AliExpress vs. DHgate vs. GearBest: Chinese Online Retail Stores Reviewed
AliExpress is a part of Alibaba.com and was formed in 2010 as a global internet marketplace made up of small business sellers offering their products for sale worldwide. The corporate offices of Alibaba.com are located in Hong Kong with their U.S. headquarters in Santa Clara, California.
AliExpress carries a good selection of clothing and shoes for men, women, babies, and kids. In addition to their selection of clothing, they also carry many more products like electronics, health, and beauty and products for the home. In all, AliExpress carries 5,900 different types of products ranging across 44 industries.
What is AliExpress
You might think of AliExpress of a Chinese Amazon.com or eBay. You can buy directly from sellers, which is how prices can be so low. And like similar websites, there are good and bad sellers.
Their products have customer star ratings and customer comments. You can check the seller’s ratings and their refund policies and the types of payments they accept.
AliExpress Products and Brands
AliExpress sells many types of products made by brand name Chinese companies plus other companies from around the world. They show many discounts and deals on their website, both weekly and daily discounts. You can search for products on their website by Weekly Bestsellers, Hot and New, Brand Showcase or by selection on of their product categories. Their main categories include:
- Women’s Clothing:
- Men’s Clothing
- Health and Beauty
- Computer and Office
- Phones and Accessories
- Sports and Outdoors
- Consumer Electronics
- Home and Garden
- Automobiles and Motorcycles
- Jewelry and Watches
- Bags and Shoes
- Toys, Kids and Baby
- Mom and Kids
- Home Improvement
Customer can also search for products by featured brands, flash deals, best selling, tech discovery, and trending styles.
AliExpress carries hundreds of name brand products in all categories. A few of their currently featured categories and brands include:
- Consumer Electronics: Sony, Asus, PNY, Hauwei, Kingston, Lenovo, Junsun, SanDisk, ESR, Bluedio, QCY, and UGREEN.
- Fashion: Simplee, IANOSI, Simwood, Pioneer Camp, Bobo Bird, Sisjuly, Viennois, Shark Sports Watch, and ICEbear.
- Sports and Outdoors: Li-Ning, Free Soldier, CoolChange, KastKing, and Onemix.
- Home and Garden: Livolo, Deko, WanFan, Sricam, and Sunmeiyi.
- Automobiles and Security: Partol, Sricam, Starcam, and Junsun.
- Beauty and Health: Focallure
AliExpress Flash Deals
AliExpress has made it even easier for their customers to find the best deals and discounts in all of your favorite categories. By clicking on the category, you can find products with discounts up to 55% and more off the regular prices. The flash deals will show how much time is left to take advantage of that round of deals. You can find similar deals at sites like Groupon and Promocodewatch.
AliExpress Shipping Rates
AliExpress offers free shipping to your country on their Dollar Deals and if you ship via China Post Air Mail, which can take 15 to 26 days to receive your order. Other shipping rates are determined by the weight, size, and volume of the order. The various suppliers can choose their shipping companies from the following list:
- China Post
- Honk Kong Post
- S.F. Express
Since each supplier chooses their shipping methods, any questions the customer has should be directed to the supplier.
AliExpress Buyer Protection
AliExpress has Buyer Protection with the following advantages.
- Full refund if the products do not arrive within the delivery time promised by the seller.
- Counterfeit Guarantee: If the product you purchased is found to be counterfeit, you can get up to two times the amount of the purchase price, excluding shipping costs.
- Customers can get a full refund if the item you receive is significantly different from the seller's description. Customers also have the option of keeping the item and receiving a partial refund.
- You can return any product for any reason even if the item was received in perfect condition.
- You can make a refund request within 15 days after the order has been completed.
- If the customer is not able to resolve an issue, you can escalate the dispute to AliExpress and they will mediate a resolution.
AliExpress Customer Ratings
AliExpress has the following current customer ratings:
- SiteJabber.com – 2 out of 5 stars, with 2,029 customer reviews
- ResellerRatings.com – 1.15 out of 10 stars, with 698 reviews
- TrustPilot.com – 5.6 out of 10 with 3,820 reviews
AliExpress Pros and Cons
AliExpress is great for looking for name brand and Chinese brand name products at discounted prices. They sell about everything you can imagine and their webpage makes it easy to search for products.
The main customer complaint is trying to get a refund and that AliExpress usually sides with the customer. You can have a better buying experience if you check the sellers ratings before buying.
DHgate was founded in 2004 by Diane Wang, who is the current CEO of the company. DHgate is similar to AliExpress in that they are a company that sells products made by mainly small and medium sized Chinese manufacturers. They carry about 40 million product listings. They enable the small and medium size companies to sell to customer worldwide at good prices while still making a decent profit.
DHgate Products and Featured Brands
DHgate has an amazing array of products from the every day type of products to Peruvian human hair weaves. Their main list of categories and featured brands includes:
- Electronics: Kit Box, Bluedio, Coolux, Memohi, and MyVision
- Cell Phones and Accessories: Meizu, Lenovo, HomTom, Doogee, and Xiaomi
- Health and Beauty: Dr. Pen, Azure, Lanbena, QYANF, Canni
- Babies, Kids, and Mom: Pettigirl, Everweekend, W. Rain, Muababy, and Artascope Kids
- Toys: Nerf, Play-Doh, Hasbro, Airwheel, and DJI
- Computers and Networking: Jun-Q, ONDA Technologies, TP-Link, and Mixza
- Security and Surveillance: HIK Vision, ZModo, SunEyes, ZOSI, and CHUANGO
- Weddings and Formal Events: Yasite, Babyonline, Sarahbridal, and Kiss Bridal
- Jewelry and Watches: Neoglory Jewelry, Xuping, Jewelry, Idealway, Vocheng, Shark Sport Watch, Belbi, MCE, and TwinCity
- Automobile and Motorcycle: Autel, Steel Mate Automotive, Caska, and Launch Tech
- Sports and Outdoors: UltraFire, Camel, Kelme, TrustFire, and iScooter
- Apparel: JSEO, Yiku Yiya, Tinderala, and HDY
- Home and Garden: GCS, Liectroux, Yiezi, bIgmUm, and Jinsong
- Lights and Lighting: Meerosee, Flos, Centuryled, Cxwonled, Shenzhen Sunway LED
- Hair and Styling: Vander, DragonHawk, SixPlus, and Veluyue
- Bags, Shoes and Accessories: Cartia, J.M.D, XPER, Maxcomet, Eyesjoy, Hodo, Aivni, and Cartinoe
Many of the companies listed are their own store webpage on DHgate that lists their products, prices, coupons and more.
DHgate customers can search for products by categories, subcategories, daily deals, new arrivals, brands, and 2-5 day shipping.
DHgate has pages of daily deals with discounts as much as 90%. Customers can click on the category to search quickly for their daily deals. The banner shows how much time is left for that daily deal. DHgate also has App only deals including app-only coupons, deals and a lucky draw contest.
DHgate Shipping Rates
DHgate has a long list of various shipping costs to each part of the world. They offer many different options for shipping depending on what part of the world you need it delivered to, with the best for shipping to the United States being UPS and FedEx. They do not offer any type of free shipping offer.
DHgate Refund Policies
DHgate has numerous pages that cover all instances of returns, refunds, and cancellations. Their refund help topics include:
- FAQs about the Dispute Process
- What should I do after I have reached an agreement with the seller?
- What should I do if the item is not received or not as described?
- Notice for Returning
- Quality Problem - Evidence for Return & Refund
- Item Not as Described
- Counterfeit Goods
- Quantity Shortage
- Requirements of Submitting Evidence to DHgate
- How do I get the shipping cost for the returned item(s) from the seller?
There is a different answer to each problem a customer might encounter.
DHgate Customer Ratings
DHgate has the following customer ratings:
- SiteJabber.com – 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 5,835 customer reviews
- ResellerRatings.com – 9.15 out of 10 stars, with 81,078 reviews
- TrustPilot.com – 9 out of 10 with 8,184 reviews
DHgate Pros and Cons
DHgate has as many products as AliExpress, everything you need. They have daily deals in all categories with discounts as much as 90% off the regular price, and they have app-only deals. They have good to excellent customer ratings.
DHgate does not have any free shipping offers. Their main customer complaint is trying to get a refund.
GearBest was founded in September 2013 and mainly carries electronics and products for all gadget lovers. Their headquarters are in Shenzen, China and they sell a large selection of electronics and gadgets.
GearBest carries a great selection of electronics and gadget products that customers can find in the following main categories:
- Cell phones
- Tablets and PCs
- Computers and Networking
- Apple Accessories
- Home and Garden
- Audio and Video
- Radio Control
- Car Electronics
- Electrical and Tools
- LED Lights and Flashlights
- Outdoors and Sports
- Mobile Accessories
Customers can search by category, subcategories, deals, new products, explore, her, and get it free products.
Their deals page has some great products with discounts as much as 93%. GearBest also has a 99 cent page with all kinds of products listed for 99 cents, $1.99, $2.99, $3.99, and $4.99. You can also get free products just by sharing their online store and products.
GearBest Product Brands
The most popular electronic and gadget brands at GearBest include:
- WL Toys
- Nine Eagles and many more popular brands
GearBest Shipping Policies
GearBest offers free shipping worldwide on all orders when using unregistered air mail. Most other shipping methods are free with orders of $40 and more. They also offer expedited methods of shipping via DHL and other carriers.
GearBest has the following return and warranty policies:
- GearBest has a 45-day return policy if the product is faulty, but customers will have to pay return shipping. Customers will receive a refund within 45 days of receiving the product.
- Only faulty products can be returned for a refund.
- Unless otherwise noted on the product’s page, the product’s warranty is 1-year from the date of purchase. Within 1-year customers can return a product for free repair. The customer will pay for shipping the item back and GearBest will pay shipping the repaired product back.
GearBest Pros and Cons
GearBest focuses mainly on electronic and gadget products. Their online store has deals with discounts of up to 93% plus a 99 cent page and they offer free products if you share on social media.
The main complaint customers have is about the free shipping offer. When customers expect the free shipping, they are then told it cannot be shipped free. Another area of concern is trying to get a refund for a faulty product and time delays when dealing with customer service.
GearBest Customer Ratings
GearBest has the following customer ratings:
- SiteJabber.com – 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 3,201 customer reviews
- ResellerRatings.com – 8.93 out of 10 stars, with 9,592 reviews
- TrustPilot.com – 7.5 out of 10 with 8,952 reviews
Chinese Online Retail Stores Price Comparison
Given the millions of products each of these stores sell, some prices are higher or lower at each store, depending on the product, the seller, and the quantity you buy. For many of these products, there are discounted prices the more you buy. The following prices are for a quantity of 1.
Garmin Edge 200 GPS - Enabled Bike bicycle computer speedometer
- AliExpress - $57.60
- DHgate - $80.00
- GearBest - $59.99
Original Xiaomi Redmi 4X Smartphone, 2GB RAM 16GB ROM Snapdragon
- AliExpress - $105.70
- DHgate - $145.83
- GearBest - $136.97 with free shipping to the U.S.
Onda OBook 20 plus Tablet PC - Windows 10 + Android 5.1
- AliExpress - $161.99
- DHgate - $165.15
- GearBest - $170.18