This is what triggers me.

Do you choose for free shipping or the lowest prices.

Well, if you can choose, why wouldn’t you choose both. Free shipping AND the lowest prices.

It’s just that these two criteria doesn’t fit together very well.

SammyDress: Free Shipping or Low Prices?

The fashion store SammyDress has been on our top list of months now. This is merely because of the extremely low prices and very wide collection.

When you start browsing at SammyDress, you will find clothing and accessories for extremely low prices. Most products are can be found under 15 USD. If you are triggered by the low prices, SammyDress is a must start.

This week Alexis from Rwanda mailed me about the high shipping costs at SammyDress. He mentioned that he had to pay USD 350 for shipping on an order of USD 750. That’s almost 50% percent extra on shipping costs. I think that’s a lot. Especially if you see so many Chinese stores that offer free shipping.

Time to start an investigation.


Get 11% discount with coupon code: BUYCHINA11.
Use the code when you check out.

Ask SammyDress for an explanation

To get to the bottom of these high shipping costs, I contacted the pre-sale chat service at SammyDress. Unfortunately the sales-manager couldn’t explain anything. He said that international shipping from China is more expensive than local shipping. He didn’t know that many Chinese stores offered free shipping. He even suggested to buy at their competitors, if I wanted free shipping. The call-script this man had wasn’t sufficient to answer my questions. So he ended up with saying it was company policy.

Here’s the transcript:

SammyDress: Hi, welcome to Sammydress Pre-sale Live Support! I would be more than happy to assist you.

Me: Hello, I am surprised by the low prices at SammyDress but I was even more surprised by the high shipping costs. Can you please explain me why the shipping costs are so much higher at SammyDress than other Chinese retailers?

SammyDress: For products on our site, they are all made in China, with good quality and lower price. Our target is to provide our global customers with high quality products at competitively low factory direct prices. The more you buy, the more you save.

SammyDress: ‪As with international shipping, the shipping fee should be higher than in your local country, hope you may kindly understand.
If you like, you may choose some items with the “free shipping” mark, then you may enjoy free shipping by flat rate shipping.

Me: I understand, but why are the shipping rates at Sammydress so much higher than your competitors like ModLily (MartofChina) that offers free shipping? If I order for 800 usd the shipping rates are up to 400 dollars.

SammyDress: ‪I have checked that site just now.

SammyDress: ‪May be it is a local company for you. So they can undertake shipping cost for you.

Me: No, they aren’t. They send products directly from China to Europe (where I live). Many Chinese online stores use free shipping for their products.

SammyDress: ‪Okay. You can also choose to place the order with them in this case.

Me: I didn’t want to offend you. I’m just trying to figure out why the shipping costs are so much higher. Not to place orders at your competitors. I have many clients who like the great prices at Sammydress but are bothered by the shipping rates.

SammyDress: ‪Sorry, but I can’t help. It is our company policy. 🙁

I am not satisfied by this answer. So I have asked the same question at my partner contacts email. I’ll update this blog, when I receive an answer.

Free shipping, is it really free??

I know the reason why their shipping costs are so high, but I want them to tell it to me.

The main reason is that free shipping isn’t free. If you are triggered by ‘Free shipping’ you must be aware that free shipping isn’t free. Please refer to this previous blog: Is free shipping really free? for more information.

With a reversed engineer method I search for the same products on other Chinese stores. I excluded sites that aren’t Chinese, because these sites can be resellers from SammyDress. (I saw reseller prices that were more than 3 times as high as the prices at SammyDress!)

Let’s look at 5 examples:


1 item          9.40
Shipping     6.01
Total           15.41

50 items      427.50
Shipping     174.96
Total             602.46

1 item          16.24
Shipping              –
Total             16.24

50 items      797.00
Shipping                 –
Total             797.00

free shipping sammydress

1 item         37.05
Shipping      5.52
Total            42.57

25 items      853.50
Shipping     134.10
Total             987.60


1 item          52.24
Shipping              –
Total             52.24

25 items   1306.00
Shipping     341.40
Total           1647.40

sammydress free shipping

1 item            8.47
Shipping      3.33
Total            11.81

50 items      385.50
Shipping     158.59
Total             544.09


1 item          12.03
Shipping              –
Total             12.03

50 items      601.50
Shipping                 –
Total             601.50


1 item         12.67
Shipping      4.49
Total            17.16

25 items      293.75
Shipping     108.25
Total             402.00


1 item          15.74
Shipping              –
Total             15.74

25 items      384.50
Shipping                 –
Total             384.50


1 item         62.94
Shipping      9.86
Total            72.80

10 items      579.60
Shipping        66.50
Total             646.10


1 item          59.99
Shipping     10.51
Total             70.50

10 items      599.90
Shipping        71.87
Total             671.77

First conclusion: SammyDress has always the lowest prices but you need to pay a lot extra for the shipping costs. The competitors that do offer free shipping, have higher retail prices. If you compare the total prices on single items, it doesn’t differ much.

And still, I’m not satisfied with the results.

SammyDress calculates their shipping costs based on the total weight. The more you order, the higher the total weight, the higher the shipping costs. Don’t be surprised if you must pay another 300 dollars just to get your 700 bucks orders shipped from China to your country.

I wanted to know what happens if I order large quantities of the same products.

Second conclusion: based on the next example is that the more you order, the lower the costs at SammyDress are. And even more if you choose the more expensive items.

SammyDress beats most companies with their low prices just because they do not calculate the free shipping costs in their retail prices. The similar products with free shipping are often higher priced. The shipping isn’t really free. You just don’t see the shipping costs.

  • If you want the lowest prices, don’t be surprised with the higher shipping costs.
  • If you want free shipping, don’t be surprised the products are higher priced.

It sounds obvious, but this case study proved that free shipping isn’t really free.

For SammyDress we conclude that SammyDress is still competitive with the other Chinese fashion stores. With smaller orders like 1 or 2 items the prices doesn’t differ much between SammyDress and their competitors. But when you order larger quantities SammyDress can become much more attractive.

How to get 11% discount…

Alexis gave me a great tip that can help you all. When you order larger quantities contact the store. Discuss with them about the shipping costs and ask for a discount. Talking to them can be very beneficial to the total amount you must pay.

sammydress 11% off coupon code BUYCHINA11The second options: Use the following SammyDress coupon code: BUYCHINA11. You will get 11% discount at SammyDress on all products, site wide. That’s higher than anywhere else! Just Click this link, and add the coupon code when you check out.

I love to hear what’s on your mind!

I really like to hear  what triggers you most: low prices or free shipping?

Please do me a favor, scroll down to the comment box below and leave a comment for me. I love to hear what you are thinking. What are you looking for, low prices or free shipping. Or is it something else that triggers you?

And if you find this blog interesting, don’t forget to share it, press the Facebook like button and write a comment for me below.

Wishing you safe purchases online!


PS: The coupon code for SammyDress: BUYCHINA11 expires at December 31th, 2015.

PS 2: You can find much more coupon codes at my partnersite:


Founder of StartBuyingInChina. It all started as an hobby. I liked to categorize the few Chinese stores I knew. After 6 years over 150 blogs were published. I created a wonderful online course about Safe buying online in China, and served over 1.000.000 people. Thank you for being here!

    19 replies to "SammyDress – Free Shipping or Low Prices?"

    • Fauzio Mussagy Fernandes

      Hello BASTIAN

      Thank you foe attention

      This post is very important for us,

      We have to know all detail before buying or working affiliate program with ONLINE SHOPPING from CHINA.

      Best Regards

    • Angie Visser

      Hi: I don’t think its right that Aliexpress has all kinds of coupon/codes out there but you are unable to apply them as Aliexpress does not have a “coupon/code box” to apply the coupon/codes to at their check out. Is there any way to bring awareness to this problem? Thanking-you. Angie Visser

      • Bastiaan

        Hi Angie, Aliexpress does indeed has little or none coupon codes. This is because Aliexpress isn’t a store but a market place. All kind of individual seller sell their stuff. Aliexpress cannot give discount for something they do not own.

    • Adeniji kayode

      That is great, it means there is careful calculate being done by sammy
      Dress which we buyers need to take into account likewise.
      Please, l will appreciate, more info on how to use Trade manager and if any of your blog covers this, please a link to it is needed

      • Bastiaan

        Hi Trade managers are mostly used for the real Chinese sites (written in Chinese) like Taobao. I wrote about these agents a year ago. This blog might help.

    • sberry

      I made orders from SammyDress, and I was been refunded because I paid with Paypal, and when I asked why they asked me to pay with Western Union and I later discovered that SammyDress and Trendsgal were same people. I don’t trust both sites.

      • Bastiaan

        SammyDress has many different sites. And it’s a real store, no doubt about that. I don’t know why they asked you to pay with WU. Your comment is a bit confusing. I’m not familiar with Trendsgal (yet).
        Good that your money is refunded. Was this by Paypal? Or by SammyDress through PayPal? And why?

    • Uriam Ale

      I’m never been order online
      before,I’m looking for one and I prefer looking for low price companies, but not really sure ! I live far away from China, so what the shipping cost then!

      • Bastiaan

        Hi Uriam,
        The costs depends on the weight of the products.
        Just before you check out, you will see the shipping costs for different shipping methodes.

    • Petru B

      I ordered a dress from this site because my girlfriend really liked it and as it turns out – the dress is nothing like the picture showed : It was a Photoshoped pictured that looked really good but the product was crap in reality. The price I paid for it is probably the same as I would pay from a local shop in Romania but for a good quality material… The conclusion is this : After I posted a negative comment exposing their lies on the product page – they removed the picture completely and never authorized my comment to be seen publicly, of course…

      • Bastiaan

        Hi Petru,
        That’s not so positive! Sorry to hear this worked out like this.

      • janey

        Dear Petru,

        We are also very sorry to hear that.

        There must be misunderstanding between us.

        Sometimes, the manufacturer actually had a listing/description error. We are willing to solve this problem for you.

        Please just e-mail to our We are willing to solve this problem for you to your satisfaction.

        Best wishes,

        • Bastiaan

          I have sent your reply to Petru. I hope you can work these things out well.

    • D

      i was always guessing that the shipping cost where calculated in the price of the article. but i recently bougth a necklace for 0,24. How do the pay for that? i cant immagine that shipping cost are lower than 24 cent

      • Bastiaan

        You’re right. The free shipping costs are calculated as a percentage.
        You will pay more with the more expensive products. These higher priced products pay for the smaller products.

    • Alexis SHYAKA

      First I want to cordially thank Bastiaan for this post and for all other many blog updates for online buyers from China.
      For this case, It is very true that SAMMY dress has a very competitive cost compared to other fashion shops in china. In addition, their clothes are original like they appear on the website according to the discussion I did with the Sales Manager. ( I’m not promoting this shop, I am just a buyer like you)
      It is true I ordered clothes for USD 753 and the total cost was USD 1083.13 (including the shipping cost from china to Rwanda). When I asked the manager if I can choose a shipping company to reduce the shipping cost (In this case UPS which is was quite very cheap), she simply gave me a discount of almost USD 100 because he told me that I will pay then USD 985. I thought it was due to cut in transport cost but I finally realized the shipping cost remained the same.
      Anyway, I preferred shopping with this shop because the expensive shipping price will be reimbursed by the cheapest clothe price.

      • Bastiaan

        You’re very welcome Alexis!
        And thank your for your detailed additions.

        • janey

          Dear Bastiaan,

          We want to tell you that not all of the items on are paid shipping.

          We offer a large selection of products that are available with free shipping.
          For more information, please kindly view the following link,

          Items belong to free shipping goods and free for one shipping method: flat rate shipping to anywhere. Flat Rate Shipping: It usually takes 7-25 business days delivered. If you choose other shipping methods, you also need to pay for the shipping fee.

          For items that don’t belong to free shipping goods, you need to pay for the shipping fee for any kind of shipping method.

          Generally speaking, the total shipping cost will depend on the following:
          The shipment method you choose (we offer Flat Rate, Standard and Expedited Shipping options)

          The destination country that the package is going to
          How many items you order, and the total weight and volume (size) of the parcel.

          Also, the shipping fee was charged by the shipping company and our competitors may choose different shipping company.

          Hope this is useful for you.

          Best wishes,

          • Bastiaan

            Hi SammyDress,
            Thank you for your response.
            It’s a useful addition to this blog and for our readers!

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