We often encounter offers, websites, deals, and promotions we’re not sure we can trust as they seem to be too good to be true. There’s plenty of sayings and teachings telling us to be wary of such things.
As online shopping is slowly phasing out the majority of in-person buying so too has the increase in all sorts of sites that sell products. One of the unfortunate realities of this situation is the rise of scam websites or websites that aren’t secured properly. With this uncertainty, many people are skeptical of sites that offer extremely low prices and rates and generally assume that there’s a catch to them or that they’re more than likely a scam.
DHGate is one of the websites that fall into this criteria, many people aren’t sure what to think, as the site features some of the lowest market prices for potential buyers. As a result, there are many misconceptions about it just trying to search DHGate will net you suggestions like “Is DHGate Legit” or “Is DHGate Safe?” Like AliExpress, DHGate is a legit e-commerce marketplace that primarily targets B2B customers, not only this but it also happens to be one of the largest B2B trading platforms in China.
DHGate is based in China with offices worldwide including the UK and the United States. Being based in China does result in incorrect assumptions about the site however this article will hopefully dispel some of these false assumptions and educate potential buyers to the benefit of the site. Keep reading below to learn about the many benefits this powerful platform offers potential clients.
To fully understand why sites like AliExpress and DHGate are subject to bad reviews we must understand how they work. These sites are extremely large online marketplaces that are used by many suppliers, vendors, factories, and businesses like any platform in this style one can find premium, high-quality goods that are the exact same if the not better quality than what you might find at local stores. However, as it is easy for anyone to sell on these platforms you’ll also encounter lots of vendors that sell products that oftentimes aren’t subject to the same, rigorous quality control standards (or any) that you might be familiar with. As these sites have increased in popularity so have instances of buyers joining them without realistic expectations, these buyers oftentimes will buy from the lowest priced options without realizing the aforementioned problems they could encounter. These problems paired with the fact that these cheap, low-quality products often are shipped with the most economical, budget shipping options available result in unhappy customers that wait much longer than they thought they would for an item they end up being unhappy with.
It’s easy to see why bad reviews can be commonplace. Many people will blame the online marketplace, as a result, dismiss it as a scam, or brand it unsafe due to frustrations they experienced shopping there. Other issues caused by utilizing the cheapest items provided by these unreliable sellers can be a lack of communication, difficulty getting refunds, getting charged shipping fees despite the seller claiming shipping would be free, and other similar bad practices.
The good news is DHGate is legit and can be used safely and securely for all your B2B needs. The main issue with big marketplaces like this is screening the vendors you buy from and ensuring you are sourcing products from a reputable, responsible seller who can provide after-sale support should you require it. No online marketplace anywhere in the world has completely managed to avoid or eradicate problems caused by disreputable sellers and DHGate is no exception. With China being a manufacturing giant, the online marketplaces based out of China tend to operate on a much grander scale which can amplify this problem compared to dealing with a smaller, local or regional online marketplace. However as China is such a juggernaut when it comes to production and manufacturing you get to take advantage of the lowest prices in the world coming straight out of a country that has more collective experience producing a variety of goods, products, items, and electronics than anywhere else in the world.
The Most Common Buyer Problems on DHGate
Let’s explore some of the common grievances and issues buyers encounter on DHGate and how to avoid them. Lots of customers don’t realize that sites like AliExpress, DHGate, and other such e-commerce platforms don’t allow the bad practices and behaviors some sellers exhibit. However with such a large platform composed of so many people it can be tough to moderate and regulate everything. Read on to learn some of the frequent issues and how they can be prevented. It’s important to know that some issues buyers encounter are things that can’t be influenced such as longer delivery times due to these being international shipments or a potential language barrier as lots of vendors are from non-English speaking countries.
Issues getting refunds, this issue is one that again can be traced back to the sellers you go with. Should you have issues with the products you ordered a highly rated seller will always do everything they can to resolve the problem and make everything right. This is not the case with low rated sellers that sell cheap, low-quality products. One of the leading causes for this is the fact they’re getting such low-profit margins on their items as they are being sold so cheaply, so they will be less inclined to try to resolve an issue or give a refund compared to responsible sellers who place an emphasis on customer service. This all boils down to picking good sellers that have high amounts of positive reviews, many orders fulfilled and good communication should you have any questions beforehand.
Delivery Times, again another issue that occurs because uninformed buyers buy the cheapest listing available not realizing that vendors often use the most economical shipping available for low price items. Such low-cost shipping lacks tracking information and may not be as secure or reliable as more premium shipping options. Couple this information with the fact that international items always take longer to arrive due to transfer flights, customs clearance, and longer travel times and you can see why it’s easy to have a bad experience ordering an item that ships from another country. Sites like DHGate and AliExpress are legit sources for cheap, wholesale goods but many customers aren’t familiar with how they work as this model of business has only become mainstream in the last few years so many assume it is the same as regular online shopping that involves getting items delivered from brick and mortar stores located around the country.
Bad Sellers, buying from bad sellers can put you at risk for countless issues like damaged items, poor workmanship, lack of quality control, items that don’t match the listing image or description, counterfeits, long delivery times, no tracking information, no warranties, nonexistent after-sale support. We can’t repeat enough how important it is to find a highly rated seller that will value you as a customer. There are many ways to distinguish between these two types of sellers but generally speaking, a good seller will put care and effort into the product descriptions, use high-quality real images, incorporate videos demonstrating the product, have good reviews, and oftentimes they will have warehouses around the world in order to provide a better buying experience for their customers. Contrast this with bad sellers who often use poorly worded product descriptions that may not make sense, stock images, no true desire to answer buyer questions, and have very few reviews and orders fulfilled. Not all bad sellers will have bad reviews especially if they are new to the platform though this is something to keep an eye out for at all times. Another good suggestion is to look at the categories a seller carries products for. You’ll be hardpressed to find a highly rated seller that sells laptops and also gardening supplies for example. Good sellers tend to stick to one category whereas bad sellers will carry as much as possible in an effort to maximize sales.
Brand Names & Luxury Items, it’s important to know that sites like DHGate don’t sell actual brand name items or luxury items but replicas. Should a buyer be interested in these types of items it’s a good idea to avoid buying in bulk initially in order to assess the quality of the products before committing a lot of money to them. There’s plenty of videos online comparing these replicas to the original for those curious or not sure what to expect, but like with every purchase it’s wise to do your own research first and the rules of finding a good seller still apply in this case.
Communication with the Seller, if you’re not sure to ask, ask ask! Sellers are more than happy to answer your questions regarding the purchasing process. If you have questions about import fees, customs clearance and charges ask, chances are you’re not the first customer to order to your country so they should be equipped to answer your questions or provide you with resources if they can’t. Good sellers value repeat customers so they’ll go out of their way to make everything as easy as possible for you. It’s important to know that sellers aren’t responsible for customs delays once the items arrive in your country so take this into consideration when ordering. Oftentimes lack of staffing, holidays, or work backlogs can affect how long it will take for your items to arrive, sometimes customers won’t realize that for the majority of the waiting period their item is already in-country but stuck in the customs process.
Shipping Cost Confusion, a simple search of any item on DHGate will show that lots of items offer free shipping. Another search will show that lots of customers complain they were scammed and charged shipping costs anyways. What’s going on? Sellers on these platforms do indeed offer free shipping, this is true, what most buyers don’t realize is that this free shipping is only limited to low budget, economical shipping methods and not premium shipping services such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. Issues arise when a customer picks one of these premium options thinking it will be covered by the seller only to get a surprise when they realize they were charged for it. This isn’t always the case as you’re more likely to get free premium shipping if you’re buying high-cost items however most sellers will not cover shipping costs if a premium option is selected on cheap, low-profit items. This remains a point of contention and tension between buyers and sellers and is largely due to miscommunication or lack of communication between them.
I Followed This Advice and Still Got an Item I’m Not Happy With, Now What?
Everyone’s made at least one purchase in life they ended up being unhappy with. Whatever the reason sometimes we just make a purchase that we decided wasn’t for us. This isn’t always due to the item being defective. Finding a similar item for a better price, not finding the item as useful as you thought it would be, or even something as simple as not liking the color of the item are all things that can make buyers regret a purchase. So what does one do when they buy an item that was shipped internationally using one of these big marketplace style websites? Fortunately for buyers, there’s a lot they can do.
Most people erroneously assume that sites like DHGate, AliExpress, and other large online marketplaces based in other countries don’t offer much in the way of customer service. This could not be further from the truth. Like AliExpress, DHGate has a solid buyer’s protection guarantee that protects its customers from scams, damaged items, fraudulent or incorrect items, and other such problems. One of the main ways they ensure this for customers is by not releasing payment to the seller until the buyer confirms their item has arrived safely and without issues.
Buyers are able to issue refund requests should their items be damaged. DHGate also gives buyers the ability to request refunds for other reasons such as if they find a better price elsewhere through these types of interactions they have to reach out to the seller to negotiate a return. This another reason having a highly rated seller is important, they know that bad reviews can make or break their reputation as a vendor so they’ll try their best to work out an agreement that will benefit both parties and create customer satisfaction.
It’s a good idea to reach out to sellers and ask them about their return/refund policies especially if you’re buying a high-cost item or investing a lot of money. Make sure to read the site guidelines on the return/refund policies and processes. A quick skim of DHGate’s policies immediately reveals that you shouldn’t sign for an item if the packaging it shipped in is damaged. Doing so can complicate the return process for the buyer. For issues related to quality control, they require video or image evidence based on the issue that is being experienced, therefore it’s important to know what to expect before sinking a lot of money into products you may not be happy with.
It’s also important to watch out for item warranties and avoid buying items that don’t come with warranty policies, nothing is more frustrating than finding out an electronic product you’ve been using for a few months has stopped working and is out of warranty. Research is key for these marketplaces especially if you’re a business owner as your customers are crucial to keeping your business up and running. A good warranty can be the difference between losing profits to replace a customer’s product and an item that can quickly be warrantied and replaced for another.
DHGate or AliExpress?
AliExpress is generally the more well known of these two platforms, this is owing to it being the largest e-commerce platform in the world. So why go with DHGate then? You may ask. Well, there are several reasons a buyer would go with this platform over another. AliExpress is an excellent platform that provides many benefits for retail buyers, however, DHGate is specifically focused and designed for the B2B market. Should you require products for business purposes such as dropshipping or running an online store DHGate is legit, secure, and an overall excellent choice.
DHGate doesn’t have as many sellers as AliExpress which means you may not find specific niche products on the platform but it also means you’re much less likely to encounter bad sellers that sell poor quality products. This lower volume of sellers also means there is a better likelihood of the same sellers being around longer as the competition isn’t as fierce as AliExpress’s online marketplace. DHGate also tends to have more coupons available to customers and can feature items you may not be able to find on AliExpress. Pricing is similar on both platforms but online searches show lots of customers thinking DHGate is cheaper or vice versa, so your results may vary based on what you are looking for. Finally one of the things DHGate is renowned for is being a place to purchase well-made replica items so for buyers looking for this specific niche DHGate would be the obvious choice. DHGate is also offered in 8 languages, these being English, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian. This is beneficial to non-English speakers looking to take advantage of the new wholesale markets created by these e-commerce titans.
Another perk DHGate can bring to some clients are the physical locations they have in numerous countries around the world. These are referred to as Digital Trade Centers, the purpose of these physical locations is to allow potential customers and prospective clients the ability to inspect and look at products in person before ordering them online. This is extremely useful for gauging the quality, workmanship, and suitability of products for businesses that aren’t sure about whether or not the item they’re considering would fit their needs.
Both AliExpress and DHGate are great choices, backed with good customer service, buyer protection guarantees, and are used by people around the globe. Buyers can’t make a wrong choice when picking between these two platforms however B2B businesses are encouraged to try DHGate first as it’s a legit, safe, and well-regarded e-commerce platform aimed specifically at their needs and requirements. AliExpress may be a better option for the casual buyer looking to buy products for their own personal use. AliExpress has an easier user interface for regular buyers, offers more items and certain items are cheaper on AliExpress than they are on DHGate. Just like we recommend researching sellers before deciding on a supplier for your business so too should you research the different online marketplaces to ensure you’re getting the best value and deals possible!
We hope this article cleared up any questions you may have about DHGate and other similar online marketplaces & e-commerce trade platforms. These sites provide everyday people, small business owners, and entrepreneurs with access to cheap, wholesale prices that were previously inaccessible to them. As a result, they have become extremely popular in a very quick time period. Many aren’t familiar with how these platforms work and incorrectly expect the same experience they would shopping online at their favorite retailer’s website. With all of this information in mind, you should have the tools required to use DHGate safely and effectively and answer any questions when people ask if DHGate is legit. These platforms are slated to become more and more popular in the future so business owners, dropshipping stores and other online stores that use them currently are at a massive advantage over competitors that still rely on more traditional methods. If you have any more questions about DHGate their customer support and sellers are well equipped to answer them and help you with your B2B needs.