Lifestyle blogger, Tamryn Sher, tried the online clothing site SHEIN and this was her experience…

I’ve been so bored with my current wardrobe – I usually purchase high-quality items and I look after them really well (so they last for years). Now I feel as though I’ve been wearing the same outfits for years and I’m so bored with my wardrobe.

Like many of you, I saw the SHEIN adverts on Facebook and I was super sceptical. After speaking to a few trusted friends I placed an order and it went like this…

Timeline:

27 September:

I placed an order for 26 items. I paid R4115 in total. This is after SHEIN gave me free shipping, a 20% off coupon, and this price also included shipping insurance. At first, they told me my order would only arrive on 10 November which was quite disappointing. However, it arrived much sooner than that (yay!). I tracked my order on the app, so I could see exactly where my order was at any point.

16 October – 19 days after I placed my order:

My shipment arrived at customs in SA. Aramex called me to ask if I had an importers code and to confirm my email address. To be clear, you don’t need an importers code to order from SHEIN.

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20 October:

I received an invoice from Aramex for R1329 to receive my parcel from customs SA.

The breakdown was as follows:

  • R260 clearance
  • R29 disbursement fee
  • R355 Customs VAT
  • R685 Duties

Which I paid the same day

The online store vs what I got
Image supplied by Tamryn Sher

24 October – 4 weeks after the order was placed:

My order arrived at my door at 09h00! My shipment literally took four weeks from the day of order to delivery. I was super nervous about the quality of the clothing, if it would fit and if everything would be there. My order arrived in a flyer bag and each item was individually wrapped in a plastic, zip-locked bag. Most of the clothes had tissue paper in the package and an extra button.

I was honestly really impressed with the sizing and the quality of the garments. I found that their sizing chart was true to size and the quality was great. Just like what you would buy from Zara or any other clothing shop.

Some of the fabric was really soft and comfortable while others were a little stiffer (you can usually see this from the images online too so this shouldn’t be a surprise once it arrives), none of the shirts were sheer, and the silk blouses were made of a light fabric and looked more expensive than they actually were.

The cotton shirts are soft and breathable, two of them were made of quite a thick cotton fabric and I loved that too. The cotton shirts with embroidery detail really were embroidered, the detail wasn’t printed on (which I was worried about). The only thing that didn’t fit quite right was the bikini. The bottoms fit, but the top was a little too small and honestly –  because everything else looked so good, I’m ok with that….

Now to decide which family member gets a teeny, weeny, leopard print bikini this summer.

The online store vs what I got
Image supplied by Tamryn Sher

My advice for your SHEIN order:

  • Take the shipping insurance
  • Track your parcel
  • Be prepared to pay a customs fee that’s about 30% of your total cost
  • Know your measurements and order accordingly. I ordered items between XS to L based on the measurements so don’t just order a small because that’s what you usually are – actually look at the measurements
  • Look at the image reviews and make a decision from there
  • Read the descriptions of what the fabrics are made of to manage your expectations
  • Be prepared to wait about 4 weeks for your order

Even with customs fees, my clothing items averaged out at around R220 per item which is great if you ask me. I bought a combination of work blouses, casual shirts, and two jumpsuits and I’m really happy with my purchases.

SHEIN offers you points for posting reviews of the clothes, which I like as you can use these points to get a discount on your next order. They also apologised for the delay with my shipment and gave me extra points which worked out to be about R200 off my next order.

Truth be told, I wasn’t even affected by the delivery date as the items still came weeks before I was expecting them.

I’m not expecting these clothes to last years and years but I feel like I can buy a few, fashionable items every season now and it won’t bankrupt me. I recommend mixing and matching higher quality items with your SHEIN items to create a fashionable look.

Now we can all look like Instagram models wearing the latest items at affordable prices. Good luck and happy shopping!

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