Temu is a low-cost online marketplace that has generated a lot of attention since launching in the US in September 2022. But is Temu a reliable platform for online shopping?
As with any online marketplace, there are potential risks to be aware of, such as slow shipping times, poor customer service, and issues with product quality.
In this Temu review, I’ll explore the pros and cons of shopping on Temu, explain how to place and cancel orders, and initiate returns.
I’ll also explain whether Temu is a safe and legitimate online shopping platform.
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What Is Temu?
Temu is a US-based online marketplace that offers low prices on thousands of products shipped directly from China. The company is a subsidiary of PDD Holdings, a Chinese company.
Since their launch, Temu has been making headlines in the ecommerce world, partly due to a Super Bowl ad that led to a sharp increase in app downloads.
Temu provides access to a wide range of affordable products that are made in China. And because products are shipped directly from China, Chinese vendors avoid the expense of storing inventory in the US, resulting in lower prices for customers.
Overall, Temu is a direct competitor to AliExpress, offering extremely low prices for cheap items made in China.
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Is Temu Legit?
Temu is a legitimate online marketplace that is owned by Pinduoduo, a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Temu currently has a rating of 3/5 on Trustpilot and 3.7/5 on Sitejabber. And if you look closely at their customer reviews, you’ll notice a significant number of complaints from users about late delivery, incorrect sizing, and counterfeit items.
To limit your chances of a negative experience with Temu, stick to internationally known Chinese brands such as Lenovo, Huawei, and Xiaomi.
While Temu is a legitimate ecommerce platform, always use caution and read product reviews before purchasing.
Is It Safe To Buy From Temu?
Buying from Temu is 100% safe because the company offers a purchase protection program that protects buyers in case of damaged goods or fraud.
The Temu Purchase Protection Program covers items that don’t match the listing description, items that arrive damaged, and items that are lost in the mail.
Here’s how the program works:
- You initiate a return by selecting the item(s) you would like to return on the “Your orders” page, then click the “Return/other help” button.
- After selecting the return method and indicating your reason for the return, print the return label and ship the package via USPS or UPS.
- If your order is eligible for the Temu Purchase Protection Program, you’ll be refunded for your item(s).
In addition to the purchase protection program, Temu also provides an estimated processing and shipping time. And once your order is shipped, you’ll receive a tracking number.
What Is Temu’s Return Policy?
Temu’s return policy allows you to return eligible items within 90 days from the date of purchase, but you must return the item within 14 days of submitting your return request to qualify for a refund.
Temu’s return window is notably longer than competitors like AliExpress, Shein, and Wish. They even offer free return shipping labels for your first return within the 90-day window.
You can return additional items from the same order as long as the 90-day window has not expired, but there is a $7.99 shipping fee, which is deducted from your refund.
Temu processes refunds within 3 working days after receiving the return package from the customer.
Refund amounts, which are applied to the customer’s account, can take 7 to 30 business days, depending on the payment method. For example, credit card payments can take up to 18 business days.
If you choose “Temu credit balance” as your refund method, you should receive the refund amount within a few minutes.
Does Temu Offer Free Shipping?
Temu offers free standard shipping for orders exceeding $20. But as part of a special promotion for 2023, standard shipping is 100% free for most items.
If you need your order sooner, you can choose Express shipping, which is free for orders above $129.00 USD, or $12.90 USD for orders below that amount.
How Long Does Temu Shipping Take?
Standard shipping usually takes 7 to 15 business days to arrive. Meanwhile, express shipping usually takes less than 7 days for delivery.
Once your order has been confirmed, you will see the estimated delivery time and shipping cost on your order confirmation page.
The warehouse can take 1 to 3 days to process your order, and you will receive a message once your order has been shipped.
What Payment Methods Does Temu Accept?
Temu accepts payments from all of the major credit cards and other well-known providers, such as Apple Pay, Klarna, and PayPal.
Here’s the list of international payment methods you can use for your Temu orders:
- American Express
- Apple Pay
- Cash App Pay
- Diners Club
- Google Pay
- Maestro Card
How To Cancel A Temu Order
It’s easy to cancel a Temu order as long as it hasn’t been packed yet. Here are the steps to follow to cancel your order:
- Sign in to your account and click on your user avatar in the top right corner of the screen.
- Select “Your orders” from the left menu panel.
- Find the order under “All Orders” and select “Cancel/Other help.”
- Follow the instructions on the screen and click “I want to cancel item(s).”
- Select “All” at the top of the product list.
- Scroll to the bottom and click “Cancel checked items.”
You will receive a refund confirmation in your inbox immediately after you cancel an order.
If your order has already been packed, you won’t be able to cancel it. However, almost all items are returnable within 90 days of purchase. Once you receive your order, you can request a refund.
How To Get Free Products From Temu
To receive free products on Temu, you must refer others to sign up for the Temu app. The more referrals you make, the more credit you earn that can be applied to free items.
Temu’s referral program has allowed the app to spread quickly because influencers and users promote the app to get free stuff.
In other words, Temu has been purposely losing money in order to gain marketshare.
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Where Is Temu Located?
Temu is based in Boston, Massachusetts and is incorporated in Delaware. However, its parent company Pinduoduo is based in Shanghai, China.
Temu is essentially the sister shopping platform to Pinduoduo that serves the United States and is a Chinese owned company.
Pros Of Buying From Temu
- Cheap pricing: Temu offers affordable pricing on a wide range of products, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious shoppers.
- Easy to navigate: The Temu.com website has intuitive filters and search options to help you find what you need quickly.
- Free shipping: Temu offers free shipping on almost all products, saving you even more money.
- Easy returns: The return process is hassle-free and straightforward.
- Free return shipping: Temu offers free shipping on your first return for every order within 90 days of purchase.
- Extensive catalog: Temu has millions of product listings across 29 categories and 250 subcategories.
- Promotional offers: Temu offers significant discounts and promotions. Right now, they’re running a “free shipping” promotion on all orders of any amount.
Cons Of Buying From Temu
- Slow shipping time: Customers have reported that their orders took a month to arrive. The average shipping time is 7 to 14 days on Temu.
- Slow customer service: Temu’s customer support has a bad rep for slow response times or unhelpful representatives.
- Not enough protective packaging: A few customers have reported receiving items that were damaged during shipping due to inadequate protective packaging.
- Slow refunds: Temu initiates a refund only after they receive the return order, which can take anywhere between a week to a month. After that, it takes 7 to 30 days for the refund to be processed, depending on your payment method.
Should You Buy From Temu?
Temu is a great option for individuals looking to buy goods directly from China suppliers.
However, if you are looking for products to sell on your online store, consider more reliable brands and marketplaces such as Alibaba, AliExpress, 1688, Chinabrands, and Made-in-China.
Unlike Alibaba, Temu doesn’t have wholesale suppliers that provide additional discounts for larger quantities. In addition, Temu may not be the best option if you’re looking for specialized or hard-to-find items, as their catalog focuses more on general products.
That said, if you are looking for a diverse range of affordable items and don’t mind slightly longer shipping times, Temu can be a great option for you.
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Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com.
His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and MSNBC.
He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.
In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts.
To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.
Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses.