MiniInTheBox and LightInThebox are sibling gadget shops founded by the same company in China and have been growing and developing at lightening speeds. MiniInTheBox, which focuses set on electronic items, was created in 2006, a year before the lifestyle and fashion store LightInThebox was created. LightInThebox’s global Alexa ranking of 1,315 and MiniInTheBox’s rank of 1,750 prove their popularity equivalent to even larger vendors such as Banggood and Dealextreme.

Miniinthebox Index

The first impression: the website of MiniInTheBox

Experience with MiniInTheBox

Light- and MiniInTheBox proved themselves experienced merchants in our tests and could meet their set delivery times, sometimes even delivering faster than expected. The support is prompt, reaching out to customers with problems within 24 hours. We were very happy with our customer experience as we didn’t encounter any problems at all.

Details: Light- and MiniInTheBox.com

  • Delivery times: 10-20 work days, express shipping 3-5 days
  • range of products: all categories are available
  • price comparison: more expensive than direct competitors
  • specific features: multiple payment methods accepted

Pros

  • PayPal-Express payment
  • Other payment methods: credit card and even Sofortüberweisung.de for German customers or debit card for customers from the UK
  • most of the time no shipping charges
  • optional shipping insurance
  • credit balance automatically settled when placing an order
  • many languages available, but some translations don’t make sense
  • product questions are answered very fast
  • frequent promotions and discounts such as free expedited shipping

Cons

  • some products at LightintheBox don’t come with free shipping
  • delivery times may vary
  • Product Overlap between the two sites
  • ordering not possible without an account
  • product descriptions translated on the German webpage (Note 3 = Anmerkung 3) - complicates searching for specific items

Payment

By pressing the PayPal-Expressbutton, the order will be processed through PayPal, activating the buyer protection for a 180-day-period. This isn’t possible without a registration. But Lightinthebox and MiniInTheBox also feature a fair amount of third party merchants. In case of problems or questions, the multilingual support team is there to help. Usually responding quickly to customer concerns and taking time to go into detail about products.

MiniintheBox Payment Options

Many logos, but only three options: the payment options at MiniInTheBox

Supported payment methods

PayPal PayPal Our recommendation! PayPal is fast, easy to use and offers a great buyer protection.
credit card

Visa

MasterCard

AmEx

You can pay with your favorite plastic via PayPal. This way you can also take advantage of paypal's buyer protection program.

Delivery times and shipping

Sadly there aren’t uniform conditions concerning the shipping, as you have to pay shipping charges for standard shipping for some items and the delivery time can vary from 5-10 days up to 20 workdays. Many items are offered with free shipping and the expedited shipping takes about 3-5 days but even this can vary depending on the product, item value, and number of items.

Shipment tracking is possible by checking into your Mini- or LightintheBox account. There you have a very well-arranged overview of all your orders and their shipping status. Keep in mind, you shouldn’t choose a PO Box as your address because this might cause problems when the deliverer and customer cannot keep in contact. Bubble-wrapped packages are often declined to PO Boxes.

The availability of shipping insurance is also noteworthy. It usually costs only about $1 extra, so it may be worth it to consider when placing a large or important order.

MiniInTheBox Parcel

MiniInTheBox and customs

MiniInTheBox has a large client base in the European and North American markets and is familiar with the rules of the customs system. This means that packages are almost never held in customs offices because of incorrect declarations. Nevertheless, random checks on your order are always possible.

For shipments entering the US, extra taxes and fees on your product are a possible, if not entirely common, side-effect of international ordering. The amount to be paid can vary widely from nothing to $495 depending on the product and how its sent. Not every item is taxed when entering the country, but the majority are only subject to a nominal processing fee of between $2 and $9 when entering the country. If you are concerned about your item, or are planning to order goods in excess of $100, it is worth it to check with the Customs Office at the port of entry to confirm any extra taxes.

Any extra taxes or duty on your shipment will either be paid at your door when the mailman drops it off, or the package may be held at your local post office and you will need ot go pick it up and pay any applicable fees in person.

Specific features

MiniInTheBox and LightInTheBox are the only China-specific shops that offer a direct discount of 10% on your next order, if you wish to use it. It isn’t necessary to exchange points for a discount and use it explicitly on your order, such as on the sites Dealextreme or Tinydeal.

The translations are well done in most cases but there are sometimes poorer automated translations that may leave out some product information. We recommend using the English translation in lieu of other languages, especially if you’re looking for electronic items such as cell phones and tablets.

Conclusion

Light- and MiniInTheBox work hard to establish a client base on the European market and are definitely successful in their pioneering efforts, as their alexa ranking proves. The prices tend to be on the higher side, but great deals are always possible when using available coupons and the 10% direct discount. Only the information on the delivery and shipping costs can cause confusion and the product range of both websites overlaps, which can sometimes lead to confusion if you're searching on both simultaneously.

Alternatives

 Alternative 1:  Banggood
Banggood
 
free shipping well-known shop, ideal for shopping for electronic goods, clothing, costume jewelry and a great starting point for RC fans and tinkerers, has many international warehouses
 Alternative 2:  Dealextreme
Dealextreme
 
free shipping also a known brand in the Chinese electronics business, offers also a couple of international warehouses

2 MiniInTheBox Coupons

The shop offers frequently different coupon codes, promotions and special deals which lead to free express shipping on orders of a certain value or discount a certain percentage of your order price. This can be settled with your direct credit and result in amazing discounts.

Free expedited shipping at MitB for $35+ orders

From now on MiniInTheBox is offering free expedited shipping for all orders with a value of at least USD $35. Especially helpful for all those late birthday shoppers! ;-)

Valid for a limited time

Not necessary

Gadget Lucky Bags at MiniInTheBox

Fans of surprises? Then order a lucky bag at MiniInTheBox: you'll receive randomly chosen products which are up to 70% discounted - or you can order a goody bag (and only have to live with a limited amount of surprises ;) )

Valid for a limited time

Not necessary

169 Reviews

Order by
03/03/2017

Suzanne

this is one of many times I have tried to purchase with Amex, Visa, Master card and it never goes thru. U keep denying the 3 or 4 # on the card as wrong and it never is!!! No one is so stupid that they can't put in the 3 or 4 # code from either the front or the back. I have had my FOUR AMEX cards since 1983 with never one complaint until you; I have an order right now for $90.00+ and you will not accept any of the 3 I have tried, listed above. YOUR LOSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Translate 12/15/2017

Jutta

Ich habe am 06.11.2017 Ware bestellt, mehrmals nachgehakt, wurde vertröstet bis heute 15.12 ist nichts angekommen.
Lasst die Finger davon, erscheint nur preiswert.Habe mein Geld zurück gefordert, auf diese Mail wird gar nicht erst geantwortet.
Translate 12/02/2017

Cataldp

Ho acquistato un mini drone, del valore di 32 euro, piu' costo di spedizione 42,70, alla consegna del pacco ho dovuto pagare euro 25,18 di spese doganali, totale costo euro 67,88. Intando prodotto scadente epoco funzionante. una vera fregatura, non consiglio a nessuni acquisto da mininthebox.
Translate 11/30/2017

Hulli

Mini in the box macht einen seriösen Eindruck, ist es aber nicht, verschweigt mögliche Kosten, die bei Bestellwerten über 22€ entstehen können und weitere Kosten für Lagerung, Zoll-Gebühren etc. Ganz zu schweigen, wenn das zuständige Zoll-Amt eine weite Anreise erfordert. Lieferfristen von vielen Wochen bis Monaten sind nicht unüblich: Hände weg von den vermeintlichen Preisvorteilen!!!
Translate 11/22/2017

Leonardo

CUIDADO!!!! NO COMPRES CON ELLOS!!! Es una estafa; literalmente tengo meses esperando mi paquete. Me dijeron que no me regresan el dinero pues mi paquete no esta perdido, pero no lo encuentran; asique no hai paquete ni dinero.
Translate 11/17/2017

mropa

Hace unas semanas pedí un pedido y todavía no me ha llegado y escribí a atención del cliente y me dijeron que antes del 30/11 lo recibiré a ver si es verdad ????,aunque con vuestras conclusiones no lo veo muy claro ????
Translate 11/14/2017

Laura

Sono passati 60 giorni lavorativi dall'ordine effettuato e non ho ancora ricevuto il pacco inoltre sono giorni che cerco di contattare il servizio clienti senza ottenere alcuna risposta.... azienda poco seria!!!
Translate 11/12/2017

werner

Lieferzeit wurde mit 3-5 Tagen angegeben.
4 Wochen nach Bestellung noch keine Ware erhalten.
Auf Nachfrage Lieferzeit bis zu 180TAge angegeben.
Frechheit.
Antrag auf Käuferschutz gestellt.
Translate 11/09/2017

Ivan

Dopo 65 giorni di attesa per un orologio mi dicono solo ed esclusivamente di pazientare, nel sito indicano 15-23 giorni, il servizio clienti ti dice 60 giorni e fino a 90 giorni poi finalmente mi comunicano che il pacco è stato "smarrito" e mi chiedono le opzioni per rimborso o nuova spedizione, scelgo rimborso ma da quasi una settimana il servizio clienti è latitante e non risponde a reclami, mail ecc. Il mio consiglio è di NON comprare su questo sito. La stessa cosa è successa per altri due oggetti....però attenzione non sono ancora passati 60 giorni... ma scherziamo ? Per me giudizio pienamente negativo
Translate 10/20/2017

maria

attesa evasione ordine di 10 giorni invece che i 3-4 dichiarati
non specificata la presenza di spesa doganli, nel mio caso di ben 33 euro
Translate 10/13/2017

Anna

Finger weg !! Zwei mal habe Waren bestellt, über Pay PAL bezahlt, KEINE WAREN KEIN GELD zurück !
Meine Versuche, miniln Shop zu kontaktieren scheitern bis heute. Entweder bekomme ich E-Mail, das die Adresse nicht stimmt, an die ich meine Reklamation gesendet habe, was quatsch ist, da diese als Kontaktadresse angegeben wird, oder , es wird gar nicht geantwortet ! Ich sehe das als Betrug, Geld abzubuchen und KEINE WARE zu versenden !
Translate 10/07/2017

Alberto

Ho ordinato una custodia per smartphone il 7 settembre 2017. Oggi, a distanza di 30 gg mi viene comunicato che, se il pacco incontra mal tempo, i tempi di consegna potrebbero dilatarsi a 60 gg. Roba da pazzi...la domanda sorge spontanea...lo staranno portando a piedi dalla Cina????
Non acquistare assolutamente!!!!!
Translate 10/04/2017

Irene

Servizio pessimo,
non era segnalata la provenienza del prodotto, dunque nessuno mi ha informata delle spese extra doganali, il mio pacco acquistato a nome della mia società è rimasto bloccato alla dogana cinese e al momento risulta ancora impossibile sdoganarlo poiché la loro fattura è errata e mi è impossibile pagare a mio nome. Il servizio clienti risponde solo con messaggi preimpostati, sono introvabili.
Da truffa! pessimo sito. Diffidatene!
Io ho perso soldi e prodotto, anzi la mia società e non mi è stata fornita neanche fattura dei soldi che loro hanno incassato.
Translate 10/01/2017

Maria

No compreis aqui. Esto es una estafa hice un pedido el 10 /02/2017 y todavia hoy 1/10/2017 no me han entregado NADA
Translate 09/30/2017

Cesar

Unos sin vergüenzas, he reclamado mi pedido y no me han solucionado nada.
Llevo ymun mes esperando una solución.
Translate 09/26/2017

Juan

Son unos sinvergüenzas, les compré una funda para el Mac, 25 euros, y me enviaron una que era pequeña y no servía, 25 euros. Para devolverla tuve que pagar 15 euros, ya que la debía enviar a Polonia, y hasta la fecha. Eso fue en junio.
Doy por perdidos los 40 euros, pero lo peor, la sensación de estafa tan grande.
Nunca más en esta página, es un timo y un fraude.
Translate 09/14/2017

Olga

Los gastos de aduana se aplican a la importación de artículos cuyo importe supere los 22 euros. Por lo tanto si compras por un importe superior a 22€ tienes q estar preparado para pagar el 21 % IVA y si el importe es igual o superior a 150€ -2,5 % arancel +21 % IVA. El único consejo en el caso de no querer pagar estos gastos es comprar cosas por un valor inferior a 22€ y por separado, sin agrupar. No caigáis en la trampa de envío gratis a partir de xx.xx €. Y aun así es posible que tengáis otro tipo de problemas con Miniinthebox. En mi caso compre por 17,50€ la dichosa camera IP de Xaomi Xaoifang que ellos anunciaban como válida para Europa. Al recibirla y comprobar que no era cierto, reclame la devolución del artículo. Prometieron por escrito abonar los gastos de devolución. Al mismo tiempo cambiaron la descripción del producto sutilmente. Yo como tonta caí en su trampa. Pague por la devolución 9,30€. Ellos contestaron que la recibieron y me devuelven 16,91€. Ahora la tienen anunciada por 25€. O sea, me han hecho pagar portes, devolverles la camera que volverán a vender más cara y yo he acabado perdiendo casi 10€. Para esto podría reclamarlo a PayPal desde el principio. Como la pague por PayPal volveré a reclamar a través de PayPal. Es la única esperanza, porque después de informarme que abonaran solo 16,91€ han cerrado todos los accesos a la queja en su página.
Otro asunto importante! No publican las opiniones que les perjudican las ventas. Yo intente poner los avisos en preguntas y respuestas que la camera no funciona en Europa y no salen por ningún sitio. Lo filtran. Tampoco han publicado mi opinión sobre la camera. Si algo no te gusta te remiten a Att al cliente, no dejan publicar opiniones negativas. Por lo tanto todas las opiniones que veis en su página están filtradas.
Translate 09/11/2017

Nicole Weck

Unseriöses Unternernehmen! Auf gar keinen Fall enpfehlenswert!!!

Die bestellte wasserdichte Handyhülle sagte mir nicht zu. Umständliche 8 kleinst-Verschraubungen sind zum Öffnen und Schließen der Hülle notwendig und vor allem die billige, lose Abdeckung, über der Lade-/Freisprechbuchse, die mit der Hülle nicht verbunden ist sagte mir nach kurzer Prüfung nicht zu und ging aus der Produktbeschreibung nicht hervor!

Der Kunde wird vor Rücksendung zur Erlangung der Rücksendeadresse und eines Rücksendecodes angewiesen, zunächst Kontakt mit dem Unternehmen aufzunehmen.

3-malig erhalte ich seitdem eine E-Mail mit dem steten Hinweis, dass die Ware unbenutzt in Originalverpackung zu sein hat! Die angekündigten Rücksendeformalitäten fehlen derweil!

Die ist schlicht falsch, denn der Kunde darf die Ware auf Eigenschaft, Funktionsweise und Beschaffenheit hin prüfen und sie bei Nichtgefallen gegen volle Kaufpreiserstattung zurückgeben!

Offenbar ist man bei Mini in the Box mit diesem deutschen Verbraucherrecht bei Onlinekäufen nicht vertraut!

Bleibt nur die Einschaltung der Verbraucherzentrale! Ganz sicher nie wieder Mini in the Box!!!
Translate 09/08/2017

Andreas

Schade! Habe einen Mp3 Player bestellt und ist bis heute (vor 1 Monat versendet) immer noch nicht angekommen
Translate 09/08/2017

Magdalena

Ich habe die Bestellung nach 3 Monaten immer noch nicht erhalten. Trotzdem wurde die Kommunikation von miniinthebox 2 mal als erledigt abgeschlossen. Nach 3 Versuch um Kontakt bekommt man Nachricht wo steht bitte um Geduld, es dauert 1-2 Monate bis die Bestellung kommt..
ich habe kein Geld und keine Ware..
NIE WIEDER!
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2.2 /5.0
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