Is drop shipping with DHgate worth it? An honest review

Drop shipping has exploded in popularity as an ecommerce business model that lets sellers offer products to buyers without holding any inventory. DHgate has emerged as a Chinese wholesale marketplace connecting drop shippers to myriad manufacturers. But does selling through DHgate make sense? As an impartial DHgate member for the past year, I wanted to share my genuine experience to help set realistic expectations for those considering it as a drop shipping provider.

Demystifying DHgate and how its drop shipping works

For some context, DHgate is a long-established Chinese ecommerce site linking buyers to thousands of manufacturers and suppliers across the country. As a seller, you create DHgate storefronts marketing products sourced on demand from chosen suppliers before orders even come in, cutting out upfront inventory. Once customers purchase your listed items, DHgate facilitated the supplier order and shipping on your behalf. This drop shipping approach through pre-vetted Chinese suppliers gives sellers immense product selection without handling logistics. DHgate site traffic and shipping infrastructure also helps exposure.

Evaluating benefits based on personal experience

Selling on DHgate for the past year has offered some advantages:

  • zero upfront product costs or shipping/storage overhead
  • suppliers reliably handle packing & shipping through DHgate
  • ability to markup affordable wholesale supplier items for profit margin
  • market to DHgate established site traffic seeking Chinese-sourced goods

I’ve found their warehouses and logistics make reliably scaling a hands-off drop shipping storefront possible once viable product-market fit is found.

Highlighting possible challenges to weigh

However, selling through DHgate isn’t without downsides to consider:

  • managing disputes for occasional damaged/undelivered orders
  • longer 10–25-day delivery times vs domestic suppliers  
  • need to order 50-100 units from suppliers before efficiency & max savings
  • vetting countless supplier listings for reliability and quality assurance

I occasionally deal with order issues that require coordination through DHgate support for resolutions which can be time-consuming. The delivery times can also make speed-dependent customers less satisfied vs faster options.

Is DHgate viable for the right seller?

Given both positives and shortcomings based on my time as a seller, I believe DHgate remains a worthwhile drop shipping intermediary for the right type of merchant. Those likely to extract the most value:

  • patient sellers focused more on profit margins than overnight delivery
  • comfortable managing occasional disputes and quality inconsistencies  
  • able to order higher volumes once winning products are found
  • meticulous about vetting suppliers before listing items

Assuming one can adapt to aspects like longer delivery lead times, DHgate infrastructure can reliably support scaling hands-off drop shipping businesses.

If an entrepreneurial spirit willing to address order hiccups suits you more than plug-and-play simplicity, DHgate offers a profitable way to sell without inventory via Chinese suppliers. But ensure your expectations, risk tolerance and target customers align before moving forward. Hopefully mapping my genuine experience selling through DHgate for the past year provides a balanced overview for those exploring player-friendly drop shipping. If you are still in an osscilation, then you should check article on legitimacy of DHGate.