LightInTheBox Review and honest opinion
Published on: 21-04-2020 / Modified: 09-07-2020
LightInTheBox.com is a Chinese sales site that exists for more than 10 years. It is probably not the most famous site, its interface is not the most modern but you will find many Chinese products with sometimes very interesting prices. I bought several smartphones and some other products on LightInTheBox, everything went very well but before buying on LightInTheBox, I advise you to read this page to avoid an unpleasant surprise.
LightInTheBox doesn't have any offices outside China, so all deliveries will be made from China.
Official site: LightInTheBox
LightInTheBox vs Aliexpress vs Gearbest?
LightInTheBox is just as legitimate as Aliexpress or Gearbest, this site has existed for over 10 years, so it is not fraud to steal your money. The difference with Gearbest and Aliexpress is mostly in the kind of products sold. You can find all kinds of products on LightInTheBox as on other sites but the specialty of LightInTheBox is mainly clothing and products related to the home (decoration, garden, ...). Just look at the number of products for each category to realize it, the category "women's clothing" contains more than 68000 references while the category "computers" contains only 8000 references.
Why is this specialization important for your purchases? The guarantees offered for the products may surprise you. I'll explain all this in the next paragraph.
Warranties offered by LightInTheBox
As I wrote above, LightInTheBox is a Chinese site, so it is not required to comply with European legislation on warranty. This is also the case of other Chinese sites but the particularity of LightInTheBox is that the warranty is sometimes very light. This guarantee depends very strongly on the type of product purchased. For smartphones, the warranty is only 3 months!
The generic warranties offered are:
Within 30 days.
You may return a product within 30 days and obtain a refund under the following conditions:
- the product is defective
- the product has been damaged during transport
- the product differs from its description
Within 14 days.
- if the product does not meet your expectations
- if the product has not been used (e.g. clothing)
In case of return, the return is to China and at your expense!
There are specific guarantees for certain types of products, smartphones are for example guaranteed for 3 months but overall, the guarantee is clearly not the strong point of LightInTheBox! It's quite common on sales sites in China, LightInTheBox is not an exception.
LightInTheBox contact / customer service
If you have not yet ordered a product on LightInTheBox you will have a hard time finding a form to contact them, they clearly don't want to be bothered by their customers. If you have placed an order at home, you can contact them but only for a problem with customs or a return request, no other type of question is possible!
If you click on the list of tickets, you can't even create another one without going through the order screen. So if you have a question that has nothing to do with customs or a return, you'll have to search for a way to contact them.
What is the solution? It is possible to contact them via Messenger/Facebook, they usually respond after a few hours.
My experiences with LightInTheBox
I made my first purchase on LightInTheBox in 2017, I bought a Chinese smartphone for my mom who needed a new phone. I went for a Leeco Coolpad, you don't find this kind of phone in Europe. Before ordering, LightInTheBox offered me an insurance to cover the customs fees in case the customs would ask me an extra charge, I had never seen that before but for the asking price (2€) I thought it couldn't be a bad idea.
Lightinthebox customs fees
The smartphone I bought was worth 94€ including delivery. With this amount, the customs may actually seize the package and claim 21% VAT and processing fees. The customs actually seized my package and claimed 45€, justifying that the price on the invoice was probably wrong because they thought that the phone was actually worth more. This is totally arbitrary and from the moment you pay these customs fees, an appeal costs 80€, it's scandalous. So I fill out the customs fee form on LightInTheBox with the customs documents and to my surprise, LightInTheBox refunded the full amount without any discussion!
For all the other products I bought from them, I took out insurance each time to avoid problems.
Did I have any problems with LightInTheBox? No, absolutely not. The products I ordered were all as I expected and I never had any problems. Through Messenger, I also received satisfactory answers to my questions.
Way of working
LightInTheBox works a bit like Gearbest, you are not in direct contact with the supplier of the products, LightInTheBox takes care of the customer relationship. It's easy to deal with Chinese salesmen who don't speak English very well.
LightInTheBox also has its own loyalty program. You receive points with every purchase and you can then exchange these points for discounts for your next purchases.
When you buy in China, you always take the risk that the delivery will take longer. With LightInTheBox it's the same as on other sites, sometimes the delivery is fast (1 week), sometimes you have to wait longer (1 month).
LightInTheBox, a scam? Legitimate?
No, LightInTheBox is not a scam but before buying from them, check the warranties related to the product because they are often very light and in case of a problem after 30 days, you may not have any recourse.
What to buy on LightInTheBox
LightInTheBox offers a wide range of products but they are mainly specialized in clothing. You will find clothes for all tastes but be careful to order the right size as Chinese sizes do not match European sizes at all. If you have to return the garment because it is not the right size, you will have to pay the return shipping costs, these costs will sometimes be higher than the purchase price of the garment.
You can also buy other products, LightInTheBox also has good offers for smartphones for example but don't forget to check the warranty!
I would also like to point out that even if China offers products at lower prices than in Europe, too low a price will also have an impact on quality.
LightInTheBox Dresses, clothing, gowns
Dresses are very popular on LightInTheBox, I'm not a buyer of that kind of product but my recommendation for other products remain the same. For dresses, you'll find an enormous amount of cheap dresses but you need to pay special attention to sizes (not only with LightInTheBox but on ALL chinese sites) and also check if there are any specific conditions for returning dresses if you're not happy. A very low price might also be a sign that quality will be low, everything has a price, even in China.
Other types of products: wedding dresses, cosplay, gowns, ...
Dresses on LightInTheBox.com
Wigs is another very popular product on LightInTheBox, I never imagined that there was a business for this kind of product but I'm wrong, I see in Google that more than 10000 people have been looking for wigs on LightInTheBos in one month, that's the second most popular category after dresses.
Wigs on LightInTheBox.com
LightInTheBox coupon / discounts
I received some coupons / discounts that you can use under certain conditions. For some of them you need to connect to your account in order to get them in your coupon wallet while for the others, you need to add the coupon before the payment page (bottom of the page)
SSP10 - 10% - min 29€ - Check offer
SSP12 - 12% - min 69€ - Check offer
PRIME10 - 10% - min 49€ - Check offer
15PRIME - 15€ - min 100€ - Check offer
LITBA5 - 5€ - min 28€ - Check offer
LITBA10 - 10€ - min 57€ - Check offer
CO719 - 5€ - min 19€ - Check offer
I didn't have the slightest problem with LightInTheBox, they were even able to demonstrate that they kept their promise with the insurance for the customs fees. Unlike Gearbest, their customer service is efficient and you don't have to exchange dozens of messages to get something. At first I should recommend you to buy products on this site but I can't do so without putting my finger on the problem related to warranties. Buying something on LightInTheBox involves a risk because if the product doesn't work anymore after the short warranty period, you won't have any recourse.
It's a bit of a gamble because if the purchased product works properly, the lack of warranty will have no impact. My mum still uses the first smartphone I bought from them and it still works very well. So you need to assess the risk for your situation. Before buying on a Chinese site, you should always compare and not be too quick to be tempted by the price at the risk of ending up with a bad product.
Here are some ideas of popular products on LightInTheBox: airpods, dresses, smartphone accessories, bags, boots, wedding dress,
I sometimes receive comments asking me to fix a problem with an order or to intervene with LightInTheBox. I'm not linked to LightInTheBox, I'm a customer there like anyone else, so I don't have the possibility to help you. You can share your experience below