Is DHgate legit? Is DHgate safe? I believe that many buyers have this problem. Actually, DHgate is a large online platform for buying goods from Chinese manufacturers. Primarily a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce site, same as Alibaba, But Alibaba focuses on large orders, DHgate on small wholesale.it specializes in connecting overseas buyers with sellers who are located in China.
DHgate platform processes transactions so that money is exchanged through the website – not directly between buyers and sellers
There are thousands of negative reviews about DHgate, and I have summarized six reasons why DHgate makes buyers angry.
- Due to the time difference, customers cannot get a timely response from the seller
- Customers feel that the customer service staff does not do a good job of helping to resolve disputes between the seller and them.
- Customers have difficulty getting refunds for unsatisfactory products, damaged packages, or delivery times that exceed the promised time.
- Delivery takes too long.
- The seller charges shipping costs, but the product listing shows free shipping.
- The unit price on the product listing is wrong and the seller raised the price when the buyer placed the order.
As with Aliexpress, many customers are interested in buying products on DHgate because of the cheap prices. But like other platforms, DHgate has a lot of problems, which makes customers doubt whether DHgate is a reliable platform.
There is a view on Google that DHgate is just a platform used by Chinese and international manufacturers in many different industries. You should ask yourself, “Is this seller on DHgate real or fake?” Instead of asking, “Is DHgate legit?” I quite agree with this. DHgate is definitely a legitimate platform, but the most important thing is to find a reliable vendor before you buy.
In my article today, I will present DHgate in 6 objective ways. keep reading and you will benefit a lot.
- Is DHgate legit? Why is DHgate so cheap？
- Why do some buyers think DHgate is a scam site (6 REASONS)?
- 4 Things you must know about the buyer production of DHgate.
- How to find a reliable seller on DHgate(4 TIPS)?
- DHgate vs Aliexpress, which one is better?
- Can you buy brand or replica products from DHgate?
1. Is DHgate legit? Why is DHgate so cheap?
As we all know, China is a “world factory”. 90% of the sellers on DHgate are Chinese and they sell good quality products at competitive prices to people from all corners of the world through various online platforms (such as DHgate). In addition, the products are shipped directly from China, with no first or second middleman.
It is not sensible to define DHgate as an unreliable website just because of the cheap prices on the platform. Take a travel pillow for example, you can get a good quality travel pillow in China for $1.50-$2.50, but you may have to pay $7-$9 for the same style of travel pillow in a western country.
DHgate is a legitimate website and DHgate is secure for your information. DHgate is the first merchant in China to offer the Mastercard service provided by MasterCard. In addition to major credit cards, the platform also accepts Skrill, Western Union and other payment methods.
Under DHgate’s buyer protection policy, funds are held in escrow until the buyer confirms shipment. The site states, “Payment to the vendor will only be made once you have confirmed that your item has arrived safely.” Is DHgate safe? Well, DHgate promises to increase buyer confidence by offering refunds for items that are not received or that are “significantly different from the item advertised by the seller”.
2. Why do some buyers think DHgate is a scam site?
As I mention at the beginning of the post, there are mainly 6 aspects making buyers think it is a terrible experience to shop at DHgate. In the section, I will explain these aspects in detail.
Customers can’t receive a prompt reply or even being ignored by sellers
Many buyers ask sellers questions immediately when they don’t receive a package or when the actual item doesn’t match the description in the product listing. But the seller answers their questions only after a few days or does not give any direct answer. In fact, such a phenomenon does exist.
Since many small or individual sellers will set up an e-commerce store on DHgate, there may be only one person running the store and completing all the processes, including arranging shipping, after-sales service, etc.. Therefore, they cannot respond to buyers’ questions in a timely manner.
In addition, there is another type of supplier whose e-commerce store is like an online grocery store. They will display many kinds of products and thousands of hot products on their online store. Generally, for such online stores, they cannot provide good after-sales service.
In addition, some sellers just want to make quick money by selling some hot products. When the products become unpopular, they will remove the products from their e-commerce store immediately. For such sellers, they don’t pay much attention to after-sales service.
In addition, some sellers’ main online sales channel is Alibaba. DHgate is just an additional channel for them to handle their inventory. Therefore, they do not invest much time in running the store on DHgate.
For example, many suppliers who run B2B business have stores on Alibaba and their orders mainly come from there. But if they have abundant inventory, they can clear it on DHgate or Aliexpress. Therefore, they will not be more concerned about after-sales issues on DHgate or Aliexpress.
Customers think the customer service can’t help tackle the dispute between the sellers and them well
Buyers often encounter the problem that they cannot resolve the dispute between them and the seller by themselves. That’s when they ask DHgate to mediate the dispute, because DHgate is not a party, they just judge who is responsible for the problem based on the evidence provided by the seller and the buyer. Sometimes, both the seller and the buyer will be dissatisfied with the outcome of the judgment. This is why buyers always ask” Is DHgate legit?”
Therefore, as a buyer, you should keep abundant evidence to prove that the seller is responsible for the problem, including chat logs, unboxing videos, pictures related to the faulty items, etc. In Part 3, I will explain buyer protection in detail.
Customers have difficulty in getting refund for unsatisfactory products, damaged packages, or the delivery time beyond the promised time.
Generally, the reason for applying for refund can be summarized into 5 types.
- The actual item is not the same as described in the product listing.
- Defective items
- Packages being damaged during the transit
- The delivery time is beyond the promised time
- Shortage of products quantities
Generally speaking, if you encounter the above problem, a responsible seller will refund you directly to avoid disputes or bad reviews. However, if the item is of high value, you may need to return the product to China or the seller’s local warehouse. Once the seller receives the item, they will arrange for a refund.
For example, you purchased 10 Xiaomi phones from China, but the seller sent you the wrong ones. Then the seller will arrange for a refund after you return the product as they requested.
However, if you just buy some low-value products, such as 20 bottles of nail polish with a unit price of $2.50, you are unlikely to return the goods to China due to the high shipping cost. In addition, if you return the product to China, this will go through the import process. It will take a long time to handle the customs clearance process. Therefore, for such a product, a good seller will either refund you directly or resend the product to you.
You may encounter a situation as shown below: some sellers may ask you to return the low value product to China and you should be responsible for the high shipping cost. Usually, the shipping cost will be higher than the value of the product.
We can consider such a supplier as an irresponsible seller because they are not willing to solve the problem from the bottom of their heart.
Although there are a lot of rules on DHgate to protect buyers, it will also be flexible to deal with problems according to the actual situation. DHgate will allow sellers and buyers to deal with disputes in the first time within the mutually agreed time.
For example, due to COVID-19 in February 2020, if you purchase a product on DHgate from March to May, it may take more than 3 months for you to receive the product via China Post. Even if you choose some commercial courier, such as UPS, DHL, you still may not receive the product within 5-7 days.
Therefore, in this particular case, although the delivery time has exceeded the promised time, DHgate cannot judge that the seller should be directly responsible for the time issue.
In conclusion, low-value products should not be returned to China. For such products, there are two common and reasonable solutions: the first one, depending on the actual situation, you can negotiate with the seller for the refund amount: full refund or partial refund. The second, if you do not need the product urgently, you can ask the seller to resend a new product. Usually, reliable sellers are willing to settle disputes.
But there are two other situations, like the one shown below, which indicate that the seller will not handle the problem well.
Delivery time is too long
If you choose a commercial shipping method such as UPS, DHL, FedEx, you can get a relatively accurate time, usually 5-7 days. If you are only buying 1-2 low value products, the shipping method is usually economy shipping method such as ePacket. however, for economy shipping method, the delivery time can be very long. In addition, packages may be delayed, damaged, or even lost.
There are some factors causing the package delay.
- The delay of transfer flights
- A long time is needed for the full aircraft logistics warehouse
- Low efficiency of customs clearance
- Major holidays & major shopping days & major events
- And more…
If you want a detailed explanation of parcel delays, you can read the second part of my article. is Aliexpress safe? For economic shipping methods, you can’t track the delivery information in the destination country. This means that it is difficult for you to find out at which point the package went wrong.
If you don’t receive the package within the promised time, the seller usually arranges a refund (except for some special cases).
Sellers charge shipping fees but the product listing showing free shipping.
Shipping costs are related to the shipping method and the number of shipments. If you choose free shipping service on DHgate, usually economic shipping methods such as ePacket, China Post will be used. If you choose commercial courier such as DHL, UPS, etc., the seller usually will not offer free shipping. Only when the product value is high, the seller will offer free commercial courier.
Most sellers indicate in their product listings that they will offer free shipping, which is just a way to attract buyers. In fact, they will not offer free shipping for all shipping methods.
The unit price on the product list is wrong, and sellers raise the price when buyers place an order.
Some small-scale and grocery sellers may have a situation where the unit price on the product listing is wrong and when the buyer places an order, they raise the price.
For example, the unit price on the product listing is for 1 lot. In fact, it is the unit price of a single piece. Or they provide the wrong product specifications. Only when they confirm the buyer’s order, they find the wrong information and explain it to them. But at that point, buyers usually think it’s a scam.
Why is this a problem? Because many small-scale sellers and grocery sellers hire employees who upload product images and information to DHgate’s online store in batches, and they are not familiar with the products. Therefore, they cannot recognize errors in product information and unit prices.
However, large sellers or factories do not make such mistakes, the reason being that their employees are usually familiar with the products. In addition, these companies have a dedicated team to check for errors to ensure that the data is accurate.
3. Things you must know about the buyer production of DHgate
There are indeed some aspects of DHgate’s customer service that buyers are not happy with, but there are also many misconceptions that are caused by buyers’ unfamiliarity with DHgate. In order to have a good shopping experience and better protect yourself, you really need to know some details about the buyer protection policy before you shop from DHgate.
I will list the 4 most common questions below and teach you how to deal with them.
How to cancel an order that the seller has not shipped?
Select the order you want to cancel and then click the “Request Refund” button.
After submitting the request, the seller will have 10 days to respond to the suggestion and once the seller agrees to cancel, the system will automatically refund the money.
Attention. If you do not get a response from the seller within 10 days, or if the seller cannot reach an agreement with you in the system for more than 10 days, the order will be automatically closed.
The seller can ship the order before the shipping deadline (10 days) and you will not get a refund. However, if the shipping deadline (10 days) has passed, you should request a refund again and your refund will be completed within 24 hours.
So, all you need to do is to get hold of the time schedule instead of worrying that your refund will not be lost.
The following chart is about the refund time for your reference.
Refund Method Refund Time Credit or Debit Card 3-7 business days Local Payment 1-2 business days DHgate Account Real Time
Why does the tracking number not updated after placing an order?
Tracking information will appear on the shipping company’s website after 5/7/10 business days, depending on the shipping company used.
Who is going to bear the Customs & Import Taxes?
Customs duties are not included in the price or delivery charges of the merchandise. You will most likely have to pay customs fees for items ordered from DHgate, and your purchases from DHgate are considered imported goods because the packages are shipped from overseas.
To avoid any unforeseen surprises, please note the following points.
- Ask the seller if you will have to pay any additional import duties, taxes or other customs-related fees.
- The seller is not responsible for delays caused by your country’s customs department.
- Some sellers offer domestic delivery services. This means that they will ship your order from a warehouse in your country. In this case, you will not be required to pay any additional duties and taxes.
What kind of evidence do you need to provide for different claims?
The evidence needed varies depending on the actual package. But one thing in common, no matter what the evidence is, is a short video or photo that should clearly show what the problem is. Click here to learn more about the evidence that needs to be provided for different claims.
4. How to find a reliable seller on DHgate?
As you can see from the above few scams, these problems are usually found in small-scale sellers and grocery stores. Therefore, you’d better choose large-scale and professional sellers to work with. By doing so, you are more likely to get quality products and reliable after-sales service.
Here are 4 tips to identify professional sellers on DHgate
Just sell one category of product
Generally speaking, professional sellers have one thing in common: they sell only one category of products in their stores. For example, when you search for “led lights” in the store, you will find that all the products in the store are led lights.
When I search “ diaper bag” on DHgate, then after I click into one of the sellers’ store, I find there are 4 different categories of products, and there are large quantities of products under the same product category respectively.
I have mentioned that the after-sales service of such grocery sellers is not satisfactory and they cannot give timely responses to buyers. In addition, with so many product categories, they cannot manage the products well and may provide wrong product information.
Natural and real image, clear product information
A professional seller will provide a good product listing that includes natural and realistic looking pictures and clear product specifications. And they will provide a clear after-sales policy.
In addition, a reliable seller will not provide ambiguous product information or urge you to place an order through some unrealistic photos.
Check their bad reviews
You should pay attention to the bad reviews of the store rather than focusing too much on the good ones. Because if people are happy with the product, they may not leave good reviews, but if they are not happy with the product, they will leave bad reviews stating defects or their buying experience.
Sellers have the warehouses in your country
Generally speaking, only large-scale sellers rent overseas warehouses, and most of them have long-term business plans. In addition, they may have a better potential market for their products.
To sum up: the above 4 suggestions are just to help you identify whether the seller is professional or not, not to tell you that other small-scale sellers or grocery sellers are not reliable. However, professional sellers are easier for you to identify than those small-scale or grocery store sellers.
5. DHgate vs Aliexpress, which one is better?
User experience in retail
Even buyers can negotiate with sellers on Aliexpress for small-scale wholesaling, but strictly speaking, Aliexpress focuses on retail. Therefore, if you just want to buy products from China for your own use, you can try Aliexpress.
Also, compared to DHgate, Aliexpress is a newer cross-border e-commerce platform with a better user experience than DHgate.
User experience in wholesale and dropshipping
Objectively, if you can identify whether it is a good supplier, you can try these two platforms.
DHgate and Aliexpress have the same shipping methods, including Saver shipping, Standard shipping, Premium shipping (UPS, FedEx, DHL). Therefore, the shipping time required for both platforms is almost the same.
6. Can you buy brand or luxury replica products from DHgate?
I have received many messages from overseas friends who want to buy branded or luxury imitations from China because of their good performance and low prices. In fact, such products are not only popular among overseas people, but also among Chinese people.
There are many sellers of luxury replica products on DHgate. And there is no standard price for such luxury replicas. The price of the same product from different sellers can vary a lot. Generally speaking, the higher the price of the product, the more authentic it is.
But the most important thing is to find a reliable seller at the beginning. So you should not buy too many replicas on DHgate at the beginning. It is recommended that you buy one from the seller first to check its quality and if the product is satisfactory, you can buy it again from the store.
You should know that replicas are not essentially real products and you cannot judge their quality based on the quality standards of certified products. This means that you can’t buy a real pair of Nike shoes for $10 or a real LV bag for $100. In fact, as long as the quality matches the price and your expectations, you can buy it.
For more experiences on buying luxury replicas from DHgate, there are many videos on Youtube sharing how to buy replicas from DHgate, such as the one below.
In fact, no matter Alibaba, Aliexpress, DHgate or other cross-border trade platforms, all of them have some unsatisfactory points. But you should not think these platforms are scammers just because you are not satisfied.
The first thing you should do is to choose a reliable seller. And buying internationally is different from buying in your local country and will be influenced by some unavoidable factors.
Thank you for reading and if you have other concerns about DHgate, feel free to leave a comment and let me know.
As a leading pillow manufacturer in China, PT Pillow manufacturing and export all kind of memory foam pillows, microbeads pillows and cotton pillows. We use the finest quality of natural filling as well as non-recycled polyfibers. If you would like to ship pillows from China, please feel free to contact us.