Is Shein a Scam? The Anatomy of a Controversial Clothing Store
Several readers approached us in the last few weeks asking if Shein is a scam or employs fraudulent practices. Is Shein scamming its customers? In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at this somehow popular clothing online store and address the potential Shein fraud. Also, we’ll provide you critical, fraud prevention info such as how to block all the fake e-commerce websites or how to delete your personal information from the Internet.
When cruising the online market, you can find real bargains at familiar brand stores like Gap and Macy’s, or you can try other online retail shops such as Shein or Venus. If you are looking for trendy clothes for yourself, your family, and even your kids, these may be the place to start.
However, the Internet is full of surprises and fake clothing websites. Let’s dive in.
Shein looks like the real deal, but our investigation has revealed many troubling issues with the highly utilized clothing store, which leads us down the road of a Shein scam. Low star ratings abound, and commentary seemed suspicious. Is Shein a treasured clothing deal website shopping experience, or is there a Shein scam going on that is hidden by some good reviews?
Let’s address ten points that you may want to be aware of.
1. Controversial Numbers
With great deals, on-point trends, and so many options, including makeup and accessories, how can you miss when there are free returns, free standard shipping, and so many options? Clothes that are cute and trendy, what seem like excellent deals and you can’t beat the prices.
BUT… if you look closely, there are currently 27% of their over 31,000 THOUSAND ratings that are 5 stars. However, there are over 35% 1-star ratings that seem to support the Shein controversy.
As we expose some of these issues, the reviews continue to come in from all over the globe reporting problems with Shein – check out some of these reports of problems with Shein and decide for yourself, Shein scam or trendy brands.
2. Shein Refund Trouble
There seems to be some growing support for trouble with the free return policy. While combing through the thousands of reviews, you will find many that express ongoing issues with returns.
Some individuals actually get a response and are told that a refund has been issued, with no apparent refund showing up in their accounts. Here is what the website says:
- “Refunds will be processed within 7 days after we receive your package. The refund will be issued to your SHEIN Wallet or the original payment account, as per your request. Unfortunately, due to current situations, your refund will require an additional 3-5 days to process. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
- “The original shipping fee and insurance are non-refundable.
NOTE: If you have any issues with your return, you must contact Customer Support within 180 days after your order was first placed.”
Following this process should be easy, right? Occasionally even following the rules will not get a refund sent to you. The comments below – left by angry customers on TrustPilot – are ongoing and support the Shein fraud claim:
“I have been waiting three weeks for a response to a refund they issued me May 1. Never received it. I have emailed over three times about this issue. Good luck trying to get help with this company.”
“A lot of my stuff came broken :(( at least 45 euros was ruined… the only way to get a refund is by returning it and paying fees which sucks so bad. They deliver me ruined items, and they want me to pay instead of just giving me my money back…”
3. Poor Quality Clothing
So many cute photos of clothing with some excellent reviews, but there appear to be some reviews focused on the poor quality of their ordered clothing. Cheap fabric comments are all through the last six months of reviews, along with many comments that the pictured clothes do not match what was delivered. How would you feel if you ordered a new dress and it came to you with shoddy fabric or a zipper that didn’t work?
Here is more feedback from their disappointed clients:
“The clothes are hit or miss, sometimes they look good, and sometimes they suck. Especially the material, I would say a waste of time.”
“Top was nothing like the picture, different material, style and color, and delivery takes three weeks. Their stuff is ridiculously cheap. I don’t know why they are still running. It’s so sad to see people supporting clothing brands using child labor.”
4. Shein Customer Service Issues
The following statements complete the 1-star Shein reviews:
“It has been like three weeks, and apparently, my order is with my courier service when they say they haven’t even received it. I tried to contact Shein customer service they have, and the only thing I can contact is a bot that offers no new information, just the same info as is on my tracking details. Never been so annoyed with a company. I’ll never shop here again.”
“Been trying for three days to send tops back which are too big followed procedure but keeps going back to the beginning will never order from here again any joy from customer services page is always down.”
By the way, if you feel a website might be suspicious, whether it’s a clothing shop or e-commerce outlet, feel free to verify it using our unique Scam Detector website validator below:
Let’s continue addressing the Shein scam accusations coming from its clients.
5. Shein Return Process Problems
Shein has a support and contact section on their website to help with any issues you may have with your order. The instructions are fairly simple and outline using their own shipping label to send items back.
According to the website, here is what happens when it comes to sending the items back:
- “How long do I have before making a return, and do I have to pay for shipping?
1. You have a max of 45 days to make returns. You must send back and postmark your return packages within 45 days after the purchase date. No returns made after 45 days from the purchase date will be accepted.
- 2. Shipping is free on your 1st return for any order. You must use the shipping label we provide (See “How do I make a return?” section for details), then send back and postmark the package within 45 days from the purchase date.
- 3. After you have already returned items from order but would like to make additional returns for additional items, you must do so within 45 days of the purchase date. There are two ways:
- a. you can use the shipping label we provided and pay a $ 7.99 shipping fee, which will be deducted from your refund.
- b. you can use your own shipping method and at your own cost.”
Unfortunately, the reviews of Shein’s refund practices do not support following the mantra “practice what you preach.” Many reviews confirm our suspicion that although Shein advertises support is a click away, there are ongoing issues with sending back unwanted items and getting a refund for them.
Here are some more genuine complaints and Shein reviews:
“Back again to leave to another terrible review. I was contacted by Shein the last time, so hopefully, they see this one as well. I paid to return my items to Shein. Then I selected all the items that I wanted to return and paid without any incident. I packaged everything as I was supposed to, and I mailed the package.”
“Please Shein, tell me why the package that I paid for using YOUR RETURN LABEL ENDED UP BACK ON FRONT DOOR!!!?? AND ONE OF THE ITEMS IS MISSING! This how Shein is getting out of refunding people’s money?! I am furious! What kind of company is this? I have never had this happen with any company ever.”
“I had returned items before to Shein and had no problem. All of a sudden, Shein is acting brand new. Now, what am I supposed to do with these clothes that I paid to have returned!? Shein is trash, and I will never make another purchase here ever again. Also, I used their bag that they sent me to return my items and it came beat to absolute hell. I AM FUMING!”
“Shein charged me with a return only to send my items back without any explanation. Trash company. Now, I am out of even more money than before.”
6. Poor Response to Social Media and Email Posts
Another way to engage with Shein on issues is to comment on social media – this makes sense with so many people using social media outlets to communicate with sellers and posting about purchases.
Shein has their links to over ten social media outlets to connect with them – are they even monitored by real people or just flagged for highly negative or only positive comments, and then those get a response? Hard to know the truth.
Advertising on social media is just one way that Shein may appear outside to engage easily with their customers. Still, the comments seem to support the ongoing commentary that Shein scams people out of money and does not communicate with their customers.
“Hi, My orders still didn’t come since December. It shows that it’s delivered, but I haven’t received anything… Please help me. I did everything I could. I’ve messaged you guys five times on email, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, EVERYTHING. All they are telling me to do is wait. Wait for what?”
8. Issues With Receiving Orders
The number one customer service for any company should be that when someone uses your service or orders a product, the product is received! That is the value of shopping online – getting what you want when you need it.
When you place an order, you expect a delivery. The following comments appear to support the Shein scam claim when orders are placed, and individuals never receive what they order or get an explanation as to where their items are in the delivery process.
“Used to be kind of reliable, now you cannot rely on them to send your order, to give you support on your order (as there is no customer service team, they don’t reply on social media either) or accurate information regarding your order.”
“I ordered four shirts on April 6 and still haven’t received anything. I called the post office nothing I called the company a person that doesn’t know English answers the phone. And that was two weeks ago he told me to call back in a(n) hour. I (have) been calling for the last two weeks no answer. I am very upset with this company. I’m out of 100 dollars and no shirts. I will never order anything from the guys again, and I WILL let my friends and family know as well. You guys suck.”
9. Shein Delivery Delays
Sometimes when we order online, we have a timeframe that we need those items. Whether it is a party, the start of a new school year, or a vacation when we order something that has a shipping promise, and we have a timeline, when things do not arrive or are delayed with no explanation, it causes us problems, which is what all of us try to avoid when ordering online in the first place!
“Worst customer service ever emailed and no response, no contact number to ring. I wouldn’t recommend it. It states on my app the returns tracking refund has been issued on May 7, but no refund has been made to my card. Order number is *********. Absolute disgrace that a delivery charge was taken off the amount of the return when it states that it’s free delivery and returns.”
10. Unethical Advertising
We read through the thousands of comments giving Shein a 1-star rating, and this post seems to be the best comment, to sum up the Shein fraud support.
“Firstly, what I notice with the response from Shein with regards to the reviews Shein is very selective with their response. For example, in the review unethical-child labor (3 days ago), Shein was quick to respond but hardly ever respond to other reviews. I am very disappointed with Shein for false advertising about free shipment. They make no mention of extra customs duties that one may have to pay. My order ************ was sent by Shein only to be told by Buffalo to pay R265.55. Upon query with Shein (Gwen), I was informed that I should reject the order if I am not happy. After I have rejected and queried my refund, I was informed that sometimes the order could be destroyed at customs, so what happens to my refund? Indeed this is unethical of Shein. You are indirectly scamming people.”
Shein Scam? What’s Your Take?
Shopping online is the worldwide way to get what you want faster with just a click of a button and a virtual swipe of your credit card. Shopping has dramatically changed in the last ten years, and if you look, you can find exactly what you are looking for without leaving your home.
We expect to get what we pay for, and when there is no delivery, no response, no refund, no customer service, and no support, it is misleading. Especially when 30,000+ people call you out.
Tell us about your experience with this website: is Shein a scam?
Shein Fraud and Similar Clothing Stores: How To Report
Let your family and online friends know about this article by sharing it today on your social media channels. You can also officially report other suspicious activities or fraudulent clothing stores to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using this link below:
Important Information You Need To Know
Regardless of your interaction with Shein, there are also a plethora of websites replicating e-commerce sites, so don’t fall for that scam either. Some of them steal your personal information and use it for identity theft. The good news is that now it’s easy nowadays to detect a fraudulent website, whether is in the fashion niche or not. How do you do that? is a browser extension called Guardio. It automatically blocks 100x more harmful websites than competitors and 10x more malicious downloads than any other security tool. It was tested and vetted by our Scam Detector team.
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How To Remove Your Personal Data From The Internet
Every time you visit a website and accept cookies or download an app, data brokers collect your name, address, and phone number, selling further to third parties. Your personal data is used for sending you spam emails, targeted ads, and annoying telemarketing calls. Scammers or identity thieves make use of it.
If you want your data removed from the Internet, you can now do it with a powerful tool called Incogni HERE. The service is verified by our staff and is legitimate. For only $6.49US/month, it flushes your personal information and enforces existing data privacy laws. It’s worth every penny. See below:
How To Stop Third-Parties To Track Your Devices
The third and last most powerful fraud prevention tool you should consider is Surfshark. They have an award-winning VPN service, protecting your privacy, securing your identity, and preventing third parties from tracking your device. Also, they notify you when your personal info is leaked online. Surfshark offers 76% off + two months free to the Scam Detector readers. You can get the deal HERE.
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the newest scams and fraudulent websites every week, then subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter. You’ll receive emails from our team every week – no spam.
Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other e-commerce fraud-related articles listed under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, feel free to use the comments section at the bottom of the page to expose other scammers.
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