DHgate Review: What Is DHgate? Is DHgate Legit? Safe? Reliable?
What is DHgate? It is a business-to-business e-commerce platform that connects buyers with small to medium-sized businesses. It is a cheap place for consumers around the world to get access to products at factory-direct prices. Electronics, stationary, clothing, beauty products, and more are available at DHgate.com.
Like any unfamiliar e-commerce platform, people have a lot of questions about DHgate. The most common ones include “Is DHgate legit?” “Is DHgate reliable?” and, perhaps most importantly, “Is DHgate safe?”
DHgate.com Reviews (A DHgate Scam or Convenient International Trading Platform?)
DHgate’s selling point is that it serves as a connector between China and the rest of the world. What does the DH in DHgate,com stand for?
Image Source: DHgate.com
The “DH” stands for Dun Huang, a place that was known for being an important point of exchange between China and the East thousands of years ago. Unfortunately, many of the DHgate reviews online detail unhappy customer experiences.
Dealing with Counterfeit Products When Buying from DHgate (Scams)
Counterfeit products are to be expected on an e-commerce platform (although a company’s reputation can be seriously damaged by how it tackles the problems of counterfeits).
DHgate reviews that mention counterfeits and scam issues generally recognize that it is only to be expected that a site claiming to be selling seriously discounted Apple products, for instance, is probably selling copies.
The biggest concern, in reviews reaching back to 2009, is that not only are there DHgate scams, problems with authenticity, but also that consumers have to deal with basic functionality as well. This is an issue that has led to the many “is DHgate legit” questions.
Image Source: DHgate.com
One individual wrote a DHgate review in 2009, of making a purchase from DHgate only to receive a cheap copy. The reviewer had figured that would happen, but what that person did not think would happen is that the product would not work.
Upon trying to return the product, the individual was given excuses and a lot of back and forth from DHgate. Finally the reviewer took the issue to PayPal (DHgate had a partnership with PayPal until 2012), but their claim was denied.
While this user’s DHgate review may seem outdated, it is not particularly because, up until recently, people had still been expressing difficulties with the site. Which continues to drive the question whether DHgate is legit or whether it is a site that is too prone to scams.
Is DHGate Legit? Compounding Issues
TrustPilot has several DHgate reviews from users complaining about DHgate scams, including undelivered and damaged products. This frustration is further compounded for users through unhelpful customer service.
The complaint cited about the company’s customer service in the DHgate.com reviews – its unhelpfulness – is demonstrated, bizarrely, by the company’s response to individuals’ customer concerns on these websites.
Each negative review that includes a low rating is replied to with a generic response that appears to instruct customers to use the same methods that had caused their initial frustrations.
Additionally, the responses are one size fits all and generic. Even reviews in languages other than English with negative reviews are responded to with the same response, in English (as evidenced by a review left by a user named Thorkild). This suggests that the person posting responses cut and pastes the same response with general instructions to every review with a low-star rating.
One DHgate review from June 2016 mentions that the site falsely claims CE certification on its products. Kay writes:
“They are unethical and sell fake CE approved product. I got sent a totally different item than the one I ordered. Customer service was like 3 year olds who sent you emails repeatedly asking you to send video for your claim when you have uploaded it 10 times.
After spending hours “chatting” with them, they said it’s their rule for customer to pay for expensive return shipping fee, they will credit you and give you full refund ONLY when seller confirms he/she has received your return.”
Image Source: Is DHgate Legit?
Part of the response that the company posts, word for word, to each negative DHgate review is:
“We are sorry to hear about your experience on your purchase, but we also want this to be resolved for you. Please do provide us your order number (PO#) for your transaction so that we can have it checked here on our end and we can be able to offer you the most efficient resolution.”
The message continues to encourage customers to try chatting to a customer service representative in DHgate’s Live Chat Customer Service.
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Negative DHgate Reviews: Customer Service
Several DHgate reviews highlight the extremely difficult process of communicating with customer service. What is DHgate real-time customer service like? Well, that is difficult to say since many people who detail issues with their orders describe how challenging it is to get in touch with somebody.
“I did exactly what DHGATE said to do followed the link and it’s an automatic system not a real person to help resolve the issue with my dispute. Don’t shop here…”
“You cannot talk to anyone, and their live chat does not work. Horrible customer service.”
“I ordered a sweater from this website and was immediately charged 41 dollars from my bank account. I check today to track my order and it asks me to enter my card information to be charged again. Please do not buy from here they will steal your money. Plus they don’t have a customer service number that you can call for help.”
Even in cases where customers have been able to reach some kind of resolution, they report that they were required to invest an unfair amount of time in solving the issue.
DHgate Reviews (Product Quality, Shipping Times, and Locations)
Where is DHgate located? DHgate’s headquarters are in Beijing, China. Its products are shipped from China as well, and the company advertises varying shipping times from China to the United States based on the shipping method a customer chooses.
However, several customers report instances where their product was delivered late after paying for premium shipping or instances where their product did not show up at all. SJ S details an experience like this:
“I placed an order for a dress and paid the extra fee for faster shipping within 4 days. I continued to try to reach hdgate [sic] for confirmation of item arrival with out success. I was not able to get a response with a specific arrive date…I was unsuccessful in obtaining [any] answers…I finally had to cancel the order.
That same day I cancelled the order via a message I received a response within seconds!! Their response stated they would not cancel the order because the order had now been processed and no refund would be given to me…Up until I sent the cancel message the account was still pending! How did it then change to processed??? Well now they are claiming no refund.”
The overriding sentiment from DHgate reviews is that the company has a buyer-beware culture. The understanding is that there is no guarantee that the products are certified or authentic versions, and customers often find themselves in a battle to be reimbursed for undelivered or incorrect orders.
DHgate.com reviews mention wrong dress colors, wrong shoe sizes, and very slow response times from vendors when trying to bring issues to its attention.
DHgate Review: Product Quality
Another concern expressed in DHgate.com reviews is the number of counterfeit products that are peddled on the site and, in some cases, passed off as being the real thing.
While the general rule of thumb is that brand name items, like Apple and Samsung products, sold for exceptionally cheap prices are probably not the real deal, there is consensus within consumer protection circles that the advent of e-commerce places emphasis on the need for e-commerce platforms to verify the credibility of its vendors and products.
This is helpful not only for buyers but for sellers as well. Not only can buyers receive a reassuring answer to the question, “Is DHgate legit?” sellers can also have some kind of verification system so that customers are willing to pay the higher prices they quote for authentic products.
In order to dispel DHgate scam fears, DH Gate signed an agreement with Authenticateit in November 2015. Authenticateit is a cloud-based tracking and authenticating solution available as an app. It tracks products from production to sale to ensure that they are legitimate.
The point of this agreement is to give products on DHgate a GS1 Datamatrix code that serves as the unique identifier for each product. Customers can then use the Authenticateit app to scan the Datamatrix code of the product they want to purchase to verify whether the product is authentic.
The app also allows customers to access product information. Since Chinese products have established a reputation for counterfeits and knock-offs, agreements like this should help consumers feel more confident using such a global platform.
Nevertheless, DHgate has much work to do if it wants to stop questions like, “Is DHgate legit?” or “Is DHgate reliable?” The DHgate reviews quoted above include reviews from as recent as this month, and issues with product quality are cited frequently.
Although it is bound to take time to fully implement these changes, in the meantime, DHgate does not seem like the most reliable platform to purchase from for customers in the United States.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for the “you get what you pay for” motto. For some, the risk and the possible back and forth with customer service may be worth the drastically lower prices.
Shopping on DHgate requires users to be more proactive in order to avoid getting ripped off. The biggest recommendation is starting a dialogue with the vendor of your choice and messaging it with specific questions about the product.
If it is willing to provide answers to your question, try making one purchase, and if there are no issues, you can proceed to work with it in the future as a trusted vendor.
Is DHgate reliable? When it comes to the customer service, not particularly. The platform itself does not have a reputation for facilitating a comfortable or trustworthy experience, but it is still a source of cheap goods for those willing to go the extra mile.
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