Is DHgate Safe and Legit To Buy From? Ways to Buy Legally at DHgate in 2024

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DHgate is a top cross-border website that links Chineses suppliers and manufacturers with consumers and retailers all around the world. And it’s a popular choice amongst small business owners due to vast product selection and competitive prices. 


However, one question about the marketplace often arises; “is DHgate safe to buy from?”


Well, just like every other marketplace, the risk of encountering scammers and poor-quality sellers exists. But you don’t have to worry because this post will explain what DHgate is, how to find legitimate sellers and how to use DHgate’s buyer protection policy.


I’ll also cover important information like DHgate’s payment methods, returns policy, steps to cancel orders, and the kind of illegal activity to avoid on the platform.


So, if you’re unsure whether buying from DHgate is safe for your apparel business, stay put and continue reading because this post is for you.


What Is DHgate and How Does It Operate?


What Is DHgate and How Does It Operate


Founded in 2004, DHgate is a wholesale third-party marketplace where Chinese manufacturers and suppliers sell directly to consumers and ecommerce vendors worldwide. 


Like Aliexpress, its wide product range spans virtually every category you can imagine, including apparel, cosmetics, toys, electronics, automobiles, jewelry, computers, games, and home and outdoor appliances, among others. 


Regardless, the platform can be an excellent place to source different products at low MOQs (Minimum Order Quantity) to test a market you want to enter.


Is DHgate Safe and Legit To Buy From?


Yes, DHgate itself is a legit ecommerce site that millions of overseas buyers source products from. However, the sellers on it may not always be. Because, just like Alibaba or eBay, DHgate simply acts as a middleman between the seller and you. 


While occasional reports of a poor buying experience may come up, DHgate takes measures to prevent and address such issues.  


For instance, once you place an order, DHgate holds and protects your payment until the seller ships the order and you confirm the delivery. Moreover, if the products do not arrive or arrive differently than promised, DHgate will help to settle the dispute and offer a partial or complete refund.


This being said, it’s still important to exercise caution and do your due diligence before buying on DHgate. That is, to ensure a safe and satisfactory buying experience.


Now let’s look at some of the benefits of sourcing from DHgate.


Pros of Sourcing From DHgate 


Some of the advantages DHgate offers include; 


Buyer Protection: 

DHgate prioritizes the safety of buyers on its platform and aims to provide a secure shopping experience for all. 


As a middleman service should, it offers a comprehensive refund, return, and dispute resolution process in cases of payment or product issues.


Vast Product Selection: 

DHgate’s product selection spans several categories and product types, effectively catering to the needs of various customers. 


From clothing and accessories to sports equipment and home electronics, businesses and consumers can find a wide range of products to suit their business and consumption needs.


 Competitive Prices: 

One major reason why buyers choose DHgate is its competitive pricing. 


By connecting manufacturers and wholesalers directly with buyers, DHgate eliminates intermediaries, resulting in lower prices for buyers. 


All together, these advantages make DHgate an attractive platform for those looking to source products efficiently and cost-effectively.


So, Why Do Some Buyers Think DHgate Is A Scam? 


Here are some common reasons why buyers may mistake DHgate for a scam service.


  • Communication Difficulties:

Occasionally, buyers may have difficulties communicating with sellers on DHgate. In rarer cases, this happens because of the language barrier between international clients and Chinese wholesalers. 


Other times, it’s because many sellers are operating multiple stores across platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, and AliExpress, without enough workforce, so they’re unable to respond in a timely manner. Additionally, sellers may also become unresponsive when they are requested to refund customers.


 At the minimum, it’s best to only choose DHgate sellers with excellent communication and customer service scores.


  • Inconsistent Product Quality:

A common complaint DHgate customers have is the varying quality among sellers. Even when these different sellers offer the same product with similar descriptions and images, the actual material they offer may differ. 


This happens because sellers commonly use misleading images to attract buyers, and because suppliers may have varying quality control systems in place. 


The risk of fake or poor-quality products makes it very important to research sellers and investigate reviews before completing an order.


  • Delivery Delays:

International shipping, which is common on DHgate due to its global user network, can result in longer delivery times. 


Many buyers view delays as signs of a scam or suspicious seller, especially when the seller fails to provide tracking information. 


It is critical to avoid sellers who offer shipping methods without tracking information, as having this at hand allows you to track your order’s location at all times during shipping.


  • Fraudulent Sellers:

Just like all other online marketplaces, DHgate has fraudulent sellers looking to make quick money off unsuspecting buyers. 


These scammers exploit buyers by delivering substandard goods or taking payment and never delivering at all. In both scenarios, you can file a dispute and have DHgate intervene to judge the affair.


But, to prevent it outright, it’s best to research seller profiles thoroughly, taking note of important metrics like communication, product quality, shipping, and customer service scores.


In summary, DHgate is a legitimate place to shop online, but like any marketplace, your experience can vary depending on the specific seller you choose. 


Sometimes, you might have communication issues with sellers, or what you order may differ from the image and description the seller provides. 


Furthermore, international shipping, which is common on DHgate, may suffer delays. And lastly, just like anywhere else online, there are fraudulent sellers on DHgate, who may send substandard products or never deliver at all. 


To protect yourself, you should thoroughly research seller profiles, paying attention to communication, product quality, shipping, and customer service ratings.


You also need to investigate product reviews to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth and demand tracking information from sellers so you can always trace the location of your order.


How To Buy Clothes on DHgate Without Getting Scammed


1. Thoroughly Assess the Seller and the Product Before Purchase


Thoroughly Assess The Seller and The Product Before Purchase


You can tell if a seller is safe to work with by first checking their company profile. As you check through, look for badges like “Sponsored Supplier” or “High-Quality Seller” under their store name before placing an order.


Besides merchant badges, you should also look out for these metrics on a seller’s profile:


– Product quality (above average)

– Feedback score (at least 90% or higher)

– Customer service (above average)

– Years in business (Aim for sellers who have been around for at least 2-3 years)


You should also check through the product’s description. When you’re first checking through various stores and products, you may subconsciously first look at product pictures and reviews but forget to read the product description. This makes it easy for scammers to trick them. 


Sometimes, sellers use beautiful pictures from others but change only the description. For example, a picture might show a wallet and a keychain, making you think both are included. However, if you read the description carefully, you’ll see they only sell the keychain. 


If you miss this and need a refund, it might be tough because technically, the seller did nothing wrong. So, always read the product description before buying to avoid this.


You can also secure your DHgate purchase by reviewing the product reviews. It’s like a backstage pass to see how a product performs from others’ viewpoints. Some sellers boast about offering top-notch items for a steal, but reality often doesn’t match the hype. That’s where reviews step in.


You will need to separate the real reviews from the fake ones though. Right now, there are loads of fake reviews out there. If you notice lots of similar reviews on a product page, it’s probably best to steer clear.


Also, don’t let negative reviews scare you off too easily. Just because there are a few complaints doesn’t always mean the product is bad.


This is because many satisfied customers don’t leave reviews, whereas unsatisfied customers rarely hesitate to leave a bad review explaining the issue or their buying experience.


DHgate review


Also, before committing to massive orders, order a small batch of your desired product. If the product arrives on time and as described, you can order a bigger batch and ultimately choose to work with the seller long-term.


Buying samples helps you see if the product matches what you want in terms of quality, looks, specs, and how it works. You can see if the supplier can solve any issues quickly and correctly.


2. When Ordering, Be Careful With Your Payment Process


Even though all payment methods on DHgate are secure, it’s wise to stick with the one you’re familiar with. Don’t be swayed by the seller’s suggested options; always double-check and rely on your judgment and the choices DHgate offers.


A common tactic for DHgate scammers is to lead buyers away from the DHgate platform, so you can send money that you can’t trace back. In such a case, never agree. 


DHgate only safeguards your transactions and resolves disputes when you make deals on their platform. Trustworthy sellers won’t ask you to conduct business with them privately.


Avoid interacting with sellers who try to move the transaction off the platform or request personal information through email or other channels.


Also, do not confirm delivery before receiving an order. Before DHgate releases your payment to the seller, they can assist if the seller can’t resolve your concern.


However, once you confirm delivery, DHgate will release the funds to the seller after 5 days. After that, it’s up to the seller to handle any issues.


Therefore, don’t confirm delivery until you get the order, and keep an eye on the shipping status.


buyer protection policy


For your safety, it’s always wisest to transact within DHgate’s platform so that the buyer protection policy and refund guarantee cover you.


3. Also Check Through To See If Their Website Is Properly Designed


Some sellers open a store just to sell their items quickly without planning for long-term success. Because of this, they might not take their business seriously or provide great service. Their store design might be basic and haphazard.


To spot these sellers, look for signs of a carefully crafted storefront. Does the seller include an “About Us” section on their homepage?


Are their product photos appealing and genuine? Are their promotional banners well-made? Checking these details can help you avoid unreliable sellers.


4. Before Making any Transactions, Go Through the Return Policies


The Return Policies


The return policies are there to help you get your money back if something goes wrong. So, take the time to read it carefully. Don’t wait until you’ve already got the wrong product to check it out. By then, it might be too late.


You should also make sure the seller has a “return promise” date. Typically, they offer return windows of 3-7 days, 15 days, or 30 days after your item arrives. Ignoring this timeframe could make it hard to get your money back.


Plus, you need to have a valid reason for requesting a refund. 


Why Are DHgate Clothes So Cheap?


Why Are DHgate Clothes So Cheap


When browsing DHgate’s website, you immediately notice the cheap price points of products. There are several reasons for this:


First, because most DHgate sellers are manufacturers and distributors, there won’t be any middleman-related costs on the seller’s end.


Second, as labor costs are significantly cheaper in China than in other developed countries like the US and UK, sellers can save on production costs and offer much lower prices.


Third, most DHgate sellers sell in bulk. And businesses typically offer lower prices per item when customers buy in bulk. If you want to buy 20 to 30 items from a seller, chances are it will be less expensive than an order for 1 or 2 pieces.


Fourth, oftentimes, manufacturers are looking to get rid of excess stock so they sell it at a lower price to move it out of the warehouse.


DHgate Payment Methods


DHgate Payment Methods


DHgate allows users to pay with cards, via wire transfer, through Western Union and with its integrated payment system DHpay. The company also supports payment platforms like Apple Pay, Adyen, Ebanx and Worldpay in addition to others. 


How Does DHgate Ship Your Orders?


Once you place your order and the seller processes it, your product is ready for shipping. 


DHgate has a standard 30-day delivery period. However, interested buyers can opt to pay for a carrier service to deliver their product faster. Some of the most popular shipping carriers buyers use on DHgate include:


  • DHL
  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • China Post
  • Singapore Post
  • Hong Kong Post
  • EMS

Shipping carriers offer different delivery methods.


Air freight shipping, which is fast and more convenient, usually takes 4 to 14 days. Sea freight shipping, on the other hand, can take 30 to 40 days. Whereas express shipping, although more costly, can have your order delivered between 3 to 5 days. 


Remember that along with your shipping method, several factors like the size and variety of your order, its processing time, the distance between you and the seller’s fulfillment center, and holidays and unforeseen events can affect the time it takes for your products to reach you. 


Besides, local delivery networks and customs processes can affect your shipping time.


Does DHgate Have A Returns and Refund Policy?


Does DHgate Have A Returns and Refund Policy


When you purchase goods on DHgate and they arrive not as described, you can open a dispute and have DHgate step in to resolve the issue. 


If DHgate rules the dispute in the seller’s favor, your return is invalidated. Whereas, if DHgate rules in your favor, the product will be returned and you will be refunded your money.


Does DHgate Protect Buyers On Its Platform?


Does DHgate Protect Buyers On Its Platform


To combat the risk of scams, DHgate has put measures in place to ensure payments are secure and buyers receive their goods. One of such is its buyer protection program which is essentially an escrow service for your order. 


When you purchase on DHgate, the platform does not immediately release the money to the seller. Rather, they hold onto your payment until you receive your order and confirm satisfaction. 


As soon as your order arrives, it must be examined for quality immediately. If your order’s quality and physical safety isn’t satisfactory, you must contact your seller or make a report within 90 days, according to DHgate. 


If your seller fails to reply within 90 days, your next step is to raise the dispute with DHgate and apply for a refund.


How To Cancel DHgate Order?


If you need to cancel an order on DHgate, you must do so before the seller ships it or within two hours of the “Item Being Processed” stage. Simply click the “Cancel Order” button on the order page. 


However, if the 2 hours expire and your items have been processed, your next option is to use the “Request Refund” button. 


After submitting your request, the seller has 7 days to reply. If the seller fails to reply within 7 days, you are granted your refund. However, the seller has the option to reject your refund and send out the package WITHIN the shipping deadline. 


If the package ships later than the deadline, you can request a refund again. This time, your order will be canceled, and you will be refunded within 24 hours. 


Ideally, to avoid the wait and uncertainty of depending on a seller to accept your refund, cancel wrong orders within the 2-hour timeframe.


Is DHgate Safe and Legit To Buy From? Our Final Verdict


DHgate is a legitimate marketplace with a vast product selection and competitive prices.     


While the platform is safe to use, there are some important considerations like the risk of fraudulent sellers, varying product quality, and the prevalence of fake, branded products.


To counter these concerns, it’s necessary to choose sellers with caution, carry out thorough quality checks and avoid branded material. By observing due diligence, you can navigate the platform safely and enjoy its full range of benefits.


As a fashion ecommerce vendor with branding, marketing, and customer acquisition duties, outsourcing your sourcing and quality control can be a wise choice. Doing so helps you save time and resources and allows you to focus on core business activities that drive growth and sales.


In that case, you can consider streamlining your sourcing operations with the help of Globallyfulfill. Their professional agents provide sourcing, quality inspection, warehouse storage, product packaging, brand customization, and logistics support among many other ecommerce fulfillment needs.


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