LightInTheBox is a popular online retailer selling everything from clothing and accessories to home goods and electronics at lower prices than most wholesale suppliers.
LightInTheBox is also a well known dropshipping supplier for clothing and fashion.
But if you look at LightInTheBox reviews online, you’ll often find customers complaining about late deliveries and poor-quality merchandise, even though LightInTheBox is a successful company with millions of dollars in annual revenue.
Is LightInTheBox a good place to buy from? In this LightInTheBox review, you’ll learn whether LightInTheBox is safe and legit, along with tips for a smoother buying experience.
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What Is LightInTheBox?
LightInTheBox is a Chinese-based online global wholesaler that sells apparel and lifestyle products to customers in over 200 countries.
Founded in 2006, LightInTheBox offers products in three primary categories: apparel, home decor, and consumer electronics, but they are best known for their unique and affordable fashion items.
Is LightInTheBox Legit?
LightInTheBox is a legit company that generates over $400 million dollars in annual revenue by supplying goods from China to individual consumers and sellers worldwide.
LightInTheBox’s parent company, LightInTheBox Holding Co Ltd., is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Online customer feedback for LightInTheBox is solid. They have a Trustpilot score of 4.0/5, based on over 138k reviews, with 70% of ratings being either four or five stars.
Looking closely at the reviews, however, you’ll notice a lot of complaints about late delivery and incorrect sizing.
That said, LightInTheBox fares better than many of their competitors. For example, DHGate has a score of 1.9/5, Etsy scores only 1.6, and AliExpress’s rating is 2.7.
Overall, LightInTheBox is a legitimate business, and if you place an order, you will receive your goods as agreed with a reasonable refund policy.
LightInTheBox Warranty And Return Policies
Most LightInTheBox products come with a 30-day warranty, except for items in the “Faucets” and “Lights & Lighting” categories, which are covered for up to a year.
LightInTheBox’s return policy is fairly restrictive. After receiving your order, you only have seven days to make a “Return or Exchange” request.
Their return window is significantly shorter than competitors like AliExpress and Wish.com who allow returns within fifteen to thirty days of delivery.
That said, LightInTheBox accepts all return requests as long as the product meets the following conditions:
- The product is unused with price tags intact
- The product isn’t on the non-returnable items list.
You will need to pay the return shipping fees. And after receiving the returned items, LightInTheBox can take up to two weeks to confirm receipt and issue a refund.
LightInTheBox will sometimes offer a 30% to 50% refund or discount vouchers instead of giving you your money back. In these cases you should demand a full refund or exchange.
LightInTheBox will issue your refund to your Credit Account. You can use the credit to pay for a new order or transfer the amount to the credit card or other account you used to make the payment.
What Are LightInTheBox’s Payment Methods?
LightInTheBox accepts payments from more than a dozen international providers, including PayPal and Google Pay, and several regional payment partners, like Klarna, Boleto, and Sofort.
Here’s the list of international payment methods you can use for LightInTheBox purchases:
- American Express
- Apple Pay
- Bank Transfer
- Diners Club
- Google Pay
- Maestro Card
- Union Pay
- Wire Transfer
LightInTheBox also accepts payments from the following regional payment providers:
Note: If you use PayPal or a major credit card company like Mastercard or Visa, it’s easier to file a credit card chargeback if LightInTheBox fails to issue your refund on time.
Is It Safe To Buy From LightInTheBox?
Buying from LightInTheBox is 100% safe as the company provides shipment tracking and seven-day returns on all orders.
LightInTheBox also provides buyers with an estimated processing and shipping time for all products.
Made-to-order products require an additional “Tailoring & Handling Time”, which is the time LightInTheBox requires to customize your order.
Once your order is shipped, you will receive a confirmation email and tracking number. You can also track your order in real time from the “My Orders” page in your LightInTheBox account.
How To Cancel A LightInTheBox Order
LightInTheBox makes it easy to cancel an order if it hasn’t been shipped. Here are the steps required to cancel a LightInTheBox order:
- Sign in to your account, go to your profile icon, and select “My Orders” from the dropdown.
- Check the “Order Status.”
- If your order is in a “Draft” or “Pending” status, cancel by selecting “Order Number” followed by “Delete this order.”
- If the order status is “Processing,” scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Cancel This Order” hyperlink.
You should receive an automatic full refund as soon as you cancel your order.
Custom orders have different rules. You can only cancel a made-to-measure order for a full refund within 24 hours of payment.
LightInTheBox might still accept the order cancellation if production has already started, but you’ll only be eligible for 50% of the product price.
How To Ensure A Smooth Buying Experience On LightInTheBox
To ensure a smooth LightInTheBox buying experience, you must check product reviews and the number of items sold, match the product sizing to the US Size Guide, purchase duty and tax insurance (if applicable), and avoid the cheapest shipping methods from China.
Here’s a closer look at why each of these steps are important.
Check Product Reviews
Product reviews and customer ratings tell you what other customers have to say about the product. Only buy items with at least 50 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 or higher.
Check The Number Of Items Sold
If an item has been purchased hundreds or thousands of times, there’s a good chance it’s a quality product. I don’t recommend purchasing a product with fewer than 500 previous orders.
Does The Product Sizing Match The US Size Guide?
Customers often assume that LightInTheBox sizing will be the same as their local brands, but LightInTheBox is a Chinese business, so their sizing can be different.
Always check the size guide and compare measurements before purchasing from LightInTheBox.
Purchase Duty And Tax Insurance
LightInTheBox provides duty and tax insurance for certain orders, which you can confirm during checkout.
In the event that you are charged a tax fee when your order is delivered, LightInTheBox will issue a 100% tax refund when your parcel clears customs.
All you need to do is submit a “Custom Duty Issue” ticket with the amount of tax you were charged and your purchase invoice.
Don’t Choose The Cheapest Shipping Method
Choose one of the expedited shipping methods to avoid long delivery times. Customers who choose the cheapest shipping option often wait up to two months for their package to arrive.
The longer the delivery time, the greater the chance your product will get damaged in transit.
Priority Line or Expedited Express shipping is best, especially if you’ve ordered expensive items.
Pros Of Buying From LightInTheBox
- Attractive prices: LightInTheBox has some of the lowest prices in the apparel and home decor category.
- Easy to navigate website: The LightInTheBox website has a simple user interface. Each category has several filters that make searching for products effortless.
- Regular specials and discounts: LightInTheBox offers a 10% discount for certain orders made through their mobile app. They also provide discounts on most items in their catalog.
- Extensive catalog: LightInTheBox has more than 200,000 product listings with 1000+ products added daily.
Cons Of Buying From LightInTheBox
- Slow shipping time: Customers have complained about it taking ten to fourteen days to receive their order.
- Poor customer service: LightInTheBox takes one to two months to process refunds. In addition to that, their response time is quite slow.
- High shipping rates: Compared to its competitors, LightInTheBox has higher shipping costs.
Should You Buy From LightInTheBox?
LightInTheBox offers a wide variety of goods at low prices. But higher shipping costs, longer delivery times, and unsupportive customer service prevent LightInTheBox from being a reliable dropshipping supplier for your online store.
To run a successful ecommerce store, you’ll need to explore more reliable brands and marketplaces instead of relying on LightInTheBox as your sole supplier.
Some popular LightInTheBox alternatives include Alibaba, Chinabrands, Global Sources, and Made-in-China.
Read this for a comprehensive list of wholesale clothing suppliers.
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Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com.
His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and MSNBC.
He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.
In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts.
To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.
Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses.