When you order something they first test it to make sure it prints correctly to the high standards they have. If for some reason it can't be printed in the quality they require, they refund you right away.
(This hasn't happened to me yet, they've printed everything I've ordered).
There are dozens of ways a 3d file can be created with software, so it;s more about the person / company that makes the file, not Shapeways, as far as how it prints.
Most of the time the 3D file is simply reworked and offered later as a revised and updated model.
Unlike some resin products, this is print on demand, so your item isn't made until it's ordered and then you get it fresh out of the machine.
What I really like is they send emails letting you know the status of your order. When it's going to be printed and when it's shipped, etc.
So you're always in the loop.
Sign up for their emails. Many times they have specials, including free shipping, and that's a good time to order. I keep a list of items I might get for the future and do it then when it's practicable.
It's really no different than ordering a resin item, and most of us have all done that. :-)
Just like a resin model you will have to do some prep work. Sanding, priming, etc. But for moderate or advanced builders, it shouldn't be an issue.
I'm not trying to sell them, they are just another source for models to me, and I will still be buying plastic kits and resin stuff.
But they do have some stuff that's not available elsewhere. :-)