Never heard of LightInTheBox.com? Well, read on. Whether you need a custom wedding gown or even a cosplay costume, LightInTheBox is the best place for affordable customised products.
How To Shop On LightInTheBox
So, what exactly is LightInTheBox (and why should I care)?
LightInTheBox is a China-based (surprise surprise) site that sells everything from apparel to er, faucets. The main difference between LightInTheBox and most other shopping sites is that they specialise in inexpensive customised items, so you can get custom-made wedding gowns or even Halloween/cosplay costumes through the site.
Yes, you can buy this snazzy bath holder too. (Source: LightInTheBox)
What? Really?! Tell me more.
As mentioned above, you can buy a whole range of things on LightInTheBox, but it’s probably best known for wedding dresses and accessories. Think beautiful made-to-order gowns for around USD $100 – $300. There is also a wide selection of inexpensive bridesmaid dresses on the site, including convertible gowns that can be worn several ways.
Ooh, I’m interested. What are the shipping fees and delivery times like?
LightInTheBox provides three different options for shipping (see here), which can take anywhere between 3 to 20 days. Depending on which shipping option you choose, shipping fees can vary between SGD $22 to $24 per kg. The more your order, the cheaper the shipping.
To get an estimate of your shipping cost, click on the “Estimate Shipping Cost” button located at the bottom of your shopping cart page.
If an item is shipping out from a third-party seller on the site (or is a custom made one), shipping might take a bit longer than stated. Items usually ship out about a week after you’ve paid for the order.
And take it from us – avoid ordering during peak seasons like Christmas, Year-End Sales and worst of all, Chinese New Year. If you have to, place you order at least 2 – 4 months before your event to be safe.
What if I hate my item and want to return it?!
LightInTheBox will clearly state in the item description if that product is eligible for the 30-day refund policy. Most unused items can be returned within 30 days for a full refund. Simply log into your account, go to Your Order, View Details and apply for a refund.
Refunds are also available for customised items within 14 days of receiving the order provided that it is unused with original tags and packaging. However, some forum reviews say that the maximum refund you can expect for custom made pieces is about 20 – 50% of the item price (not including the shipping fee, which you have to bear). They do offer one free resizing service for all Made-to-Order pieces though, and get this – custom wedding dresses are eligible for lifetime alteration service. Shipping fees (both there and back) have to be borne by you.
If your refund is due to quality problems, LightInTheBox will bear the shipping fee.
Fancy some new bedsheets? Take your pick from the variety of linen, duvet covers and more. (Source: LightInTheBox)
What kind of payment methods do they accept? OMG do I have to use Alipay?!!!
Thankfully, LightInTheBox accepts MasterCard, Visa and Western Union. You can also opt to pay via Paypal. For more info, see here. If you’re located in Singapore, the prices on the site will be listed in US Dollars.
How do I customise a dress?
If customisation is available for a dress, you will see a Made-to-Order icon in the item description. Check the “Custom Measurements” box and a table will pop up for you to input your measurements. The corresponding tailoring and handling time will also be calculated for you. Depending on the cost of the dress, customisation fees can be between $40 and $54.
One thing to note is that the tailors tend to leave a few inches of leeway at the seams, in case you -gasp- put on some weight before your big day.
The Colour & Fabric selection can be found here, but the options may vary with different designs.
As mentioned previously, LightInTheBox offers one free resizing service for all Made-to-Order pieces (custom wedding gowns can be altered as many times as you want). You have to pay for the shipping fees both ways though.
I’m shopping on a budget. Are there any special deals on the site?
Each section usually has a banner at the top with a promotion – free shipping with a minimum amount spent, or even timed discount/clearance events. You can also click on Flash Sale (under the ‘Shop All Categories’ red tab) to see what the deals of the day are. The Fashion & Clothing section also has a page of Super Dollar Deals, with prices as low as USD $0.99.
For a full list of shopping categories on the site, see here.
How do I create an account?
You can create a LightInTheBox account with either your email address or Facebook account. Creating an account will allow you to save your shopping cart, purchase records and bookmarks. It will also be easier to contact customer service with an account.
There are way too many search results! How do I filter my searches?
You can sort search results by Popularity, Sales, Favourites (number of consumers who bookmarked the item), Newest and Price. Different sections also allow you to filter searches by item features – for instance, by size, price range or style.
You can also bookmark your favourite items (the best part about online shopping, if you ask me) by clicking on the heart icon in the item description box. To see a list of your favourite items, just click on the heart icon on the menu bar.
How do I check out item reviews?
Click on the bracketed number beside the star rating in the item description box to get to the reviews page.
Most of the reviews also include photos of customers wearing the item, so you can get a better idea of what it looks like (pre-Photoshop).
What else should I look out for?
4-colour box icon (bottom right of the product photo) – the item is available in other colours, besides the one in the display photo.
Made-To-Order – the item requires time to manufacture before shipping. If you want to customise it with your own measurements, you might have to pay an additional tailoring fee.
30-Day Refund – this usually applies to factory-produced pieces, which come in standard sizes.
Any other tips to score good deals on the site?
Subscribe to LightInTheBox updates to get news on flash sales and limited time/quantity sale events. You’ll also get to enjoy occasional perks like a discount code to use on your next order, or shipping discounts.
Also, LightInTheBox tends to have sales during special occasions (i.e. Mother’s Day) as well as themed sales (i.e. Home Decoration).
The bottom line is…
You will get a good deal on the site, but don’t be unreasonable about your expectations. I mean, you’re not going to get a Vera Wang gown here…but then again, you are only paying a few hundred dollars.
Do your research and read reviews – just like any other online site, you’re bound to come across both good and bad reviews, so it’s important to pay equal attention to both. Now go forth and shop your hearts out.
LightInTheBox Rating (According To Us)
♥♥♥♥♥ (for custom made items) / ♥♥♥♡♡ (factory-produced items)
Efficiency of Delivery
Products & Brand Range