Is Temu Legit? What You Need To Know

December 28, 2023 • Devin Partida


Temu is taking the world by storm. That said, while they quickly skyrocketed in popularity, they garnered quite a controversial reputation along the way.

The company attracts many prospects with its low prices but leaves them wondering about their legitimacy. Learn whether Temu is legit and if you should buy from them.

What Is Temu and How Does It Work?

Temu is a new online store that sells a bit of everything. They launched in July 2022 and quickly gathered the attention of many worldwide. Temu’s headquarters is based in Boston and is owned by the Chinese e-commerce company PDD Holdings Inc.

PDD owns another massive e-commerce store Pinduoduo — now also known as PDD Holdings since a recent SEC FORM 6-K filing. More about this later on.

Temu became so popular that it reached the number-one spot as the most downloaded app in the United States. It even surpassed giant mega stores such as Amazon and Walmart. This raises the question, why did it become so popular in such a short time frame?

Well, people were attracted to the incredibly cheap prices. Temu sells its products at a heavily discounted price and naturally, this piqued the interest of many people. You can find almost any product you can think of including drones, air fryers, necklaces, electronics and many more.

That said, due to the items selling so cheap, it made users wonder if the shopping site was truly legit. Temu works the same as any e-commerce site, you need to pick the products you want, pay for them and they will ship the items to you. According to the site, standard shipping takes anywhere from six to twenty days and express shipping four to nine days.

Is Temu Legit?

In short, yes, Temu is legit in the sense that you should receive the items you have ordered. That said, on Better Business Bureau — who have given Temu a 2.55 rating out of five — several shoppers have complained their items took longer than two weeks or did not arrive at all. In general, your items should show up at your door but you might encounter some hiccups.

However, if you experience certain difficulties such as the products don’t match the description, are damaged or simply do not show up, you can use Temu’s Purchase Protection Program. It allows you to get a full refund given that the order was purchased within 90 days.

Why Are Temu’s Products So Cheap and Are They Good Quality?

There are a few reasons why Temu can sell the items they list for so cheap. Well, the first one is that Temu acts as a middleman of sorts, They connect you directly to the suppliers and don’t really sell the items.

When you order something, you order it directly from the supplier and Temu is only in charge of shipping the product to you. This already allows for the items to be listed at incredibly low prices.

The second reason is the quality and type of items. The goods that Temu sells are as you would expect, cheaply made. Most of them are unbranded, especially electronic ones. In other words, they are knock-off items where many of them are cheaply made.

Not to say that they are necessarily bad, they are just of lower quality. The third explanation why the price looks so cheap is because it really is. According to a Wired post, Temu puts added pressure on the sellers to drop their prices as much as possible.

This translates to the suppliers receiving little to no profit. In the article, it is stated that with every order, Temu loses about $30.

They are doing this because Temu wants to bring in more American customers and compete with companies such as Amazon. According to China Merchants Security — a finance company — Temu loses $588 million to $954 million in revenue in a year.

The U.S. House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party has released a report that shows how Temu uses the de minimis exception. This is the final reason why Temu can list products for next to nothing. The de minimis exception exempts them from paying tax on shipments below $800.

Is Temu Spying on Users?

After Pinduoduo — who is owned by the same company as Temu — was removed from the Google store, Temu was accused of data risks. CNBC released a report where analysts stated that Temu is not as aggressive with obtaining user information as Pinduoduo.

According to these analysts, Pinduoduo mostly focused its attention on Chinese users of the e-commerce platform. Given the fact that Pinduoduo had access to such sensitive information and that Temu is owned by the same company, many were worried the e-commerce platform could spy on them.

As of writing this, there is no evidence to suggest this but whether it can spy on users, no one really knows. That said, some people have recommended uninstalling the app because the potential risks are not worth the inexpensive items you can buy.

Is Temu Really Giving Products Away for Free?

While items are already incredibly cheap on the app, some users have gotten free items. Temu has a social media campaign where if you promote the app to other people, you can earn credit.

The more users that sign up, the more credits you will earn. This allowed some people to purchase items without paying a cent.

Things To Consider When Buying From Temu

While Temu is legit, whether you should buy from them is up to personal preference. Given the fact that Pinduoduo contained malware that could access sensitive information and essentially spy on users, it is a decision that requires careful consideration.

Most of the products on the e-commerce site are incredibly cheap and if more users continue to buy from them, it could potentially create challenges for the U.S. economy and workers.

With more users purchasing items at incredibly low fees, some U.S. stores might feel left with no choice but to drop their prices in order to keep up with Temu. This would then translate to lower salaries for the people working at those stores. As stated, whether users should buy from them comes down to their own personal choice and how they feel about the platform.