Last Updated: August 28, 2022
So you want to buy products from DHgate because of much cheaper prices than Amazon, eBay, and other similar services but not completely sure if it’s a legit platform or a scam.
If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place!
When you shop online, staying safe isn’t always easy. There are hundreds of sites that want to take your money and run for the hills, never to be seen or heard from again.
To help you avoid getting scammed on DHgate, I wrote this article specifically for you. It covers all the questions you will likely ask yourself, including:
- Is DHgate Legit?
- Can You Get Scammed on DHgate?
- How To Avoid Getting Scammed on DHgate?
- Is DHgate Safe To Buy From?
- How Long Does DHgate Take To Ship?
- Does DHgate Provide Tracking Number?
- Why Is DHgate So Cheap?
- What About DHgate’s Quality of Goods?
- Is DHgate Good For Buying Branded Stuff?
- Everything About DHgate Refund & Return Process
- More FAQs
Firstly, let’s begin with the main question.
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Is DHgate Legit?
DHgate itself is a legit e-commerce marketplace but the sellers on it may not be since it doesn’t sell directly to buyers. Rather, it allows sellers to sell products through their platform so you need to research the seller before making a purchase.
It basically works as a middle-man between the buyer and the seller, DHgate is more like an eBay or AliExpress but limited to sellers in China.
The seller lists an item, adds photos, description, set up a price and shipping options. Buyers then place their orders and make payment via any of a number of different payment options, and the seller ships it.
Once the buyer placed an order, DHgate then held the payment of the buyer until the seller delivered the product and the buyer confirmed the delivery.
DHgate uses Escrow for this process, a well-known and trusted financial agreement platform designed to protect buyers and sellers in a transaction.
So in case anything goes wrong between the buyer and seller during the transaction and the buyer wants a refund, DHgate can offer a full or partial refund to the buyer.
However, if the item isn’t received, not as described, or you’ve any other fair reason then you should definitely ask for a refund (more on this later).
Hopefully, if everything goes well between the buyer and seller and the buyer confirms the delivery then payment is released to the seller and DHgate gets its 3% standard service fee from the seller.
Upon completion of a transaction, both buyer and seller give each other feedback on the sales process and/or the item sold.
Can You Get Scammed on DHgate?
Yes, you can get scammed on DHgate, just like on other marketplaces like eBay, Aliexpress, and so on. There are definitely some scammers on DHgate as well but this does not mean that the platform is a scam.
As I said earlier, DHgate does not sell its own goods, instead, you’re dealing with sellers on their platform so you need to research the seller before purchasing anything to stay away from scams.
Scammers are everywhere and while DHgate has many rules meant to protect both buyers and sellers, it is also your responsibility as a buyer not to commit mistakes that put you at risk of fraud and follow the tips below before buying.
By following these tips, you will almost never get scammed on DHgate by sellers.
6 Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed on DHgate
To find a reliable seller and avoid getting scammed on DHgate, here are 6 tips you need to know before making a purchase.
1. Check Customer’s Reviews & Feedback Before Buying
The best way to avoid scams is to check the reviews and feedback left by other customers on the seller’s product page before buying anything.
It makes ordering from DHgate much less worrisome. Your chances of running into problems are much lower if thousands of satisfied customers have used the seller in the past and left tons of positive reviews.
I recommend you to always buy from sellers with:
- At least 200 reviews.
- A star rating of at least 4.7 out of 5 on their product page.
Additionally, you should look at the pictures uploaded by other customers to get a better idea of how the product actually looks.
To get a better understanding of reliable sellers, here are a few examples:
You should never buy from sellers who have 0 – 50 reviews on their product, even if all of them are positive because they may have been posted by the seller themselves.
Oh, Wait! One thing I forgot to mention is that you should also check the date of the reviews as well since DHgate reviews come with dates also.
If the positive reviews are posted recently by customers, it’s a clear indication of an excellent product and the seller.
2. Check Seller’s Profile Before Buying
Similar to checking the reviews and feedback of a specific product of the seller you’re interested in purchasing, you should also check the seller’s profile.
You should look for 4 things in the seller’s profile:
- Total feedback score must be 95% or above
- Review score
- Service score
- Establishment year of the seller
Apart from these, I recommend buying from Top Merchant or Premium Merchant sellers to get the best services and products.
However, it’s not necessary to always buy from sellers who have a Top Merchant or Premium Merchant badge but it’s recommended because these badges are only awarded by DHgate if the sellers provide excellent service and high-quality products to their customers.
Here’s how you can check those 4 important things in the seller’s profile:
This seller has a total feedback score of more than 99%, 6th year of establishment, a great review and service score, and the seller is Top Merchant as well.
As far as I know, it is very unlikely that sellers like these will scam you.
3. Do Not Confirm Delivery Before Receiving The Order
As we know, DHgate doesn’t release payment to sellers until the buyer checks the order and confirms the delivery.
Therefore, you should never confirm your order delivery from your DHgate account until you received your order or the order is not as described.
If the order isn’t as described or you didn’t receive the order, you can refer to the seller and ask the problem you are experiencing and if the seller doesn’t resolve your issue then you can open a dispute against the seller.
However, if you already confirmed the delivery before checking or receiving your order then it’s hard to get a refund from the seller since the payment is already released to the seller by DHgate.
4. Never Deal with Seller Outside DHgate
If a seller wants you to send them money directly rather than through DHgate, it’s a clear sign that the seller may scam you.
It’s also against the DHgate guidelines and they clearly mentioned that you aren’t under their buyer protection policies if you deal directly with the seller instead of DHgate.
5. Watch Out for Misleading Descriptions
When buying products, most buyers take a look at the pictures and reviews of the product but oftentimes they ignore the description.
Fraudsters sometimes describe their products in a misleading or vague manner. For example, you may see an Xbox’s pictures in the listing at an extremely low price, but in the description, the seller may state that it is only a box.
Since the seller described what they are selling in the description, your refund or return dispute of “Item not as described” may be rejected by DHgate later on.
It isn’t an outright scam, but it is still deceptive. It is often misleading and leads impulse buyers to buy a box instead of a real item.
So in order to ensure that you get exactly what you need, make sure you read the description and know what’s in the box before making a purchase.
6. Don’t Make a Large Order At First
The final tip is not to make a large order if you’re dealing with the sellers for the first time, even if they have tons of positive reviews.
Always make a small order at first so you can test the quality of the item and once you’re satisfied with the seller’s product quality then you can go for a large order.
Is DHgate Safe?
DHgate is safe to buy from as it holds the buyer’s payment and releases it to the seller after the buyer confirms the delivery of their order. It has strict rules and regulations with secure encryption and buyer protection in place to keep you relatively safe when shopping.
And, Is DHgate Secure? Can I trust DHgate with my credit card information?
DHgate is absolutely secure and you can definitely trust it with your credit card information as it’s PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant.
Also, I researched on the internet for complaints against its payment method’s security and privacy but found not even a single complaint.
Even though the platform itself is safe and secure to purchase from, there are still scammers and fraudsters out there.
To stay safe and avoid getting scammed, you should know the signs to look for and follow the tips I shared with you before dealing with any seller.
How Long Does DHgate Take To Ship?
DHgate standard shipping usually takes 20-45 days to deliver. However, the delivery time varies depending on the shipping method you choose, the seller, and the buyer’s location.
Most of the time, DHgate standard shipping is delivered by ePacket or China Post, however, if you want fast delivery then maybe you’ll have to pay more, often more than you paid for the item.
Don’t worry, every item on DHgate has an estimated delivery time on the product page and you can choose the shipping method depending on your preference, as you can see:
Apart from the delivery time, most sellers included the on-time delivery days and if you hadn’t received the item after that period, you can submit a refund request.
Does DHgate Provide Tracking Number?
After your order has been shipped, the seller is responsible for providing you with a tracking number. Before making a purchase, make sure the shipping carrier you choose has tracking available.
Please note, in most cases, the shipping carriers require 7-10 days before the package can be tracked online.
If you’re unable to track your order after a 10 days period, get in touch with the seller and ask him/her to contact the shipping company to get the tracking information for you.
However, if the seller does not respond to your request or provide you with an invalid tracking number then you have the right to open a dispute on DHgate.
Why Is DHgate So Cheap?
When you browse through the products on DHgate, you’ll probably notice right away that many of the prices are extremely low as compared to other marketplaces.
I think this is also the main reason why most people (including you) tend to ask questions such as “Is DHgate legit and trustworthy? Is it safe?”.
Well, the products on DHgate are cheap because of these 5 reasons:
- You’re buying directly from the manufacturer: One of the major reasons why the products on DHgate are cheaper is the possibility of buying directly from a manufacturer, avoiding the retail mark-up added by 1st or even 2nd middle-man which reduces the cost of selling to you.
- Sell and buy in bulk: Sellers often purchase huge amounts of goods at a time, drastically reducing costs for sellers which means they are also going to sell at a low cost. Besides, there are many sellers on DHgate that only sells in bulk to keep low profit margins on large orders and the prices are naturally cheaper for large orders than single-selling prices, which ultimately reduces buyer costs.
- You’re looking at counterfeit products: No doubt, not all the products on DHgate are legit and if you see an item for extremely cheap price then maybe it’s either counterfeit or fraudulent, in other words, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Always make sure the seller is reliable before making a purchase with the help of the tips I shared above.
- Lower production cost: Since DHgate is available to sellers within China so almost all the sellers are from China and the costs for production or manufacturing in China are cheaper than making goods in many other countries.
- Low taxes in China: In addition to its low production costs, China has low taxes and duties since it has a business-friendly ecosystem.
Because of all these reasons, the manufacturer or seller on DHgate sells their items at a cheap price.
What About DHgate’s Quality of Goods?
The quality of goods from DHgate depends on the seller you’re buying from, so there is no one-fit answer to this question.
Sometimes you may find yourself happy and sometimes unhappy with the product, it all depends on the seller you choose.
Before buying any product, kindly go through the seller’s ratings and take a look at multiple product photos uploaded by other customers in the reviews to get an idea of the kind of quality to expect.
To sum it up, DHgate offers some excellent deals with great product quality, but not all products are legit, the quality may not be good, and there are counterfeit items as well.
So it’s your responsibility to find good quality products and reliable sellers by following the tips I shared with you above to avoid getting ripped off when buying something from DHgate.
However, one last thing to keep in mind is that you get what you pay for. Don’t expect to get iPhone 12 Pro quality while paying the equivalent of an iPhone 6.
Is DHgate Good For Buying Branded Stuff?
Clearly, no! DHgate is not the right platform to purchase branded goods. In fact, I would say it is the worst place for buying branded stuff.
Because almost all the listed branded items on DHgate are going to be fake or in other words, copies of real branded products also known as replicas.
People usually fail to notice scams when they see popular brands listed at an incredibly low price.
Just use common sense when you see an item listed for an extremely low price, for example, a Gucci belt listed for $50 rather than its real price of $500.
Apart from that, remember that there aren’t official stores of many well-known brands on DHgate and those who’re selling branded goods with the name or logo of the brand are most probably scammers or the product may be a replica.
In short, never buy branded goods from DHgate, Aliexpress, or any other similar marketplaces.
However, if you’re thinking of buying replicas then you should go for it but before purchasing, make sure the seller is reliable.
Everything About DHgate Refund & Return Process
Before you request a refund, you must have any fair reason, for example:
- Item not received
- Item not as described
- Invalid tracking number
Besides, you may not get the refund if:
1. The seller’s “promise” time frame has expired
If the seller’s “return promise” time has expired then you won’t get any refund so make sure you are asking for a refund before the seller’s “return promise” time isn’t expired.
It’s been set up by the seller on the product page and the time frame may be 3-days, 7-days, 15-days, and/or 30-days from the day when the item(s) were received.
On the product page, you can move your cursor to the Return Policy to see them returning time frame and who will afford the return shipping cost, as you can see:
However, most of the time, buyers have to pay the return shipping cost.
2. You confirmed the delivery before asking for help from DHgate
If you confirm the delivery before asking for help from DHgate then chances are, you won’t get a refund since the payment is already released to the seller.
That’s why I already told you not to confirm the delivery before receiving and checking the product carefully.
3. Sellers didn’t set up any return policy “promise” on the product page
If the seller didn’t set up a “return promise” on their product page then you can’t request a refund, as you can see, this seller didn’t have a return promise set up:
Therefore, you should never buy from a seller who didn’t set up an “item return promise”.
How To Get Refund on DHgate
If you have a fair reason for requesting a refund, you didn’t confirm the item delivery, the seller has set up a return promise and the time isn’t expired yet then you should contact the seller to resolve your issue.
However, if the seller isn’t cooperative then you should definitely open a dispute against the seller to get help from DHgate.
Here’s how you can open a dispute to get the refund:
- From your DHgate’s account, go to My Orders.
- Click on Open a Dispute.
- Select a Reason for opening a dispute and upload the dispute evidence. For example, if the item isn’t as described then you should upload the picture of the product as evidence.
- Confirm your proposal and Submit it.
Now, you just have to wait for help from DHgate.
Once your dispute is approved by DHgate then you’ve to send the item back to the seller in most cases.
However, one of the biggest downsides of DHgate when it comes to returning an item to the seller is that the buyer will have to pay the return in most cases if mentioned in the seller’s return policy.
Shipping items back to China is expensive – often more than you paid for the item in the first place, and that cost won’t be refunded.
Since the shipping cost will be more than the item most of the time, I would recommend not requesting a refund unless your item is very expensive. I also recommend that you do not purchase extremely expensive items from DHgate.
DHgate is definitely a legit online shopping platform and while it has buyer protection in place, still there are possibilities of getting scammed on it if you don’t know the steps to take before buying anything.
To avoid getting scammed on DHgate, it’s extremely important to do your due diligence and validate each supplier before buying anything and make sure to:
- Before buying anthing, check customer’s reviews and feedback
- Check seller’s profile before buying
- Don’t confirm your delivery before receiving the order
- Never deal with seller outside DHgate
- Watch out for misleading descriptions
- Don’t make a large order at first
Overall, DHgate is a great option to buy items at a much cheaper price but you should keep these points in mind before dealing with the seller and don’t expect fast delivery, branded packaging, and maybe a refund for low ticket items.
The refund for a low-price item usually costs more than what you paid for the item because you’ll have to afford the return shipping cost in most cases.
Therefore, I would not recommend buying expensive products or in bulk from a seller unless you are sure that the seller is reliable and genuine.
Hopefully, this article has cleared up many of the questions you might have had regarding making a purchase from DHgate.
If you still have any questions or want to share your experience with DHgate, please let me know in the comments below.
Where is DHgate located?
DHgate is located in Beijing, China.
Does DHgate sell fake stuff?
DHgate itself doesn’t sell products, rather you buy from various sellers on the site. The seller might sell you fake stuff, but you need to do your due diligence and validate each seller before making a purchase.
Can you trust DHgate?
Yes, you can trust DHgate but not the sellers on it blindly. There are thousands of sellers, some are trustworthy and some aren’t. It’s your job to identify reliable and trustworthy sellers to avoid getting scammed.
Is DHgate reliable?
DHgate itself is a reliable website but the sellers on it might be reliable or unreliable. It has consumer protection in place to protect the buyers and sellers but it’s up to the buyers to find reliable sellers.
Will DHgate steal my money?
DHgate never steals your money and it is a safe and secure marketplace. However, if you deal outside of DHgate, the seller might steal your money. So never deal outside of the website.
Is DHgate real?
DHgate is a real website with real buyers and sellers on it. While the site is real, there are scammers and fraudsters as well who may try to scam you.
Is DHgate legal?
DHgate is absolutely legal to buy from.
Who is the founder of DHgate?
Diane Wang is the founder of DHgate.
When was DHgate established?
DHgate was established in August 2004 and officially launched in 2005.
What are the supported payment methods on DHgate?
DHgate supports credit/debit cards and Skrill for worldwide orders. However, there are different supported payments for some countries, for more details visit DHgate’s supported payment methods page.