Shoppers question validity of Chinese clothing websites

Azucena Giron shops on overseas clothing websites. Photo by Erica Azad.
Azucena Giron shops on overseas clothing websites. (Erica Azad)

Jennifer Stout thought she found the perfect swimsuit on an online clothing store advertised on her Facebook. Free shipping, extremely low prices and popular styles made the site seem too good to be true.

It turns out, it was.

After waiting for three months, Stout, 19, finally received her swimsuit in the mail. The swimsuit she received barely looked like the one she ordered. The material was cheap, and the stitching was falling apart. The swimsuit was also two sizes smaller than the marked size she ordered.

People are finding themselves in similar situations as Stout’s. Clothing websites, often based in China, are attracting people with popular styles and low prices but leaving a trail of bad reviews and angry customers.

“I know that online shopping is a risk, but I think these sites just feel like a scam,” Stout said. “I expect my order to come quickly, be accurate to the measurements on the sizing guides and be in good condition.”

Many review forums for these overseas websites are filled with customers complaining about long shipping times, low-quality material and sizing issues. Other reviews describe issues getting customers’ money back on purchase returns, and some customers never receive the order they paid for.

But not all customers are disappointed with these sites. Alice Cannon, 19, from Blackfoot, Idaho, often orders from clothing websites based in China.

“Online shops from China have so many different styles and options, which I really like,” Cannon said. “Everything has worked out great for my orders.”

Cannon has ordered several times from these websites and has never had a problem with her orders.

“If you do order from one of those sites, just make sure you plan ahead,” Cannon said. “Shipping takes at least three weeks, and usually the orders take a while to process.”

Azucena Giron has mixed feelings about these websites. She recently bought a sweater online and received it one month after ordering.

“Honestly I think you get what you pay for,” Giron said. “You trade good service and quality material for low prices.”

With mixed reviews and customer experiences, online shoppers may wonder whether or not they can trust these websites. Giron said she felt lucky that her purchase worked out well.

“I think it is always a risk, but if you get lucky, the cheap clothes you get make it worth it.”

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