Review: Is DHgate Safe for Your Credit Card? Is It Legit or a Scam?


If you’re into bargain shopping online, you know that finding a site that’s trustworthy can be hit or miss. One of the popular budget sites is DHGate, and many shoppers are wondering if DHgate is legit and safe to use.  

It’s often hard to turn down discount deals on cell phones and apparel that can be bought much cheaper than in a local retail store. So many online shoppers turn to DHgate review sites and blogs to find out what others have experienced when shopping on this website.

If you’ve considered ordering an item from this online budget retailer, you’re most likely wondering whether or not DHgate is safe to place your order and trust with your credit card number.

If you’ve asked yourself a similar question, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done a deep dive into multiple DHgate reviews and the company’s policies to bring you a comprehensive summary of everything you need to know before buying from this online shop.

We’ll share helpful tips about reviewing the sellers, as well as details you need to know about the DHgate website and buyer protections.

Have you been wondering things like… what is DHgate or if DHgate is reliable? Our DHgate review will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about the site when shopping their deals online.

See Also: Is DHgate Legit? Safe? Real? (DHgate Review)



What Is DHgate?

To answer the question “Is DHgate reliable and legit?”

we’ll explain how this site differs slightly from other online retailers and where the site is based.

Unlike many similar international online retailers that sell strictly to individuals, DHgate was actually set up to sell business to business (B2B), selling wholesale to retailers around the world.

You’ll note when you see the prices that they start at one item and then give bulk prices that are lower the more of that same item you buy.

Their deals have attracted not just businesses buying to resell the items, but also many individuals as well who shop the site for bargains, which was confirmed when we looked through DHgate reviews.

is DHgate legit?

DHgate Background

The explosion of online shopping this century has seen many online shopping sites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy became so widely used that buyers hardly ever second-guess entering in personal information and credit card numbers. But what is DHgate and is DHgate.com legit?

DHgate is based in Beijing, China and was founded in 2004 by Diane Wang, a Chinese businesswoman who has had the distinction of representing China at the G20 Summit.  

In its early days, DHgate facilitated trade between Chinese manufacturers and small and medium-sized businesses around the world. Today, DHgate works with manufacturers in multiple countries and have physical stores, called Digital Trade Centers (DTCs) to allow retailers to inspect products prior to purchase.

When answering the question, “Is DHgate real or fake?” We would say that it’s definitely real and on top of that, it’s also the largest B2B-cross-border e-commerce trade platform in China.

DHgate, like the popular site Alibaba.com, which is considered the Amazon of Chinese exports, is the result of a growing demand for goods at cheaper prices.

DHgate provides a huge variety of items, ranging from men’s watches to real human hair weaves, at shockingly low prices. Here are some of the many categories offered by DHgate:

  • Cell Phones & Accessories
  • Electronics & Cameras
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Health & Beauty
  • Shoes & Accessories
  • Home & Garden | Lighting
  • Toys & Gifts | Baby & Kids
  • Apparel
  • Jewelry & Watches
  • Weddings & Formal Events
  • Hair & Styling
  • Computers & Games
  • Bags | Fashion Accessories
  • Automobile & Motorcycle


Is DHgate a Legit Website?

At a glance, DHgate’s rock-bottom prices may seem like a great thing to take advantage of. But these too-good-to-be-true price tags have led many careful shoppers to wonder: Is DHgate a real website? Is DHgate.com legit?

DHgate: Real or Fake?

If you scroll through the many online DHgate reviews, opinions, and answers to the question, “Is DHgate real?” you’ll find that many real people have in fact purchased through the website—and, in many cases, successfully.

You can place an order with a seller on DHgate and expect to at least receive something in the mail. Our DHgate review found that the problem lies more in what you should expect to receive, and from whom.  

Like many online marketplaces, DHgate plays host to multiple different sellers. Some of these are reputable, shipping items that match the photos shown in their DHgate ads.

However, some DHgate reviews report customers receiving items that look little to nothing like what they thought they were ordering.

dhgate online shop review

While sometimes this type of bait-and-switch is unavoidable, many of these instances could have been avoided if the buyers had done their due

diligence on the DHgate seller and DHgate.com before placing the order.

Before you do any shopping on the site, and before you can fully answer the question, “Is DHgate.com legit?” it’s important to understand how DHgate works.

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Using DHgate: What to Know

DHgate Is Not the Seller

The first thing you have to understand before placing an order on DHgate is that you’re not actually buying from DHgate. DHgate hosts many different sellers who are the actual manufacturers, retailers, and individuals from whom you purchase goods.

Because most online shoppers are used to dealing with a site itself when it comes to purchases, such as Amazon, they mistake DHgate for the actual seller, which can lead to misunderstandings if any issues occur.

Because DHgate is simply a platform used by different Chinese and international manufacturers in many different industries, rather than asking, “Is DHgate legit?” you should also ask yourself, “Is this particular seller on DHgate real or fake?”​.

Check Out the Seller First

Because you’re buying from third-party sellers, you have to check reviews for each and every seller you purchase from on DHgate. Just because the site is legit doesn’t mean that each of the sellers on the site is legitimate and trustworthy.

Buying from an unscrupulous seller may not only mean getting an item that doesn’t match the photo shown online, but it can also put your credit card details at risk.

Before you hand over your card information for an item, make sure you go through all of the available information about that seller. It’s important to answer the question “Is DHgate reliable” in regards to each and every merchant.

Many of the sellers are completely legitimate, but some aren’t. Anyone who buys anything through the site should take the time to answer the question, “Is this seller reliable?”

Luckily, DHgate provides a feedback system that allows you to see what others have said about the seller, and you can even reach out to the seller directly with any questions you may have.

is dhgate a real website-min

We researched a few of the DHgate seller reviews and ratings and were glad to see that a true mixture of ratings is reflected there (not just 4 or 5 stars). This would point to the site not only showing good reviews but having all of them available, including negative ones.

To go a step further in your search for whether DHgate is a legit site based upon the sellers it hosts, we’d recommend reviewing the seller’s site (look for a link at the bottom of the product listing) and also searching the seller with the word “reviews”.



Is DHgate a Real Shopping Website?

DHgate is a real website, with real online sellers selling their wares, mostly on their own. While the site is legit in the most technical sense, it is host to many online sellers who may not be.

With a site like Amazon, the sense of trust comes in because your purchase is protected and fulfilled by Amazon itself (in most cases).

Often, you’re buying directly from Amazon, rather than from a third party. In this way, DHgate is much more like eBay than Amazon. On eBay, you’re purchasing directly from the third-party seller and there is an understanding of the “buyer beware” necessity.

is dhgate legit? is it safe?

Is DHgate a legit site? Yes. The platform is real, as evidenced by many real customers who have purchased items on DHgate.

But, as with eBay, it’s important to go into the buying process with skepticism and to ask the right questions. One of these questions would typically be: How are the items so cheap?

DHgate is largely populated by sellers in China who sell items wholesale. That means that this company either manufactures or purchases huge amounts of goods at a time, drastically reducing costs.

DHgate functions, in part, as a B2B site, which means that the main goal of many of these sellers is to sell to other wholesale buyers. This is important when it comes to understanding the discount pricing.

If you’re interested in buying 200+ smartphones for just $130 a piece, that’s great news for you. But if you wanted just one of those smartphones, you could be paying closer to $172 for it since the discount pricing is based upon the quantity purchased.

That said, although DHgate is largely occupied by B2B wholesale sellers and buyers, you can also find seemingly too-good-to-be-true deals on many single items, which are intended to be sold directly to individual consumers.

For example, in our DHgate review of wholesale prices, we saw that another smartphone had only a $10 difference between purchasing one and purchasing ten or more.



DHgate vs. Amazon & eBay

If you’re buying an item online, you have several options for which platform you buy from, and each one has different benefits.

Amazon can give you the sense of security that your money will go where it’s intended to go, and that you’ll receive the item you purchased within a reasonable time frame.

Sites like eBay and DHgate, on the other hand, allow you to shop ultra-low prices on items like iPads and Nike sneakers, but you trade in that sense of security and reliability for the lower price tags.

Most people turn to eBay when they’re looking for a great deal on an item that may not be found elsewhere. eBay allows sellers to sell nearly anything from any location, and buyers typically benefit from major discounts combined with an easy-to-use bidding system that can lead to even greater savings.

In addition to wondering, “Is DHgate real?” you might also wonder what kind of savings you can really expect from the site. Is DHgate a legit site, and is it worth the risk?

In many cases, you really can find deals on items like electronics and clothing on DHgate. But not all products are listed at “rock-bottom” prices. If a deal looks too good to be true, it likely is.

If you find an item on DHgate that is dramatically lower than its typical selling point, you’d be wise to question that seller and that item. The item may be a replica, or it may not be in good condition or made of quality materials.

To avoid ending up with an item you wish you hadn’t paid for, make sure you check out the seller’s rating and information and that you understand the site’s built-in customer protection policy, in case you have to make a return or file a dispute.

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DHgate Customer Protection

Our DHgate review found that the DHgate site has some tools and policies in place to help ease buyers’ anxieties about purchasing from unknown sellers. The site provides information about each of its sellers, which is provided by verified purchasers.

DHgate also has a comprehensive buyer protection system in place, which helps limit the potential for any fraudulent behavior. This is a good sign that the DHgate is working to position itself as a legitimate and trustworthy shopping site.

dhgate buyer protection-min

DHgate Buyer Protection includes:

  • Return & Refund protections
  • DHgate Mediation between buyer and seller
  • DHgate icons to help note seller attributes       

Return & Refund Protections

DHgate notes that they will provide a full refund in the event you never received your item(s).

If you did receive the item, but it was not as described, they will allow you to either accept a partial refund for the item and keep it or return the item for a full refund.

DHgate Mediation

If you’ve contacted the seller about an issue and it hasn’t been resolved, you can submit a dispute to DHgate and they will arbitrate on your behalf to try to come to a resolution between you and the seller.

DHgate Icons

On each product listing next to “Seller Guarantee,” you’ll find site icons meant as a supplement to DHgate reviews for sellers and to inform you of the seller’s reputation. A few of the icons you’ll see include:

  • On-time delivery (in x amount of days)
  • Merchandise quality (noting that product has passed a 3rd party inspection)
  • Premium or Top merchant (sellers with excellent reputations)

In an attempt to put shoppers’ minds at ease when they’re wondering, “Is DHgate a legit site?” the website notes that payments are secure and that DHgate does not transfer payment to the seller until you’ve confirmed the receipt of your item.

Many people have successfully used this escrow system when purchasing items from DHgate, but it should be noted that some other buyers have stated that the system doesn’t work exactly as it should.

Here is one positive and one negative DHgate review from Sitejabber that illustrate this:

  • One buyer said the products are first-class and when they had one problem, it was sorted out by DHgate “very quickly with no fuss at all.”
  • An unhappy buyer said they never received their product and they sent “several letters” to DHgate and “never got a response from them” or the Chinese seller.


DHgate & Buying from Overseas

When you buy an item from DHgate, you’re most likely purchasing that item from a seller that’s located several countries away.

Most of the sellers on this site specialize in exporting Chinese-manufactured goods, which adds to the potential for complications you might run into when dealing with DHgate.

When buying an item via DHgate from a manufacturer or a seller located in China, there are several factors you’ll want to consider before you order, such as:

  • What is the seller’s rating?
  • Has the seller sold this item before, and if so, was the customer satisfied?
  • How much does the shipping cost?
  • What is the guaranteed date of delivery or estimated delivery time frame?
  • What is the seller’s return policy?
  • How responsive is the seller to questions?

Purchasing items from sellers in China often means a longer wait time to receive your item once you’ve placed the order.

If you need an item quickly, you may need to communicate directly with the seller to arrange rush shipping, or you may need to buy the item elsewhere.

Another factor, you’ll want to be aware of is sizing. People often run into sizing issues when purchasing from overseas retailers, with Asian sizes running approximately 2 sizes below what shoppers may be used to in North America.

What Payment Options Does DHgate Accept?

DHgate.com accepts several different payment methods and they can vary according to country. Payment methods accepted worldwide include:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Skrill Moneybookers
  • Bank Transfer
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • UnionPay
  • Maestro Card
  • Visa Checkout
  • Masterpass
  • POLi online bank transfer

In certain countries, including the United States, they also accept Apple Pay.

You’ll want to research to find the payment method that offers you the most protection should anything negative happen after your purchase.

DHgate-transaction-safety

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Conclusion: Is DHgate Real? Is DHgate Safe?

So, is DHgate a real website? Yes, DHgate is a real website and it is designed both for individuals and resellers to shop as a way to connect with merchants in other countries to find great deals on a variety of different items.

But, just because DHgate itself is legitimate, doesn’t necessarily mean you can count on every merchant you deal with there to be the same. Multiple buyers have had both positive and negative experiences.

We’ve found that many negative experiences are the result of a general misunderstanding about how the site functions and that DHgate is not selling you any items, the individual merchants are the ones you’re buying from.

If you decide that the excellent deals are too good to pass up and are worth taking a risk, remember that there’s more to the question, “Is DHgate legit?” than the website itself.

You need to also ask yourself, “Is this DHgate seller legit?” by researching them online, taking a look at their reviews and ratings and asking questions about delivery and product quality prior if you have any reservations.

The additional research you do on the seller will help you avoid unfortunate experiences and will give you a better chance of being happy with your purchase.


Image sources:

  • https://www.dhgate.com/activities/apparel.html#pu1403-lc-9-0
  • http://www.dhgate.com/protection.html#hp1507_rr-0-b
  • https://www.dhgate.com/


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