Shein is a wildly popular fast fashion site that raked in an estimated $10 billion in revenue in 2020. But is Shein a scam? And how has the site been used to perpetuate other scams?
Well, here are five Shein scams to be aware of, along with what you can do to if you end up scammed by the company, and how to avoid ending up a victim.
Shein Scams In 2023
1. Shein Scams Concerning Refunds
Many customers have claimed to be the victim of a Shein scam concerning their refunds.
The bulk of the stories involve the customer returning clothing within the appropriate time frame, but never receiving their refund.
One person on Trust Pilot wrote, “I have returned a box of clothes to Shein and that was almost a month ago and still no refund.”
“That is over $200 worth of clothes and I’m left with nothing.”
Another commenter wrote, “I agreed on getting a refund after returning a bunch of clothes, but they just ignored me and didn’t answer my messages…”
A third commenter wrote, “Requested for a return and after half a month, no collection was done, and naturally my refund was not activated.”
Another complaint is that Shein has no email address to contact anyone directly, leaving customers in the lurch.
2. Shein Scams Concerning Clothing Quality
Some customers find that Shein is a scam because of the quality of the clothes the company sells.
If you look at the images on the website, everything looks beautiful – the fabric is vibrant and luxurious, and the fit is perfect.
The reality is that Shein is a fast fashion company; the clothes are cheaply made and the fabric is never 100 percent cotton or other high-end materials.
Overall, some pieces are better than others. Therefore, my best advice to you is to read the comments and not buy anything that doesn’t have a robust comment section.
The commenters hold nothing back in their reviews, so let them guide you; not just in terms of quality, but also fit.
3. Shein Scams Concerning Sweatshops
Some customers have called Shein a scam because the quality of the clothing is so poor that it has to have been made in sweatshops. Unfortunately, it’s true.
Evie Magazine reported that a Swiss investigative group, Public Eye, found truly disturbing practices going on when they visited Chinese factories where the clothing is made.
From workers only receiving one day off a month, to some employees being paid by the item, the exploitative practices in Shein factories are no tall-tale – they’re real.
4. Shein Clothes Used to Dupe Unsuspecting Customers
Fashion boutiques have popped up all over Instagram, targeting women of all ages with their aspirational looks.
However, when one woman spent $80 on an outfit from a higher-end Instagram boutique, she was astonished at the tags on the clothing.
They were from Shein, and likely sold on the website for a fraction of the price the woman paid to the Instagram boutique.
When the woman reached out to the company to ask about the Shein tag, the boutique responded, “I have a wholesale license, we can buy from anything and resell…”
“Shein is a wholesale website,” the message read.
While it is true that Shein is a wholesaler, it’s entirely unethical for other companies to sell the clothing – which is cheaply made from sub-par fabrics – at two or three times the original cost.
5. Shein $750 Gift Card Scam
A gift card for $750 to Shein would go a long way because the prices are so cheap.
However, if you’ve seen an ad on social media beckoning you to claim your free $750 Shein gift card, you were probably wondering if it’s a scam.
Well, it’s not entirely, but you do have to jump through considerable hoops to get to the gift card.
The company that is offering the free gift card is FlashRewards.co, “a UK-based rewards website” that pays you for completing sponsored deals.
You can earn rewards by signing up for free trials or new subscriptions and services, downloading games and apps, and finishing games.
Plus, some deals aren’t free. Rather, you have to pay to complete them, which could cost you up to $100.
From the reviews on Reddit, it does appear that the website pays out once you have completed the requisite 20 deals, but some have had issues with the site crediting their deal completion.
However, you could potentially be wasting weeks, even a month, at these games, and you’re signing up for trials that they’re hoping you forget to cancel.
Shein is one of the most popular fast fashion sites on the Internet, though their lack of customer service and slowness in issuing refunds has made some label them a scam.
Further, by capitalizing on the popularity of Shein, other sites are profiting by dangling a carrot – in this case, a $750 gift card – that may or may not pay out in the end.