Over the past few days, the company came under fire for advertising a metal necklace inspired by a Buddhist symbol — which some claim is more akin to a swastika. Many have taken it to Twitter to call for a boycott against the company.
“STOP SHOPPING AT SHEIN. not only do they use child labor and fast fashion, they are literally selling a SWASTIKA NECKLACE. please speak up about this,” wrote a person.
11 Reasons Why Shein is So Cheap:
There are many reasons why this Chinese fast fashion retailer offers such affordable clothing. The fast-fashion brand does its best to keep its prices low, which means there are some sacrifices the retailer makes along the way to help you save money. It doesn’t skimp on quality or style and has sought out high-quality fabrics that help them achieve a premium look at an affordable price. With that said, let’s take a closer look at some of these reasons:
#1. Business model
The first reason why Shein is so cheap is because of its business model. They don’t have any stores, and they don’t even have an office. All they have are employees who work from home, mostly in China. This way, they can save on rent and electricity bills for their office space or building. Because of that, their overhead costs will be lower compared to other companies that operate from physical offices.
#2. Directly Sells to Customers
Another reason why the fast-fashion brand is so cheap is that it sells directly to consumers instead of going through retailers like Zara or H&M. By selling directly to consumers, Shein doesn’t need to pay retailers a cut from each sale; therefore, more profits go back into their pockets instead.
#3. Buys products at lower rates
The brand sources directly from manufacturers in China. As opposed to other retailers who buy their products from wholesalers, Shein buys directly from manufacturers in China and cuts out additional costs. This allows it to sell products for less than other retailers.
#4. Uses direct Shipping methods
Shein Sells mostly through its website and uses direct shipping methods. Because the brand doesn’t have brick-and-mortar stores, it can cut down on overhead costs. By selling online only and using direct shipping methods, it can also reduce the overall cost of doing business.
#5. Manages a small staff
It has a small staff—which keeps expenses down.Because Shein isn’t as large as other retailers like
Zara or H&M, it hires fewer people—and pays them less—to get things done.
#6. Pays low transportation cost
Its factories are located near ports. Because Shein manufactures most of its clothes near ports, it can ship items quickly and cheaply.
#7. Relies heavily on social media marketing
Since the retailer doesn’t spend much on traditional advertising (like TV commercials), it relies heavily on social media marketing to bring customers into its fold. The clever use of hashtags and Facebook ads drive traffic to its website, where people can find everything they need without spending too much money!
#8. Offers free shipping on all orders over $50
When ordering online, free shipping is very important, especially when you need to receive your item as soon as possible without paying extra money for the delivery fee, because let’s face it, who wants to pay more? That’s why most online shoppers look for stores offering free shipping instead of having to pay an additional amount.
Shein’s biggest draw is its free shipping on all orders over $50. This is particularly appealing because when shopping online, consumers often don’t want to spend more than $50 on any one item—so they end up buying multiple items just to reach that magic number. At Shein, however, if you buy three shirts for $30 each ($90 total), then your order will qualify for free shipping!
#9. Provides multiple money-saving options
People who have shopped at Shein before will agree that there are always sales going on their website, which makes their products cheaper than at other online stores. Whether it’s a seasonal sale or an anniversary sale, they will surely offer discount prices on selected items and make sure that customers get to enjoy a better deal when buying from them.
As if its low prices and sales weren’t enough, the brand also offers deals on selected items every day, as well as other money-saving options
like coupons and promo codes throughout the week which customers can use to get up to 70% off certain designs!
Another great thing about shopping with the brand is that it regularly sends coupons and promo codes via email and social media channels to give shoppers discounts on their next purchase. And even better, those savings stack with Shein’s already super-low prices!
#10. Offers a generous return policy
It provides free returns for 30 days after purchase. If you aren’t happy with something you bought from Shein, then return it within 30 days for a full refund—no questions asked! Just be sure to check out our tips on how to make returns easy and effective before sending anything back.
In addition to offering free shipping and free returns
, the retailer offers its customers a generous 60-day window to change their minds on purchases they’ve made. You can learn more about Shein’s return policy below in the post.
#11. Low-cost marketing Strategy
Since Shein doesn’t spend money on advertisements, it saves a lot of money. In fact, it only spends about $4 million per year on all its marketing needs. When compared to other brands, which spend millions of dollars on a single ad campaign!
It doesn’t rely on celebrity endorsements or flashy ad campaigns to get noticed. Instead of paying celebrities big bucks to promote its products, the brand relies on low-cost word-of-mouth and social media marketing to attract new customers—and it works! So now you know why Shein is so cheap.
Shein has few warehouses that rarely hold stock for more than 90 days
Shein’s headquarters are in Guangzhou, China, where the company collects clothes from various suppliers. It then sends the clothes to its various warehouses worldwide or ships directly from the ultra-large Guangzhou base.
Most brands send large chunks of clothes to retailers via shipping containers, increasing costs. However, Shein ships most clothing straight to customers who make purchases online.
Even when it sends clothes to warehouses in the United States and Europe, it does so to facilitate shipping.
Furthermore, Shein rapidly changes its stock depending on trends.
The BBC reports that only 6% of Shein’s inventory remains in stock for more than 90 days.
If you access Shein’s website right now and check back after three months, 94% of the stock will be entirely new clothes. Shein sells clothes cheaply but encourages buyers to purchase more clothes as trends evolve – and in Shein’s world, they evolve rapidly.
The company’s business model is based on the volume of sales. To keep people buying, they need to see fresh products every time they log in.
Shein purchases small orders of new designs and places them on its website. If the designs prove popular, the algorithm automatically orders more clothes; if unpopular, the system halts the designs orders.
It ensures that items keep moving and prevents pile-ups of unwanted stock on warehouse isles. Shein customers order online, so the company always knows what people want.
Shein’s online-only system negates the need for physical shops, reducing operating and staffing costs. Temporary Shein locations pop up occasionally, but the company doesn’t invest in brick-and-mortar shops.
“We were going for low margins and large quantities,” Li Peng, one of Shein’s initial owners, told
WIRED. Outsourcing allows Shein to keep the costs of their clothes low
Shein doesn’t make most items on Shein’s website; the company outsources clothing before placing its brand on them.
China became a significant clothing production center after joining the World Trade Organization in the mid-2000s. At around that time, Shein’s CEO, Xu Yangtian, alongside Wang Xiaohu, approached Li Peng for business advice.
The company was incorporated in Nanjing, China, but initially, it didn’t sell clothing. Li and Wang decided to ape Western companies hiring Chinese clothing suppliers by adding clothes to their company’s stock.
To decipher which items and suppliers attracted customers, representatives bought clothing samples and advertised them online using different domain names. The company ordered more items only when customers responded positively to a particular item – a system still used by Shein today.
Shein’s low prices reduced customer expectations about quality and allowed the company to move a lot of stock. Xu eventually ditched Wang and Li to form SheInSide, which ultimately morphed into Shein in 2015.
Outsourcing places the burden on other companies to create cheap products on Shein. They know that Shein products sell, so they scramble to produce affordable and trendy products.
To make a profit, Shein’s suppliers offer their clothes to the company at lower prices than the ones on the website – which are already astonishingly low. These prices have piqued the interest of entities who suspect that the Shein’s suppliers are exploiting cheap labor.
An investigation by the Swiss advocacy group
Public Eye found that employees of companies supplying Shein face enormous pressure to turn clothes around.
There are multiple reasons why you should avoid buying clothing from Shein online. For one thing, even though their prices may seem too good to be true, keep in mind that shipping costs from China can add up quickly—especially if you’re ordering multiple items.
Also, as with any other kind of buying overseas, quality control can be an issue. In fact, some customers have reported receiving items that were defective or different than what they had ordered!
It’s important to remember that Chinese brands aren’t necessarily known for being high-quality or durable. In many cases, these products are made cheaply and won’t last very long at all, which you can notice in many ways.
First, they tend to look and feel thin and flimsy. Second, their seams are not sewn tightly together and tend to come apart easily over time. Finally, some pieces of clothing are sewn together with thread that is not strong enough for daily wear or use.
The result is a wardrobe that doesn’t last long and also there’s a chance you’ll end up squandering your money on something that will fall apart after only a few uses.
While some items are made with high-quality fabrics, many others are not. For example, a pair of tights that feel thick and have a pretty sheen may seem like they will be warm enough for winter. However, when you receive them in person, you notice that they’re thin and actually more transparent than expected.
These types of issues should make you nervous about ordering clothes online without seeing them firsthand or trying them on at a retail store. Cheap garments can look great in photos because they’re styled to perfection.
However, they can also look lackluster once you try them on and wear them around town or at work. You don’t want to waste your money on something that looks good only in pictures.