Lifestyle, Shopping

Everything You Need To Know About Shopping Cheap Clothing Websites

Untitled design (5)It seems like lately, everyone is talking about cheap Chinese websites and sharing horror stories about their experiences. Stories have popped up everywhere from Buzzfeed and Refinery29 to Teen Vogue. Seriously… reading them is horrifying. There’s nothing worse than spending your hard earned money on something, only to get significantly less than you paid for. It’s really just not ok.

If you’re a long time reader, you know that I’ve shopped and worked with some of these sites that have come under fire. I’ve personally shopped Romwe and work with Choies and Shein regularly. Because I’ve placed at least a half dozen orders with these retailers, I felt like I really wanted to share an honest open communication about my thoughts, experiences and advice on which retailers are ok, which to avoid, and what to keep in mind if you do decide to shop. I always aim to be transparent with you and share only my honest opinions.

Here on A Sparkle Factor, I’m very blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some wonderful and amazing brands. I love blogging. I love that this is my job. I take the platform that I’ve created here very seriously. I take our relationship very seriously. I love sharing my favorite fashion finds and trends with you and am so grateful that you visit the blog every day and take the time to read what I have to say. I wanted to assure you that your trust is important to me and that when I choose brands to partner with or recommend products, sponsored or not, I only ever agree to take on projects I truly believe in and promote products that I like and enjoy. I would NEVER trade my integrity for money or goods. Your trust is more important to me than a free dress. Even in posts where I’ve partnered with a brand, I am ALWAYS 100% honest with my thoughts and opinions. 

Romwe Blue Off the Shoulder Dress (2 of 9)Wearing the blue Romwe dress. Original post here.

And so, what about these cheap clothing websites? There are some REALLY bad ones out there, definitely. I’d stay away from Rosegal and Zaful, to name a couple. Those are two that I’ve just heard bad story after bad story. In fact, I’d probably stay away from all of them except for Choies, Shein and Chicwish. I used to order from Romwe, but I did feel like most of the time, the pieces I ordered were wretched and not at all like what was pictured online. I pretty much returned everything except for this dress, that I love and still own. Granted, the quality of the dress? Not great. But it’s cute, I get tons of compliments on it and I wore it a couple of times and it served its purpose.

I once included a longline trench vest from Romwe in a shopping spread and got an email from a reader who said that she had ordered it, received it, and that it looked NOTHING like the picture. She also told me that she had trouble returning the product and that the retailer was refusing to refund her. I was HORRIFIED and so, so upset. I couldn’t believe that a reader (who trusted me!) had ordered from this retailer I had recommended and had such a terrible experience. I felt so bad that I tracked down a customer service representative, wrote a scathing email and got them to agree to refund the reader. When I reached out to the reader, she never replied. After that, I never recommended Romwe again, nor do I shop from them.

Midi skirt and striped tee outfit-3

Wearing a Choies skirt. Original post here.

I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Shein and Choies. Their customer service has always been helpful to me, I’ve never had problems with shipping, and the product has always been acceptable in terms of quality for the price. I’ve heard amazing things about Chicwish. I’ve never ordered from them or worked with them before, but a bunch of my blogger gals do and they have nothing but good things to say. I would recommend these three retailers to you and say if you’re in the market for cheap clothing, they’re generally good options. I’ve made the decision that going forward, for these cheap clothing websites, I will only ever recommend product that I’ve ordered for myself and can vouch for in terms of quality and accuracy. That way, you can know and trust that anything I recommend has been properly vetted and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.

Romwe Trench Dress (1 of 21)

Wearing a Choies trench dress. Original post here.

Since I consider myself to be something of an expert on shopping cheap clothing websites, having ordered from them so many times, I figured I could share some tips on how to be smart about shopping them and how to guarantee you have the very best experience possible.

Tips for Shopping Cheap Clothing Websites

Manage your expectations.

I think that a lot of times, people do have unrealistic expectations. Obviously if you’re ordering a $15 dress that’s a knock off of a $500 Self Portrait dress, they will not be of equal quality. Manage your expectations. Be willing to sacrifice quality for the novelty of buying a dress you’ll wear once or twice and not feel guilty about never wearing again.

Pay close attention to measurements and product information.

Many times, you won’t end up ordering the size you think you’ll need. Sometimes, I end up ordering a Large, sometimes I get an X-Small. You need to pay really close attention to the measurements to decide what you’ll need. Typically, these products run WAY small, but there are times a garment will weirdly be one size fits all or huge.

Read the reviews.

Many products have reviews and shoppers upload photos of themselves in the garment. I feel a lot better ordering something if I’ve seen it on someone else.

Stay away from anything over-embellished or with a complicated fit.

I stay away from things that look like they need to be perfectly tailored to look good or anything that’s super complicated. Embellishments will tend to look cheap, so stay away from that too. Keep it simple.

Pay with Paypal.

I would pay with an AmEx via Paypal for best results. AmEx is really amazing and offers awesome protection guarantees, as does Paypal. That way, if you run into some sort of issue where you run the risk of losing your money, you’re double covered and can dispute your charges with Paypal and AmEx.

Final thoughts…

Remember, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Be smart when you’re ordering from these websites. And, again, I’d strongly urge you to stay away from all of the sites except for three I’ve either personally ordered from or know more than 3 people who have ordered from and had good experiences– Choies, Shein and Chicwish. I’d love to hear what you think, and if you’ve ordered from any of them! I hope that in being transparent about what I think about these retailers, you’ll feel more confident in any recommendations I make from them. Again, at the end of the day, the most important thing to me is your trust and I look forward to continuing to share my personal style with you every day. 

xo, Stephanie

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