How is Shein So Cheap? Explained!

How is Shein So Cheap? Explained!

How is Shein So Cheap

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Shein is a Chinese fast-fashion company that has become immensely popular globally due to its affordable prices, trendy designs, and a wide-range of products. But, have you ever wondered how is Shein so cheap in comparison to other fashion brands in the market? In this article, we will explore the various factors that make Shein products so affordable and its strengths and weaknesses.

The Introduction: Understanding Shein’s Business Model

Before we delve into the reasons behind Shein’s inexpensiveness, it is necessary to understand the company’s business model. Shein operates solely online, producing clothing directly from the manufacturers and selling them on its website. It ensures minimum middlemen involvement, which saves costs that are otherwise borne by the customers.

Additionally, the company employs a fast-fashion approach, which means that they produce and distribute products in small quantities and at a rapid pace. This enables them to provide the latest fashion trends quickly, with low production costs, and a lower risk of excess inventory.

Furthermore, Shein offers free shipping at a certain purchase amount, no-cost returns, and refunds. All of these services are managed internally, which means there are no additional expenses for third-party partners.

Now that we have understood Shein’s business structure, let us delve into the factors contributing to its highly competitive pricing strategy.

Shein’s Strengths: Advantages That Help Keep Prices Low

1. Low-Cost Manufacturing in China

As we are all aware, China has been the world’s most significant manufacturer for several decades. Hence, Shein’s production and supply chains are concentrated in China, a country with affordable labor rates.

Moreover, Shein sources its fabric and materials within China, which further reduces the cost compared to major Western brands that rely on imported fabrics, rendering the cost much higher.

2. Minimum Production Costs

Shein operates as a pure-play online store, enabling them to control the manufacturing and inventory levels more effectively, leading to lesser wastage. The company works on small batch productions, eliminating any leftover stock, thus cutting down production expenses.

Additionally, the company invests considerably in innovative technologies, logistics, and infrastructure, which further decrease the production costs.

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3. Private Label Branding

Shein produces all its products under its label, avoiding any expensive licensing deals or collaboration agreements. As a result, they have more leeway to price their merchandise lower than established brands that involve partnerships with designers, celebrities, or big fashion houses.

4. Strong Social Media Presence

Shein has a strong social media presence that influences its sales positively. It predominantly targets the younger generation on platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. As social media is a cost-effective form of advertising compared to traditional marketing, it enables the company to keep advertising costs lower, making it easier to offer lower prices than other fashion brands.

5. Competitive Pricing Strategy

Shein continually offers discounts, promotions, and offers to its customers. Its pricing strategy remains competitive in comparison to its fast-fashion peers such as H&M, Zara, etc. This attracts more customers to its website, which has contributed significantly to its fast growth and overall revenue.

Shein’s Weaknesses: Things You Should be Aware Of

1. Quality Issues

One of the recurring complaints of Shein is the quality of its products. Some customers claim that the fabric quality, workmanship, and longevity don’t match up to other brands. However, this seems to be the price that customers are willing to pay for the company’s affordable price point and fast-fashion approach.

2. Sizing Issues

Shein’s clothes are usually inexpensive for a reason but never underestimate the significant differences in sizing between different brands. Shein’s consistent sizing standardization isn’t always accurate, and it could frequently lead to size mismatch.

3. Environmental Concerns

Fast fashion is a considerable environmental concern, and Shein is no different. Shein’s business model emphasizes rapid production cycles and frequently rests on cheap, non-sustainable materials that come with a significant environmental impact.

4. Ethical Issues

Although Shein claims to maintain ethical standards, the company has been accused of child labor exploitation, unsafe working conditions, and inadequate wage levels at its Chinese factories. As a result, customers and critics have raised concerns about Shein’s labor practices.

5. Long Shipping Times

Shipping time has been another major challenge for the company. Due to their production and shipping times, some customers receive their orders weeks, sometimes even months, after they have been placed.

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6. Returns and Refunds Issues

Although Shein’s return and refund policy is customer-focused, some customers have reported facing difficulties with refunds and returning items, mainly due to unclear instructions, or lack of transparency in the process.

7. Limited Product Life-Span

Shein’s life-cycle of products is relatively brief. With Shein releasing a wide range of new products nearly every day, some customers have faced unavailability of previous items that they would like to purchase again.

Table: How is Shein So Cheap?

Reasons for Shein’s Cheap Prices
Low-Cost Manufacturing in China
Minimum Production Costs
Private Label Branding
Strong Social Media Presence
Competitive Pricing Strategy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Shein Legit?

Yes, Shein is a legitimate company in China that operates globally.

2. How does Shein make profit with such low prices?

Shein saves costs by having minimum middlemen involvement, and cutting down expenses on storage, suppliers, and retail stores.incur minimum advertising costs. The long term strategy is to retain customers and gain market share from established retailers.

3. Do Shein products have a low-quality rating?

Shein has been accused of producing low-quality products, although customers knowingly choose Shein for their lower prices and faster production cycles.

4. Is Shein planning to invest in better quality control?

Shein is constantly investing in new logistics and technological systems that aid in enhancing the overall quality control of the products.

5. Is Shein ethical?

Shein has been accused of unethical labor practices, although, the company claims that it maintains ethical standards.

6. Are Shein clothes made in sweatshops?

Shein has been accused of running sweatshops in China, although these allegations have not been proven strictly.

7. How long does it take to receive the order from Shein?

Shipping times may vary due to the destination and customs regulations. It usually takes 15-30 days for delivery using standard shipping methods and a few days for expedited methods.

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8. Will I receive a refund if I return the order?

Yes, Shein offers returns and refunds through its customer service department. The process may take a few days, depending on the location and the courier used.

9. Does Shein have a free shipping policy?

Shein offers free shipping for orders of $49 and above.

10. Is it safe to pay for Shein using my Credit card?

Shein uses encrypted payment methods to protect their customers’ financial data, making it safe to use credit cards.

11. Can I track my order on Shein?

Yes, Shein offers an order tracking service on its website.

12. Does Shein have a physical store?

No, Shein operates only through its website and has no physical store locations.

13. Does Shein sell ethical products?

Although Shein claims to adhere to ethical standards, customers have raised concerns, and independent reviews of the company’s operations seem to cast a degree of doubt on its ethical stance.


In conclusion, Shein offers affordable fast-fashion products through its various cost-cutting methods, such as low-cost manufacturing, minimum production costs, private label branding, strong social media presence, and a competitive pricing strategy. Though Shein does offer highly competitive pricing, it also has shortcomings such as quality issues and ethical concerns. It is essential to weigh the pros and cons before purchasing from the company. In conclusion, Shein’s business model is highly competitive and profitable. However, Shein’s ethical and environmental impact would need closer monitoring in the future

Thank you for reading this article, we hope that it has provided you with the necessary information you were seeking. We would like to encourage our readers to support sustainable fashion and make ethical choices to protect our planet and society.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on various resources available on the internet. We are not affiliated with Shein and do not endorse their practices. Please take into account other reviews and resources you have seen, in addition to our article, to come up with your own informed decision.