Launched in September 2022, Temu has become the most popular free shopping app in both the Play Store and App Store, even surpassing Amazon, Shein, and Walmart. Being a Chinese-owned e-commerce platform, the massive popularity of Temu and its extremely cheap products alarm individual buyers and U.S. authorities with some suspiciousness. So, let’s dive deep into the Temu marketplace and see its reliability against its popularity.
Temu – A Quick Overview
Temu is an online mega-shopping store like Amazon that sells almost all imaginable products, such as clothes, watches, kitchen appliances, office accessories, beauty items, toys, etc.
The best thing about Temu that is attracting millions of users is its extremely low-cost products. You can easily find plenty of valuable items under the $1-3 range, such as a $1 ring, $1.5 garlic presser, $2 watch, etc. On top of that, it provides many deals, discounts, and coupons that attract users to make purchases. Compared to AliExpress, Shein, or other similar marketplaces, Temu is making its name for its extensive product categories and low-cost products.
Who Owns Temu?
PDD Holdings is the parent company of Temu. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, PDD Holdings is a multinational commerce group that owns Temu and its sister company, Pinduoduo.
Back in February 2023, Pinduoduo Inc. changed its name to PDD Holdings through a special resolution. During the same period, it shifted its executive office to Dublin, Ireland, which was previously in Shanghai, China. So, we don’t know exactly what is the exact origin of Temu. Despite being a Chinese-owned company, it is headquartered in Dublin due to low corporate tax rates.
Is Temu Legitimate?
Yes, Temu is legitimate. The products it sells are real, and most users in the U.S. get them within a 10-day shipping time. Until now, Temu is not accredited by the BBB (Better Business Bureau), whose accreditation is valuable to building trust and a clear sense of legitimacy. One possible reason is that BBB accreditation comes with a fee, which Temu might not have considered so far.
Overall, Temu is legitimate, like Amazon, Shein, and other platforms. Some buyers love the low-cost products they receive through Temu, while others are frustrated by low-quality products or delayed shipments.
Temu is offering credits to users when orders arrive late. For standard shipping, users can get $5 for packages that arrive late, while $13 for packages with express shipping. This further reflects the legitimacy of Temu.
Why are Temu Products So Cheap?
One of the main reasons behind Temu’s popularity is its extremely low-cost products. There are thousands of products under the $1-10 range. Temu says the reason behind its cheap products is that it links suppliers with customers directly and handles the shipment itself.
Another reason is the smart use of the “de minimis” loophole, which allows companies to import under $800 valued products to the US without paying taxes, fees, duties, or thorough inspection. So, Temu is using de minimis provision to keep the price of its listed products cheaper.
User Reviews After Temu Purchase
In terms of negative reviews, users have complained about the following:
- Lost packages
- Late deliveries
- Low-quality products
- Damaged products
- Unmatched promotional and actual prices
- Poor customer service
In short, different users have experienced different issues with Temu. On the other hand, there are positive reviews as well, appreciating Temu’s:
- On-time deliveries
- Quality products
- Low-cost products
- Supportive return policy
Overall, Temu has its pros and cons, but users are claiming that the service is getting better and better. So, there will be times when you get the best service experience with Temu, while there will be times when you may face occasional inconveniences.
What Data Does Temu Collect?
Just like any other e-commerce platform, the data Temu collects can include:
- Phone number
- Social media profile
- Payment details
- Search History
- Operating system
- IP address
- GPS location (if enabled)
All these data sets are used to learn more about you and provide you with customized experiences when you visit the site. Recently, Grizzly’s research claims that Temu is collecting user data, such as bank info and text messages. Besides that, US authorities and many individuals are afraid of data misuse due to being a Chinese-owned company.
Why Does Temu Look Controversial?
Low-quality products, late shipment, and poor customer service are some reasons to doubt the credibility of Temu, but these are not enough to make it controversial. The cause of Temu’s controversiality rose due to its sister site, Pinduoduo, an e-commerce platform running in China.
Google suspended Pinduoduo for containing malware. The malware allowed the Pinduoduo app to monitor user activities on other apps, read messages, check notifications, etc. Owing to that, the US authorities accuse Temu of the same crime.
However, analysts are less worried about Temu, as it does not ask for the privileges Pinduoduo asks for. Besides that, Pinduoduo targeted Chinese users, not US users.
Another concern with Temu is the potential for forced labor. US lawmakers warned users about the high chances of forced labor behind the supply chain of Temu.
One thing to note here is that Temu’s controversiality has nothing to do with the products it offers to buyers. So, it is evident that Temu is not a fraudulent site and offers legitimate products for buyers to buy.
Wrapping Up – Should We Buy from Temu?
Temu has taken the US e-commerce market by storm, rising to new heights every passing month. From all the above discussion, we can conclude that we can use Temu to buy products. However, we should not get trapped by fake reviews and carefully pick the products after proper analysis. The best strategy would be to test Temu for a few low-cost products first and then purchase costly products accordingly.