I’m going on holiday next month somewhere HOT (finally!) so I wanted to pick up a few more summery things to wear while I’m there. I did the usual ASOS/Zara/H&M look around but I found that sites like Romwe, Zaful and Shein ALWAYS have summer/holiday bits whereas the others focus a lot more on seasonal stuff. Shopping on sites like that is a bit of a question mark for me, I didn’t know how seriously to take them because they tend to seem too good to be true. I went for Zaful because they have HOARDS of swimsuits, and I watched a few reviews to be sure of product quality BUT all of the reviews I watched were affiliated, so I couldn’t be sure.
In the end, I couldn’t get some of the pieces I wanted out of my head so I decided to take the plunge and see what happened. Here’s what happened:
The Online Store
Their website can be a LITTLE hard to navigate just because there’s SO MUCH on there, but they have soooo many sections that make it a bit easier. I was obsessed with two-piece outfits and they’re one of the only sites that has a section dedicated to it. After awhile of looking around on there you get used to the excess of stuff – its similar to ASOS in that way. It never times out – everything stays in your basket for a LONG time, and stays in if you make an account/log in to one. Moving from adding stuff to the basket, logging in, adding a promo code, and paying went really smoothly (to my surprise). Each product also has a section for reviews where buyers can upload pictures and say pretty much anything about the product. I was worried that the reviews would be phony ones they had self-generated but they all seemed really honest and accurate.
Sizing on sites like these have a LOT of variety. I always recommend having a vague idea of your measurements and double checking them with the sizing of anything you buy online, because I’m notorious for buying the wrong size. Luckily, Zaful has a US sizing equivalent for each small, medium, and large. It varies from product to product, for example shirt A might say Small (US 4) whereas shirt B might say Small (US 0). I actually didn’t look at measurements too much, but relied on their equivalents and any reviews I could find to get a good idea.
Here’s where I had heard of drawbacks – I have a friend who shops at Shein every once and awhile, and she said that she loves shopping there as long as you pay attention to sizing and accept that it’s going to take months to come in. I ordered on Christmas Eve, and I don’t leave for holiday until around mid-February, so I had A LOT of time for stuff to come in. To my surprise, my order was here by the second week of January! Still took about three weeks but considering it shipped directly from China during the holidays I was really impressed. Everything was really nicely packed in individual sealed bags – on one hand its nice that they’re putting care into packaging, but all of it was plastic so it’s not the most environmentally friendly. One MAJOR drawback for me would be shipping for returns. Luckily I didn’t feel the need to return anything, but if I had I’m not sure how I would have gone about it. I did read a review that said they returned something, so it’s definitely possible, I’m just not sure how much of a hassle it is.
From what I understand quality varies A LOT in online stores like Zaful. The bikini I bought was standard quality, the two dresses I bought were very different materials, and the shirt was a see-through chiffon. I read reviews and product details to see if they matched up, and know what to expect. Nothing disappointed me quality-wise.
Most people who shop on these stores do so because of the cheap prices and trendy pieces. Most bikinis that they feature would be $70-100 on another site, but are $15-30 on Zaful. The ‘trendier’ pieces of clothing on stores like Zara and H&M tend to be the pricier ones, whereas Zaful has pretty much EVERYTHING for under $40. You always have to be careful with quality though – but that goes for shopping at stores like Zara and H&M too. Read reviews so that you know what you’re getting, and if there are no reviews, keep that in mind and don’t get your expectations too high.
I’m not sure if I ended up including this in the video or not BUT as much as I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved Zaful, I won’t be going there for every whim and want from now on. I really want to stress that we as a collective society shouldn’t be purchasing ‘disposable’ clothing – aka things you buy for a one-time wear. I always ask myself ‘how often am I really going to wear this?’ and ‘how long is this really going to last?’ before buying a piece of clothing. This is why reading reviews and being sure of a product before you buy it is SO important, especially if you don’t like returning. I absolutely LOVE all of the pieces I bought and I am sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of them during the hotter months, and on holidays. If I’m ever in the market for a certain style or piece of clothing in the future, I’ll definitely look on Zaful again. Overall it was a really positive experience, and considering that most major high street fashion companies outsource their manufacturing to nations that have less stringent labour laws, I don’t have anymore of an ethical dilemma buying from Zaful than I do buying from Zara or H&M.
If you want to see what I bought you can watch my haul and first impressions video below:
Have you ever shopped on a website like Zaful? What did you think?