.

2. Use SHEIN Search Filters to Prevent Overwhelm

The mere volume of items on display on the SHEIN website can be quite overwhelming. Therefore, having a high-level or specific idea about what you want, can make for a less stressful shopping experience. 

Personally, I’ve found using category filters to be extremely useful. For example, I know I like elegant, glamorous, preppy styles, so I use those filters to further narrow down the pool of items to choose from. 

Under each category, you can filter to subcategories and shop by style, by occasion, by length, by trend, by color, etc. If you know the specific trend or style you want, you can search by keywords e.g “balloon sleeves,” “high waist pants” etc and the system will populate relevant items for your perusal. 

how to shop at SHEIN

3. Read the Item Description

Sizing 

SHEIN sizes range from XS to XL for most pieces. Additionally, there is a SHEIN Curve + Plus section that has equally stylish pieces. A good point to note is that standard American sizing may not apply. I’m a US size 6/8 (M); however, while shopping on SHEIN clothing sizes that fit range from medium to large, depending on the style and fabric.

SHEIN sizing

Measurements provided in the size guide are of the actual item and not body measurements. For example, if the hips measurements of a skirt are 38 inches and your hip measurements are 36 inches, the skirt will be body-hugging. In this case, you can size up if that’s not the look you are going for. I would suggest you take your measurements, and determine what size will work for you based on the fit you desire.

Outfit item description
Shein size guide

Or use the Size & Fit section to see sizing as well as the model’s size for reference.

SHEIN size and fit

TIP: “One Size” does not mean one size fits all. Check the item’s specific measurements to ensure that it will be a good fit for you.

Fabric 

An items type of fabric may determine how well it will sit on your frame. The description section provides detailed information about an item’s fabric, and what season it is best suited for.

Sizing fit description

Tip: I’ve found that most dresses, skirts, and tops can be sheer, so be prepared to wear a slip or camisole (unless you don’t care) underneath as they are often not lined. 

4. SHEIN Prices

Typically, the higher the price of an item, the higher the quality.  This is not a rule of thumb though— I have purchased lower-priced items that were great quality.

SHEIN recently rolled out MOTF Premium collection of elevated essentials made from high-end and sustainable fabrics, with a focus on quality and craftsmanship. Additionally, equally new is Shein X which showcases different designers’ pieces, that are of superb quality, while still being affordably priced.  

5. Read the Reviews

Popular items have written reviews as well as real customer photos of said items. Getting a “real world” view of an item could make the difference between you adding it to your shopping cart or making a hard pass.

6. Sold Out Items

As a fast fashion brand, SHEIN items tend to sell out fast in some sizes. However, thankfully, they sometimes restock popular items. So, if there is an item that you absolutely must have but your size is sold out, save the item to your My Wishlist and check back on the website often to see if it has been restocked.

Alternatively, if an item in your My Wishlist is completely sold out, a Shop Similar Items option will pop up.

dress item description

Tip: if you see something you like on SHEIN, purchase it ASAP because chances are if you wait, it will be sold out by the time you are ready to purchase it. 

7. Take Advantage of Points and Rewards

First things first, sign up for a FREE Shein account. This will help you keep track of all your orders, points earned, coupon codes, etc. An account will also allow you to keep track of your orders and favorite items saved to your My Wishlist.

Points/ Rewards

SHEIN makes it uber easy to earn points/rewards. It begins when you sign up for a free account and verify your email address. This simple task earns you 100 points. Moving forward, you will earn 1 point for every dollar spent on any SHEIN purchase. When you receive your order and confirm delivery, on the website or app, you will receive points. You will also receive points when you leave reviews on items you purchased, and additional points when you upload a photo to your review.

SHEIN Mobile App

Available on the APP Store and Google Play Store, download the SHEIN app and gain access to additional ways to earn points. Check in to the app daily and earn points when you have a consecutive check-in streak of 7 days. Join the outfit contests within the app, tune in to SHEIN live, and participate in show contests, for a chance to earn additional points. Read the Points Policy in its entirety here.

8. Find and Use Promo Codes

Why pay full price when you don’t have to? Save your coins, friend! SHEIN typically has a myriad of in-house discount codes that they share on the website, app, email promotion, or via their brand ambassadors/ influencers.

Additionally, you can download certain browser extensions to your laptop/PC that will automatically search for the best discount codes for you. Download our FREE guide below to find out which browser extensions can both earn and save you money when you shop at Shein.

Tip: You can only use one promo code per order, but you can combine promo codes and points you have earned to further lower the cost of your order.

9. Payment Methods Accepted by SHEIN

You can pay for your SHEIN order with a credit/debit card, Paypal, Klarna, or Afterpay. Note that payment methods in different countries will vary. Personally, I prefer to use Paypal when shopping online, due to its security backing.

10. Purchase SHEIN Shipping Insurance

As tempting as it may be to decline the shipping insurance at checkout, this is one moment when saving a couple of dollars is not worth it. It is a small additional cost to your order total, but one that’s quite impactful. When purchased, you can be assured that in the event that you do not receive your order, or you need to return your items, your needs can be addressed at no additional cost, no questions asked.

11. Familiarize Yourself With The SHEIN Return Policy 

Review each item’s description thoroughly, prior to checking out. This is because some items cannot be returned. This includes intimate wear, swimwear, bodysuits, and some clearance items. For items that can be returned, you have 45 days (at the time this post was published) from the date of purchase to return your item for a full refund. Read the Return Policy in its entirety here.

Tip: When you receive your SHEIN order and identify items that you would like to return, ensure that you make your return request in one go. If you later decide to return an additional item after your original return label has been created, you will be charged a fee of $7.99 per additional return label.  

12. Be Aware of SHEIN Shipping Costs and the Delivery Process

Shipping Costs

Expedited shipping costs an additional $12.90 on average, and will be delivered in a week or so from the order date. You may qualify for free standard shipping, depending on the monetary amount of your order, or if you apply certain promo codes. Standard shipping can take approximately 2 weeks. Expedited/Express shipping is typically via DHL and standard shipping is via United States Postal Services (USPS).

Note that the majority of SHEIN warehouses are in Asia; therefore, shipping can be delayed; therefore, the aforementioned delivery timeframe is not set in stone. Read the shipping policy in its entirety here.

Tracking

When you place an order and you receive an email (or you check on the website or app) and confirm that your order is shipped, you can track the shipping progress via the tracking number provided. 

Delivery

Your items will arrive tightly packed in plastic packaging, so expect wrinkles, depending on the apparel fabric.  Keep your iron and/or steamer on standby.

DHL may require a signature at the time of delivery, so plan for this. For USPS, if the package is small enough, it will be delivered to your mailbox. Larger packages will be delivered to your door or parcel service.

Customer Service 

If for any reason, you need to contact SHEIN Customer Support, you can do so via live chat with an agent; by submitting a ticket on the SHEIN website; or via email. If all else fails, you can reach out to them via Facebook Messenger.  

It is my hope that these 12 best tips for shopping at SHEIN (based on my personal experience) will help improve your SHEIN shopping experience. Feel free to share additional tips you may have in the comments section.

Happy shopping, friends!

shop safely at SHEIN

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