I present to you a video I made about buying accessories direct from China. In this instance from the retail wholesaler SHEIN.
You might be familiar with SHEIN if you have ever seen a clothing advert online that made you doubletake over the price. The prices on SHEIN are ridiculously cheap compared to the standard western retail prices. The average price of the pieces I bought was around $2. SHEIN is essentially AliExpress but for clothes only.
I was inspired to buy a bunch of these cheap accessories and make this video review because several friends and consulting clients had themselves been exploring direct from China options. Many of the jewellery shops online are after all drop shipping from Asia, by going direct you could potentially cut out the middleman and achieve massive savings. One friend in particular found a skull necklace for sale on a US facing website for $50 but that very same item was on sale on AliExpress for $1.50.
This is a good example of the markup you can face online buying from drop shippers. However, there are still good reasons for using sites that I’ve previously used, such as twistedpendant.com or asos.com, for your accessories.
As I demonstrate in the video buying direct from China is something of an ‘iffy’ option.
Reasons for this are:
- The quality control is not the best and the onsite reviews are unreliable
- Purchases usually have a no return policy
- Your order typically takes a couple of weeks to arrive and there are often customs issues
- The general ethical question of buying from China if that bothers you
When I broached the subject of SHEIN and AliExpress with a friend who has a lot of experience in fashion, he told me that around ¼ of the products you receive will be good. Thanks to the ridiculously low prices even these odds are good though. You should at least pick up one or two decent pieces for you wardrobe. He also said you are better off sticking to jewellery + accessories and not bothering with the clothing from such websites.
Of the accessories I reviewed in the video, 6 out of 11 were deemed good enough to use in my wardrobe. I’m also likely to pull a couple of the pendants apart so I can use their components for other necklaces.
Part of my higher than usual hit rate with these accessories was no doubt due to going for more minimal designs. Some of these options, like the metal bar pendant, are extremely hard to make poorly. Minimalist accessories are the style I recommend for everyone. With necklaces specifically you want to go with smaller pendants and thin chains.
Overall, this wasn’t the worst shopping experience, but with the no return policy I am stuck with having to throw away half of the delivery if I can’t find use from them. I would additionally caution guys who are looking to save a lot of money on jewellery by going down this path. The pieces on twistedpendant and ASOS for example are between $10-30. You are paying for the better designs and the quality control which you can’t guarantee buying from SHEIN.
When it comes to jewellery if I want a particular piece the I want that piece. I am willing to pay to get the item I want, not go for something a lot cheaper that arrives a month later and disappoints me.
If you enjoyed the YouTube video please click through and leave a like.