DHGate vs. AliExpress Dropshipping

Dropshipping is one of the most talked-about e-commerce gigs today. Run a YouTube search, and you’ll find hundreds of videos of advertisers, merchants, and even crafty teenagers cashing in on this new business model. While some people are still skeptical about drop shipping, we’re here to tell you that it really does work.

Think you may want to try your hand at drop shipping? Then read on.

First, what is dropshipping?

Drop shipping is a way of fulfilling orders in which the online seller never has to store, ship, or even touch any of the products. Instead, the seller enters into agreements with product manufacturers and drop shipping wholesalers or suppliers who agree to produce, pack, and ship the products for the seller.

drop shipping

The seller sets up an online store and markets the products. When a new order comes in, the seller notifies the supplier, and the item is drop shipped to the customer. Drop shipping has many benefits, including:

  • Not having to pay for or handle the storing, packing, and shipping of products
  • Not having to worry about overstock
  • Being able to run the operation on your own and from anywhere
  • Not needing much capital to start

DHGate and AliExpress are among the most popular wholesale shopping marketplaces attracting customers from all over the globe. Let’s compare the two.

AliExpress dropshipping

Let’s start with the more popular option.

AliExpress is one of the largest online platforms connecting small businesses in China to buyers from all over the world. It has the biggest directory of drop shipping suppliers today. AliExpress is often compared to Amazon, but it’s actually more like eBay, where both businesses and individuals can sell their wares.

aliexpress dropshipping

AliExpress is unique in that it only allows buyers who are not from mainland China. In addition, it only allows businesses and individuals who are not Chinese to sell their products on the platform.

Nonetheless, the e-commerce giant does offer more than a hundred million different products. There are clothing and accessories, consumer electronics, laptops and smartphones, jewellery, shoes and bags, luggage, beauty products, health and wellness products, maternity essentials, baby clothing and gear, sports equipment, and many other items.

AliExpress is well-established in the e-commerce industry and is trusted by millions of online shoppers worldwide. The online retail service ships to over 200 countries and territories. Some suppliers may offer free shipping.

Though there is no phone number or email address listed, there is a customer help centre with 24/7 live chat support.

There are, of course, some disadvantages. First off, buying from AliExpress can sometimes be a gamble as there may be limited information posted about the products. You will often need to go by the ratings and reviews left by previous customers when deciding if you should buy from a certain store.

There is no return or exchange policy. AliExpress does offer buyer protection, but refunds are usually only given when the product received is different from what was advertised or if the shipped products somehow do not make it to the buyer. While AliExpress does have a tracking service, many customers prefer to use third-party tracking services for a more detailed log of their package’s journey.

AliExpress has two main weaknesses that have had both buyers and sellers looking for alternatives. These are delivery costs and delivery times. While it remains the top online wholesale store for dropshippers, the high shipping costs and the scarcity of some products has led dropshipping business owners to look for other wholesale shopping websites, such as this next one.

DHGate dropshipping

Like AliExpress, DHGate is an online platform connecting small Chinese businesses to customers from around the world. It is a popular alternative to AliExpress and is preferred by many drop shipping business owners.

AliExpress and DHGate offer a lot of similar products, which should enable you to compare prices and evaluate profit margins. However, DHGate has fewer products than AliExpress. The online marketplace offers about 30 million different drop shipping products from China and places like Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Like AliExpress, DHGate offers a wide assortment of products. There, you’ll find clothes for men and women, computers and smartphones, jewellery and watches, bags and shoes, toys and sports equipment, gaming gear, computer accessories, home decor, beauty products, and more.

dhgate dropshipping

The delivery period for products from DHGate is about the same as that from AliExpress. As when shopping through AliExpress, it’s up to you to check the ratings and reviews of each supplier before you decide to do business with them.

Again, like AliExpress, DHGate provides buyer protection. The e-commerce website also has an escrow system under which the payment will only be transferred from the buyer to the seller after the buyer has received the product.

Some drop shippers report that DHGate is more willing to mediate in disputes, but only after a certain amount of time has passed. It seems that the company would rather let some time pass to give the buyer and the seller a chance to resolve their issues on their own. The e-commerce website does not have a return policy or a limited refund policy.

DHGate has a toll-free US phone number for customer service concerns, a 24/7 live chat support option, a messaging system with a 24-hour turnaround time, social media channels, a dedicated messaging centre for dispute resolution, and an assigned account manager for top-level members.

Both AliExpress and DHGate offer many of the same products from the same categories. However, AliExpress is definitely more established than DHGate. DHGate is a good alternative to AliExpress, especially when the product you want is not available on the former or would be more expensive if you buy it from there.

In some places, DHGate has a faster delivery time, which is another great reason to choose this online marketplace. DHGate ships to 230 countries and territories.

What to expect from DHGate and AliExpress

Both of these wholesale shopping websites offer products at a lower cost than you’ll find anywhere else. The low selling prices are made possible by the fact that customers are buying directly from the manufacturers and that production cost in China is significantly lower than in other countries.

In terms of credibility, there’s not much difference between the two. You may encounter fraudsters in both of these websites, so you need to conduct some thorough research before you hit the buy button.

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