Romwe Vs. Shein Vs. Zaful – Ultimate Comparison [5000 words]

Preparing for a fashion haul? But where to choose from- Romwe, Shein, and Zaful? Don’t sit and stew over it- let us help you! 

This article will tell you all the key points about each brand. We will do a comparison. You can then assess which one has the best prices, better quality, easier payment options, and quicker delivery!


Table of Contents

Is Shein better quality than Romwe?

Both brands are owned by the same parent company. So it isn’t a surprise that much of their merchandise is of similar quality. Many items are even common to both. For regular clothing offers, the quality is on par. 

But of late, Shein has begun offering more expensive and better quality premium apparel. These are not found in Romwe. So because of the premium line, there are better quality options that can be found on Shein.

Is Zaful better quality then Shein?

Zaful is of slightly better quality compared to Shein. Both Shein and Zaful offer large assortments across categories. But Zaful’s selection of home-wear, leisurewear, athleisure etc. is of a higher standard compared to Shein. 

Zaful is preferred to Shein when it comes to the informal, everyday clothing of moderate quality.  Zaful being a moderate cut above uses finer versions of fabrics. Because Zaful’s fast fashion is better made, it has an edge over Shein in this aspect. 

Is Romwe better quality than Zaful?

Romwe offers a few more avant-garde pieces and unique options compared to Zaful. On the other hand, Zaful is on point when it comes to fashion trends and breakout styles. Zaful offers better quality and finishes at affordable price points as compared to Romwe. 

Zaful and Romwe both offer accessories and jewelry. Romwe also offers home décor, which Zaful doesn’t. So this category cannot be compared. But across other common categories like clothes, accessories, shoes, home-wear, etc. Zaful outdoes Romwe.  


Is Romwe safer than Shein? 

People worry about safety because such prices are too good to be true. But both Romwe and Shein are safe as houses.  You may be concerned about online phishing scams. But your debit/credit card information remains safe on these sites. 

They don’t store information or sell it to third parties. They serve several countries worldwide, so don’t lose sleep over this.

Shein did encounter a hacking attempt in 2018. Romwe also had some customer information leaks in 2020. But they took immediate steps to stop further breaches so as to protect customers. 

Romwe has certified with SSL and Norton security. Shein also claims that it doesn’t use customer information to personalize cookies for personalized marketing.

Is Romwe safer than Zaful?

Both Romwe and Zaful have Norton security standards and other certifications. The fact that Zaful’s headquarters is only an online presence may give you pause. But Zaful has upgraded its payment and security measures. 

They have also established a risk control group. It is now just as secure and safe as Romwe or any other site for that matter. But comparatively, Romwe is safer. This is because Zaful’s customer service is often inaccessible, which puts people’s money at risk. 

Is Zaful safer than Shein?

Zaful is a little dicey in terms of reliable delivery for pre-paid purchases. It is also rather poor in terms of returns. Customers feel unsafe making purchases. They fear losing money if they don’t like the item.

There is no physical corporate office that can assist. This makes the customers feel very insecure. There is no conventional grievance redressal structure which makes the process uncertain. .  

The return procedure may not be a good experience in Romwe either, but Zaful takes the cake. And not in a good way. 


Is Romwe cheaper than Shein? 

Yes. It is true that both Romwe and Shein have bargain prices for similar products. But the Romwe price range is narrower. They offer more items within a lower budget. Shein has a wider price range for similar items. 

For example, at Shein, the shoes, bags, and accessories category can be priced anywhere from $0.75 to $80. For the same category at Romwe, the prices start cheaper, i.e. about $0.35. The maximum price is also capped at $60. 

Romwe has a price ceiling. So even the most expensive items at Romwe will be up to $20 cheaper than Shein. 

Is Romwe or Zaful cheaper?

Romwe is quite a bit cheaper than Zaful both in terms of actual and relative prices.  If we were to compare two similar items like loungewear, it would be more expensive on Zaful. The lower end of the price range begins higher than the prices at Zaful. 

The costliest items at Zaful are about double the prices at Romwe.

Is Shein or Zaful cheaper?

Shein and Zaful are alike on many counts, be it variety or large catalogs. Zaful is more upscale compared to other fast-fashion sites like Shein. Their quality is a notch higher. This is reflected in higher prices as well.

For example, in the accessories and shoe category, Zaful items may start 20 cents higher. The most expensive pieces may be about $10-$30 more than Shein’s. For clothing, Zaful’s starting prices are almost double that of Shein. 


Who is the owner of Shein?

Shein, founded as SheInside in 2008, is held by a parent company called Nanjing Lingtian Information Technology Co., Ltd. This is based in the Shenzhen area of China. They also have a warehouse in Guangdong that caters to international buyers. 

This is where they keep their main inventory. The founder and CEO of Shein is Chris Xu (aka Yangtian Xu). He is responsible for this transformation of Shein into a multi-million dollar fast-fashion site.

Who does Shein ship with?

Shein ships with different companies depending upon the country of delivery. For example, shipments to the United States are done by China Post for regular deliveries. Couriering is done by USPS.

For express deliveries, FedEx is used. Aramex and Naqel are shipping services in the UAE. Yokel couriers serve the United Kingdom. Each region will be serviced by a shipping partner based on where the nearest warehouse is located. 

Is Shein legit?

Yes, Shein is a legitimate fashion site. It is a legal commercial entity, not a bogus retailer. There are pros and cons. 

  • Payment: It accepts all debit/credit cards. Payment lines and bank details remain secure. Shein doesn’t store the details to illegally trade on the dark web. 
  • Quality: Shein does offer bargain-basement prices. It has never claimed to offer upscale fashion for cheap. You get what you pay for. So expect only the quality that can be bought for these throwaway prices.  
  • Returns: The process of returning is complicated and time-consuming. Many times, the process is incomplete and people lose money. 

If you’re disappointed, you should be able to return your purchase. Not enabling that becomes a very dodgy practice. 

  • Marketing: Shein does put out fake reviews. It also promotes using paid influencers. Hundreds of thousands of social media handles are created to market and promote Shein. This is a shady practice which makes customers question Shein’s integrity.  

Is Shein good or bad quality?

Shein offers moderate or below-average quality items. The clothes are of much lower quality than the high-fashion trends they take inspiration from. They use synthetic materials which are inexpensive. They aren’t very durable. 

But they are sold for dirt-cheap prices too. You can expect the clothes to fade out after a while. They may also not fit as well as you had hoped. But that’s the very low price you pay for inexpensive glamor.

Is Shein ethical?

No, not by a long shot. To be fair, Shein has always stood by its reputation as a fast-fashion outlet. Shein hasn’t pretended to be very sustainable either. How do they rank in this aspect? 

  • Environment: Everyone knows fast fashion is bad for the environment. It is quickly disposed of, ending up in landfills. Shein is no different. It doesn’t even attempt to reduce its carbon footprint. It churns out hundreds of new pieces daily. 
  • Animal Rights: Shein doesn’t use animal material like fur or leather. Probably because it’s too costly to extract and process. They do use wool. But they don’t do animal tests. They don’t use animal products in the manufacturing process.

It doesn’t actively try to save animals, but it doesn’t quite hurt them either. 

  • Legal issues: Shein has been accused of copyright violation by both couture house designs and smaller fashion labels. 

Is Shein reliable?

Yes. It is reliable in many ways. You get what you give in terms of quality. Banking channels for paying. Largely, there is no issue with prompt delivery and receipt of the order. 

On the other hand, the order may not be exactly what you had in mind. This could be because representation on the website isn’t accurate. Or maybe not enough details on size and material were provided. So you could be disappointed.

In addition, returning and refunds can be an unwelcome hassle. 

Do Shein clothes run small? 

Yes, they do. Shein does have a size chart that people can refer to. They can select based on their measurements. There is a whole range of sizes for different body types. But at the same time, the clothes do come in sizes that are smaller than what is advertised.  

This doesn’t hold for all the clothes though. For example, a t-shirt of size 16 may fit perfectly but another blouse may not. Generally, the sizes tilt towards being tighter/shorter. So perhaps you should order a size or two up.

Do Shein orders come early?

Shein orders do come in early if you are lucky. Sometimes the tracking portal will update the arrival dates to a few days prior.. But it really depends on where the order is to be delivered. The timing also depends on airport customs, clearance, weather, etc. 

The tracking portal is also rather unreliable. It may stay stuck at the same status for days or weeks on end. It is near impossible to trace accurately. So it is uncertain whether your parcel will arrive on time, early or very late.

Does Shein take long to ship? Does it come on Sundays? 

This really varies from one place to another. It depends on how close a warehouse is to the customer. Domestically it may take up to 2 weeks for express shipping. It takes about 1-3 weeks for standard shipping.

Internationally, standard shipping could take anywhere between 3-6 weeks, with express shipping taking half that time. Deliveries will not arrive on Sundays. Weekends and public holidays are not considered part of the workweek. 

Do Shein clothes shrink?

Shein clothes may shrink depending on the material. It isn’t unique to Shein. Some materials like cotton and wool, tend to shrink. Synthetics like polyester are much more resistant to shrinking when put in the washer/dryer. 

Do Shein shoes run small?

Since Shein does not use the standard sizes that American retailers use, there can be some confusion here. Some shoes may run smaller than what you would expect. 

But using the size chart dimensions can help a lot. Remember that different types of shoes fit differently. A size 8 for platforms may be comfortable, but you could feel cramped on the same size could for pumps. Also, consider your height and the width of your feet when ordering. 

Think about how existing shoes fit you and then make a decision. 

Does Shein have plus size?

Yes. Shein does offer plus-size clothing between sizes XL to 5X. Even in their plus-size line, what you receive is about two sizes smaller than the standard measurement for that size.

So the plus-size doesn’t actually serve its purpose very well. Some items are suited to a medium girth. For example, if you order a 5X, it is likely that the measurement would be more along the lines of 3X. So re-check the measurement on the chart for both waist and hip. 

Also, take some time to think about the fabric. Think about how it will fit you based on the clothes you already have. Some fabrics may be stretchy. Others may be of a larger size, but when worn may only fit a smaller body.

Does Shein use child labor?

Shein does not seem to be employing children. Nor does it seem to be engaging in forced labor practices. This is the claim on its Social Responsibility page.

You should however know that most of the workshops that make Shein clothing aren’t registered. These are informally sub-contracted workshops with no legal connection to Shein. 

They claim to abide by Chinese regulations on employment age and other standards. But since they don’t have a license, it is tough to verify whether they employ children. So far there is no concrete evidence of such practices.

There are only rumors floating around based on how fashion sweatshops used to function. But it remains an open question. Shein has never disclosed where or how it makes or sources its products. 

Does Shein have free shipping?

Yes. You can get free shipping if you buy up to, or more than $49.00 in the United States. Free express shipping is offered when your order amount exceeds $159. In addition, Shein sometimes has surprise free delivery offers. These are given on random days and times.

You can get free shipping coupon codes on Wednesdays. And on Sundays, at certain times, you could get automatic free shipping without a coupon. 

Does Shein have free returns? What about exchanges? 

Yes. Shein offers free returns. If you send back your items before 45 days expire, you can claim a free return.  But you can’t return items like lingerie, intimates, cosmetics, and beauty products. If you have lost the tag, it can’t be sent back. Nor can you return if you have broken the hygiene seal.

If you have placed an order, you can only make one free return from that order batch. You can return one or multiple items from a single order, one single time. But if you try to return anything else from the same order at a later date, then you have to pay $7.99 dollars. 

If you want, you can choose your own courier service if you have to return something which is charged. The same rules apply to exchanges. Your items should be undamaged, unwashed, and unused. They should be packaged with a ‘free return’ seal on them. 

What payment mode does Shein accept?

Does Shein take Apple Pay? 

No, Shein does not accept Apple Pay. It is not listed as one of the possible payment options. But it may be accepted on the Shein app on an iPhone or iPad.  

Does Shein take Visa gift cards?

Yes, it does. Since it accepts Visa debit/credit cards, it will also accept the vanilla card i.e. the Visa gift card. 

Does Shein take Afterpay?

Yes, You can use Afterpay to make your payment in installments on Shein. You need to pay 4 times every fortnight, without paying any interest. 

Does Shein take PayPal?

Yes, Shein does accept PayPal. If you have an account, you can pay through that. Or you can pay using the PayPal gateway with your debit/credit card. 


Who is the owner of Romwe?

Romwe is owned by the same parent company as Shein. It is alternatively called Zoetop or Globalegrow E-Commerce. April Xie is the CEO of Romwe. Very often, Romwe is thought to be a subsidiary of Shein, because it has a smaller inventory.

Lots of Shein products end up on Romwe. Sometimes Romwe products are even delivered in Shein packaging!

Who does Romwe ship with?

Romwe ships to the United States using China Post for standard shipping. The domestic delivery is by USPS. In the case of express shipping orders, Romwe uses FedEx. 

Is Romwe legit?

Romwe is a lawful and licensed retailer.

  • Payment gateways and bank information is protected. There is no criminal invasion of privacy.
  • Quality: Images shown do not always represent the product truthfully. You may get a different color or fabric. The design may also be different.

Romwe has been accused of using photos from other sites/publications on their webpage. This is not a legitimate practice. Legally, using other people’s photos or images is a copyright offense. This is against the law.

Is Romwe good or bad quality?

For the prices you pay, you should only expect a passable quality. The items are not meant to be long-lasting or similar to what you get with premium retailers. Even if they are not single-use, they are fairly quickly dispensable.

You can expect anywhere between low to middling quality. This depends on the prices you pay.  Don’t be disappointed if the image looks like couture but what you get is a cheaper replica. These imitations are usually made of low-cost synthetic materials. 

Is Romwe ethical?

No, Romwe isn’t ethical on several counts. These are listed below: 

  • They aren’t transparent about their sourcing, production or the material that they use. There was a major scandal in the U.K where a buyer received real fur instead of faux fur from Romwe.
  • Sustainability efforts are also bare minimum, if at all. They don’t really do much to reduce their carbon footprint. 
  • They clone copyrighted images from other magazines and publications to use on their site. This misguides buyers who often receive pieces that look nothing like the photo. 

They claim to be ‘ethical and humane’ in all their efforts. But actually, they do very little to address important issues of human and animal welfare.

Is Romwe reliable?

Quite doubtful. While the legal and financial aspects are secure, the products have their fair share of problems. The product photos and designs are often completely different than what buyers receive.

There are also major quality problems and several complaints. On top of this, returning the product is a stressful process. There are sometimes many delays and tangled procedures to go through. Refunds are also held up; sometimes they aren’t even given. 

Do Romwe clothes run small? What about shoes?

Yes. Romwe clothes don’t go by consistent measurements, which makes assessing proportions quite tricky. Your measurement should dictate what size you buy and not the other way round. Don’t buy a standard size. Romwe doesn’t use the U.S. standard scale.

The same goes for shoes as well. Keep in mind your height and the width of your feet when choosing shoes. Also, be aware of the kind of shoe you are buying since different shoes need different sizes and specifications.

For example, you will need different sizes for sandals as compared to sneakers. 

Do Romwe orders come early? 

Unlikely. Romwe does delay quite a bit in its delivery. Even in the best-case scenario, an order that is on-time can take rather long to arrive. This can extend to several months, as the following sections will explain.

Does Romwe take long to ship? Do they deliver on Sundays? 

Yes, it certainly takes a while for Romwe to ship. The exact duration depends on which country you are in. Romwe has warehouses within different regions and countries. These include India, China, California, Belgium, and Dubai. 

So, depending on your location, standard shipping could take anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks. Many times it is delayed even further. Romwe also requires up to a week for processing in addition to the shipping time. Express shipping could take 1-3 weeks.

Romwe does deliver on the weekends including Sunday, but only if you select the flat rate options. It will be delivered by USPS courier service.  

Do Romwe clothes shrink?

All clothes shrink, not just Romwe items. If you order shrinkable materials like linen or silk, then you may have to order a size or two larger. 

If you order nylon or other synthetic materials, they most likely won’t shrink. Also, check if the label says  ‘pre-shrunk. Then you can expect it to be smaller than the listed size. 

Does Romwe have plus size?

Yes, Romwe does offer a plus-size line of different clothing items. These include winter clothes, jeans, dresses, etc. But just make sure that the dimensions are the same as yours. We suggest that you focus in particular on the length.

Even if it looks a little longer, you would be better off choosing that. Many of the dresses in the plus-size category tend to ride up – their length is a few centimeters shorter when worn. 

Does Romwe have free shipping?

Yes, Romwe offers free shipping of three varieties. You can get flat rate shipping if you buy items for more than $9.90. Free standard shipping is accessible on purchases above $19. Free express shipping is only available if your basket exceeds $90. 

Does Romwe have free returns? 

Romwe allows you to return once for free per order. The order can have one or many items. For an illustration, you can refer to the same section on the Shein FAQs. The return has to be made within 60 days along with the return label on the package. 

Any extra returns from the same order will be charged $7.99, which will be deducted from your refund amount. The return window has been extended to 75 days due to COVID. 

Can you exchange on Romwe? 

Romwe used to allow exchanges, with the exception of items that were unavailable or not in stock. As of now, exchanges are unavailable. Remember that you will only be refunded the actual item price.

The original shipping, return shipping, and any other labeling charges will not be refunded. If Romwe is responsible for a defective item then it will provide free shipping along with a full refund.

What payment method does Romwe accept? 

Does Romwe take Apple Pay

As of now, the Romwe website doesn’t accept Apple Pay, but the app might enable it. 

Does Romwe take Visa gift cards?

No, currently, Romwe isn’t accepting gift card payments. But it does accept Visa credit cards.

Does Romwe take Afterpay?

Yes, Romwe does accept Afterpay’s installment-based credit plan. You will get your items immediately, just as if you had already paid.

Does Romwe take PayPal?

Yes, Romwe payments can be made either with a PayPal account, or you can pay with a debit/credit card on the Romwe PayPal link.


Who is the owner of Zaful?

Zaful is owned by Shenzhen Global Egrow E-Commerce Co. This company also goes by Wiseon E-commerce (Hong Kong) Ltd. It was founded in Hong Kong by its CEO Leo Wang. 

But unlike Romwe and Shein, its representative company in the United States is different. It goes by the name Lomeway E-Commerce (Luxembourg) Limited.

Who does Zaful ship with?

Zaful uses the ColisExpat shipping service for delivery in the US. Domestically, DHL or USPS courier services are used for delivery.

If you choose standard shipping you have to collect your parcel from the post office. In the case of Express shipping, the parcel will be delivered to your doorstep.

Is Zaful legit?

Yes, it is an authorized, recognized company. There are some issues that could make you question its authenticity. These include: 

  • Location: Zaful only recently started an office in the United States. But even now, its registered office is located in Luxembourg. This is only a virtual office. 

On the ground, there is no warehouse or any registration for the company. This can make people a little uncomfortable. They would like to know and see where their purchases come from!  

  • Returns are a little shady. The situation is worse than Romwe and Shein. Some returns are rejected because the issue may be blamed on the customer, even for things like incorrect size or color.

Is Zaful good or bad quality? 

It’s really a toss-up. Compared to similar fast fashion brands, Zaful offers considerably better quality. Better grade fabrics are more costly. This translates into higher prices as well. But they offer great discounts which may give you your money’s worth. 

At the same time, there are also some items that use low-end material. They then charge higher than other places, for no additional value. 

Is Zaful ethical?

Yes, Zaful is trying to be more ethical in many ways but has its shortcomings too. 

Sustainability: Zaful is trying to be more eco-friendly. It has taken steps like using environment-safe printing inks. It is also trying to make its clothes more long-lasting. This is to prevent them from ending up as single-wear garbage that clutters landfills.

Intellectual Property: Zaful has been accused multiple times of stealing designs, ideas, and images from other magazines and websites. It passes them off as their own. So in this way, a lot of customers get duped. This isn’t an honest business in any form. 

Is Zaful reliable? 

No, not particularly.

Delivery: True, Zaful does offer great deals and promises a specific delivery time. But in reality, most items take way too long to reach. Several times, the purchase doesn’t even reach the buyer.  

Customer Service: Even if you want to return items, customer service is shoddy. There is often no response to return requests. At times it is so bad that even getting a response seems impossible.  Even if you do, the resolution of issues is very slow.

In several instances, the problem isn’t resolved and people lose their money

Do Zaful clothes run small? What about shoes? 

Yes, most of the Zaful clothes run small, especially the swimsuits. As always, take accurate measurements and order clothes based on individual dimensions. Don’t rely on standard sizing. Also depending upon the fabric type, you may want to order a size up if you think it will be too close-fitting. 

The same applies to shoes as well. 

Do Zaful orders come early? 

You probably shouldn’t count on Zaful orders coming in early.  

Does Zaful take long to ship? 

Zaful takes much longer to ship than other brands. Express Shipping takes about 2 weeks minimum, without any delays. Standard shipping takes anywhere from a week to a month. There have been quite a few cases where people have waited several months. 

Do Zaful packages come on Sundays?

No, public holidays and weekends are not included in Zaful’s working delivery slots. 

Do Zaful clothes shrink? 

Yes, but not because they are from Zaful particularly. Acrylic and spandex don’t shrink. But other natural materials will. Especially if they are put in the dryer after washing. The heat from the dryer tends to shrink new clothes.

Does Zaful have plus size?

Yes, Zaful does offer trendy and chic plus-size clothing with great discounts. These are available for both men and women. It has great collections for all the beautiful curvy girls out there. There is a whole range of both loungewear and outdoorsy options available. 

Does Zaful use child labor? 

There is no way to tell for sure. Zaful does not disclose any of its manufacturing or processing practices. The company’s transparency is very poor. So nobody can verify where the factories are or who is working in them. So this question remains unanswered. 

Does Zaful have free shipping? 

Yes, Zaful does offer free shipping. There is no standard rate that applies at all times. But as of now, if you spend approximately $50-60 then you will get free standard shipping. 

Some coupons also offer free shipping for orders above $30-35 – but these are time-limited. In addition, for free express shipping, you have to buy at least $130-150 worth of merchandise. 

Does Zaful have free returns and exchanges?

No, a free return is only possible under limited circumstances. If you return the item within a month of receipt, you can get a refund. You will need to contact the customer service team and they will send you an RMA form (Return Merchandise Authorization). 

Without this, you can’t proceed.

If there was a fault from Zaful’s side in terms of manufacturing or other damage, you will get a full refund and free return. If you ordered an incorrect size or you didn’t like the product, you will still get the refund or exchange. But you will have to pay shipping charges. 

What payment methods does Zaful take? 

Does Zaful take Apple Pay?

No, the Zaful website does not accept Apple Pay, but the iPhone app might.   

Does Zaful take Visa gift cards?

Yes, it may, since it accepts Visa credit/debit cards. But Zaful also has its own gift cards. You will have to check if your Visa gift card is accepted because all card payments are to be made through the PayPal page. 

Does Zaful take Afterpay?

Yes, this ‘buy now-pay later’ option is available when buying from Zaful.

Does Zaful take PayPal?

Yes, PayPal is the main method of payment on Zaful. You can use debit/credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, etc. Or you can use the portal directly. 

This article should have helped you identify the brand best suited for you. Now you can look like a million bucks for just a few dollars! Go on, look fabulous! 


Anand Srinivasan
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