Shein vs Aliexpress – Which One is Cheaper to Use?

Which of the following platforms can you buy cheaper on the latest trends or daily essentials? Shein and AliExpress, both online shopping platforms can help you find the trendiest outfits or everyday essentials at the best prices, and wandering these bustling e-commerce streets might leave you wondering which is the smarter choice.

This article breaks down the ins and outs of Shein and AliExpress, from shipping times to return policies, pricing, and product assortment, with each platform’s unique pros and cons, to help you choose the right shopping platform.

What is Shein?

Shein, an online store originating from China, specializes in offering fashionable clothing and accessories at affordable prices. Initially known as SheInside, the brand underwent a rebranding in 2012 when it was acquired by Chris Xu. This rebranding led to the birth of Shein, which allowed the company to expand its focus and cater to the international market.

With the rebranding, Shein made significant efforts to serve customers from various countries. As a result, the company now operates multiple websites tailored to specific regions, including the USA, Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Middle East, and Australia. Each website is designed to provide a curated shopping experience that caters to the preferences and needs of customers in that particular region.

Among these international markets, the USA stands as Shein’s leading foreign market. This highlights the success and popularity of the brand in the American market, showcasing its ability to resonate with customers and meet their fashion needs. With its affordable prices and trendy offerings, Shein continues to attract customers from around the world, establishing itself as a prominent player in the online fashion industry.

What is AliExpress?

In 2010, the Alibaba Group established AliExpress as an international B2C online shopping platform. It offers a wide range of products at very affordable prices. AliExpress has thousands of product suppliers from China, including manufacturers and wholesale distributors. These suppliers list different types of goods, which are then organized into various categories on the AliExpress website and App.

The categories on AliExpress are diverse and cover almost all day-to-day items that most people require. Some of the categories include apparel for men and women, beauty and health, consumer electronics, cellphones and telecommunication devices, home and garden, education and office supplies, and toys, kids, & babies. You can browse through these categories to find what you need or enter a keyword in the search bar to get search results of what you are looking for.

In summary, AliExpress is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group that offers an international B2C online shopping platform. It hosts thousands of product suppliers from China, including manufacturers and wholesale distributors. The platform offers a wide range of products at very affordable prices, which are organized into various categories on the AliExpress website and App.

Related: Temu vs AliExpress

Shein vs Aliexpress

Shein vs Aliexpress

Products Variety

AliExpress is definitely the go-to platform when it comes to a wide range of products. It has an incredible variety that caters to all kinds of product needs. This makes it a perfect choice for both retailers and drop shippers who are looking for goods in various niches. With AliExpress, you can find everything you need in one place.

On the other hand, if fashion is your passion, Shein is the place to be. It is a fantastic platform that keeps up with the latest fashion trends. You can find trendy and stylish pieces that won’t break the bank. Shein offers affordable prices without compromising on quality, making it a favorite among fashion enthusiasts.

In summary, AliExpress is the ultimate destination for diverse product options, while Shein is the perfect platform for fashion-forward individuals. Whether you’re looking for a wide range of products or trendy fashion pieces, both platforms have got you covered.

Dropshipping Policies

Both AliExpress and Shein do not have any strict policies on dropshipping. However, Shein’s regulations make it more challenging to dropship compared to AliExpress, which has no rules that hinder dropshipping.

Shein vs Aliexpress

As a result, dropshipping through AliExpress would be more convenient. You can even import product listings from the website to your online store, and this process can be automated using dropshipping tools like Oberlo.

However, if you are interested in dropshipping fashion items from Shein, it would be beneficial to collaborate with a trustworthy dropshipping agent. They can assist you in achieving blind dropshipping and more seamless order fulfillment.

Pricing and Discounts 

At first glance, AliExpress appears to have lower prices than Shein. But upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that Shein provides excellent value for your money as well. This is evident in the high quality of their clothing and accessories.

Shein is known for their generosity when it comes to coupons and free shipping for larger orders. Similarly, many sellers on AliExpress offer significant discounts for bulk purchases.

While AliExpress may seem like the cheaper option, don’t overlook the value that Shein can provide. With their quality products and money-saving deals, you can get the best of both worlds.

Shipping Timelines

If you’re looking for a fast delivery, Shein is the way to go. They usually deliver products within 14 days, which is much quicker than AliExpress, where it can take up to 45 days. So, if you need an item as soon as possible, Shein is the more reliable option.


It’s important to note that both AliExpress and Shein are legitimate online shopping stores. While there may be some challenges and faulty orders, they are not scam websites. So, you can shop with confidence knowing that you’re dealing with legitimate businesses.

Return Policies

Shein vs Aliexpress

Returning items bought from Shein can be a bit of a hassle. You either have to pay for shipping insurance for all your orders or risk having to pay the return fees. This can be a significant downside if you plan to resell Shein items because you may incur lots of costs if customers need to return items. On the other hand, AliExpress has a much more accommodating 15-day returns policy and a money-back guarantee if you follow the stipulated regulations for returns.

Shipping Timelines

Shein is known for its speedy delivery, with most orders arriving within 14 days. In comparison, AliExpress can sometimes take up to 45 days to deliver. Clearly, Shein takes the lead in terms of reliability and efficiency when it comes to shipping your purchases.

However, if you choose to dropship through AliExpress, there are ways to expedite the shipping process. You can consider using a dropshipping agent who can help speed up the delivery. Alternatively, it’s important to be transparent with your customers about the longer shipping times associated with AliExpress, so they can be prepared and patient.

Overall Online Shopping Experience 

Both AliExpress and Shein offer excellent online shopping experiences for customers. Their websites and apps are user-friendly and accessible to shoppers worldwide.

To cater to the diverse needs of their customers, both platforms have implemented certain features. AliExpress supports multiple languages, making it easier for shoppers from different regions to navigate the site. On the other hand, Shein has gone a step further by creating separate websites tailored to specific regions, ensuring a more personalized shopping experience.


Shein vs Aliexpress

With what has been described above, AliExpress is the undisputed champion in affordable online shopping. While Shein specializes in offering fashionable items and faster shipping, AliExpress casts a wider net, attracting customers with its unparalleled variety and comprehensive offerings across multiple categories.

AliExpress is the premier destination for a wide range of goods, serving retailers, dropshippers, and everyday consumers. Its extensive catalog covers everything from fashion to electronics, home essentials to toys, catering to countless niche needs.

While Shein is able to quickly introduce the latest fashion trends, AliExpress stands out with its all-encompassing product range, comprehensive returns policy, and global reach that extends its services to customers around the world. While both platforms boast user-friendly interfaces and regional adaptability, the sheer breadth and depth of products offered by AliExpress make it the go-to choice for those looking for variety, affordability, and versatility in their online shopping experience.

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Ivy Smith

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