Why Is SHEIN So Cheap? 6 Important Reasons To Know (2024)

Why Is SHEIN So Cheap? 6 Important Reasons To Know (1)

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Published Jan 22, 2024

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Shein, the popular online fashion retailer, has gained immense popularity for its trendy and affordable clothing options. However, many people wonder why Shein is able to offer such low prices compared to traditional retailers.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind Shein's affordability and shed light on the strategies they employ to keep their prices low.

What is SHEIN?

SHEIN is a global online fashion retailer based in Singapore. Founded in 2008, it has rapidly grown to become one of the world's most popular fashion brands, particularly among Gen Z consumers.

What does SHEIN sell?

SHEIN offers a vast selection of trendy and affordable clothing, footwear, accessories, and even home goods for women, men, and children. They're known for their:

  • Fast-fashion model: They constantly release new designs based on the latest trends, often at incredibly low prices.
  • Wide variety: You can find anything from casual basics to statement pieces and partywear on SHEIN.
  • Direct-to-consumer approach: They sell directly to customers, cutting out the middleman and keeping prices competitive.

Why is SHEIN So Popular?

  • Affordability: The prices on SHEIN are incredibly low, often making it possible to snag trendy pieces for under $10. This is due to their fast-fashion model and direct-to-consumer approach.
  • Trendy styles: SHEIN is constantly on top of the latest trends, thanks to their use of data and algorithms to track what's popular. This means you can always find stylish and up-to-date clothing on their website.
  • Convenience: Shopping on SHEIN is easy and convenient. They have a user-friendly website and app, and they offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount.
  • Social media savvy: SHEIN is active on social media and has partnered with many influencers to promote their brand. This has helped them reach a wider audience and build a loyal following.

Reasons Why SHEIN is So Cheap

If you're wondering why Shein is so cheap, here are some of the reasons behind the fashion retailer's affordability:

  1. Direct-to-Consumer Model: Shein operates on a direct-to-consumer model, which means they sell their products directly to customers without involving any middlemen. By cutting out the intermediaries, Shein eliminates additional costs associated with distribution, warehousing, and retail markups. This allows them to offer their products at lower prices compared to traditional retailers.
  2. Minimal Overhead Costs: Shein primarily operates online, which significantly reduces their overhead costs. They don't have to maintain physical stores or pay for expensive retail spaces. Additionally, their operations are streamlined, and they can optimize their supply chain to minimize costs. These factors contribute to their ability to offer affordable prices to their customers.
  3. Cost-Effective Marketing Strategy: Shein's marketing strategy is predominantly focused on collaborating with mid-tier influencers rather than running traditional ad campaigns. This approach is more cost-effective as they can reach a wide audience through social media platforms without spending exorbitant amounts on advertising. By leveraging influencer marketing, Shein can keep their marketing costs low, which ultimately reflects in their product prices.
  4. Fast Fashion Business Model: Shein follows the fast fashion business model, which emphasizes quick production and turnover of clothing items. They are able to rapidly produce and release new designs based on the latest trends, allowing them to stay ahead of the curve. This fast-paced production cycle enables them to offer a wide range of trendy clothing options at affordable prices.
  5. Global Manufacturing and Shipping: Shein is located in Nanjin, China, and has expanded its global shipping to reach customers worldwide. By manufacturing their products in countries with lower labor and production costs, they can keep their expenses down. Additionally, their global shipping network allows them to efficiently deliver products to customers around the world, further reducing costs.
  6. Economies of Scale: As Shein has grown in popularity, they have been able to benefit from economies of scale. By producing clothing in large quantities, they can negotiate better deals with suppliers and manufacturers, resulting in lower production costs. These cost savings are then passed on to the customers in the form of affordable prices.

What is the Disadvantage of SHEIN?

There are several disadvantages associated with shopping from Shein. Here are some key points based on the search results:

  1. Use of Harmful Materials: Shein uses a lot of synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon, which are harmful to the environment. These materials take a long time to decompose and contribute to pollution and climate change.
  2. Unrealistically Low Prices: Shein offers extremely low prices by cutting down on workers' wages and using cheap and low-quality materials. This creates a perception that clothes have little value and encourages overconsumption. The low prices also imply that clothes are disposable and not made to last.
  3. Fast Production Speed: Shein is known for its fast fashion model, producing new clothing items at a rapid pace. This leads to overproduction and excessive waste. The clothes are designed to be worn a few times and then replaced by new trendy pieces, contributing to a throwaway culture.
  4. Exploitation of Workers: There have been allegations of worker exploitation in Shein's supply chain. Many of Shein's suppliers are small and informal factories that often do not comply with labor laws. Workers may be subjected to long working hours, low wages, and unsafe working conditions.
  5. Contribution to Pollution: Fast fashion brands like Shein contribute to air and water pollution. The production of synthetic materials and the disposal of cheaply made clothes have a negative impact on the environment.
  6. Lack of Transparency: Shein has faced criticism for its lack of transparency regarding its supply chain and manufacturing processes. This makes it difficult for consumers to know the true environmental and social impact of the brand.


Shein's affordability can be attributed to a combination of factors. Their direct-to-consumer model, minimal overhead costs, cost-effective marketing strategy, fast fashion business model, global manufacturing and shipping, and economies of scale all contribute to their ability to offer products at lower prices compared to traditional retailers. By leveraging these strategies, Shein has become a popular destination for fashion enthusiasts seeking trendy and budget-friendly clothing options. However, it's important to consider the ethical and environmental implications of fast fashion and make conscious choices as consumers.

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1 Comment

Carmen Wigfall-hm



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Most, if not all of their clothes are made from cheap materials like polyester!!

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Why Is SHEIN So Cheap? 6 Important Reasons To Know (2024)


Why Is SHEIN So Cheap? 6 Important Reasons To Know? ›

Their direct-to-consumer model, minimal overhead costs, cost-effective marketing strategy, fast fashion business model, global manufacturing and shipping, and economies of scale all contribute to their ability to offer products at lower prices compared to traditional retailers.

Why are things from Shein so cheap? ›

Shein outsources their labor where wages are cheaper.

Because Shein spends less money on paying their seamstresses and factory workers, they're able to charge lower prices for their clothes while still making a profit. While Shein says they pay their workers fairly, many people believe Shein exploits their workers.

What are good things about Shein? ›

Affordable Prices: Shein offers fashion-forward clothing at incredibly low prices, making it accessible to a wide range of shoppers. Trendy Styles: Shein keeps up with the latest fashion trends, offering a vast selection of stylish pieces that are perfect for those who want to stay on-trend without breaking the bank.

What makes Shein so special? ›

The company sells clothing that is cheaply and rapidly produced, then sold at incredibly low prices — many items are under $10. Shein gave fast fashion a whole new meaning by using AI technology to identify trends and an online-only model to churn out thousands of garments in record time.

Is Shein high or low quality? ›

Real customer reviews of Shein clothes show that the fast fashion brand's products are inconsistent in quality.

How much do shein workers get paid? ›

The average SHEIN salary ranges from approximately $27,452 per year for Human Resources Specialist to $167,413 per year for Business Development Manager. Average SHEIN hourly pay ranges from approximately $17.32 per hour for Cashier/Sales to $29.41 per hour for Maintenance Supervisor.

Are shein clothes safe after washing? ›

Yes, SHEIN Clothes Are Safe to Wear After Washing

Good news! Washing your SHEIN clothes doesn't make them unsafe to wear. Just like any other clothing item you buy, washing SHEIN garments according to their care instructions keeps them clean and ready to rock your world with style.

Why do people prefer Shein? ›

Its biggest selling point is the low pricing of clothes that are shipped to more than 150 countries and regions worldwide, catering to women in their teens and 20s.

What is Shein famous for? ›

Shein (/ˈʃiːɪn/ SHEE-in; styled as SHEIN; Chinese: 希音; pinyin: Xīyīn) is a fast fashion retailer. Founded in Nanjing, China, in October 2008 as ZZKKO by entrepreneur Chris Xu, Shein grew to become the world's largest fashion retailer as of 2022.

What are Shein's weaknesses? ›

Unavailability of warehouses: The SHEIN supply chain lacking a warehouse can be a severe weakness for the organization.

Is there child labor in Shein? ›

Authors said teenagers “performed simple tasks, such as packaging, or sat at the sewing machines themselves, instructed by their parents, presumably to learn their trade,” although Shein has a strict zero tolerance policy for child labor, per the report.

Is it safe to buy off Shein? ›

However, despite Shein offering a secure shopping experience, it is surrounded by controversy that may make you weigh your purchasing choices. It raises ethical concerns over business practices and labor conditions, while its fast fashion model sparks debate over sustainability and the environmental impact.

Is Shein 100% safe? ›

It has a D rating from the Better Business Bureau and is not listed as a scam. There are concerns about item quality, eco-friendliness, and the labor conditions that the company upholds—but shoppers and their wallets will likely remain safe if they place an order on Shein.

Is it safe to buy stuff from SHEIN? ›

Is Shein legit or a scam? Shein operates as a legitimate online store on its website and app. With its roots in China and operational headquarters now in Singapore, Shein is known for an endless selection of stylish clothes and trendy accessories at appealing prices.

Is it worth it to buy things from SHEIN? ›

Only for pieces you won't wear often

With Shein, you get what you pay for: low-cost, trendy clothes that can be hit or miss when it comes to actual quality. It's the online-only equivalent of mall stores like Forever 21, H&M, and Zara.

Where do SHEIN items come from? ›

Shein produces clothing in China to sell online in the United States, Europe and Asia excluding China. It does not own or operate any manufacturing facilities and instead works with around 5,400 third-party contract manufacturers, mainly in China.

What happens in the SHEIN factory? ›

Channel4's documentary, Inside The Shein Machine, sent undercover cameras to film factory workers who were forced to pull 17-hour shifts to make hundreds of garments a day. In one factory, they made a daily base salary of $20, which would then be docked by $14 if any garments had mistakes.

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