Is Temu legit? A complete review and must-knows before buying. You probably saw advertising Temu everywhere, and makes you wonder how trustworthy this website and app is!? To clear all your doubts and help to come to a conclusion, I’ve put together a detailed review of the pros and cons of using the Temu website and app and what exactly you should expect when deciding to explore this marketplace.
Online shopping is not a novelty anymore. Platforms like Temu are probably the hallmarks of the eCommerce culture that shapes the consumerism culture of the 21st century. Most of us are already pretty savvy at finding the best deals, comparing prices, and researching brands and marketplaces. But when it comes to sites like Temu, even the most seasoned online shoppers may get confused. How come it is so cheap?
There is a chance that by now you have learned the hard way that if some deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. But today, Temu seems to be the same (if not more) recognizable as such moguls of online shopping as Shein, Asos, or Next.
Its commercial is heavily rotated on every social media platform; Temu products appear at the top of the search results on Google, and some of the trendiest influencers with enormous followings have already made at least one Temu haul video in the past year. In other words, it simply cannot be a scam, right?
Is Temu legit? A complete review and must-knows before buying
Recently, Temu has also been heavily advertised as an opportunity to earn and even build your own profitable online business and live on passive income, leaving your dead-end job at a dusty office behind.
So, are you missing out on some great opportunities by not shopping with Temu? Do all those brands just rip us off while Temu seems to offer the same products at times cheaper? Or is it all just a huge market of junk, knockoffs, and empty promises? Let`s find out together!
What is temu and is legit?
To answer this initial question, we must dwell on the nature of modern online shopping and its mechanisms. Technically, today, there are two types of online shops: eCommerce platforms and marketplaces. The difference between them can be compared to shopping at a brand boutique vs. going to Target.
In other words, if you want to sell something online, you have two choices. You can build your brand, its image, and its concept, create a social media profile, and create a website with an online store, which will be the main sales point for whatever you have to offer the world.
Another option is to join an online marketplace—a platform or app that will showcase your products to prospective shoppers and take care of all the logistics, taking a percentage from every deal you make through them.
And since the competition in the online retail industry is enormous today, making it very hard for small businesses to stand out and make ends meet after having to take care of branding, marketing, delivery, and other crucial processes themselves, many choose marketplaces. Etsy, eBay, and Amazon are all examples of marketplaces. So is Temu.
While many people don`t really see the difference between these two models, the main idea is that a marketplace is not a brand; it does not manufacture or own the products that you buy from it. It just displays millions of products from millions of sellers who have joined it.
And while buying from Shein, Skims, or Vivaia, you know more or less what to expect if you are familiar with the brand. Shopping at marketplaces always has an element of lottery in it, as you never know who exactly you are buying from.
Yes, all marketplaces, including Temu, claim that all sellers have to undergo a strict selection process, prove the quality of their products, and align with the platform`s demands to guarantee customers` satisfaction. But let`s be honest: Do we really believe that a huge international corporation takes time to check every scrunchie and iPhone case that is sold through its online platform?
Temu is not just a popular marketplace today. In 2022, Temu became the most downloaded app in the United States and the most popular shopping platform, which seems to be leaving moguls like eBay and even Amazon far behind.
In just one year, videos, reviews, and straight commercials for Temy have spread all over every imaginable social media site like wildfire. And it seems like everyone has already bought at least something from this insanely popular marketplace.
Experts from the most reputable media and analytics platforms are speculating on the phenomenon of Temu. Some say that its insane popularity is explained by the convenience of being able to buy an air fryer, a cute outfit, and a hamster cage in one place. Others may be slightly less optimistic and suggest that the popularity of marketplaces like Temu is the only natural response to what is already being called “the highest inflation in a generation.
Now that we understand the idea of Temu let`s see how this marketplace actually works, where the products come from, and who gets your money at the end of the day.
Is Temu a Chinese marketplace?
Yes and no. Like many other online retailers that became popular in the United States and Europe in the past several years, Temy adopted a strategy that allowed it to gain credibility among those who were reluctant to buy Chinese products.
Here, we have to note that there is nothing wrong with buying products made in China. There are lots of Chinese brands and companies that correspond to the highest modern quality and sustainability standards. However, the stigmatization of Chinese products is entirely understandable as well.
Who is the owner of Temu, and where is the company located?
Temu states that it is a US-based company with headquarters in Boston. However, this is not entirely true. In fact, Temu is not an independent brand but a business owned and operated by the Chinese-based and Cayman Islands-registered company PDD Holdings. PDD Holdings is a multinational commerce group that generated RMB 2.44 trillion in gross merchandise value. It is also a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Another company owned by PDD Holdings is Pinduoduo Inc., which is an international online retailer with an initial focus on the traditional agriculture industry and headquartered in China.
Is temu legitimate?
So, here we can answer our main question: Temu is as legitimate as it gets. It is not a fishing website that will steal your credit card information. In other words, the reviews that claim that Temu scammed people who bought from them mainly result from the marketplace`s business model and sometimes unethical advertising (which we will discuss later). In other words, the company does not really know what it sells. And, to be honest, it does not seem to care.
When it comes to the initial question of why the prices are so low, Temu usually answers with the standard statement that you can find on its website as well: a deep network of merchants, logistic partners, and an established ecosystem built over the years.
It is worth mentioning that Temu was founded in July 2022 and harshly denies affiliation with PDD Holdings. What kind of “ecosystem built over the years” are we talking about exactly?
What does Temu sell?
Fairly speaking, it would be easier to answer what Temu does not sell. Here you can find everything from a 5-pair pack of socks to a vacuum cleaner—all at an affordable price range.
Temu does not hesitate to go into a pretty gray market segment. For example, here, you can also find brass knuckles, stun guns, and other products that are not legal or have some serious restrictions in many states.
One of Temu`s main and fairly unethical marketing strategies is the sales pitch, “Shop like a billionaire! The idea is that by visiting the Temu website, you can buy whatever you want without looking at the prices. Not only does such an approach encourage unhealthy overconsumption, but after studying reviews, you realize that most items from your “haul” are likely to go straight into the garbage bin. So, it is just like taking several bucks out of your wallet and throwing them directly into the garbage.
Let`s be fair: no matter how developed your supply chain is, no marketplace or seller will work without a profit. So, if a pack of socks costs about a dollar, considering the materials, manufacturing costs, transportation, etc., you probably should not expect a high-quality product or want to know who, where, and how it was made.
In other words, please don’t fall for a catchy ad. This is not how billionaires shop. They would not be billionaires if they did.
Is Temu ethical?
Temu is not ethical. The products that you find at Temu are mass-produced in questionable environments, and being so cheap, there is usually child labor involved, at least, that’s what Reddit comments show. Ethical means individual products being created in-house, from start to finish, where there is actually proof of where the materials come from, with fair pay labor, and so on.
Does Temu sell knockoffs?
It is probably another thing that comes to mind when you see all those earphones, bags, and sneakers for a fraction of the price. Statistically, over 80% of the world’s counterfeits originate in China. That is why it is only natural that you suggest that the $20 Balenciaga sneakers you see on the Temu marketplace are fake.
But today, sellers are much smarter. Understanding that selling fake products and violating intellectual property (IP) regulations is a crime in the United States, the “Boston-based” company secures itself by selling “inspired” designs or products that happen to look exactly like the world`s famous earphones or lip balms but actually come from independent Chinese brands.
I would like to mention that the names of those brands are usually some random words or even unreadable combinations like “WNLP`s”, and you will never find any information about them anywhere.
Another notorious trend in Temu was previously noticed among other popular Chinese retailers, especially Chein. Here and there appear videos and posts made by small businesses and independent designers who claim that they see their products (or, to be precise, cheap copies of their products) sold in Temu without their permission or any agreement between the original designer and the multibillion-dollar marketplace. In many cases, Temu even showcases pictures stolen directly from those designers` social media profiles.
The bottom line is that there are many generic and even original products on Temu, but the marketplace carries a fair amount of fake items as well. Even if your favorite YouTuber tells you that the factory price of your favorite leggings or hair product is about $5, don`t expect to buy an original product for that price from Temu because “everything is made in China anyway.”
Temu Shipment, Delivery, and reviews: Here is the catch!
If you browse reviews about Temu before placing an order, you will probably stumble upon many posts saying that their packages have never arrived. Some claim to have placed orders for as much as $300+ and never received anything. Although the company would never admit it, some journalists and bloggers who investigated why this issue is particularly common for Temu shopping developed an interesting theory.
When you visit the Temu website for the very first time or open the app, you may instantly get overwhelmed with how much is going on on the front page.
At Temu app, there are all sorts of flashy banners announcing 90% discounts, wheels of fortune that promise you a chance to win free gifts, express shipping and other bonuses, and much more. The whole website looks more like a smartphone game, where you constantly collect coins, go from one level to another, and miraculously win some prizes even though you never participated in any contest.
Of course, it is done to keep you on the marketplace as long as possible and, in the meantime, show you tons of products you didn`t even know you wanted before you saw them. But there is another catch that seems to lie under those layers of free gifts and benefits.
Temu instantly claims that shipping will take longer than most US customers are used to. Although the company insists on being US-based, it admits that all products are coming from “overseas warehouses,” i.e., China.
However, the marketplace offers a “Temu Purchase Protection Program,” which promises refunds for all the products that either never arrive or arrive damaged. Moreover, an additional bonus is guaranteed if your purchase is not shipped 15 days after you made the order.
But, as you probably guessed, there is a catch. First of all, most disappointed customers claim that they never saw any refunds. Those who did receive some compensation claim that it was much smaller than the money they had spent initially. The company explained it in terms of logistics costs and other expenses, which are apparently non-refundable.
However, the most common case is the notorious “store credit policy. It means that even if the marketplace agrees that you need to be fully refunded as you have never received your package or the goods were badly damaged, you do not get your actual money back but get a store balance, which you can spend on Temu once again. More about Temu’s return policy can be found in this post.
Considering how often it happens, there is a theory that the marketplace may be showcasing non-existent products on purpose, making people transfer their money to them and then keep it anyway, encouraging you to buy some cheap junk instead of the one that did not arrive before.
There is no evidence of this practice in Temu or any other online marketplace, but since the word is on the street, it is worth mentioning.
So is Temu a scam?
Temu is not a scam per se. But there are situations where people ordered products from Temu and never received anything. Others claim that after buying something cheap from Temu, not long afterward, their credit card was charged a few hundred, and some had to contact their bank and cancel the card altogether. When you hear stories like these, a red flag will instantly flash in your head, and it makes you stay away from Temu.
To back up these stories, continue reading to hear my personal experience with the Temu App and how they conning people to download and steal their personal information.
The main issues with Temu shopping and how to avoid them
At this point, you have probably understood what Temu is all about and what you should or should not expect from the shopping experience at this marketplace.
However, if you still want to see what all the hype is about and make an order from Temu today, here is a list of the most common issues people claim to face with Temu and some tips on how to avoid them or at least minimize the risk of disappointment.
#1: Poor quality of goods
Most customers who leave negative reviews about Temu complain about the poor quality of the products. The materials are cheap, the items are poorly made, and they tend to fall apart after just one use or wash.
Solution: Lower your expectations.
Unfortunately, miracles still do not just happen, especially in retail. Nobody will produce or sell anything without a profit, and if an item costs ten times less in a marketplace than in your local mall, the reason for that is most probably poor quality, unethical manufacture, and sometimes even untested, uncertified, and dangerous materials and ingredients.
Yes, the cost of rent, marketing, personnel, and other factors do affect the price and make online shopping much more lucrative, but it does not mean that a pair of leggings that cost $90 at a brand`s store can cost $5 at a Chinese marketplace and be of the same quality.
Also, it is worth mentioning that the quality standards and regulations of consumer goods in China are very different from those in the United States or Europe. That is why your complaints may go unanswered simply because, according to local laws, all the goods are entirely legit.
#2: Slow shipping
People also often complain that they have to wait for their packages for months.
Solution: Be patient.
We are all a bit spoiled with Amazon`s overnight shipping. But let us remind you that although Temus is marketed as a US-based company, all the goods are shipped from China.
In fact, Temu does make an effort and tends to ship your very first order pretty fast to make a good impression. But if you decide to buy from this marketplace again, you should prepare to wait for a month or so like all other mere mortals.
#3: Items come damaged.
Another common complaint is that the items ordered from Temu products often come badly damaged or entirely broken.
Solution: Avoid ordering fragile items.
Your package has to travel a very long distance and pass through a number of warehouses and hands before reaching your local post office. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure the seller packs your products in bubble wrap. Therefore, we recommend you avoid ordering fragile items.
#4: The items look nothing like the picture.
It is one of the most common specific complaints about the quality of items purchased at Temu. The colors, sizes, and materials often don`t look like they do in the pictures on the Temu website.
Solution: Real-life reviews
We already mentioned that Temu sellers tend to simply steal images from the websites and social media profiles of the original brands and designers. That is why those pictures are hardly informative. To make sure that you will receive what you expect, make sure to study the reviews of other buyers before making the order. Avoid products that don`t have reviews with pictures.
#5: False reviews
Unfortunately, not all the reviews that you see on Temu come from real buyers. Sellers in this marketplace are particularly notorious for leaving positive feedback themselves or purchasing 5-star reviews from bots.
Solution: Take every word with a grain of salt.
If you see a bunch of copy-paste reviews or one rave 5-star review after a dozen disappointed comments, those are all huge red flags.
The bottom line is that when shopping at Temu, you should not expect miracles for a dime. Read the reviews carefully, avoid unrated products, and be patient while waiting for your package. Yes, it can be a good place to shop for small household items, some simple tools, or a squeaky ball for your pet, but it is definitely not the place where you can buy high-quality clothing, footwear, or gadgets.
Here is how you can earn on Temu
Above everything else, Temu is often advertised as an opportunity to generate passive income and potentially earn about $5000 per month. Like many other marketplaces, Temu offers an affiliate program to its customers. It means that you will supposedly receive a percentage of every purchase made through your referral link.
Is temu cash reward legit?
Temu advertises a particularly generous reward of up to 20% for referrals. All you need to do is register for the affiliate program and have over 1,000 followers on any social media platform.
Sounds good, right? Not really, if you do simple math:
- The promise of “up to 20%” means that for most of the products, you will receive much more modest compensation. In fact, the average reward within Temu`s affiliate program is 5–7%.
- Statistically, the average price of items in Temu is about $7.
- From an average purchase made through your affiliate link, you will get $0.42.
- It means that to earn the promised $ 5,000 per month, you need to convince 11,904 people to make a purchase using your affiliate links.
- Statistically, an average mass-market shop like H&M or Zara serves about 300 customers per day, which makes about 9000 people if the shop works full days all month without days off.
We don`t say that earning money from Temu`s affiliate program is impossible. We just want to suggest that, unless you have at least a couple hundred devoted followers willing to follow your advice, don`t rush to leave your day job just yet.
Does temu steal your information
If, after all you have read, you still wonder whether Tenu is safe to use and if is stealing your information, all you have to do is to go to your phone App Store and search Temu. Once there, just click on the app info and what information will be allowed to have access.
Is temu app legit?
To make it simple for you, I took a screenshot for you so you can see clearly how Temu will access all your sensitive data. From full name, address, phone number, FINANCIAL INFO, and browsing history, among many others, in other words, you simply hand over all your persona to this Chinese app. It is not the only app requesting all these information before downloading on your phone.
All social media apps and shopping apps are requesting these sensitive data in order to allow you to use it. You literally pay with your data. Once I downloaded Temu on my phone, a few days later my email started to be bombarded with all kinds of marketing messages from online stores I had never heard of. You see, personal information is very precious nowadays, and it can be sold to unscrupulous black hat marketing companies.
Oh, and the massive discount the Temu is bragging about is simply Fugassy. It doesn’t exist. I tried to buy a lovely rug, and I was hoping to use the 30% discount that they offer, but once you click on the product that you want to buy, the price is higher, and Temy notifies you that the discount has been applied which is in fact NO DISCOUNT AT ALL!!!!
I did a test with my other phone, which I don’t store much personal information, and still, I feel like Temu is misleading and cannot be trustworthy. If you don’t care much about your personal data, then go ahead and browse cheap Chinese items on Temu, which can be purchased on Aliexpress too, without downloading any app. But don’t get your hopes too high that you will score some great items for a few dollars.
Temu is indeed a unique phenomenon in the consumer culture of our time. Such marketplaces are probably one of the things our offspring will remember our generation for. When one economic and supply crisis follows another and we wake up in a new world “that will never be the same” every other year, merchants that offer miraculously low prices or unusually lucrative deals will flourish.
Some of us are tightening our belts and looking for ways to save as much money as possible. Others are looking for the comfort of being able to spoil themselves with another trinket without too much damage to the family budget. And, of course, no one wants to miss out on an opportunity to “make passive income.”
However, shopping with such marketplaces as Temu turns into a sort of addiction akin to gambling, and we all know that “the house always wins.”
Did you find this Temu review helpful? Have you found the answers to all your questions or are you still in doubt? If so, feel free to drop a comment below and let me know what else you want me to add to this page. Thanks, and please share this page on social media so others learn about this controversial marketplace!