I’m not one to shy away from purchases online (I blame it on the introvert in me whereby I like to avoid crowds and hence malls and would rather buy things online).  Purchases online from another continent however, is a different story.  Light in the Box is an online company that is indeed based on a different continent.

I purchased my wedding dress online from Light in the Box.  I checked out the reviews, and felt that you really can’t go wrong for a wedding dress that costs less than $100 USD.  I told myself that if it didn’t fit I could alter it or if I really didn’t like it, I could always just buy a different dress.

What is Light In the Box?

Light in the Box is an online retail company founded in China in 2007.  To me, it is kind of similar to a ‘Chinese Amazon.com’.  It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LITB.  They have all sorts of things, including wedding dresses, gardening tools, clothing.. everything you can think of.  I believe everything is made in and is shipped from China though so the shipping and duty can be much more than you bargained for.

There have been lots of negative reviews of Light in the Box in the past with complaints of poor customer service, additional duties and taxes, inability to get your money back for refunds, and having to pay for the shipping for your refund yourself.

Here’s What I think of Light in the Box

I have only purchased from Light in the Box once.  Their low prices tempts me to use Light in the Box again, but the headache and anxiety with regards to following up to see whether I could get my duty refunded was a bit too much.  Not too keen on going through that again.

Nonetheless, I ordered my wedding dress from Light in the Box.  It cost $90 USD and after shipping costs and the $10 duty and tax insurance, it came out to around $130 USD.  It arrived promptly and the item was as described (reading reviews is really helpful).  On the website it states that if it doesn’t fit you, you can ask for their tailor to correct it, but I would rather see someone in real life and pay for it than deal with waiting for Light in the Box.  Also, there have been mixed reviews about that promise, apparently returns are very difficult to do.

Personally it worked out fine for me and I love my dress.  I did have to alter it but I don’t mind doing it in person and paying for it rather than playing Russian roulette with my wedding dress and paying for shipping to go back to them only to tell me that they don’t want to do parking.

Does the Taxes and Duty Insurance Work?

If you pay for duty and tax insurance, Light in the Box will refund the amount that you paid (usually through the shipping company DHL) onto your credit card.  I was wary about this because I had never heard of duty and tax insurance and given their iffy track record, I thought perhaps this was just a scam.  For a $100 USD purchase, I paid about an additional $10 for the duty and tax insurance, in addition to about $20 of shipping cost.  The duty charged was $60 which I had to pay for.  I then created a ticket within Light in the Box and was able to eventually get my $60 refunded onto the credit card that I paid for the item with- this was only because I paid for the $10 duty and tax insurance.

So yes, the duty and tax insurance works!  It takes a bit of time (I think for me about 4-6 weeks) for you to get the money back, but it is indeed credited back to your credit card.

Customer Service

Personally I think the customer service for Light in the Box is a little sketchy, though they did reply to my tickets very promptly.  I never spoke to anyone in person though.  Because the company is based in China, I’m not too sure whether they have someone that helps you from China or from North America.

Readers, have you tried purchasing from Light in the Box?  What did you think?

Article comments

42 comments
M A R says:

I bought light fixtures from them . Under 200.00 dollars each . They were great . I’m lucky they worked fine . My electrician instinctively knew what todo . The instructions were not clear enough for me to understand but he knew perfectly. It was a fine experience. I don’t recall how long it took for delivery .

Sylvia says:

UNSATISFIED AND VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH THE WAY LightInTheBox has handle my issue with a phone case I purchased on their website. The case was for Galaxy S10, S10plus and S10e, however, when I received the phone case it was smaller than my phone, which is Galaxy S10plus. This made no sense as the description and size was supposed to fit my phone with no issues. I sent a request to have the case exchanged and I was told to send a picture of the phonecase and the barcode, which I did and I never heard back from them again. To make it worst, there’s no phone number for me to reach them to have my issue resolved. I’ve sent numerous request to follow up on what I should do next, in terms of returning the wrong case and for them to sent me the correct one. I even did a review on their website to see if anyone will reach out to me, which they did, to only tell me that I should sent my request to customer service and they’ll get back to me in 24hrs. I responded back to the rep that replied to my review but this rep did not reply to me after that. Its been over a month and at this point, I’m left to assume that I’m stuck with a phonecase that does not fit my phone and I’ll have to purchase another one from elsewhere. I WILL NEVER SHOP ON THIS SITE AGAIN AS MY EXPERIENCE WITH THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND THEIR SERVICING OF THEIR CUSTOMERS AFTER TRANSACTION IS COMPLETE, ONES THEY RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT, THEY DON’T CARE.

C.smith says:

Section of resume for whom have not time to read:
01 of juin 2020 we bought for 870$ (include assurance tarif ) 5 items for bathroom
10 juin 187$ another items bought cause they had not one of 5 in stock ( took them 10 days to inform us $
13 juin send us Rewards of 10% for “future purchase “which never gonna happens and shipped the only item we did not took assurance !
18 juin still 4 first items were not send but an email received to informe that Again other items are in rupture of stock ( took them 18 days …)
After 18 days we canceled the transaction and ask for a rembourse but the item that we have to pay 40$ extra for DHL was already send and in transit in US so couldn’t cancel unfortunately

Details :
Right ! our experience with LightInTheBox : this review Concerns Canadian people( for the rest of the world I don’t know , Hope you will be or have been more lucky but for us it was the worst Online Buying experience but hey Good Luck if you folks are not in rush :
Our Invoice Ticket( in case it can helps the management department for futur improvement…):
21150711

>01juin 2020 we order for 870$ of bathroom faucets
>06 juin email received in which light in box confirmed the payments( took them 6 days…)
They needed a photo of credit card + driving Licence something with picture !
>10 juin we receive first email of LightInTheBox: One items out of 5 items is in Rupture of stock so we order a new one
>12 juin still our 4 items were not send ( was suppose to get here 3, 5 days ! We send another email for a fallow up
>13 juin answer : at this time, your order cannot be completed your order is slightly delayed due to unexpected high demand
>16 juin we see that the new item was send with DHL charge of 43.79$ because we didn’t take assurance with LightInTheBox
>18 juin a new email receive from LightInTheBox to inform us that others items are missing and they rembourse us 333.96 CAD , we canceled everything at this point
And then We knew why Amazon is where Amazon is today , Thanks to their management skills , SO to all canadien folks out there Please if you want to have the Worst experience go with LightInTheBox ( 100% guaranty of Terrible online experience ) Thanks Amazon you might not have various items for bathroom faucets but at least you provide efficient and fast delivery and costumer service , Don’t shop my Canadian people with LightInTheBox please don’t

Lynn Seritt says:

Yes, but to date have not received the goods and when doing a tracking search, they say that” this is the final status” when tracking goes to “Handed over to airline”. Have been waiting and waiting for over a month for this item to arrive. Don’t know if I will ever receive it….too bad, as their clothing items are phenomenal and I’d like to be able to order some but won’t as I had one other experience…..where I did receive the item three months later and it didn’t fit, so took it to a Thrift store rather than go through their convoluted return procedures. Don’t order date sensitive items as you’re not likely to get them in time. They state 3-5 days delivery….that’s certainly not true.

Vince B says:

3 months in and nothing ! complaint after 2 months all they did for me was mark my order as received. Has NOT been received ! Complete rip off. DON’T use these A holes.

Joan Clayton says:

Where was this blog when I’d needed it? I realize that the founders/owners aren’t American, but I try not to discriminate. I decided to place a clothing order with Light In The Box back in March’2020. After waiting for 30 days with no tracking information, I opened a dispute with PayPal. Light In The Box finally provided tracking info, shipped from China. I never order clothing from China! It’s been 60 days now and still no package. I’m livid! If I’ll ever receive it I’m certain that it’ll be a bait and switch (poorly made duplicates). Having seen such terrible reviews, why are they still in business? We Americans need to take charge, binding together, to keep crooks like these from doing business in our country. They obviously think very poorly of us, to continue to treat us this way.

David Bender says:

I made a purchase on May 8th. On May 9th got an email saying it has shipped from Whittier, CA. On May 12th the tracking update says in transit. It is now the 26th and still have not received. Whittier is only 200 miles from the delivery location. This was a birthday present for my wife, birthday was on the 15th. Very disappointed, I may never see the product. This seller is a rip off!

Peterkirgan says:

Firstly they took my money then tried to follow up my item to no availability! Record shows that I haven’t purchased anything from them!!! So it looks like I done$23 on an invisible watch??? Never thought I’d be fleeced by a bunch of nogs!!!! So beware!!! These Charlie’s are definitely true scammers!!!!!

Kimberly Campbell says:

Hello
I have purchased items ion march 7 it’s now may 8 and I’m still waiting for my items talked to customer service they just blow you off . Telling you it should take 3 months but there sure says 10 to 18 days shipping . If I would have known this I would never have ordered from them . Customer is just like a robot they just say the same things over and they don’t even understand the problem. Never will I order from this place again . Spent 100 my as well sat that’s a right off . Be very surprised if I receive my items or a full refund . They try and make you settle for the shipping dollars which is nothing compared to what you spend .

Steve says:

Although I like to think the best of people and organizations, my experience with Light In The Box on what was my first order was absolutely terrible. Order placed on 4/2 and was supposed to arrive in 3-5 business days because I paid for expedited shipping. The product didn’t ship until 4/14 and the tracking feature didn’t work and the package was never received by the shipper, and after another 10 days of waiting I filed my first complaint to which they responded that I could use the tracking information to get an updated on my shipment – WTF! Sent follow up communications on 5/5, 5/6, 5/7, and 5/8 and have received no responses – again WTF! I have requested a credit and am not hopeful. My advice is be very aware that you’ll potentially have the same experience that I have had, obviously will never ever order anything from this wen site again!!!!!! They are crooks!

Meriel Galloway says:

This is the second time I have ordered from Light in The Box. The first time was for a wig cap for a theatre production. I ordered it two months before the play was due to start, and it arrived after the play had already finished. This time I ordered two pairs of shoes for my daughter’s wedding. I ordered them in mid-January, and they have still not arrive as of May 8th. My daughter’s wedding was last week so I don’t need them now, but would like to get my money back. They have apparently been ‘in transit’ for two months but still have not left China! DO NOT use this company!!!
BTYW: I ordered my Mother-of-The-Bride dress from JJ’s House (also online store from CHina) for $147 USD and it was exquisite, arrived in two weeks, and fit beautifully. Much better choice!!

Eddie Williams says:

Light in the box sucks they didn’t ship my order or give me a full refund of my money for two masks.I ordered on April 17th i had to tell them im calling my Lawyer in order to get my full refund of $23.18 back on my card.They tried to give me 10% of my refund of $8.23 now thats Crazy.I just got my refund back April 30th because they said i would have to wait 7-25 days on my refund.

Thomas says:

Took my money ok but didn’t receive my goods…ran by two crooks in Beijing selling knocked off goods…

Thomas says:

Took my money ok but didn’t receive my goods…ran by two crooks in Beijing selling knocked off goods…stay away from them

J Harris says:

I ordered two face masks and disposable gloves and two other small items . l was charged and paid Twenty -nine dollars . Plus over Ten dollars for shipping . I never received my order , and it has been over 5 weeks . I tried to reach them and it seems impossible . I will never order from them again I will Let everyone know they are scammers . Glad I only spend $40.00.

Mike k says:

Ordered lights for my game room, 2 sets . They were better than I thought they would be. Took 2 weeks had no problems. I will order more from them.

Eunice says:

This company is very unreliable! I purchased something from them with expedited shipping and never received it. Also no one replied to my complaint ticket.

Beryl Byas says:

Horrible service regarding items ordered for protection during pandemic. Money collected by company and orders are listed as canceled, still processing and pending and no funds have been returned to my account. Extremely horrible service.

Steven says:

This company is absolutely dishonest.
This company is absolutely dishonest. I would not recommend buying anything from them. If you have having trouble with them, I would urge you to do what I did: Contest the charges with your bank or credit card provider and file a complaint with the police.

Here is the story:
I purchased a lamp, which was delivered in a damaged state. The company systematically put up road blocks to my returning the item and receiving a refund. Finally after a month, they said that I could send the item back to China for a refund. However, to do so I would need to state on the customs declaration that the package was a gift. The reason for this is that they do not want to pay customs taxes. In essence, they were requiring me to commit fraud in order to receive a refund. That is clearly illegal.

Here is what I did:
I contested the charge with my bank and credit card provider so that the money would be refunded. I also reported the company’s demand that I commit fraud to the German police and the European tax authorities. I am still awaiting the results, but the bank assured me that I would receive a refund for the charges.

Phyllis J Wrightwest says:

Yes, and I had a terrible terrible experience. I am in the process of trying to get my refund. The boots, dress and jewelry I ordered were of poor quality, late shipping, even though I ordered and paid for expiditited shipping. They had the audacity to tell me to sell the things I ordered it give it to friends. I am still trying to get my refund. I will never order from lightinthe box again. I also ordered jewelry and I just received I bracrlet from dec 16 after promising 3 to 5 day delivery time. Customer service is a fraud. Dont order from this company.

Vicky Lynn Brame says:

I ordered 40$ worth of t-shirts on Dec 11 2019.. the money was taken out of my account! But I still have not received the shirts!! I have emailed them 3 times!!! Ridiculous!!!!

Jan sutheeland says:

OMG, I orderedtheir 3D shirts for presents….they came,in all the wrong sizes. I ordered large got XL, 2xl , 3xl and 1 large. The print on the shirt was NOT,3d…im not gonna even try foe a refund. Buyer beware

Sam says:

Well I just ordered a coat last night. I hope and pray it arrives correct and with no problems. I was hesitant to order and after reading these post I’m very worried.

Mike says:

My purchases were made on the 3rd of Dec thinking plenty of time for x-mas well as it turned out 2 days before x-mas it arrived and everything was the wrong size and as was stated customer service was next to none, they offered a $10 credit. Wasn’t impressed with them at all I guess it’s all a gamble anyhow

Susan Harringtonhoward says:

Ordered shoes with expedited shipping – 5-7 days – ordered July 3 – not received till July 15th. Their response was the order was processed on July 8th – so it met the shipping criteria. What happened between July 3 and July 8th? Not received in time for event, too small, and not as appeared in picture – EXTREMELY poor quality. To return I have to pay to ship them back to china – overall cost for what amounts to $5.00 quality shoes – would be over $60. Not certain they are even fit for a charitable donation!
Don’t order from there – BUY US!

Bruce Preston says:

June 2019 we order 2 shower faucet sets for our ensuite reno. We are having oil rubbed bronze light fixtures and door knobs in the master siute.
The “light in a box” shower fixtures were described as oil rubbed bronze, butvthe picture looked like black. But we trusted the wording more that the photo. when it came to Canada weeks later the color was not oil rubbed bronze but black. with amazon we could have returned it since it was not he color that was stated. Light in the box will refund the cost but not he shipping. Canada post told us it would be about $200 shipping and take a few months to get there. That would probably put us past the possible refund time. So we are reselling the shower parts. The quality seems good but the color is not as stated. They claim its oil rubbed bronze in a black color.???? to me and from all the looking i have done oil rubbed bronze is not black.

WE WILL NBEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM LIGHT IN THE BOX AGAIN.

Nick says:

Nothing fit. I would have had to order a XXXL to fit me. In what universe is a guy who buys large shirts in Canada a XXXL. This place is a rip off. DO NOT ORDER FROM THEM

Leonard G. Flett says:

BUYER BEWARE! I ordered a pair of shoes from this company for which I paid almost $50 on December 6, 2017. I was advised it would arrive by January 3, 2018 at the latest. When I did not receive my order by that date, I sent a note to their “customer service”. They replied for me to be patient. By the end of January, I began demanding a refund. They stopped responding to my enquiries. This business is a total SCAM. I wish I had found this comment site before ordering from them.

Candy P says:

I ordered an outfit for my sons wedding, it showed up however the size of the shirt was totally incorrect, it was way to small, now they want me to pay to ship it back, when it is their error.. I can wear the pants, and jacket, however the whole set is incomplete….terrible..and I paid a fair dollar for the outfit. terrible customer service, the responses seem to be automated, and that they don’t really read them…I am very frustrated….plus I had to pay 71.07 for extra duty at the door, in which they did refund me that, but the top will be on a ongoing issue.

Jane says:

I have ordered and rec’d two ‘Mother of the Bride” type dresses from LITB. I was very pleased with both. (For the price I paid) These are NOT $5K designer gowns, I am not a size 0 model.
I would order again. Both were well made and of a color I expected. I am tall and these gowns were plenty long. There was one hitch. I asked customer service to recommend a shawl which would match one of the dresses, and I ordered exactly what they said……not even close. They offered to refund the $8 item if I would ship it back ($15 – um no). I believe I rec’d fair value, and would order again. My sister also pleased with her purchase……her friend, upon her recommendation……train-wreck I’m told.

Kim McAnuff says:

Ordered several items on October 15, 2017, I paid via PayPal which left my account on October 17, 2017 Shipping time frame said 10-20 days. Apparently, it shipped October 23, 2017. As of today, I have yet to receive these items! This is now 49 days from order date & 42 days from apparent shipping date. I submitted a “ticket” to customer service for explanation (which said someone would get back to me within 48 hours) no one has responded to me yet! I am extremely disappointed, I will never order from this company in the future & most certainly would not recommend ordering from them!

Manolis Georgatsos says:

Very good variety of MADE-IN-CHINA products at discounted prices, BUT there are so many issues.The first (and obviously last) item I ordered arrived after 4 WEEKS and LightInTheBox charged me 35 EUR FOR CUSTOMS CHARGES which is ridiculous. A serious company listed on a stock exchange should know and cover all delivery-tax-customs expenses. I definitely do not recommend this website. Stay away

Jennifer Frederiksen says:

My order was processed, payment taken and said shipped to my PO Box. A week later to find out that they “Tried to ship but there was issues with the PO Box, so my order was sent back to them. So my only options are reorder and pay for 3 times the shipping or cancel my order and only pay for the first shipping attempt and the second shipping back to them. So that is $54 paid for an order i will never see! TERRIBLE COMPANY!! DO NOT ORDER FROM LIGHT IN THE BOX!!!!!

Muhammad says:

I placed an order two play station 4 hand-free and never received it, after several email back and forth with customer services no solution, very unprofessional in practical. I told them I no more need item and refund me but they still told me to wait another 30 days 🙁

Ravi says:

Yes , this is not at all fair company .I ordered fitness band and payed for expidated shipping, but I item did not turn up , when complaint raised, their response is , item shipped by postal srvice and will take month time,I will never order

Patricia Lopez says:

I found this article which describes step by step my experience. I wish I had seen it before but when I looked for reviews to decide whether I should order from this site I never found any bad review till now. To say I feel 100% identified it’s an understatement. It all makes sense now- Light in the Box pays to hide all these reviews because now that I am looking I’ve found thousands of bad experiences. Read this article, it is worth a look: it is called ….thebalance/review-of-light-in-the-box-online-store-3515587.

*NOTE: the system does not allow me to add the above page but if you add 3w at the start and after ‘thebalance’ you add .com you will be able to read the article .

note:
I have not received my parcel (60 days have passed)
They want to force the cost of returning items on me even though I cancelled the order before shipping in multiple emails for unjustified delay (20 days)
the returning will cost 4 times more than what I spent ($88 USD)
They respond in 24 hrs but nothing that is useful (they try to delay they process so the time frame to dispute the transaction is over and you end up stuck with something that you do not need)

Malko Linge says:

Terrible experience overall. They claimed the 2 spinners for my son where shipped 2 months ago and of course nothing appeared in the mail but credit card was debited within 12h. Customer service is just an automated reply whenever you ask a question. Bottom line: 100% scam

Teresa A. D'Agostino says:

My preliminary belief was that my original order would be shipped from Canada as the info on the website was not clear. I paid for expedited shipping 3-4 days and still after three weeks have not received my order. Got a call that said I would have to pay an additional $35 for duties and taxes. When the order gets here, I’m not accepting it. I have entered several tickets in an attempt to have customer service contact me, but their response is always the same old script, like it has been generated from a manual. There is no phone number or online chat where you can call or speak to a person in real time. Their information about shipping and delivery is a scam. The costs are exorbitant and the effort required to “recover” the duties and additional taxes are all BS. I will never use this site again and will do everything I can to dissuade others from using it.

Charlotte says:

I will never oder from this company again worse company ever. Orded 3 iteams and my package showed up and ups said i had to pay an extra 35 dollars after i already payed shipping and insurance. Like really so i sent the items back. Waiting on money back. But pretty sure i got ripped off. Like what company has no phone number to contact them.. I should of read reviews. Never again..

im trying to purchase shoes that I like. I put it in the cart, but then decided to delete one. I could not so I tried to call customer service. Also to understand the shipping. No phone numbers. I’m a little skeptical when you cannot speak to someone. Also shipping is $14.00. I thought the shoes were nice but I can’t deal with this terrible service. Nothing seems to work on the site. Im trying to edit or delete. They look like they have a nice selection, but not worth the aggrivation.

Mike says:

Ordered 6 pairs of shoes from them for groomsmen. Order went through fine. 2 days later received an email stating 1 of the shoe sizes was out of stock. Changed the shoe size and they then proceeded to inform us it would not be included in the original order and would have to pay separate shipping. We paid extra for expedited (3-4 day) shipping already and are going on 2 weeks now and still have not received any product or have received any answers to any messages we have sent them. Their customer service is an absolute joke. Will never order product from them again

CV says:

Ordered 2 shirts from this site…one was a fit..the other not so much. Tried contacting their customer service..no respsonse yet after 25 days. After 3 wash, the other shirt also shrank. Poor quality …low prices. Not worth it overall.