Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Which Is Better for Sourcing Products from China?

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alibaba vs. dhgate

Alibaba is the first site that comes to mind when you plan to source products from China.

However, DHgate has also gained a lot of momentum in the last few years as they have a lot of flexible offers. Both of these sites offer incredible features that can assist your online business.

Suppose you are looking for the difference between Alibaba Vs. DHgate, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will compare Alibaba and DHgate to help you choose which is safer and best for sourcing products from China.

What Is Alibaba?

alibaba is part of the Alibaba Group (a large Chinese multinational company focused on e-commerce and one of the largest Internet companies in the world), founded by Jack Ma in 1999. This company is based in China.

Alibaba is an online wholesale marketplace for buying products and is arguably the world’s largest e-commerce site!

Alibaba supports buyers and sellers from all over the world where they can connect and conduct transactions. It is a secure and trustworthy platform used by millions of businesses.

Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform caters to both Chinese and global consumers. However, most transactions still occur on domestic sites such as Taobao and 1688.

Alibaba’s website connects Chinese suppliers with international buyers, offers lower prices, and requires minimum order quantities. As a result, Alibaba has high global visibility.

To learn more about Alibaba, please read our article at:
Is Legit? How to Buy from Alibaba?

What Is DHgate?


DHgate is a global B2B marketplace founded in 2004 as a B2B one-stop online trading platform like Alibaba, Made in China, Global Sources, and others.

They allow independent small businesses in China to sell directly to consumers and e-commerce business owners worldwide.

DHgate grew into a massive marketplace in its first decade with over 1.2 million merchants and over 30 million product listings. is available in multiple languages and countries with an impressive array of products in various categories.

DHgate focuses on small wholesale orders to help e-commerce sellers. Products on DHgate are generally in stock and have precise MOQ requirements on product listings.

It is a great place to source different products at a lower MOQ to test the market you want to enter. But, if you want to create your private label or need a steady supply of products, DHGate is not the right choice.

To learn more about DHgate, please read our article at:
What is Is DHgate Legit?

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: What Are the Differences?

Both Alibaba and DHgate have a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the main differences between DHgate and Alibaba allows you to understand better which site to use in which situation.

1. Product availability

When it comes to online shopping, buyers want a lot of choices, and both sites have extensive inventories.

Alibaba has the most extensive inventory of products and most things you can find on this site. That is why many users prefer this site.

Alibaba has international connections with other countries, so its suppliers can handle any product.

alibaba product categories

The categories are endless and include electronics, clothing, vehicles, sports and entertainment, machinery, hardware accessories, furniture, decor, and beauty care, just to name a few.

If you can’t find the products, you can customize them on Alibaba also.

DHgate’s product offerings are relatively limited, but that doesn’t mean it’s not qualified. If you are looking for clothing items such as jeans, shirts, shoes, scarves, skirts, etc., then DHgate is suitable for you.

Likewise, you can find electronics such as DVD players, MP3 players, game monitors, LCD monitors, washing machines, blenders, and mixers on the list.

The site also carries gardening products, lightning equipment, health and beauty care, and toys.

2. Communication style

When shopping online, you should be able to communicate effectively with your suppliers. Let’s take a look at the communication methods of Alibaba and DHgate.

DHgate offers online chat and email as communication methods. Both of these methods are secure. There is little chance of revealing personal information.

DHgate online chats are a good choice when you need a quick response. You will usually get an answer from the seller within 24 hours.

On the other hand, there are multiple ways to communicate on Alibaba’s website, including “Chat Immediately”, “Start an Order”, “Get the Latest Price”, and “Contact Supplier”.

alibaba contact supplier

In the case of old suppliers, you can retrieve the order history and choose quick chat, but the time difference may cause some problems.

So, in Alibaba, to get in touch with a supplier, just click on “Contact Supplier”, which is similar to sending an email.

alibaba send email

If you want a more detailed way of communication and you have plenty of time, Alibaba is the better choice.

3. Best return/exchange policy

If you ordered a product using an online site and haven’t received it yet. Or, if the product is not what you ordered, or it is broken, what would you do?

That’s where the return/exchange policy comes in. Let’s talk about Alibaba and DHgate’s policies.

DHgate offers a buyer protection system that can help you if you didn’t receive the product or if the product is not what you ordered.

You open a dispute and let a DHgate official handle the work. Once the points are in your favor, you will receive a full or partial refund. DHgate offers buyers protection from every supplier.

If you meet the following conditions, you can return the item:

  • A full refund (if you did not receive the product)
  • A partial refund (if you did not order the items)

You can keep the items and get a partial refund. If you return them, you will get a full refund.

alibaba trade assurance

Alibaba offers a trade assurance program that works differently than DHgate.

Here, when you receive a product, you have the option to open a dispute:

  • If the product is what you ordered, you press the verify button, and Alibaba will release payment to the supplier.
  • If the product is broken or not what you ordered, Alibaba will process the case and release the payment to you or the supplier based on the facts and data.

However, Alibaba returns can take a lot of time. Also, not all suppliers on Alibaba offer trade assurance.

To learn more about Alibaba Trade Assurance, please read our article at:
Complete Guide: How to Use Alibaba Trade Assurance?

4. Payment methods

DHgate has some of the best payment methods. However, it all depends on the country you are in. It accepts various cards such as Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Money Broker.

Many buyers widely use Alibaba, and it is all because of the secure payment methods. First of all, Alibaba has its payment method called Alipay. Alipay is secure and can be used with confidence.

Other payment methods that the giant accepts are:

  • Bank transfer
  • Credit card
  • Western Union
  • Trade Guarantee

Regarding payment methods, Alibaba has a more secure payment platform than DHgate, due to the trade assurance.

We are not saying that DHgate’s payment methods are not good. If you trust the provider, DHgate is a good site.

To learn more about Alibaba Payment Methods, please read our article at:
How to Pay on | The Most Popular Payment Methods

5. Suppliers

DHgate has about 2.4 million suppliers; more than 90% of the sellers are Chinese, and most are not real factories. Most of the information on DHgate comes from small businesses selling various products.

So, if you buy a product from DHgate and want to repeat the order, you may receive a completely different item next time.

Alibaba has nearly 3 million suppliers. These suppliers can be divided into small, medium, and large suppliers. Many of them are factories or traders with an established supply chain.

In short, Alibaba’s quality will be more consistent compared to DHgate.

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Pricing

This is the product price on Alibaba.

alibaba price

While we check the same product on Dhgate, you’ll find something interesting.

dhgate price

If you both images to compare, you will find that Alibaba is cheaper than DHgate regarding pricing.

Since suppliers on Alibaba usually sell their products in bulk, you’re likely to get a lower price there.

It’s just a matter of comparing prices with the same products, and there’s no denying that DHgate has many different outcomes if we go from clothes to fitness.

Of course, you can also find the same products on Alibaba, maybe even more, because Alibaba has suppliers worldwide. The thing you can think of, and you can probably find from Alibaba.

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

The most significant difference between Alibaba and DHgate is that DHgate usually has no MOQ. While Alibaba’s suppliers usually have a high MOQ.

So, if you are starting, DHgate would be more suitable due to its lower MOQ requirement than Alibaba. And also, DHgate is ideal for buyers with a more moderate budget.

On the other hand, Alibaba is more suitable for buyers who buy in bulk because of its higher MOQ and lower price.

To learn more about MOQ, please read our article at:
MOQ Meaning: What is MOQ? The Only Guide You Need

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Delivery Time

Alibaba and DHgate’s products are mainly from China. So, this may have an impact on shipping time. Your order will be shipped faster than international buyers if you are a domestic buyer.

Shipping time is affected by the shipping method used. Also, it is affected by the time it takes to process the order. DHgate is generally in stock, while Alibaba may require a production time.

Generally, it can take 1-3 weeks to ship products to the US, Australia, Canada, and Europe. However, you can pay extra for fast delivery. The only difference is the production time for large shipments.

So if you send a sample, the delivery time should be about the same for DHgate and Alibaba. While for bulk orders, Alibaba will have a production time.

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Shipping Cost

In fact, there is no winner in this comparison between Alibaba and DHgate because both sites have their own advantages in terms of shipping costs.

Alibaba has a third-party shipping company to ship, so Alibaba’s shipping cost is economical for bulk purchases, whereas with DHgate, the cost of bulk shipping will be high.

If you want fast shipping, Dhgate is more suitable for you, but you must also pay higher shipping costs.

To learn more about Alibaba Shipping Costs, please read our article at:
Complete Guide: 10 Ways to Save Alibaba Shipping Costs

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Payment Method

There are many payment methods on DHgate. For example, you can use Visa, MasterCard, American Express Discover, and Skrill.

Users can also pay via bank transfer, Diners Club, UnionPay, and Western Union. So, the payment method you choose depends on your country.

However, Alibaba has enhanced payment security for buyers and suppliers. The company has partnered with an independent payment provider (Alipay). Alipay is secure and can be used with confidence.

For more information on whether Alipay is secure, please read our article at:
What is Alipay? Is Alipay Safe?

Alibaba also accepts other payment methods such as bank transfers, credit cards, Western Union, and Trade Assurance.

In short, both sites have a secure payment platform, but Alibaba is more secure because of the Trade Assurance.

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Returns and refunds

DHgate offered free returns and exchanges when you didn’t receive your order.

In addition, it also applies when the supplier didn’t ship your order on time. If it is the supplier’s fault, they will refund the shipping cost to you.

DHgate refund policy is simple as follows:

  • A full refund (if you did not receive the product)
  • A partial refund (if you did not order the item)

You can keep the items and get a partial refund. If you return them, you will get a full refund.

Alibaba is known for having a better overall return policy. However, returns from Alibaba may take longer, and not all sellers offer trade assurance from this platform.

Alibaba offers a trade assurance program that works differently than Dhgate. When you receive a product, you have the option to open a dispute and provide proof. 

Alibaba platform supports partial refunds and withholding of products. You can receive a partial refund if the product received is different from the product required by the contract.

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Customer Support

The customer support part is also quite important. Any size of business must be able to provide effective customer care. In the long run, it is a worthwhile investment.

DHgate’s customer support isn’t much, with only chat or email options. However, their response time is fast.

On the other hand, Alibaba can communicate through your account to chat immediately, get the latest prices, start an order, and contact suppliers, but it may take longer to get back to you.

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Dropshipping

alibaba vs. dhgate dropshipping

Regarding dropshipping, the biggest challenge is MOQ. As mentioned above, Alibaba is a platform tailored for businesses that order in bulk, so most of the suppliers there have high MOQ.

Therefore, sourcing products from Alibaba may be complex (but not impossible) for your dropshipping store.

On the other hand, the MOQ requirements on DHgate are low, and you can easily find suppliers on DHgate that don’t have any MOQ and can fulfill orders directly for the dropshipping store.

So, if you want to start a small dropshipping business yourself, Dhgate may be more suitable for you because you don’t need to negotiate with the supplier because of MOQ and can start your business with less risk.

To learn more about Alibaba Dropshipping, please read our article at:
Alibaba Dropshipping: How to Dropship from Alibaba? Complete Guide 2022

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: FAQ

1. Why are the products on Alibaba cheaper?

Alibaba is the largest online B2B marketplace in the world. Most Alibaba products are made in China, their labor costs are lower, taxes are lower, and their supply chain is very efficient.

In addition, suppliers on Alibaba sell their products in large quantities, enabling them to offer low prices to their customers.

2. Can I buy fake products on DHgate?

DHgate does not sell counterfeit products, but some suppliers carry copies of the originals. However, they are usually straightforward to identify. If a product is cheap and looks too good to be true, it may be a replica.

Make sure you don’t buy a replica with the brand logo as it is illegal, and you will lose money.

3. Is the quality of DHgate good?

Compared to similar sites, DHGate is more reliable. It is widespread for sellers to offer good quality products.

If you are careful when buying and check the supplier’s reviews beforehand, it is possible to purchase high-quality products on DHgate.

4. Does Alibaba offer rewards and coupons?

If you are good at negotiating, you can get discounts because there are two types of discounts offered at Alibaba.

One is in the form of coupons you can redeem at the end of the completed order. The second type of discount is from the seller. They can give you up to 40% discounts, depending on your negotiation with the seller.

Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Conclusion

Alibaba and DHgate are both very popular websites, with their own benefits and advantages, making them stand out from the rest.

We hope that through this blog, you will understand the main differences between DHgate Vs. Alibaba, and other more information so that you can better know which site to use in your favor in which situation.

If you need help importing products from China, please contact us, and our sourcing experts will meet your sourcing needs.

I am Yan, the founder of Yansourcing, the best sourcing agent in China, who can quickly and safely help you buy and import from China.

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