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 I have created this post to 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?
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;
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.
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.
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.
How To Buy Clothes On DHgate Without Getting Scammed
Here’s a five-step checklist for avoiding scams and finding legitimate sellers on the DHgate marketplace:
1. Investigate The Seller’s Profile.
Before buying from a DHgate seller, the first thing you must check is their profile. DHgate bestows Premium or Top Merchant badges to sellers with an excellent reputation. Sourcing from such a seller is your safest option.
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)
2. Search For Poor and Fake Reviews.
Generally, it’s better to focus on a seller’s poor reviews than on the good reviews. 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.
However, seeing reviews isn’t enough when validating a seller. You must also check the authenticity of those reviews. Pay attention to whether the reviews are shallow or repetitive. If that’s the case, they’re probably fake.
Additionally, cross-examine good reviews against seller’s feedback scores. If most reviews are positive, but the seller has poor service and feedback scores, it’s best to find an alternative as those reviews are likely not legitimate.
3. Place a Small Order First.
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.
4. Keep An Eye Out for Misleading Descriptions.
Be on the lookout for descriptions that seem too salesy or try to mislead you into thinking a product is authentic or top-quality.
A good way to spot this is by checking for the suspicious product across other stores and comparing the descriptions and the features promised. If the products on DHgate are much cheaper or overly promising, it could be a potential red flag.
5. Don’t Transact With a Seller Outside the DHgate Platform.
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.
For your own safety, it’s always wisest to transact within DHgate’s platform so that you’re covered by the buyer protection policy and refund guarantee.
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:
- China Post
- Singapore Post
- Hong Kong Post
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?
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?
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. Our professional agents provide sourcing, quality inspection, warehouse storage, product packaging, brand customization, and logistics support among many other ecommerce fulfillment needs.