Aliexpress vs DHGate – Compare Price and Sellers

by Felicia Tan

We’re well into 2021 and the online shopping trend is only getting bigger and bigger. Online shopping has been growing in popularity since its pioneer days back in the mid-1990s, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on around the world, online shopping is quickly becoming one of the most common and widely-used methods to buy everything from groceries to clothes to high-end electronics.

When it comes to online shopping platforms, there are dozens out there that cater to different kinds of consumers in different places around the world. At the top, you have platforms like Amazon that have a dominant international presence. At the bottom, you have smaller, lesser-known platform that operate in various locales around the world. And in the middle, you have dozens of large, up-and-coming, international platforms all vying for market dominance.

Two of the biggest players right now are AliExpress and Dhgate.

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AliExpress and Dhgate have a lot in common: they’re both based in China, they both offer a wide range of products at affordable prices, and more. However, with everything they share, AliExpress and Dhgate are still two distinct online shopping platforms with benefits and disadvantages depending on your needs and your budget.

In this guide, we’ll be comparing these two online retail giants to see which one can cater to your needs best.

What is AliExpress?

AliExpress is an online shopping website that originated from China that was formed by Alibaba Group. It was a hit when it started in 2010. Before it became a platform that everyone can sell and buy, AliExpress only offers business-to-business transactions wherein businesses can buy and sell their products. 

While it grows, AliExpress started to expand into business-to-consumer and now consumer-to-consumer. AliExpress helps SMEs or what we also called small and medium-sized enterprises to sell their products with ease.

As of October 2021, AliExpress ranks 10 as an e-commerce and shopping site or also called a marketplace. It garners 448 million site visits every month. Making it a rank 57 for the most visited websites in the world.

Read: 40 Aliexpress Products under $5

What is DHgate?

Buy globally, Sell globally. DHgate is also an online shopping website that originated in China. It was founded by a Chinese businesswoman named Diane Weng, it was launched in the year 2005. The business model is for business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions. DHgate also helps SMEs to sell their products with ease.

As of October 2021, DHgate ranks 26 as an e-commerce and shopping site. It garners an average of 17 million site visits every month. It ranks 2,479 for the most visited websites in the world.

AliExpress vs DHGate Comparison Table

In the table below, we compare AliExpress and Dhgate using a handful of selected categories that all contribute to the overall online shopping experience provided by each of these platforms.

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AliExpress offers some of the best deals and cheapest prices you’re likely to find online, or elsewhere.

Dhgate also offers fantastic pricing on high-quality China-made goods, and offer wholesale pricing for bulk orders.

Product Selection

Wide range of products that include everything from home appliances, to clothing, to food and health products, with one of the biggest selections of electronics available online.

Wide selection of products including electronics, clothing, and more, but is better known for its replicas and Class A reproductions.

Buyer Protection

Comprehensive buyer protection policy that offers refunds and returns.

Standard buyer protection policy. Dhgate holds payment in Escrow until buyer confirms.

Payment Methods

Secure payment channels including Wire Transfer, Credit Card via Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and American Express, as well as a number of digital payment platforms.

Secure but limited payment methods including PayPal, Credit Card, Bank-to-Bank Wire Transfer, and Western Union.

Delivery Time

Products are shipped from China. International shipping times vary between 15 and 25 days.

Products are shipped from China. International shipping times can take as little as 3 to 15 business days.

Shipping Costs

Products are shipped from China. Shipping costs vary depending on your location.

Products are shipped from China. Shipping costs vary depending on location, with added Dhgate Shipping Fee costing 3% of order amount.

Refund Processing Time

5 to 10 days

2 days

Seller Contact



Customer Service

AliExpress Dispute system handles all returns, refunds, and requests via a Ticket system.

Taobao Customer Service available via telephone every day at usual office hours.

App Support

App available on iOS and Android.

App available on iOS and Android.

AliExpress vs DHGate Price Comparison

AliExpress and Dhgate both offer some of the best prices you can find online. Affordable yet high-quality, AliExpress and Dhgate also offer plenty of deals and discounts to help you get even bigger savings when shopping online. However, while AliExpress excels at promos and time-limited deals, Dhgate is better known for its coupon availability that can lead to huge discounts if you know where to find them.

aliexpress vs dhgate price
dhgate vs aliexpress price

In this case above, we compared the prices of the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite – a new smart watch from Xiaomi that’s available on both AliExpress and Dhgate. On AliExpress, we see that the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite is available at around $80 SGD (down from the listed price of $161 SGD), while the one on Dhgate is available at a much lower $69.89 SGD. For wholesalers, the Dhgate prices are also shown with bulk discounts.

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Verdict: AliExpress and Dhgate both offer their products at fantastically low prices, but Dhgate is a better place to shop if you’re buying bulk since you’ll be getting even bigger discounts.

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AliExpress vs DHGate Product Selection Comparison

AliExpress and Dhgate also offer very similar product selections. While both platforms offer a catalog that includes a wide variety of products – from clothing to jewelry to shoes and electronics, and more – both platforms also specialize in consumer electronics. To illustrate how people use Dhgate and AliExpress, and which products are most popular on either platform, refer to the table below:



Phone Accessories

Fake Designer Goods

Portable Chargers

Cheap Jerseys


Clothing & Apparel

Bluetooth Audio Devices

Bags and Accessories

Car Accessories

Yoga Supplies

Verdict: AliExpress and Dhgate cater to a similar market, with a wide selection of products available and an emphasis on consumer electronics.

AliExpress vs DHGate Buyer Protection Comparison

AliExpress’ Buyer Protection program is legendary, and it’s a big reason why, despite the hit-or-miss quality of the products available on the platform, it remains one of the biggest online shopping destinations around the world. With its superior buyer protection policies, consumers are kept safe from scammers with straightforward and convenient refunds and returns, all processed via the AliExpress AI Dispute system, EVA.

On the other hand, Dhgate Buyer Protection is more rudimentary, but still rather effective. How Dhgate handles buyer protection is it holds payments in escrow and waits for customers to approve payment release – typically once they’ve received and are satisfied with their product. That way, in case there’s an issue or a dispute regarding the product, refunds can be processed in less time since the money is still with Dhgate and not with the seller.

Verdict: AliExpress and Dhgate take different approaches to Buyer Protection, but both are safe and secure online shopping platforms.

Read: DHGATE- How to pay

AliExpress vs DHGate Payment Methods Comparison

AliExpress accepts all kinds of payment methods, including all major Credit/Debit Cards, PayPal, Wire Transfer, Western Union, and a host of mobile payment options including QIWI. By comparison, Dhgate offers a much more limited number of payment channels to choose from, particularly PayPal, Credit Card, Wire Transfer, and Western Union.

Verdict: Both AliExpress and Dhgate offer standard payment methods, but AliExpress offers numerous other mobile payment solutions as well.

AliExpress vs DHGate Delivery Time Comparison

While AliExpress and Dhgate both ship their products from Mainland China, AliExpress has significantly longer shipping times that go between 15 and 25 days. In contrast, Dhgate boasts international delivery between 3 to 15 working days – which isn’t that much better but a clear advantage over AliExpress.

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Verdict: Dhgate has faster shipping times than AliExpress, on average.

AliExpress vs DHGate Shipping Costs Comparison

AliExpress and Dhgate ship from China, so shipping costs typically vary depending on where you are in the world. However, Dhgate also charges an extra 3% shipping fee based on the total amount of your purchase, making shipping a little bit more expensive, particularly if you’re buying in bulk.

Verdict: AliExpress has marginally cheaper shipping fees that offers a fixed rate depending on where you are in the world.

AliExpress vs DHGate Refund Processing Time Comparison

AliExpress Refunds are settled via AI so refund processing is a straightforward operation that can take anywhere between 5 to 10 days to complete. On the other hand, Dhgate refunds are typically processed faster because of how it holds payment in escrow, allowing their platform to issue purchase refunds in just 48 hours.

Verdict: Dhgate processes refunds much faster, with a typical refund processing time of just 48 hours.

AliExpress vs DHGate Seller Contact Comparison

For better transparency, more accessible information, and overall user piece of mind, both AliExpress and Dhgate allow customers to freely and directly communicate with seller accounts to ask questions, give instructions, and even settle any possible disputes or complaints. In the case of failed buyer-seller resolution, both AliExpress and Dhgate also offer customer support to help users resolve issues.

Verdict: Both AliExpress and Dhgate let users communicate directly with sellers.

AliExpress vs DHGate App Support Comparison

Dhgate and AliExpress are both readily available on iOS and Android devices. That said, the AliExpress app offers more features and more polished interface, but the Dhgate app is definitely much cleaner and easier to use, albeit lacking some functionality.

Verdict: AliExpress and Dhgate both offer superb mobile shopping experiences with their native iOS and Android apps.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying from AliExpress

+ Comprehensive Buyer Protection program
+ Cheaper prices and frequent deals and discounts
+ Best for bulk purchases and wholesale

– Product quality can be hit or miss
– Delivery times are quite high

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying from DHGate

+ Escrow-style Buyer Protection
+ Fast Refunds in 48 hours
+ Great prices, especially on bulk orders

– Pricey, percentage-based shipping fees

AliExpress vs DHGate Final Verdict

AliExpress and Dhgate are two of the biggest and most popular online shopping destinations available today. However, while AliExpress prides itself as one of the best online retail platforms with great prices and deals galore, Dhgate caters more to businesses and entrepreneurs, with wholesale pricing that gives you bigger discounts when you buy in bulk.

Doing online shopping on either platform is best if we are going to check the credibility of the shops. But since we are also looking for a great price, if we are going to compare AliExpress and DHgate, AliExpress provides better offers and discounts than DHgate when it comes to buying items for our own use. 

But, if you are buying for some things that you and your family might get benefit or for reselling purposes then you might want to reconsider looking for that item in Dhgate since they provide a greater discount for greater quantity. 

However, you might want to consider the shipping cost. If the cost of the product plus the shipping would be much higher even though the price of the product is lesser or vice versa, then you might want to consider the total price of both product and shipping cost.

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