Top 5 Tips for Shopping at Shein (What you Need to Know!)

So, you’ve seen ads all over the internet, and thought they were too good to be true.. right? They have so many envy worth items, dupes from designer brands, and trendy pieces, for affordable prices. When I first saw Shein, I thought “there’s no way this isn’t a scam”.

But, being as willing as I always am to try out a sketchy site (lol) for the sake of cute, affordable clothes, I placed an order. I crossed my fingers that everything would be okay, and paid with Paypal to protect from any potential fraud. And alas, the clothes came in. My verdict? I loved them!

Now, while I was excited about purchase, I could definitely understand some of the bad reviews I read online prior to purchasing. Some of the sizing was a bit off, some material wasn’t what I expected, and I could see the potential for irritation. Once I learned that all of the info I needed in order to shop smarter was available on Shein, my orders have been virtually perfect ever since. Even though it takes a bit more time, I truly believe Shein is worth giving a try since it’s so budget friendly and affordable. Let’s talk about what I love Shein for, and what I don’t think the brand is as good for.

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What Shein is good for:

  • budget friendly style
  • trendy pieces you don’t want to invest a lot of $$ into
  • designer dupes aka look-alikes
  • small accessories like hair pieces, bags, and jewelry
  • statement pieces

What Shein isn’t good for:

  • timeless pieces that will last for years
  • pieces you can put everyday wear and tear on and expect them to hold up
  • standard American sizing

Now, i’m not telling you guys these things to deter you from placing an order, i’m just trying to be as transparent as possible so that you understand what you’re getting into. Today i’m sharing my Top 5 Tips for Successful Shopping on Shein, and how to have a great shopping experience at this budget friendly, amazing store.

1) Check the Sizing Measurements

This is VERY important. In my experience, clothes from Shein run small. While this isn’t true across the board, 90% of the time I have found this to be the case. This is why checking the sizing is important. When you hover over a certain size on the page of the item you’re interested in, measurements come up. In this case, i’m not saying you have to measure yourself every time, I would just check measurements you’re familiar with. For example, if I know a Medium is regularly a 28 inch waist and I see that on Shein, a Medium is a 25 inch waist, I know to size up.

For reference: I am almost always a Medium everywhere and a 6-8. At Shein, I regularly order a Large just to be safe. Sometimes I will stick with my regular M size after checking the sizing measurements, but most times I size up and I find their pieces to fit snug. You can also view their size chart: here.

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2) Read the Reviews

One of the best things about Shein is that they allow their customers to provide reviews. This is great since it provides real, candid thoughts from people who already own the item you’re looking to purchase. Often times, reviewers leave photos of what the item looks like on, and provide sizing info for others looking to buy. I can’t tell you how many times reading the reviews have made or broken a sale for me. Sometimes seeing a piece on someone else is so helpful and makes you want to purchase, and other times if I see too many negative reviews i’ll move on from that item.

3) Buy the Shipping Insurance

When you go to check out at, there is an option to add on shipping insurance for $2.99. This allows you to return items for free, no questions asked. This always makes me feel a lot better when I make a big order of 10 or so pieces. I love knowing that even if half don’t suit me, I can send them back quick and easily for a full refund. Shipping info can be found: here.

4) Read the Description of the Item

There are 3 important things to look for here. The Fit Type, Details, and Fabric.
  • Fit Type: Shows if the item is slim, regular, or oversized.
  • Details: Provides info on the construction of the item.
  • Fabric: Tells the material of the item. This is really helpful when determining if something is going to stretch or not. If something has stretch, I will sometimes stick with my normal size, but if no stretch is provided, I size up.

5) Look for Promo Codes

As if Shein isn’t already cheap enough, there are almost always promo codes floating around! I often find them on RetailMeNot, and by simply doing a google search for “Shein promo codes”. I also use the app Honey, which automatically applies every promo code to your cart and determines if they are applicable.

A few other things to note:

Shipping: Since the items aren’t made in the US, they may take 1-2 weeks to come in. In my experience, I haven’t waited longer than 2 weeks for an order, but it’s important to note incase you’re expecting it to come quickly for an event or occasion. Shipping info can be found here.

Certain items can’t be returned: As i’ve found from experience, almost all bathing suit items aren’t able to be returned to Shein. They say that it is mentioned on the order page, but it’s so small I’m sure most people miss it. When this happened to me, I chatted their support page and after a conversation, they eventually let me send them back as a first time courtesy. Now if I want to order a bathing suit, I make sure that 1) i’m sure I will like it, or 2) I don’t mind donating or giving it to a friend if it doesn’t suit me. I personally think they are worth the risk since they’re so inexpensive. Return info can be found here.

If you are having order problems, contact support via chat: If you run into order problems, they actually have a really great chat feature that I mentioned above. It’s the quickest way to get info on sizing, returns, etc. I’d definitely take this route over emailing their support, it’s a way quicker method of communication.

& That’s a wrap!

Those are the top 5 tips I use each and every time when shopping on I hope these tips are helpful for you guys when ordering, and feel free to let me know if you have any further questions! I would also love if any of you have ordered from Shein, if you could share your experience in the comments! I think it helps us all to have a little perspective from others.

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