A Complete Guide (& Is It Allowed?)


Dropshipping with Shein has become a hot topic among dropshippers and YouTubers.

It’s because Shein offers some of the most affordable fashion items online, allowing you to sell almost anything at a profit.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Shein dropshipping, from setting up your store to importing products.

We’ll also answer the big question: Is Shein dropshipping allowed?

Let’s dive in!

Does Shein allow dropshipping?

Packages falling on the US

Officially, Shein does not support dropshipping as they don’t have a dedicated program or tools designed for dropshippers.

However, they haven’t banned dropshipping outright, leaving some room for you to explore.

Even without formal support, you can still access Shein’s huge fashion catalog and take advantage of its VIP program, which provides discounts and promotions.

Just remember to tread carefully and respect copyright laws, which we will explain in detail below.

Does Shein have a dropshipping solution?

No, Shein does not offer a dropshipping solution as commonly believed.

Instead, Shein has a marketplace where US-based sellers can apply to sell their products.

However, many dropshippers and ‘gurus’ incorrectly recommend this as a way to dropship with Shein.

Shein marketplace for sellers

In reality, Shein lacks a dedicated dropshipping platform with features such as automated order processing, inventory management, and ecommerce platform integration, unlike services like Spocket or Syncee.

But don’t worry; you can use apps like Importify that will let you easily import Shein products directly into your store!

Is it safe to dropship products from Shein?

Women clothing category product page on Shein

Yes, dropshipping from Shein is generally safe, but you should keep some key points in mind.

First, be mindful of copyright laws, especially when it comes to using Shein’s images. To avoid legal issues, it’s a good idea to order product samples and take your own photos.

Secondly, be aware of Shein’s branded packaging. Products come in transparent bags marked with the Shein logo, all within a generic white package.

Plus, Shein’s name will appear on the invoice.

Aside from these two issues, Shein offers a generous return policy. They allow returns within 35 days of delivery and provide free return shipping on the first package from any order.

So, you don’t need to technically worry about the safety and legality of dropshipping from Shein.

But you need to carefully manage the issues related to branded packaging and copyrighted images to make Shein a safe dropshipping supplier.

Pros and cons of Shein dropshipping

Let’s find out what makes Shein an attractive or less desirable option for your dropshipping business.

Pros

  • Shein VIP program. Shein offers a free membership program with four levels. Since you’ll be ordering frequently, you’ll qualify for various coupons.
  • Cheap pricing. You can set higher markups, which can lead to potentially greater profits, thanks to Shein’s affordable prices.
  • Trendy products. As a fast fashion powerhouse, Shein regularly updates its offerings with the latest trends.

Cons

  • Cannot use images. Shein prohibits the reuse of these images for any commercial purposes, limiting your marketing options.
  • Branded packaging. All Shein products are delivered in packaging that prominently features the Shein brand. That means your customers will be aware they’re receiving a product from Shein, which could affect their perception of your store.
  • Slow shipping. All Shein orders are shipped from China. So you can expect your orders to be delivered in 7 to 12 days.

How to start dropshipping with Shein

If you’ve decided to dropship with Shein despite the concerns explained above, you should take this as seriously as any business.

Here’s your straightforward guide to getting started:

1. Choose a niche

First up, figure out the kind of dropshipping store you’re going to open.

You have three main options: generalniche, and one-product stores.

Each comes with its own set of pros and cons. But we recommend starting with a niche store.

Why go for a niche? Because their upsides and downsides generally work out better than a general store’s.

For example, niche stores have these five big advantages:

5 Advantages of starting an online niche store

Plus, with Shein selling directly to consumers, your customers might wonder why they shouldn’t just shop from Shein directly.

This is where having a niche comes into play.

It offers customers a focused shopping experience where they can find everything they need in one place. They don’t need to browse through a vast, general inventory like Shein’s.

So, how do you pick a niche? Start with your passions.

For example, if you love journaling, you can open a stationery shop! Shein has an ‘Office & Supplies’ category with thousands of products.

Shein stationery stickers catalog page

2. Identify what makes a product great for dropshipping

Choosing what to sell in dropshipping can feel overwhelming

However, this decision is not one you should rush.

The products you pick, along with your choice of supplier and marketing approach, significantly impact your store’s success.

You’ll notice that some items sell with ease while others are tougher to move.

These ‘easy’ sellers are often referred to as ‘winning products‘ because they have certain traits that make them more desirable:

5 Characteristics of a winning product - Infographic

Take your time to understand these features well. It could significantly shape your dropshipping strategy.

We recommend exploring our list of the best dropshipping products, too. You’ll likely find many items from this list on Shein!

3. Sign up for a Shein account

Now that you have a general idea of the products you want to sell, the next step is to set up a Shein account.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by going to Shein’s website.
Shein homepage
  • Click on the user icon located at the top right corner of the page.
Click on the user icon located at the top right corner of the Shein's homepage.
  • From the dropdown menu, select ‘Sign In/Register.’
From the dropdown menu, select 'Sign In/Register.'
  • Add your mobile number or email address. You’ll also need to set a password and choose your style preference. Alternatively, there’s the option to continue with your Google email ID or Facebook account for quicker registration.
Shein registration page

Once you’ve registered, Shein will send you a confirmation email. Click the link in that email to activate your new account.

Then, start browsing the product category as per your decided niche on Shein.

4. Build your online store

In this step, you’ll build an online store to sell your goods!

You’ve got four parts to this step. Let us quickly outline the steps below before diving into the details of each one:

  1. Choose a platform
  2. Name your store and find a domain
  3. Register your domain name
  4. Create one or more professional email addresses

4.1 Choose a platform

The first step is selecting the platform that best suits your business needs.

If you’re looking for something that’s easy to set up and manage, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform like Shopify or BigCommerce might be what you need.

Homepage of Shopify

They take care of hosting and security for you.

You can read our article to understand which one’s better for you:

Shopify vs. Bigcommerce: Which One for Dropshipping in 2024?

If you’re tech-savvy and don’t want to be limited by the platform, go with an open-source platform like WordPress (with WooCommerce).

4.2 Name your store and find a domain

The .com bubble

Next up, it’s time to find a store name and register your domain name.

This might sound easy, but it’s a big part of your brand identity.

If you’re stuck for ideas, tools like Shopify’s Business Name Generator and Lean Domain Search can spark some inspiration.

Simply enter a keyword related to your niche – be it ‘garden,’ ‘trees,’ or ‘flowers’ – and these tools will suggest various domain names.

You can also directly check domain availability on Namecheap.

We suggest you check for the .com domain extension, as it is one of the most popular extensions.

Tip: Make sure your chosen name isn’t already claimed as a business name in your country to avoid any legal hiccups down the road. So, don’t name your store ‘NikeAccessories’ or ‘PokemonWorld’ or anything with a trademark! Here is more information about domain names and trademarks.

If you want more tips on choosing the perfect name, we suggest reading 10 Tips to Choose the Best Name for Your Dropshipping Store!

4.3 Register your domain name

Namecheap homepage

With your store name decided, registering your domain is the next step.

Namecheap is our go-to domain registrar as it is reliable and cheap.

4.4 Create one or more professional email addresses

Finally, creating professional email addresses adds credibility to your business.

An address that matches your domain, like support@yourstore.com, shows you’re serious about your business.

We suggest you take a look at Zoho Mail. With Zoho Mail, you can create a professional email address for free.

Zoho Mail homepage

If you’re looking for more information on how to get a free business email address, check out this article.

5. Import Shein products to your shop

Once your dropshipping store is up and running, the next step is to stock it with products from Shein.

Since Shein doesn’t offer a dropshipping solution that will help you import products automatically to your store, you have two options:

  • Add Shein products manually
  • Add Shein products through third-party apps

Adding products manually is time-consuming. You can use third-party apps like ShionImporter (for Shopify users) and Importify (for WordPress) to make this process much quicker. Importify also has a Shopify app if you’re interested in that.

ShionImporter app

These tools are not limited to Shein; they also support importing from other online retailers like AliExpress and Temu, which offer a wide range of cheap products.

Keep in mind, though, that these apps don’t help with order processing completely.

For example, Importify can fill in customer addresses at checkout but only does this for certain platforms like AliExpress, Amazon, and DHgate.

This means you’ll have to place orders for Shein products manually.

That said, these apps are great for other tasks. They automatically update data, import prices, SKUs, and images for each product variant, and let you set your own price markups, among other features.

But to truly make your store stand out, we suggest you customize the product details on your own.

Writing unique product descriptions, titles, and FAQs can set your products apart from competitors.

You can even use ChatGPT to create engaging content for your store.

Check out our guide ‘Dropshipping With ChatGPT: 18 Ways It Can Help Your Store’ on how AI can help you with various dropshipping tasks.

6. Develop a pricing strategy for your products

Pricing strategy for dropshipping

Now that you have a clear understanding of your store’s operations and products, it’s time to tackle pricing.

This isn’t about going with your gut. You need to factor in product costs, marketing expenses, taxes, hosting fees, app costs, and psychology.

Let’s say you buy a product for $5 and want to sell it for $20. Sounds good, right?

But you haven’t accounted for additional expenses such as:

  • $5 for shipping each item
  • $5 to $10 in marketing costs per sale
  • $1 transaction fee for each payment processed

Plus, there are other extra costs like app subscriptions, hosting fees, and platform fees.

This is where a solid pricing strategy comes into play. It’s not just about covering costs; it’s about making sure you’re actually making a profit.

To get this right, take a look at our complete dropshipping pricing strategy guide. It will walk you through everything you need to consider to price your products smartly.

And don’t forget to test your pricing with our profit margin calculator:

Calculate your profit margin here

7. Establish your customer service and return policies

This might seem like just another item on your to-do list, but trust me, getting your customer service and refund protocols right is critical.

How you handle refunds and returns can make or break your dropshipping business.

It’s all about keeping your customers satisfied because happy customers mean fewer headaches for you.

The last thing you want is to become another cautionary tale of a dropshipping store gone wrong, like that one store that vanished from Facebook after neglecting their customer care.

Messages on Attitude Today Facebook page
Source, their Facebook page is currently offline though

Remember, all Shein products come from China or Hong Kong, so shipping takes longer, usually between 7 to 12 days, or sometimes even more.

If you’re wondering how to deal with returns from China, we’ve got an article for you:

Older man reading the Chinese news

Then you should also know about Shein’s return policy. Thankfully, Shein has a generous return policy!

You can return products within 35 days of delivery. Shein also covers the cost of return shipping for the first package you return from an order.

If you return more items from the same order, they’ll take a $7.99 shipping fee out of your refund. Once Shein gets your return, they’ll refund you within seven business days.

But keep in mind, Shein won’t take back everything.

Items like bodysuits, lingerie, jewelry, some accessories, cosmetics, pet products, party supplies, and customized products aren’t eligible for return.

8. Start marketing to bring shoppers to your store

Someone holding an Ad

Your dropshipping store is set up, so it’s time to get the word out.

Remember, marketing isn’t just a one-time thing; it’s an ongoing journey that requires consistency and persistence to see results.

There are many ways to market your store, and the best approach depends on what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, and your goals.

Once you know your niche, product, and audience, finding the right marketing strategy gets a lot easier.

Check out our infographic that can help you quickly figure out which marketing tactics might work best for you:

How to pick the right marketing method for dropshipping - Infographic

With your marketing plan ready, it’s time to launch your Shein dropshipping store into the spotlight!

How to vet a Shein supplier?

Shein mostly manufactures its own products. Sometimes, though, you might notice another supplier’s name on the product page.

Shein seller information on product page

However, Shein doesn’t have a dedicated store page for each supplier, which would typically give you a comprehensive view of the products they sell, along with customer ratings and reviews, all in one spot.

What you can do is take that supplier’s name and look them up on AliExpress or Alibaba. This will show you if they’re a big player or just a small-time supplier.

If you’re not into the idea of dealing with smaller suppliers, stick to products that say ‘Sold by Shein’ right on their product pages.

10 Best-selling products to dropship from Shein

Shein, which was launched as SheInside in 2008, initially focused on women’s dresses.

By 2012, they had expanded their range to include cosmetics, shoes, bags, and jewelry.

Today, Shein offers hundreds of thousands of products, covering luggage, office supplies, automotive accessories, and much more.

Despite this wide range, they are best known for their trendy women’s fashion.

Still, here’s a list of the best-selling categories and top-rated products within those categories to dropship from Shein:

  1. Women’s dresses. Summer marble print dress, striped crew neck bodycon dress, and body heat map print tank long dress.
Shein's top-rated women dresses
  1. Women’s loungewear. Drawstring waist shorts, graphic tee and bow front pants set, and drop shoulder waffle knit lounge set.
Shein's top-rated women loungewear
  1. Women’s beachwear. Basics solid color bikini, lace Kimono cardigan, and seashell decorated texture swimsuit set.
Shein's top-rated women beachwear
  1. Pet products and accessories. Collar and leash set, avocado design pet plush toy, and color cat teaser spring toy.
Shein's top-rated pet products
  1. Electronic accessories. Phone cases from Shein, Wanderful, and DAMAI.
Shein's top-rated electronics
  1. Event and party supplies. Satin ribbon, shopping bags, and jewelry packaging gift set.
Shein's top-rated event supplies
  1. Storage and organization products. Beige strawberry pattern cosmetic bags, Portable cosmetic bags, and rotatable kitchen storage tray.
Shein's top-rated storage
  1. Women’s jewelry. Multicolor seamless elastic bands, black Manana embroidered caps, and colorful smile face keychains
Shein's top-rated jewelry
  1. Household cleaning. Hair comb and bottle with scale for hair coloring, plastic cup crevice cleaning brush, and clothespins for hanging clothes.
Shein's top-rated household cleaning
  1. Men’s fashion. Watch buckle, printed tee, and round neck tee.
Shein's top-rated men's fashion

3 Final tips for dropshipping with Shein

An image of a checklist

1. Don’t just dropship from Shein

You’re up against Shein itself when you dropship their products, not to mention dealing with their branded packaging and copyright issues.

Open up your supplier list to include AliExpress, Temu, TaoBao, and other Chinese brands.

Since most people don’t order from platforms like Banggood and Alibaba, you can use them in your own store.

As we mentioned before, you can use apps like Importify on Shopify and WordPress to simplify using multiple platforms.

2. Look at local suppliers too

In a world where everyone wants everything fast, waiting days to weeks for products from China can be a deal-breaker for your customers.

Sometimes, your customers might even second-guess their purchase and cancel the order.

Yes, local supplier products might cost more, and their websites might not look great, but they specialize in working with businesses and can get you faster shipping times.

If you need help finding local dropshipping suppliers, we have multiple lists of local suppliers you can work with here!

3. Create your own brand identity

Even when selling products from Shein, make sure your store stands out.

Write your own product descriptions, take your own photos, and tailor your marketing to reflect your unique brand voice.

This helps differentiate your store from others, including Shein itself, and can build a loyal customer base.

Shein alternatives for dropshipping

If you’re looking for affordable products to dropship from platforms that deal with businesses, then you can go with AliExpress.

But here, we’re highlighting three Shein alternatives specifically built for dropshipping. They handle product sourcing, order processing, and shipping for you.

1. Spocket

Home page of Spocket

Spocket is an ecommerce fulfillment platform that provides products from EU and US suppliers.

It’s known for its large and public product selection. However, Spocket’s pricing plans start at $40 per month, with a 14-day free trial.

If you want to learn more about Spocket, we have a dedicated review for it, which we encourage you to read.

Exclusive Spocket offer: Enter the coupon code: SpocketTrial during checkout, and you’ll instantly unlock a FREE 30-day trial. Click here to redeem your free trial now!

2. CJDropshipping

Home page of CJDropshipping

CJDropshipping is an excellent alternative to Shein if you’re looking for a dropshipping platform with fast shipping from China.

Out of any supplier, they have the largest selection and one of the best customer service teams. Plus, it’s free to use!

Check out our review of CJDropshipping if you want to learn more about it!

3. Syncee

Home page of Syncee

The third option is Syncee.

Like Spocket, they have a large public selection of products you can access when you sign up for their platform.

You can find over six million products from 12,000+ brands all over the world.

Syncee has a free plan for browsing the platform, as well as a 14-day free trial if you actually want to start selling their products.

Like other alternatives on this list, we have made a dedicated review of Syncee here.

Exclusive Syncee Offer for Shopify and Wix users: Use DoDropshipping10 during checkout to enjoy a 10% off on the Pro, Business, Plus Marketplace plans. This offer is valid with your first subscription plan and for a limited time. Don’t miss out!

FAQs about Shein dropshipping

Here are some more FAQs about Shein dropshipping:

Does Shein allow dropshipping?

Yes, you can dropship with Shein. But remember, Shein doesn’t let you use their product images or model photos. So, if you’re going to sell their items, you’ll need to get a sample and take your own pictures.

Is Shein dropshipping legit?

Yes, Shein dropshipping is a legitimate business model to sell the latest fashion without needing to stock up on inventory yourself. Just make sure you’re clear on Shein’s rules since they don’t have an official dropshipping program.

Where does Shein ship from?

Shein ships everything from China and Hong Kong, and usually, it takes about seven to twelve days for deliveries to arrive.

Can I connect Shein to Shopify?

You can connect Shein to Shopify using a third-party app called ShionImporter or Importify since Shein doesn’t have an official dropshipping solution.

Can I sell Shein products on my website?

Yes, you can sell Shein products on your website, but with one small condition – you can’t use their images since they are copyrighted.

Summary

Before we go, we’ve created a quick summary of this article for you, so you can easily remember it:

  • Dropshipping from Shein is possible, but it comes with specific challenges. Firstly, Shein restricts the use of their product images and model photos, so it’s best to order samples and take your own pictures to avoid any legal issues.
  • All Shein products ship from China and Hong Kong, which means you should plan for delivery times ranging from 7 to 12 days.
  • Shein’s packaging prominently features its branding, which could raise questions from your customers.
  • Since Shein doesn’t have a dedicated dropshipping solution, you can import their products using third-party apps like ShionImporter or Importify.
  • If you’re looking for affordable products to dropship from platforms that deal with businesses, then you can go with AliExpress.
  • For alternatives to Shein, we suggest Spocket, CJDropshipping, and Syncee, as they’re built explicitly for dropshippers.

Final verdict

Shein's top rated products in Women's Clothing category

Shein dropshipping can be worth it if you buy items in bulk and customize them with your label or embroidery.

To be honest, Shein isn’t our first choice because of its branded packaging and issues with using their photos.

But they have a ton of products at cheap prices. Plus, you don’t need to pay upfront for stock, so you can test various products in the market.

Once your dropshipping store starts getting traction and you are making a decent profit, you can look into buying wholesale from Shein and shipping products yourself.

Even better, consider Alibaba, as it deals exclusively with businesses.

Want to learn more about dropshipping?

Ready to move your dropshipping store to the next level? Check out the articles below:

Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth guide on how to start dropshipping here!



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