Ecommerce platform
Temu is gaining market share at a rapid pace. Voice Box

The Chinese e-commerce platform, owned and operated by PDD Holdings, continues its meteoric rise in the US and beyond, with 41.34 million app downloads in March 2024. The platform dominated the ad space in this year's Super Bowl and is consistently leading app store charts.

What is Temu Like?

You can buy almost anything you can imagine for the cheapest prices with a 90-day free return option. Their products generally cost up to $50 and are manufactured in China. You can explore home supplies, car accessories, electronic appliances, shoes, apparel, cell phones, pet supplies, gardening, and books, among other products.

However, you may need help finding products like smartphones from top brands. Many listings are directly sourced from local brands.

The app and the website are light, lag-free, and easy to navigate for new users. You can find products based on categories or look at their diverse picks. While the checkout process and product descriptions are similar to any leading e-commerce site, you can pay bi-weekly instalments for products as cheap as a bottle opener. They facilitate that through collaboration with several financing partners.

Delivery Times and Protections

The minimum order cart value is $10; shipments generally arrive ten days after placing the order. There have been concerns about delayed orders. However, you remain protected under Temu's late delivery compensation policy, where the platform will refund you credits within 48 hours in the same currency used for the transaction.

What do Customers Say?

Temu is a legitimate e-commerce business that deploys standard encryption protocols as security measures. Despite that and the cheap, handy products, first-time users might wonder about the safety of their data, product quality, and overall delivery service before placing their first orders. The platform faces several regulatory challenges regarding data handling practices and consumer concerns.

Despite topping app charts for months, customer complaints continue to mount. Temu is rated 3.2-star on Trustpilot based on 15,902 reviews. Many were concerned with the scope of fraud, poor quality, delayed deliveries, and the requirement to share more details than required.

Regulatory Landscape Tightens For Temu

In April 2023, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission alleged that Chinese "fast fashion" platforms, including Temu, pose risks to user data, product safety, and sourcing relationships. They were also accused of using trading loopholes.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) received over 2,000 complaints against Temu. Hence, it didn't accredit the e-commerce platform and, in turn, assigned a "C" rating. Temu also faces stricter content rules in the EU for reaching 75 million European users a month.

In February, the German retail federation Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) urged politicians to enforce stricter rules against Temu by bolstering customs and digital tracking of all shipments.

Just last week, the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, representing German consumer organizations, pointed out multiple violations by Temu and accused it of unfair trading practices. In response, a company spokesperson reportedly said: "We carefully assess all price information provided by our sellers to ensure accuracy and transparency for our customers."

Should You Buy From Temu?

There are many good product reviews on Temu as well. Additionally, features like a fast sign-up process, diverse products, easy payment options, and transparent pricing drive its rapid sales and expansion in more developed nations.

The company is also geared towards sustainability and has funded planting nearly seven million trees across sub-Saharan Africa through a partnership with Trees For The Future.

However, the level of information users are required to share may also hinder their confidence. The lack of a promise to deliver top-quality products must also be clarified. Someone who wants to try out the platform can look for cheap products for short-term use as the new company works to build a track record around customer service and product durability.