DHGate A Scam? Or The Ultimate Chinese Wholesaler? A Little Bit Of Both, Maybe A few years ago I entered the world of online entrepreneurial and naturally selected eBay as my primary marketplace for selling and trading. I wanted to create a profitable business on the online auction giant and hopefully steal some of the 2+ billion dollar market. So, as when anybody is starting an eBay business, their first quest is for reputable wholesale suppliers whose prices are within a reasonable profit margin, right? Well, this was my case anyways. So, I started searching online for suppliers of iPods. digital cameras, computers and mostly high-end consumer electronics. I mean, that's where most of the market is, correct? Correct.
The next logical rationale was that the most competitive wholesale suppliers would be those overseas. After all, most of the fortune 500 companies outsource their labor to third world nations and primarily the Orient. So, I ended up finding some great suppliers that processed online payments and even used escrow-like services (after losing quite a bit of money sending non-secured payments through money transfer companies and wire transfers; see my other post for ways to avoid this). There is one in particular that I would like to talk about: DHGate. Dhgate is sort of the Chinese version of eBay; well, sort of anyways.
This is a site that hosts suppliers in a marketplace environment almost identical to eBay, with two major exception: we're talking about wholesale items and a marketplace that fosters negotiation rather than auctionstyle listings. The site works like this: you browse the suppliers and come across for instance a supplier selling digital cameras. You like it, and email the supplier and haggle him down a few bucks and you come to an agreement on a price. Now, you pay DHGate the amount in question, via either Paypal or credit card. Dhgate holds the funds in escrow until you receive the merchandise and sign off on the trade.
It's all very safe, for the most part. There are some traders that don't accept the escrow payments through DHgate and will try and coerce you into sending payment via an unsecured method, such as again, wire transfer or any instant money transfer service. Please don't do this because you WILL lose your money. There are no questions about it.
There is one major problem with the site, however. The vast majority of the items are COUNTERFEIT, mostly when you're talking about clothing. The electronics are a little different. The majority of them are not counterfeit, they're just knock-offs, but they don't advertise the original company's logo in any way, which is okay. And just remember that when you are importing counterfeit clothing from overseas, customs will pick up on it. Perhaps not right away, but eventually they will catch it and either discard the items, or if they so wish, levy charges in association with the Manufacturing company. Yes, I am speaking from experience, but thank God in my situation, I was able to sweet-talk my way out of any major trouble....
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