DHgate for Beginners: A Guide to Navigating Your First Online Shopping Experience

DHgate is all the rage on TikTok and Instagram. As a popular online marketplace that connects buyers from around the world with manufacturers and suppliers, it's a great place to find a wide variety of products at affordable prices. However, navigating the site can be overwhelming for first-time users. Are you new to the world of The Gate? Well, you've come to the right place! Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started with DHgate and make the most of your shopping experience.

Create an account and download the app

The first step to using DHgate is to create an account. This will allow you to browse products, mark items as your favourite, make purchases, and leave reviews. While you can use your browser to navigate the site, I recommend downloading the DHgate app. The app makes it easy to track your purchases and send messages to sellers.

Click here to download the app

Search for products and review the listing thoroughly 

Once you've created an account, you can start searching for products. You can either browse the categories or use the search bar to look for specific products. 

However, the most likely way you'll find items is by following creators on TikTok or Instagram who post content of products they purchase or receive from sellers and then share the links to those items. In my case, I post unboxing and review videos on my TikTok account and have a link in my bio to the Shop my Finds page on this blog. When you find an item you're interested in, click on the "click to shop" link to bring up the item listing. I suggest clicking the three dots in the top right corner and select "open in browser" to see the item listing in the native app instead of the TikTok browser.

Once you get to the listing, you'll be able to browse photos, see how many transactions have been made for the item, the star rating, the price, and the shipping cost. Once you click to select the option, you'll be able to select the colour, the sizing, and any other options available for the item.

When it comes to sizing for shoes, I recommend not going by your "traditional" shoe size (in my case, that varies between a US size 7.5 and 8). Instead, measure your foot by tracing your foot on a piece of paper to get the true measurement. Most sellers will list that measurement in centimeters, along with their corresponding size. In my case, my foot length is around 24.3 centimeters so I always go with that, which most sellers list as a US size 8/European 39. When in doubt, purchase a size bigger so you can insert an insole or heel cushion!

Also make sure you thoroughly review the product descriptions, reviews, and ratings before making a purchase.

Read reviews and contact the seller

The most important thing that I live by is reviews. Not just on DHgate but for every online marketplace or storeAmazon, Etsy, H&M, Shein, etc.

Don't just look at the five stars reviews! Look at the four star, three star, two star, and especially the one star reviews. I tend to give most sellers a bit of grace with certain negative reviews, like shipping or sizing complaints, because in most cases that is out of the sellers control. But some negative reviews are valid and should be considered before you make your purchase. The other thing to remember is that sometimes, as is the case with every item produced and sold on every online marketplace or store, there are duds in the production run. Therefore, look at the ratio of negative to positive reviews. If the listing has 10 negative reviews to 300 positive reviews, you can feel more confident that the majority of purchasers have had a good interaction with the seller and were satisfied with their purchase.

When you're browsing the five star reviews, make sure that there aren't duplicates. Sometimes you'll click on an item and it has 10 five star reviews and they're all the same review... which isn't very helpful! Additionally, make sure that the reviews are for the actual item that you're interested in purchasing. I've found many listings where the reviews do not match the item for sale (meaning they most likely replaced the listing with a newer item instead of creating a new listing).

The best types of reviews are reviews containing user-submitted photos. Those reviews will provide a really good guarantee of what the product is going to look like when you actually receive it.

The other important thing to look at is the seller's store, specifically how many transactions they have made and their positive feedback rate. If it's a brand new seller, they won't really have a track record that you can feel confident about. But more established sellers will have many transactions (hundreds or thousands) and should have a good feedback rate. I usually don't purchase any items from sellers below a 95% positive feedback rate.

Before making a purchase, it's a good idea to contact the seller and ask any questions you may have about the item. You can do this by clicking on the "contact seller" button on the product page. It's important to communicate clearly with the seller to ensure that you're getting the product you want and that it will meet your expectations. They will sometimes provide additional pictures not featured in the listing.

Check the shipping and delivery details

When making a purchase on DHgate, it's important to check the shipping and delivery details. Some sellers offer free shipping, while others charge a fee. It's also important to check the estimated delivery time and whether the seller provides tracking information. This will help you plan your purchase and ensure that you receive your products on time. Keep in mind there are always delays, whether that's due to the courier or because of the customs clearance process. I've had items sit for over a month in customs before being released... so don't be surprised by delays.

For my fellow Canadians, we know that shipping usually sucks for us, especially with regards to cost. That's just a reality of living in the Great White North. I always select the ePacket shipping option. Knock on wood, I haven't had any additional duties or fees. The tradeoff is that the shipping time is typically lengthy.

Leave a review

After you've received your products, it's important to leave a review so you can help other shoppers make informed decisions about the item and the seller! Be honest and detailed in your review and include any photos or videos, if possible.


Overall, DHgate is a great place to find affordable products from manufacturers and suppliers. By following these tips and tricks, you can navigate the site with ease and make the most of your shopping experience. Happy shopping!

Looking for items I've reviewed? Click here to review my DHgate finds!  

Want to become a DHgate affiliate too? Click here to register!