25 Oct An honest review: My SHEIN experience
I’ve been so bored with my current wardrobe – I usually buy high-quality items and I look after them really well (so they last ages). That’s great, except that I feel like I’ve been wearing the same outfits for years now. Is it just me or are clothes super expensive? Especially corporate wear. Like many of you, I saw the SHEIN adverts on Facebook and I was super skeptical. I asked if anyone had used them and what their experience was. After speaking to a few trusted friends I placed an order and it went like this…
I placed an order for 26 items. I paid R4115 in total. This is after SHEIN gave me free shipping, a 20% off coupon, this price included shipping insurance. At first, they told me my order would only arrive on 10 November which was quite disappointing. However, it arrived much sooner than that (yay). I tracked my order on the app, so I could see exactly where my order was at any point.
16 October – 19 days after I placed my order:
My shipment arrived at customs in SA. Aramex called me to ask if I had an importers code and to confirm my email address.
I received an invoice from Aramex for R1329
The breakdown was as follows:
- R260 clearance
- R29 disbursement fee
- R355 Customs VAT
- R685 Duties
Which I paid the same day
24 October – 4 weeks after the order was placed:
My order arrived at my door!! My shipment literally took 4 weeks from order to delivery. I was super nervous about the quality of the clothing and if everything would be there. My order arrived in a flyer bag and each item was individually wrapped in a plastic, ziplocked bag. Most of the clothes had tissue paper in the package and an extra button.
I was honestly really impressed with the sizing and the quality of the garments. I found that their sizing chart was true to size and the quality was great. Just like what you would buy from Zara or any other clothing shop. Some of the fabric was really soft and comfortable while others were a little stiffer, none of the shirts were sheer, and the silk blouses were made of a light fabric and looked more expensive than they were. The cotton shirts breathable, two of them were made of quite a thick cotton fabric and I loved that too. The cotton shirts with embroidery detail really were embroidered, the detail wasn’t printed on (which I was worried about). The only thing that didn’t fit quite right was the bikini I bought. The bottoms fit, but the top was a little too small and honestly – I’m ok with that…. Now to decide which family member gets a teeny, weeny, leopard print bikini this summer.
My advice for your SHEIN order:
- Take the shipping insurance
- Track your parcel
- Be prepared to pay a customs fee that’s about 30% of your total cost
- Know your measurements and order accordingly. I ordered items between XS to L based on the measurements so don’t just order a small because that’s what you usually are – actually look at the measurements
- Look at the image reviews and make a decision from there
- Read the descriptions of what the fabrics are made of to manage your expectations
- Be prepared to wait about 4 weeks for your order
Even with customs fees, my clothing items averaged out at around R220 per item which is great if you ask me. I bought a combination of work blouses, casual shirts, and 2 jumpsuits and I’m really happy with my purchases. SHEIN offers you points for posting reviews of the clothes, which I like as you can use these points to get a discount on your next order. They also apologised for a delay in the shipping and gave me extra points which worked out to be about R200 off my next order. Truth be told, I wasn’t even affected by the delivery date as the items still came weeks before I was expecting them.
I’m not expecting these clothes to last years and years but I feel like I can buy a few, fashionable items every season now and it won’t bankrupt me. I recommend mixing and matching higher quality items with your SHEIN items to create a fashionable look. The description tells you what the fabric is made of too, so you know if you should expect a thicker/thinner fabric.
Good luck and happy shopping!