In this article, we tell you our opinion about the Light in the box platform. It is a merchant site that offers goods for purchase, just like Amazon or Aliexpress. However, the principle is not quite the same, nor the products on sale. That's why it is interesting to take a look at this company based in China and active since 2013!
In order to be exhaustive, we review the functioning of the site, the products offered for sale, the terms of purchase as well as the delivery of the products. And to finish, we end with a general opinion of our use and that of the Net surfers.
Presentation of the Light in the box website
Light in the box is a very easy to use website that follows the same pattern as other similar websites. You will find a whole series of categoryThe catalogue is quite impressive, although much more limited than that of its competitors. The catalog is quite impressive, although much more limited than that of its competitors.
It is a store in the first sense of the term. Orders are placed with the company, which packages and ships the products. Certainly, its catalog is made of many brands, but they are not involved in the sales process. They are suppliers.
Light in the box is therefore not a marketplaceas Amazon has become in recent years.
Positive point for us, French-speaking users, the site is available in French as well as in several other languages. For this reason, the site sells its products in over 200 countries and territories.
What products can I buy on Light in the box?
The Light in the box catalog consists of several hundred thousand references. And it is impossible to list them all.
That said, the trend is clearly towards textilewhich represents a large part of the catalog. For both men and women, not forgetting children.
There are certainly some categories that are not related to it, such as Leisure", " the Automobile ", " the Gadgets "and the " Toys" .
As far as fashion and clothing are concerned, the Light in the box catalog covers all the categories that we usually find on a clothing website or in a physical store. Even if here, the offer is much wider.
Among the categories that can be mentioned, there are ready-to-wear for men (jackets, suits, shirts) and women (dresses, skirts, blouses), children's clothing (from bibs for infants to t-shirts for teens).
There is also an offer for all beauty accessories watches, bracelets, necklaces, shoes, etc. As well as material for make-up, manicure, pedicure, etc.
Finally, more unexpected, there is a category dedicated to parties, evening and wedding dresses.
Are the products sold of good quality?
As the website itself says, the products sold are of high quality. Above all, the site wants to sell good quality products that stand out from what can be found on other merchant sites. It therefore aims at the top of the range.
There is therefore no risk compared to a purchase in a French store. The site wanting supplanting local sales by offering quality.
In fact, the lower prices can be explained by the Light in the box motto: buy at wholesale price. Because this is what the site does, it buys in very large quantities from its suppliers to be able to resell cheaper to the customer, even if it is a retail sale.
What about the warranty?
Light in the box guarantees that the product sent is what you buy. Before the package is shipped, a team inspects it to verify all items in the order. The order is carefully packed and sent to the delivery address.
The team behind the site does everything to make sure that what you want is what you get. That's why there is also a customer service that will answer all your questions if you still have questions after receiving the package. If you are not satisfied, you can make use of the guarantee and return the unopened package within 14 days.
The customer service of the site answers you in real time by e-mail, messenger or telephone.
Is there a risk of buying a counterfeit?
The risk of buying counterfeit is zero or almost none. Of course, it is a Chinese merchant site and in this respect, we have certain prejudices. But the risk of counterfeiting is almost zero.
Light in the Box implements quality controls that allow the removal of possible counterfeit products.
Moreover, if a supplier wanted to sell a counterfeit product, Light in the box would first have to buy it on its own account to resell it. And we don't see a multinational risking this game... That said, it is always possible to find an exception, but it remains extremely marginal.
Prices and purchase terms
What is the difference in price compared to a purchase in France?
It is difficult to clearly establish an exact price difference between what you can buy on the site and what you can buy in France in a physical store. There is a real gain in ordering on the site, with savings that can go from up to 50% of the product price. Excluding possible promotions... Indeed, the site offers huge discounts for certain holidays such as Christmas or the Black Friday.
To take a concrete example, we need to look at technology products. Indeed, with textiles, it is too difficult to establish a clear price difference given the number of garments available and the respective exclusivity of each brand.
Our example : the Lenovo z5, a smartphone released in 2018. In a physical store, it trades for €289. On a French sales site, like Cdiscount, its price is 234 €. On Light in the box, it is possible to buy it for 176 €. That said, the physical store can offer you a combined subscription to reduce the purchase price.
Are there any promotions and discount codes?
YesLight in the box regularly organizes promotions for its customers. The principle of the website is to propose you, at the base, articles in reduction compared to what you find in the physical trade. Its asset: to propose to the sale of products directly from the factory and thus to avoid any intermediary.
In addition to this promotions are organized for the holidays. Whether it's for Black Friday, for the holiday season or for sales period.
Promotions are clearly indicated, showing the original price and the discount applied.
The site also offers flash salesA bit like on Amazon. Useful and interesting products at low prices.
Finally, there are discount codes. These apply when you reach a certain order amount. To take advantage of them, you must enter the code in the box provided for this purpose.
What payment methods are available?
Like any international site, Light in the Box does everything to make sure that its customers can pay as they wish. In fact, there is a real choice that is not limited to MasterCard and check... Here is an overview of different payment methods :
- American Express
- Mastercard (all credit cards in general)
- Credit card
- Western Union (mainly for African countries)
- Ru Pay (for Russian customers)
- Yandexmoney (for Russian customers)
Boleto (for Brazil)
- Pay U Biz
It is also possible to opt for a payment at the discount. Indeed, deliveries are made by DHL and UPS couriers. These companies allow payment on delivery via an order form. You only pay when you receive your package. Please note that this does not include the return shipping costs, which are at your expense.
Is it possible to pay in euros?
YesIt is possible to choose the currency in which you pay. It is also possible to pay by the desired method of payment. Payments by Visa, MasterCard or credit card will be made in euros as long as your account is denominated in euros.
On Paypal, it is possible to choose the currency in which you pay. This is an option that you can check during your Paypal payment "pay with your balance ..."
How does the delivery work?
From which countries are the goods sent?
All goods are shipped from the company's headquarters, which is in China. Packages are shipped from Asia to Europe.
And all sellers on the Light in the Box platform are of Chinese origin and produce in the region.
However, the return of goods is not done by sending back to China. Indeed, Light in the Box has an address in Europe to which all products can be returned.
Are there any customs fees involved?
Yes. Light in the box is a Chinese company based in China. This means that imported products are subject to a customs tax.
The customs fees are to be paid in addition to the delivery company. In general, it is the delivery company which advances the expenses and is refunded with the delivery. These costs are not calculated in the price.
The amount to be paid varies according to the declared value of the package. This means that the more you buy, the more you pay.
In order to comply with the law, Light in the Box clearly indicates the price on the package so that the tax amount is correctly calculated.
Note, however, that customs services tend to "let through" packages with small amounts.
What are the delivery times?
The delivery time is chosen by you.
In fact, all orders, small and medium, are sent by international mail. The delay is therefore that of the postal services.
The delivery time consists of two parts. The first is the processing of the order. The second is the shipping of the package.
In general, a order is treated as soon as possible. This usually takes 1 to 2 days.
Shipping takes longer. If you are in a hurry, you can opt for the express delivery (between 2 and 4 days)but it is more expensive. International shipping standardized is longer and takes between 7 and 10 days.
Customer service, dispute and return policy ?
Light in the Box is based in China. But that's not why they can't be reached. Far from it. The company goes out of its way to make sure its customer service works well. That said, a company is always dependent on its success and with exponential growth, it is sometimes difficult to respond to all requests instantly.
Nevertheless, Light in the box is contactable by phone, email and messenger instantaneous. It has a good reactivity and answers correctly to its customers.
You will see on the internet that some customers have had difficulties with them, but like any big company, it can be a bit of a struggle to get your money back.
The Chinese company makes every effort to ensure that its customers are satisfied with the delivery; hence a number of checks during the purchase of the goods, then the creation of the order and before shipping. However, it is always possible to find a product with a manufacturing defect.
In the event of a dispute, all products can be returnedThe only exception to this is items that are made to order or custom-made. This is the case for wedding dresses, for example.
In case of non satisfaction, the return must be done within 14 daysthe products must be new and packaged in their original packaging.
Importantly, customer service will get back to you on average one business day after you send your request.
Frequently asked questions
How do I register on the site?
To register on Light in the box, nothing could be easier. In fact, as soon as you arrive on the site, a window opens automatically to propose you to register.
The registration is free and takes only 30 seconds. You just have to fill in a field with your email address and that's it. You can now start shopping and fill your cart.
This also allows the site not to keep unnecessary data and to offer you the anonymity you are entitled to under the new European legislation.
When you proceed to purchase, you will need to confirm your identity and enter all required fields. This includes the billing address, but also the delivery address if it is different.
It is also at this time that you will have the choice of payment method and type of delivery (standard or express).
As an option, you can subscribe to a free newsletter, from which you can unsubscribe whenever you want.
To complete the registration, you will need to check a box and accept the General Conditions of Use of the site. And this, to mark your agreement with the various rules which apply to your purchases.
What is the Loyalty & Credit Balance?
On Light in the box, you have access to a program which is called " Loyalty Credits. "
There are several ways to get it...
When you make a qualifying purchase, you earn 1% of the amount in Loyalty Credits. A qualifying purchase is an item that is purchased on the site and paid in full. And only the amount actually paid is taken into account for credits. So you don't get any on the amount in reduction or on what you have already paid with Loyalty Credits.
There is also a whole series of promotions that allow you to earn those famous Loyalty Credits. This is a great way to get some extra cash in your pocket.
In fact, this system allows you to benefit from a discount on your next purchase, in an automatic way. Each time you buy something on Light in the box, you receive some points that will allow you to reduce the next bill.... Moreover, what is even better is that there is no no minimum amount to reach to benefit from it (as much from the discount as from the obtaining), contrary to promotional codes that often ask you to reach a minimum amount of purchase.
How to be sure to buy clothes at the right size on Light in the box ?
A good purchase is a purchase you won't regret. And Light in the box does everything possible to ensure that this is the case.
If an item is not returned, it is becausea satisfied customer. Otherwise, the sales site is exposed to a return. And this implies for him handling and repatriation costs. Expenses that Light in the box intends not to have...
For this reason, the site provides customers with a size guide. It covers the entirety of the products purchased so that you buy the right pair of shoes or blouse that will fall well on your shoulders.
Thanks to this, you too can be reassured about what you will receive at home! Because we all know very well that from one store to another, sizes vary and that we end up getting lost.
The opinion of the Internet users
To get a good idea of a site, nothing beats reading a few reviews from Internet users. Even if one is never better served than by oneself, and that one experience is never worth another, one is always reassured when there is a significant number of positive reviews. We have decided to share with you 3, among thousands. But they are the advantages and disadvantages of this site. On the positive side, the number of products, their quality and their price. On the negative side, the delivery time and the possible customs fees.
chloetailhan: "Very good site, full of different products, original products and at rather good prices. However the delivery is often quite long. But the material is good and easily assembled.
They do, however, send out a lot of advertising via email afterwards."
steph1 : " Be careful ! Customs fees are not estimated!"
Odette Purcell: "I love it, the store offers a lot of choices at good prices. Good quality merchandise. Just an adjustment to make for sizes. Good customer service. The only small downside is the delivery. I work during the day so hard to schedule but it's really not a big deal. Thank you!"
After having tested Light in the Box and having covered the different facets of this online sales site, we are able to give an informed opinion. An opinion that takes into account the positive, as well as the negative!
This site has been around for years and has proven itself. If it still works and people continue to buy, it is not for nothing. Moreover, for us, French, the site is fully translated. And well translated. It is not Google Translate that took care of that. So there is a real professionalism back there.
In addition, most of the products are of good quality and the prices are very reasonable. Light in the box has nothing to be ashamed of compared to the competition.
And even for the return of the products, a warehouse in Europe allows a fast return of the product and a reimbursement integral of the amount disbursed.
That said, there are points negatives that cannot be ignored:
- First, the customs duties. Depending on your purchases, you will have to pay an additional tax which is not indicated in the price and which comes in addition. A bad surprise for the average customer.
- Then, Light in the box plays in the same category as other heavyweights, like Aliexpress. But the two sites are not in the same category and Light in the box tends to suffer from this fierce competition... So there is no big gain on a Light in the box purchase compared to an Aliexpress purchase. Everything will depend on the quality of the purchased product and its availability.