I have made several purchases on Dhgate and have been fortunate on most of the transactions. I made approximately 7 transactions before I had an issue with seller godspeed. The terms of the sale were for DHL delivery. The seller initially uploaded an e-packet tracking number which is a slower service. I contacted the seller and stated that the terms were for DHL delivery service (typically 2-3 days delivery) and the seller changed the tracking number 2 days later to a DHL delivery tracking number. Days passed without any update to the original status "Shipping Information Received." This only means that DHL was notified by the seller of an intent to ship an item.
The item had a 5 day guarantee dispatch time (order placed 10 March, 2014), and after 4 days and repeated messages to the seller inquiring the status, the seller only replied with lies regarding the shipment status. The seller repeatedly stated they had shipped the item. That same tracking number to this day has had no status change.
I opened a dispute requesting refund on 18 March, 2014 with the refund request denied twice by the seller. I could not escalate the dispute for Dhgate mediation until 5 days after the dispute was opened. On 20 March, 2014 I received a package that contained my order but under a third tracking number. The tracking information shown that the item was never even shipped until 18 March, 2014 in the late evening. The dispute was opened early morning that same day. The seller had the opportunity to refund the purchase since they did not even ship the item at the time the dispute was opened.
I waited 14 days before escalating the case just before the 15 day automatic escalation before sending the evidence. I waited the full amount of time since the seller had no ethics in the transaction by not abiding by the dispatch guarantee and repeated lies, plus providing an invalid tracking number. This keeps the funds from being released to the seller keeping it tied up in a dispute process. I had uploaded more than enough substantial evidence to prove much wrongdoing on the part of the seller but the mediation supposedly found nothing to prove the case and released the funds to the seller on 7 April, 2014.
Per Dhgate policy, when a seller is proven to violate the dispatch guarantee, $20 is supposed to be credited to the buyer immediately as compensation, and the seller account charged the amount. If the situation involves the seller providing an invalid tracking number (both conditions were clearly proven) then $30 is supposed to be credited to the buyer, and the amount charged to the seller account. Even though both conditions were easily proven no compensation ever occurred. This shows how corrupt Dhgate resolution team is and their malice when they evaluate a case, supposedly in the buyer's defense ***
As others have stated, Dhgate goes to great links to protect the seller and not the buyer despite their own policies. Their policies are meaningless. If you dare to buy on their website, only spend what you are comfortable losing if anything goes wrong. Investigate each seller thoroughly before you purchase from them and read any feedback on the seller that is negative or neutral. These will tell you much about how that seller conducts business. Always anticipate a longer dispatch time than stated in the listing (even good sellers often do not ship on time). If there are problems with your items do not waste your time with the customer support options (some are not even functional and Dhgate will not fix them) because they will just further victimize you and achieve nothing but frustration.
PayPal used to be a means of payment on the Dhgate website. It is evident they ended their relationship probably due to too many disputes and having to repay the customers. You can still buy on their website using PayPal debit cards, or if you have a merchant account you can request a PayPal MasterCard debit card. These will offer you protections and you will be able to obtain a fair dispute process should something go wrong.
Depending on what you purchase will greatly affect whether you get scammed. Stay away from designer or brand name items, and never purchase "quality" electronics or tech items. These type items have an enormous potential for counterfeiting. Copyrights, Trademarks and logos are notoriously used illegally, and not prosecuted in China most of the time since most of these covert operations do payoffs of local officials to receive immunity. Do not expect Dhgate to uphold their own policies. They will only give you a lesson in aggravation.
Monetary Loss: $50.