dhgate vs aliexpress best suppliers

DHgate vs Aliexpress: Which is better for your dropshipping business

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Dropshipping has become a great way to start an ecommerce business. This is because you don’t need to store the inventory with this retail fulfillment method. It is as simple as showcasing a product for sale on your website and asking your supplier to ship the product on your behalf whenever you receive an order.

Two of the most popular dropshipping suppliers are DHgate and Aliexpress. AliExpress is a B2C (business to consumer) platform featuring over million items from over 40,000 suppliers. DHgate, a mix of B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) models, has 30 million products to choose from, making it an excellent choice for small and medium retailers.

So which one is a better option for you? Here we have come up with this DHgate vs AliExpress showdown to help you make an informed decision. It includes the definition and pros and cons of both platforms. Let’s get it started from DHgate first!

What is DHgate?


DHgate is a Chinese business to business platform where small to medium retailers or companies can purchase goods in bulk directly from Chinese manufacturers and suppliers. It is counted as one of China’s most popular e-commerce trade platforms, especially regarding finding wholesale items.

This online trading platform serves over 15 million buyers and 1.7 million sellers. It operates in over 220 countries and areas. It is easy to use and set up. Sign up on the DHgate website, and complete the information to start your dropshipping experience with DHgate.

How Does DHGATE Work?

DHgate is an online marketplace similar to eBay or Alibaba. DHgate lists products for sale from various suppliers.

As a marketplace, DHgate provides seller reviews and ratings to help you choose the right seller. Usually, it’s best to use DHgate for bulk orders. However, you can also agree with the seller to order single items directly from your end customer.

When you place an order on DHgate, you’ll be prompted to enter a delivery address. Here, you can put your customer’s address. This way, the seller will drop ship the item for you.

If you decide to do this, communicate it with the seller upfront. If you’re dropshipping items from DHgate, you’ll need to make some adjustments on the seller’s side so your customers don’t know where the item is coming from. Overall, though, using DHgate store to dropship items is a great way to streamline your business.

What are the Benefits of Using DHgate?

Providing New Buyer’s Coupon:

As a new member of DHgate, be sure to take advantage of the New Buyer’s Coupon. With this coupon, you can get $11 off your first purchase. This is just one of the many benefits offered by DHgate for its new members. As the name suggests, it is only applicable to new accounts. This way, it helps you save money.

Wide selection of products:

With millions of products available on DHgate, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect items to sell in your online store.

Competitive prices:

DHgate acts as a middleman between buyers and sellers so that they can negotiate lower prices for their customers. This can result in higher profits for your business.

Quality Assurance:

DHgate has a strict vetting process for its suppliers and offers a money-back guarantee for defective products. For example, it provides a free inspection service to minimize the occurrence of products with substandard quality.

It involves manual checking by an inspection officer who is likely to unwrap the package and check it for size, color, quantity, damage, etc. Besides, the products are also crosschecked to the order information requested by you.

In case of any discrepancies, DHgate will immediately alert the seller to make corrections and notify you at the same time. If there are no issues, the package will be restored to its original condition and sent for delivery. This way, it ensures quality products.


With DHgate dropshipping service, you don’t have to worry about managing inventory or shipping orders to customers. The supplier takes care of everything for you.

Reputable and Reliable:

DHgate has been in business for over 15 years and has a large, global customer base. You can trust them to handle your dropshipping needs efficiently and professionally.

One of its striking features is its Buyer Protection program. After making a purchase, DHgate holds the amount in escrow. Once the item is delivered to you, DHgate releases the seller’s payment.

It handles all the transactions independently, meaning that the platform manages all the money exchange, not directly between the seller and buyer.

Customer Support:

Another advantage of using DHgate is the assurance of outstanding customer support. You can contact them over their toll free number, send them a message via email or chat with them via DHgate live chat.

What are the Drawbacks of Using DHgate?

While DHgate can be a great resource, there are some drawbacks to using the service that you should be aware of before making any purchases.

Replica Products:

This is one of the critical issues you can face with DHgate. DHgate might be better for you if you want to order original products.

Thanks to the abundance of fake products or replica items sold over there. However, it is important to understand the differences between replicas and counterfeit items:

Replicas refer to the knock-offs of the original product. Fake, as the name suggests, is not authentic. And you will come across many vendors over DHgate who deal in fake products. That’s why you need to be careful.

It is better to use DHgate for generic products (not branded).

To protect the buyers from counterfeit items or products, DHgate has seller feedback, DHgate Managed Services, and Dispute Resolution in place.

Limited Products:

While plenty of products are listed over DHgate, some niche categories have limited options.

Longer Shipping Time:

Since all items on DHgate are stocked (or made) in China, it might take several days to weeks to dropshipping to a customer in the USA and European nations. It depends on the chosen shipping method and the delivery destination of the nation.

For example, shipping a product from China to Germany could take 10 to 20 days, and to China to the USA, 12 to 30 days.

Expensive Prices:

The DHgate pricing might be one of the biggest turnoffs when it comes to choosing DHgate vs AliExpress. For example, an ABC brand watch will cost you 10 USD on AliExpress, but the same watch on DHgate can be about $14 per piece. This might cost DHgate dropshipping services to some potential customers.

What is AliExpress?

aliexpress logo

Based in China and founded by Alibaba Group’s owner Jack Ma, AliExpress is a popular online marketplace that connects suppliers and manufacturers based in China with buyers worldwide.

However, it is more focused on retail customers, unlike DHgate, which is more oriented toward wholesale customers.

The key selling point is that it offers the listed products at great prices, making it an attractive option for dropshipping and souring wholesale inventories.

How Does Aliexpress work?

Over the past few years, AliExpress has become one of the most popular online marketplaces for dropshippers. On the surface, it is the perfect platform; it offers a vast selection of products at low prices, and there are no monthly fees.

However, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of before you start selling on AliExpress. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at both the pros and cons of using AliExpress for dropshipping. (After all, this blog is dedicated to DHgate vs Aliexpress!)

Let’s start with the benefits first:

The Advantages of Using AliExpress

A Large Selection of Products:

A subsidiary of Alibaba Group, AliExpress offers a wide range of dropshipping products, including cheap electronics, clothes, accessories, and more. This means that you’ll be able to find items to sell that fit your niche. It offers products manufactured in China to small or small retailers worldwide.


Buying from AliExpress is entirely safe. While using the platform has some downsides (such as counterfeit items), it’s no different from using eBay or Amazon. Just be careful to research thoroughly and confirm what suppliers offer before purchasing. Look at the reviews and only buy from verified, credentialed sellers.


Like DHgate, AliExpress sometimes offers coupons to lower the cost of your order. While individual sellers can get coupons for some of the available items, new users can get a coupon as they sign up for AliExpress.

Customer Support:

The 24-hour customer assistance offered by AliExpress is another perk.

Head to the customer support self-help section and start a chat with a representative if you need assistance with any of their features or have any questions.

This connects you to the online chat facility for AliExpress, where you may pose as many queries as you like and receive prompt helpful responses.

And AliExpress offers you a full or partial refund in case your order turns out differently or is of bad quality.

Low Prices:

One of the most significant advantages of using AliExpress is that you can find products at very low prices. This makes it easy to offer competitive pricing and still make a profit.

For example, a set of headphones might be priced differently on AliExpress and DHgate. And this price difference encourages many businesses to choose AliExpress. Many experts predict that AliExpress pricing will be more flexible and luring in the coming years.

No Monthly Fees:

Unlike other ecommerce platforms such as Shopify or Amazon, AliExpress doesn’t charge any monthly fees. This means you can keep more of your profits.

The Cons of Using AliExpress for Dropshipping

Long Shipping Times:

One of the biggest complaints about AliExpress is that shipping times can be very long, sometimes taking up to two months. This can be a significant issue for customers who are used to receiving their orders quickly from other online sites such as Amazon.

Poor Quality Control:

Another issue with AliExpress is that quality control on the products sold on the site needs to be quality control. Therefore, you could end up selling defective items or not as described.

Deceptive Advertising:

You might only sometimes receive the items that are listed on AliExpress.

To address this issue, AliExpress has put in place a mitigation protocol. Therefore, you should use extreme caution when ordering from this website.

DHgate vs AliExpress: A Quick Comparison

DHgate vs aliexpress

By this point, you must have gone through the pros and cons of DHgate and AliExpress. This would help you understand the benefits and downsides of both AliExpress and DHgate. Above all, it enables you to compare DHgate with AliExpress or vice versa more efficiently.

It all leads to this quick comparison between DHgate and AliExpress.

Let’s get it started to see the winner in the dropshipping war of DHgate vs AliExpress.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: Cost and Discount Policies:

In this comparison between DHgate and AliExpress when it comes to prices, AliExpress wins hands down. However, both platforms list affordable products. While AliExpress offers products at cheaper rates, DHgate makes it up for this by offering coupons and discounts to their users. AliExpress also ensures discounts and coupons.

But this section clearly belongs to AliExpress.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: User Experience:

Both platforms have engaging features to make shopping easier and less stressful. With its DH membership, DHgate offers several benefits and rewards to the users. And these rewards keep increasing as long as you shop from them.

However, AliExpress looks like it wins this section with its more user-friendly features.

For instance, if you are looking for bags, you can easily set a particular type of that bag, and you will be presented with that type only in your search queries. But DHgate lacks this important feature. However, both are easy to use online shopping platforms.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: Payment

Now, this is something DHgate has the edge over AliExpress. DHgate accepts all modes of payment, such as Visa, American Express, Diners, Maestro, Discover, UnionPay, and MasterCard as well other general means of payment.

AliExpress, on the other hand, is not that flexible with its payment options as they want to achieve total security on all transactions done with its platform. That’s why they have introduced their method called Alipay to ensure more transaction security and protect money online. 

Although AliExpress accepts other payment methods, Alipay doesn’t work in all transactions. Some professional businesses consider AliExpress as a secure platform in terms of payment methods.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: Shipping Options

Free and paid delivery alternatives are available from DHgate and AliEpress, depending on the product and the region of any international buyers.

Both services’ paid options allow you to utilize any courier provider you like. Besides, shipping costs vary based on the location of the customer. AliExpress offers free and low-cost shipping with its AliExpress Standard Shipping (another entity owned by Alibaba Group.)

Delivery time is where their shipping methods diverge.

You will receive an accurate delivery date from AliExpress, whereas DHgate will provide a more approximate period. These dates can be somewhat vague at times. Sometimes, the supplier or the shipping company doesn’t deliver to your country.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: Buyer Protection

Buyer protection is an essential factor in dropshipping services. So no wonder that both DHgate and AliExpress have this feature in place.

The DHgate buyer protection program is known as the seller guarantee that focuses on on-time delivery and the return policy. It lets the seller set a timeframe for when the product can be returned, which could be 3 days up to 7 days.

The vendor sets a time range within which the order may be canceled for the on-time delivery option.

The money might not be refunded if the order is canceled after that.

AliExpress also ensures buyer protection with its money back guarantee.

But there is a catch—the seller is required to initiate, and they can withdraw it any time they want to. That seems to be the only problem in AliExpress’s buyer protection policy.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: Range of Products

AliExpress has more products than DHgate. Thanks to the more extended period of AliExpress in business than its younger counterpart, DHgate. However, both platforms are preferred for their niche product categories.

AliExpress is known for home décor, electronics, hair, and jewelry. DHgate is a popular platform for replica products, especially fashion items like bags, shoes, clothing, etc.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: Minimum Order Quantity

Minimum Order Quantities or MOQs is the minimum order size accepted by the supplier. The good thing is that DHgate or AliExpress sets no minimum order quantity.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: Paid Shipping Options (Or is It Free):

Shipping cost is one of the important points when it comes to choosing a marketplace. AliExpress and DHgate offer free and paid shipping options depending on the delivery time and method of shipping.

DHgate Vs AliExpress: Refund and Return

With AliExpress, you can be sure that you can ask for a full refund or return damaged or substandard items. Even though DHgate has an efficient service, it might be challenging to get replies from customer support. It only seems to offer a partial refund every time.

The Verdict: DHgate Vs AliExpress – Which is Better

Well, this DHgate vs AliExpress comparison feels like a tug of war. But who is the winner? Both are popular e-commerce marketplace that facilitates selling manufactured products from suppliers to small or medium retailers.

If you compare AliExpress with DHgate and vice versa, there are pros and cons that make you prefer one over the other.

One must go through the benefits and disadvantages to understand the differences between DHgate and AliExpress. By doing that, you will conclude that they vary in customer support, cost of products, and customer service. So this showdown of DHgate vs AliExpress doesn’t belong to one sole winner.

AliExpress has more affordable products than DHgate. However, DHgate compensates it with its quality check services. Both platforms are not immune to counterfeit products; only some vendors are genuine.

Talking about customer support, both platforms fare well. The only issue is that, with DHgate, the price you get a response to is determined by your DHgate membership level. For example, a member with a higher order will get a faster response than a low-level member.

In this term, AliExpress treats all customers equally. Plus, AliExpress has faster shipping when compared with DHgate. So AliExpress ensures better customer service than DHgate and an outstanding shipping option.

AliExpress has more positive points thanks to its good rating, more extensive inventories, more extended time in business, and popularity worldwide. But, if you are looking for a service that ensures quality and good bargains for wholesale, DHgate might be an ideal option.

All in all, it is still challenging to answer which platform is better for dropshipping. In this comparison, DHgate vs AliExpress, both platforms have pros and cons. It all boils down to one key idea—ponder over your requirements.

For example, if you prefer quality and outstanding customer support, choose DHgate. But if you are looking for affordable prices, more extensive inventories, and faster shipping (and if the quality is not a topmost concern for you), go for AliExpress. Both options charge shipping costs for specific orders.

But DHgate is often touted as the best AliExpress alternative.

They are still two popular online shopping platforms with benefits and disadvantages depending on your budget and requirements. While both have their benefits to convincing the e commerce domains, many reliable sellers try to look for other alternatives due to irritating flaws in both platforms.

It all depends on your requirements. One more thing—make sure to discuss all the details and go through terms and conditions before opting for any dropshipping services. Learn about the factors that can impact your business, including quality, shipping options, delivery time, shipping cost, and prices.

And this is how you can start your dropshipping business on the right foot.

What do you think? Which one do you choose for your dropshipping business in this battle of DHgate vs AliExpress? Let us know by commenting below! 

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Cam Morales

Cam is the Founder & CEO of Brandafy.com, Bix Marketing.com and EcomUpstart - he built two 7 figure businesses since he started his entrepreneurship journey in 2016. He now helps others launch ecommerce stores and other online businesses.

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