Offering a wide channel for sales to businesses, DHgate is a marketplace based out of Beijing with a constantly growing piece of the market share. Although it is a site that welcomes sellers from all around the world, it is mostly the vendors from within China that sell through DHgate.
The site is becoming increasingly popular among buyers around the world, as they list products from all categories and also support customers and vendors alike with the mechanisms they have in place. However, prospective buyers have doubts about the safety of shopping through the website. If you are one of them, this article is sure to put your mind at ease.
DHgate is the third most popular Chinese e-commerce platfrom after Alibaba and Aliexpress. They are very trustworthy as a middleman between sellers and buyers. Dhgate offers a range of buyer protection services such as Return & refund policy, dispute settlement, mediation and more. Dhgate is a very safe platform.
Here are a few ways to have a good experience on DHgate.
Buyer Protection Features from Dhgate
The marketplace also provides as much information on a seller as it can, and for convenience, uses icons to provide additional validation.
On-Time Delivery – You will know when the seller ships out the order
Chinese Brands – Genuine made-in-China products
Merchandise Quality – Genuine test report from third-party inspection companies
Field Certification – Authenticity-check on sellers completed by authorized third parties
Top Merchant – Sellers providing excellent service and high-quality products, having high sales volume and positive reviews
Premium Merchant – Sellers who are one step below Top Merchants
Square Trade – Provides extended warranty for consumer electronics (within the USA only)
Safely Shopping on Dhgate
Certain sellers find loopholes within policies to try to and make an extra buck – at the expense of the buyers. Here’s how you can avoid them:
- Examine product listings carefully:
Online marketplaces are open to sellers posting any products that aren’t illegal. This gives sellers a lot of room to alter and modify the titles and descriptions of products. For example, a seller may mention a “16-piece Tool-Box” with images of a kit containing tools, but the description may state that it is only an empty toolbox without any contents. You will not be able to dispute the issue as the description clearly states what you will be receiving.
- Do not transact with a seller outside DHgate:
From communication to payment transactions, keep everything on your purchase within DHgate. The marketplace gives sufficient options to contact sellers and pay for items through itself, so suppliers requesting anything outside of DHgate channels may not have the best intentions.
- Verify delivered items before confirmation:
DHgate has an option for buyers to confirm delivery once they have received it. Ensure that the item you ordered is the same one you received and is in perfect condition before confirming it. Keep in mind that once you confirm delivery, it is not possible to request a full or partial refund.
- Sift through customer reviews:
Customers leave a lot of information through product reviews that can tip a seller’s reputation either way. Any customer that has received a wrong or damaged item, or has been duped is sure to leave behind a review, which is posted on the listing page. Make sure that the customer reviews are positive before placing an order.
- Check the seller’s profile:
DHgate constantly monitors a seller’s performance on the portal with the help of various metrics. You can open a seller’s profile by clicking the storefront name on a product page, and checking their positive feedback rating, year of establishment, review scores and service scores. A positive feedback rating of 95% or more, and scores above average imply that a seller is genuine and will take customer satisfaction seriously.
Payment Options on DHgate
All purchases made through DHgate can be paid for only through the website. The seller receives the payment only after the item has reached you and you have confirmed the delivery. This way, DHgate holds the leverage to handle disputes between the seller and buyer. Here are the payment methods currently accepted by DHgate:
- Credit Card
- Bank to bank wire transfers
- Western Union
Returns and Refunds on DHgate
Even in online shopping, many things can be subject to human error, and you may receive wrong or damaged items, or not receive the product at all. A buyer can then request a full refund and return the item, or keep the item and request a partial refund. DHgate provides a three-stage approach for such cases based on the severity. Once the issue is resolved, it takes about 1-2 weeks for DHgate to refund the amount after receiving confirmation from the seller.
Stage 1: Contacting the seller
A good seller on DHgate will take customer service very seriously and will resolve your problem for you as soon as you contact them.
- Go to the My Orders page
- Locate the order in question and open it
- Click on the ‘Message Seller’ option and share your concern with them
- The seller can then proceed to approve a refund through DHgate
- Discuss with the seller how you want to return the product
Stage 2: Raising a dispute
If the seller isn’t cooperative when you try to contact them, you can raise a dispute with them. Sellers take disputes seriously as it can affect their seller performance metrics with DHgate.
- Go to the My Orders page and open the order in question
- Click on the ‘Open a Dispute’ option
- Explain the issue in detail and upload relevant attachments as evidence
- Propose the solution e.g., a full refund
- Click on ‘Submit’ to raise the request
- Finalize return details with the cooperative seller as required
Stage 3: DHgate Mediation
In instances when you and the seller aren’t able to come to a solution despite raising a dispute, you can request DHgate to mediate on your behalf, and they will analyse the dispute before asking the seller to provide a full or partial refund. Mediation can be requested only if a Dispute has not been resolved for 5 days.
- Go to My DHgate section
- Click on ‘Transactions’, followed by ‘Orders’
- Open the ‘Refunds & Disputes’ sub-section under ‘Active orders’
- Find the order number and open the order details page
- Click on the ‘Request DHgate Mediation’ option
- Choose the reason for dispute e.g., ‘Items not as described’
- Choose whether you want a full refund or a partial refund, and mention who you want to cover the return shipping fees
- Click on Submit and add your evidence, such as high-resolution images of the product
Once the mediation request is complete, DHgate will arbitrate on the dispute within a few days, after which you can complete the return process if applicable.
Knowing the Shipping and Delivery details
DHgate has set up multiple fulfilment centres in Asia, Europe and North America, taking up the responsibilities of storage and shipping from sellers to be able to provide quick and guaranteed deliveries to customers. You can find products sold through the Local Warehouses Services by:
- Accessing the webpage www.local.dhgate.com (or) Clicking on the tag “Local Warehouse” under the search bar
- To filter products that ship to your country, select your location on top of the web page.
Highlights of Local Warehouse Service
- Local Warehouse only shows in-stock items
- Fast deliveries to international destinations
- No customs duty, if you order from a warehouse listed in your country
- Warehouses in 16 countries
- Only use premium shipping services such as DHL, FedEx, EMS and UPS
Shipment handling by the vendor
When a seller ships out orders without using the warehouse service, they offer buyers multiple options for shipping at different rates. For example, you can either choose a standard Singapore Mail delivery at $5 or an express service by DHL at $10.
Are DHgate sellers genuine?
Sellers on DHgate are predominantly manufacturers or retailers who follow ethical trade practices. However, there may be a few sellers, like on any other marketplace, who are dishonest with buyers. You can identify if a seller is genuine primarily by reading customer reviews on their listings.
Is DHgate reliable?
DHgate has built a good reputation over the years and is constantly adding new features to protect buyers from fraud along with mechanisms to carry out payment and shipping functions safely.
How to buy safely from DHgate?
Although DHgate is genuine, you may come across sellers on the platform who try to get the better of you. You can steer clear of them by:
- Checking product listings thoroughly
- Read customer reviews before buying
- Communicate with or pay sellers only through DHgate
- Check seller ratings
- Confirm deliveries only after verifying products