San Francisco – SquareTrade, the disruptive extended service provider, is lending its services to Chinese e-commerce portal DHgate.
Under the agreement, SquareTrade will offer protection plans and repair services for cell phones, tablets, computers, personal media players, home A/V and other CE products purchased through the global e-commerce platform.
Ten-year-old DHgate provides an online conduit for factory-direct sales to U.S. consumers and dealers from Chinese manufacturers. The partnership with SquareTrade could quell any customer concerns over purchasing what is often unbranded product from unfamiliar sources overseas.
“This is just the next step in making direct-import products as safe and easy as buying from domestic sources,” said DHGate COO and CE industry veteran Noah Herschman.
DHGate founder/CEO Diane Wang, who previously founded Amazon China forerunner Joyo.com, said the deal will also allow sellers to “reduce their service costs and increase their transaction volume.”
Under the agreement, SquareTrade will offer customers free return shipping for defective portable products; five-day turnaround for repairs; and reimbursement for items that can’t be fixed.
Service agreements can be purchased during checkout and become effective upon receipt of the product.
Raj Kapoor, SquareTrade’s senior VP North America, described China as an increasingly important market for the extended warranty company, and said the partnership “enables us to develop strong relationships with China suppliers and better understand their needs.”
Kapoor also cited DHgate’s “excellent track record for customer service, which aligns with SquareTrade’s core value of putting customers first.”
DHgate is the first Chinese e-commerce company to offer SquareTrade, the partners said.
In its first decade DHGate has amassed a customer base of 5.5 million buyers in more than 200 countries and 1.2 million sellers across 33 China provinces.
The U.S. is the company’s top market in sales and customer base, with organic growth accounting for 50 percent of total merchandise sales, it said. Top categories include cell phones and accessories, CE, computers and networking.
SquareTrade, based here, launched in 1999 as a direct-to-consumer seller of post-purchase CE protection plans, and became a disruptive force within the extended service industry with its low-cost coverage and high customer service ratings.
The company, led by president/CEO Steve Abernethy, has since forged retail partnerships with Abt Electronics, Amazon.com, B&H Photo, Costco, eBay, QVC, Staples and Sam’s Club, among other retailers and e-tailers. It teamed with repair chain uBreakiFix in March to launch a network of local repair locations in the largest cities in the U.S.