Why does Shein have Low Prices and So Cheap?

by Jessica Peterson

I remember the first time I was browsing through Shein. I was shocked that I can buy a bikini for $12 and a cami top for $5! I immediately asked myself, what’s the catch? According to the photos of the items they sell, the clothes look decent and well-made. Today, I am going to give you answers to the question, “Why is Shein so cheap?”

When it comes to fashion, women love to get more and pay less. This might be really hard to look for, but Shein gives you exactly what you want when it comes to dressing up from streetwear to formal wear – all at a very affordable price. 

What is Shein?


Shein is an international fashion brand that started way back in October 2008 and they mostly cater to women’s fashion but they actually offer more than that. You can find men’s and children’s clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, and more.

This brand is so popular across the world especially for people residing in Europe, America, Australia, and the Middle East. Now, Shein is available across 220 countries across the globe. They have a saying, “everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion” and with the hundreds of fashion items that they offer at a reasonable price, they are doing a great job uplifting the lives of men and women through fashion!

Check out: Best SHEIN Finds

Understanding Shein’s Business Model

Shein is an online fast fashion retailer that offers trendy clothing at an affordable price. As a company, Shein has been able to gain a large following by offering a wide range of styles that are constantly updated to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

One of the key factors that contribute to Shein’s success is their business model. Shein operates as a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, which means that they sell their products directly to the customer without the need for intermediaries such as wholesalers or retailers. This allows them to keep their prices low and offer a wide range of products at an affordable price.

Another aspect of Shein’s business model is their focus on data and analytics. Shein has a team of data scientists and analysts who constantly analyze customer data to identify the latest trends and styles. This allows them to quickly create and release new products that are in high demand, which is essential in the fast-paced world of fashion.

Shein also uses a unique supply chain management system that allows them to quickly produce and distribute their products. They work with a network of suppliers and manufacturers around the world, which allows them to quickly respond to changes in demand and keep their inventory levels low.

Overall, Shein’s business model has allowed them to become a major player in the fast fashion industry. By focusing on DTC sales, data analytics, and a unique supply chain management system, they have been able to offer trendy clothing at an affordable price while keeping up with the latest fashion trends.

Why Is Shein So Cheap?

A lot of people have been thinking about the “catch” on Shein’s affordability. Because honestly, you don’t expect a really fashionable top to be less than $10, or a high-quality and pretty bikini for only $12. Some people say that Shein is a scam but to end all of these questions, Shein is 100% legit!

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The main reason behind their cheap price is because they are outsourcing their labor to other factories. Labor charges in foreign countries differ from one another and one strategy that Shein does is they get the cheapest labor charges without compromising the manufacturing quality of their products.

Local labor charges are usually high, so Shein has created various factories around the world and outsourced laborers. This technique has given them the advantage of creating affordable clothes to make fashion be accessible to all men and women around the world. 

Labor charges are one of the most expensive charges that a manufacturing company has to settle, so this technique that Shein does makes other manufacturing expenses become less so they are able to showcase their products at a much lower price than other brands.

On the other hand, this outsourcing technique that Shein did has uplifted a lot of controversies. This is probably the “catch” that people were saying. It has been known that Shein offers its employees unethical working conditions.

The quality of the products are also inconsistent, so you may or may not get a good item when you purchase them in different batches. Outsourcing and low to decent quality manufacturing are the two main reasons why this Chinese company is so cheap. But, let’s not all be negative and find out more about this company below.

why is shein cheap

Where Is Shein Located and Where Do Shein Clothes Come From?

Shein is a company based in China, but since it has been outsourcing its products, you would usually find some pop-up stores across the globe. It is also mainly focused on being an online retailer, so you won’t find a lot of Shein stores in different locations.

Being an online retailer allows Shein to give more freedom when it comes to shipping. Since the main headquarters is based in China, most of their clothes and products still come from China. But since the business has been booming latel, they have built up tons of factories around the globe.

So, basically all the clothes that you have been ordering from Shein don’t directly come from China alone. These overseas factories allow Shein to produce dirt-cheap clothes. On the other hand, this is what makes Shein controversial. 

It has been known that Shein pays its employees from other countries with low wages and only few benefits. White it is a very debatable issue, this practice is common in clothing companies, not just Shein. 

Read: Best Shein Bikinis

Should I Purchase Clothes From Shein?

Shopping at Shein is honestly a personal choice. Shein produces decent quality clothes without you paying so much, so it becomes a win-win situation for you and the company. Well, I have to say that the quality of the clothes manufactured is not on the top of its game, but I cannot complain with the price.

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Choosing to purchase clothes from Shein despite the unethical working conditions can be one of the factors not to shop at this website. But, it would all depend on you and your preference. Regardless of what issue this Chinese company may be facing, you’ll find thousands of people still flocking at their website.

Shein is like the Forever21 brand, but the only difference is that Shein is a Chinese company. You can score great deals without spending so much, but it may be a hit or miss situation as soon as you receive your product. So, choosing to buy from this website can be exciting especially because it’s online, but don’t get your hopes too high or low!

Check: Best Shein Tops

shein cheap items 2021

Is Shein worth the money?

Not everything that you purchase at Shein is worth the money. The products may or may not look the same in the photos, and many people have been talking about the clothes not fitting well on their bodies. 

Price-wise, it is definitely a winner. To make it simple, putting your money at Shein may be a hit or miss situation. You might receive a very nicely made garment, or a weird one that doesn’t entirely look like the photos. You can get cute, trendy, and fashionable clothes at a very low-cost. 

So, Shein is definitely a yes or a no when it comes to the money that you have been splurging on it. The best thing that you can do to save those bucks is to read tons of real customer reviews and you can get a glimpse of what the item really looks like in person.

If you’re not really keen about how your clothes are made and what are they made of, buying from Shein would definitely save you a lot of money. I prefer buying cheap clothes that look very trendy and fashionable rather than expensive ones that honestly looks just the same as the ones they offer in Shein.

Is Shein Good Quality?

I have ordered a lot of clothes from Shein, and in all honesty, they are of decent quality. Some might just look like they would break the first time you wear it, but it all depends on how you handle clothes. 

After all, Shein’s website claims that their products undergo rigorous quality assurance procedures before they introduce the product into the market. The workers are given a workbook that states the proper size, color, style, workmanship, and quality to ensure that all clothing pieces are made according to their standards.

The clothes that I have ordered in Shein doesn’t actually look that they are of inferior quality, and that’s what great about Shein. It is not a surprise that they use low-cost resources for their manufacturing, but they make the clothes look that they are made from a very expensive fabric.

Read: Best Shein Jeans

cheap items shein

Is it bad to buy from Shein?

On the customer’s side, there is nothing wrong with choosing to buy cheap items to help you get the most out of every dollar you have. It’s human nature to look for cheap items and expect it to live up to your standards. 

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If morality is what you’re concerned about knowing that Shein is not very vocal about its manufacturing processes and working conditions, you can always choose not to buy from this Chinese website. 

Talking about money, “cheap” doesn’t always account for inferior things. You can get a really great deal from shopping at Shein, and it won’t feel too bad on your side. You can score hundreds of fashionable items without spending so much. After all, not every person would ask you if your clothes are expensive or not, right?

Shein’s Return and Refund Policies

As someone who has purchased clothing from Shein before, I can attest to their return and refund policies. Shein offers a 30-day return policy for most items, which is a decent amount of time to decide whether or not you want to keep the item. However, it’s important to note that certain items, such as swimwear and lingerie, are not eligible for returns due to hygiene reasons.

To initiate a return, you must first submit a return request on Shein’s website. Once your request is approved, you will receive a return label and instructions on how to return the item. It’s important to note that Shein does not cover the cost of return shipping, so you will be responsible for that expense.

In terms of refunds, Shein offers two options: a full refund or Shein points. If you choose a full refund, the amount will be credited back to your original payment method within 7-10 business days after the return is received. If you choose Shein points, the amount will be credited to your Shein account and can be used towards future purchases.

Overall, I find Shein’s return and refund policies to be fair and straightforward. While it’s a bit of a hassle to have to pay for return shipping, the 30-day return window and clear instructions make the process relatively painless.

Buying Cheap Clothes from Shein

It is not entirely bad to purchase affordable clothes from Shein, because it actually does more good than thinking about the bad side. It is great that a big company like Shein still lives up to its promise which is to give accessible fashion to all men and women across the world.

After all, purchasing clothes and other fashion items from Shein are all according to your standards and of course, budget! These cheap yet fancy clothing will surely bring your closet with colors, style, and beauty!

Read More:

Can Shein Be Trusted?

Is Shein Good Quality?

How Shein Points Work


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